Incentives to Help Grow Your Business

An incentive encourages a specific course of action by the employees. Use incentives as an effective management and leadership tool. Because of the current economy, you might think that this is a strategy that will break the bank. Sure, money can be involved if you want raises and bonuses as classic incentives. But there are still plenty of ways to incentivize your workers with little or no money involved. Here are some suggestions:

Introduce special holidays. Offer an interesting break from the regular workday if your employees can meet some sort of goal. Casual Friday is cliched and "Hawaiian Shirt Day" is boring. How about "Bring Your Pet to Work Day," "Casino or Bowling Night," "Chili Cook off Day," or something entirely new?

Throw parties. When your team meets a goal, make the last hour or two of the day about hanging out and socializing. Make it into a potluck where everybody brings one food item. This is a great idea to reward your employees without spending a lot of money. If you're willing to spend a small amount of money, pizza is pretty failsafe.

Be receptive. After you've established yourself as someone who uses incentives, watch as your employees come to you to propose their own ideas. If it's a reasonable proposition, take them up on it.

Offer corporate memberships. See what local businesses in the area might be willing to partner with you and give your employees a discount on goods and services. Consider everything from lawn care to sandwich shops. You don't need to chase huge discounts; even a scant 10 percent or 15 percent savings at the register can brighten your employees' day.

Incentives have already been a part of your life whether you realize it or not. Parents give children toys to reward good behavior. Teachers tell students that if they're well-behaved, they can leave class early. An incentive in itself is when you go out of your way to reward excellence in the workplace. Employees will work hard to grab some of that recognition and attention for a job well done. A company that can be productive while having a soundly casual or enjoyable office culture is surely one that's got a lot figured out. Incentives are a great way to figure out what kinds of positive change you can introduce to your workplace.