The coronavirus restrictions have forced many businesses to make changes in their daily operations, and an increasing number of companies are turning to work-from-home options. Younger workers are especially eager to embrace this idea, and many actively look for companies that offer this incentive. Now, numerous companies are feeling the pressure to offer meaningful benefits that help them retain top workers in their fields.
Allowing, or endorsing, remote work can feel risky at first, but there has been plenty of research to back up the benefits of this change. For example, remote workers generally put in more time at home than they would at the office, have higher performance levels and feel less stress. Clearly, this can benefit both your employees and your company overall.
Individual employee incentives can help keep individuals motivated even when they are working away from the office. Whether your company has had work-at-home policies in place for some time or you have just started to implement them during the coronavirus pandemic, these ideas can help you encourage your employees.
1. Provide Weekly Encouragement
At home, workers can quickly begin to feel even more forgotten than they would in an office environment. Use weekly emails to encourage workers and to give shout-outs so that they feel recognized.
2. Use Digital Rewards
While it may seem difficult to reward exceptional employees when you are not in the same office, you can use digital gift cards to incentivize them. Today, you can purchase and send many digital gift cards remotely. By providing gift cards to stores that offer a wide array of products, such as Amazon, you can appeal to every employee’s interests.
3. Grant More Vacation Leave
Vacation time is a huge incentive for most employees. By taking advantage of the extra time that most remote workers put in for you, you could easily provide some additional vacation days for your employees so that they can take time for themselves and relax their bodies and minds.
4. Get Them Lunch
Thanks to remote food delivery services, such as Uber Eats, DoorDash and many others, you can treat your remote employees to lunch without setting foot outside your door. Just make sure that you know what types of cuisine each employee prefers.
5. Consider Profit Sharing
While profit sharing does not work for every company, in some instances, you may be able to share some of your profits with your employees at the end of each quarter or each year. This encourages them as they see the rewards of their labors.
6. Provide Larger Travel Rewards
If you are looking for a bigger reward, considering offering free trips once travel restrictions are lifted. You could send all of your employees to one location for team building or reward individual employees with private trips.
7. Make a Donation in Their Names
A donation can be very meaningful if you make the donation in your employee’s name and to a charity of his choice.
8. Provide Continuing Education
Many employees need continuing education to keep their licenses or to grow in their fields. By paying for this, you show that you take a real interest in the continued growth of your employee. You could also give employees extra time off to study or purchase software and other new tools for practice. Continuing education can actually pay off for you as the employer as your employees will develop new skills and knowledge.
Creating Successful Incentives
While knowing what you can do to incentivize your employees is helpful, you may need some additional help in getting these tips to pay off for your company.
1. Let Employees Know What to Expect
Employees will be more highly motivated if they know what the incentive is and what they can do to achieve it. This will also eliminate possible favoritism.
2. Make Performance Measurable
Incentives should not be based on how you feel about the employee personally but should instead be based on a measurable achievement that employees can track for themselves.
3. Keep It Affordable
Each item on this list can be made as affordable or as luxurious as you want. If you lack money for incentives, you can still do something free, such as sending out encouraging emails.
4. Keep Employees in the Loop
Regularly remind your employees of the incentive and let them know how close they are to achieving something so that they stay excited about it.
5. Keep Employee Interests in Mind
Be sure to tailor each incentive to your employees’ interests. Take note of what interests them, or ask your employees about favorite foods, purchases or locales.
6. See if the Incentive Works
A good incentive should produce noticeable changes in employee productivity and client satisfaction. In addition, your employees should be noticeably pleased and should work harder than ever after receiving an incentive.
7. Get Your Employees’ Thoughts
For the best feedback, come right out and ask your employees how they feel about the incentives you have created. You could send out a written survey or simply have a few discussions over the telephone or via email with your employees. This will help you better plan future rewards programs.
Of course, you can also get some professional help in designing the best incentive programs for your employees. Ideally, your employees will feel appreciated whether they work in the office or from home.