If you’ve been leading your company, you’ve likely discovered that employees are at their most effective when they are content and satisfied.

Forbes did a study about this exact idea recently and found that employees are as much as 20% more productive when they are happy.

So now the burning question… How do we create a happy employee?

INCENTIVES!!! Read on to learn the Incentive Ideas for employees top 10 in 2023


Implementing effective incentives for employees can have a transformative impact on motivation and productivity within a workplace. Ultimately, incentive strategies, tailored to fit the unique needs of the workforce, can drive engagement, elevate morale, and pave the way for collective success.

Top 10 Incentives for Employees in 2023

  1. Bonuses: (We prefer performance based bonuses! Scroll down to learn more as to why!)
  2. Recognition and Awards
  3. Professional Development Opportunities
  4. Flexible Work Schedules
  5. Wellness Programs
  6. Extra PTO (yahoo!!)
  7. Gift Cards
  8. Employee Referral Programs
  9. Profit Sharing Avenues
  10. Career Advancement Opportunities

Now that you have read through the list of top 10 incentives for employees in 2023. How about the details as to why we chose these as our favorites and insights on each individual incentive.

  1. Performance-Based Bonuses: Provide monetary rewards based on achieving specific performance targets, such as meeting sales quotas, completing projects ahead of schedule, or surpassing production goals. The performance based bonus is by far our favorite incentive. This is a long term incentive that provides benefits for employees as well as owners. Schedule a demo to learn more about our favorite incentive.
  2. Recognition and Awards: Everybody, and we mean everybody wants to be recognized for their hard work.  Recognize outstanding employees through awards, certificates, or trophies in a public setting, such as a company-wide meeting. This can foster a sense of accomplishment and boost morale.
  3. Professional Development Opportunities: Offer opportunities for employees to attend workshops, conferences, or training sessions relevant to their roles. Investing in their growth shows that you value their development.  The employees may also bring new ideas back to the company to implement into their work environment.
  4. Flexible Work Schedules : Provide the option for flexible work hours, remote work, or compressed workweeks. This can improve work-life balance and cater to employees’ individual needs. We changed to flexible work environments and our productivity increased.
  5. Wellness Programs: We all feel a little bit better when we are active and engaged, Introduce wellness initiatives like gym memberships, yoga classes, or mindfulness workshops to support employees’ physical and mental well-being.  Plentive has even brought in a masseuse to give chair massages.
  6. Extra Paid Time Off (PTO): Reward exceptional performance with additional paid time off. This can give employees the chance to recharge and return to work with renewed energy.
  7. Gift Cards/ Lunches or Dinners: Establish goals for individuals or teams where they can receive incentives in the form of gift cards or lunch out on the company card.
  8. Employee Referral Program: Encourage employees to refer qualified candidates for job openings within the company. Provide incentives for successful hires, which can help improve the quality of new hires.
  9. Profit Sharing Avenue: Profit sharing is a way for employees to directly benefit from the company’s profitability and success, creating a stronger connection between their efforts and the company’s outcomes. Check our our profit sharing examples. 
  10. Career Advancement Opportunities: Create a clear path for growth within the company by offering promotions or new responsibilities to employees who consistently perform at a high level.

Remember, the effectiveness of these incentives can vary based on the company culture, employee preferences, and the nature of the work. Regularly seeking employee feedback and adjusting incentive programs accordingly can help ensure that they remain relevant and motivating.

Employee incentive Examples

Plentive is in the business of incentives. We have created an entire library for you to browse through and download. Head here for more options.

Or here are a couple of our most popular employee incentive examples to download.

Resources

Top 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid when Incentivizing Employees

  1. Setting Unrealistic Goals: Establishing unattainable performance targets can lead to frustration and demotivation among employees. Goals should be challenging yet achievable, promoting a sense of accomplishment rather than discouragement.
  2. Neglecting Non-Financial Incentives: Relying solely on monetary rewards can undermine the importance of non-financial motivators, such as recognition, opportunities for growth, and a positive work environment. These factors play a crucial role in overall employee satisfaction.
  3. Ignoring Individual Differences: Not all employees are motivated by the same incentives. Tailoring rewards to individual preferences and recognizing diverse motivations ensures a more inclusive and effective incentive plan.
  4. Lack of Regular Feedback: Failing to provide regular feedback on employees’ progress toward incentive goals can make them feel disconnected from the process and unsure of their performance. Regular communication is key to maintaining engagement.
  5. Ignoring Unintended Consequences: Incentive plans should be designed with potential unintended consequences in mind. For instance, overemphasizing one aspect of performance might lead to neglect of other important tasks or ethical concerns.

By avoiding these mistakes and instead implementing a well-thought-out incentive plan that considers individual differences, provides a mix of financial and non-financial rewards, offers clear communication, and accounts for potential repercussions, you can create a more effective and motivating environment for your employees.

How to Launch Your Employee Incentive Program

Launching an employee incentive program requires careful planning and execution to ensure its success. Creating a successful incentive plan for employees requires a thoughtful approach. Begin by defining clear and measurable goals aligned with the company’s objectives. Understand what motivates your employees by soliciting their input. Choose relevant and achievable performance metrics that drive desired behaviors. Tailor incentives to match employee preferences, whether through monetary rewards, additional time off, or professional development opportunities. Maintain transparency by communicating the plan’s mechanics and progress regularly. Ensure fairness and equality in distribution and consider the long-term impact of the incentives on both short-term results and overall company culture. Regularly review and adjust the plan as needed, celebrating successes along the way to foster a motivated and engaged workforce.

We love incentivizing employees Plentive is an industry leader in helping companies create a performance based bonus program that has so many benefits we could create another entire blog on it.

Charlie Munger said,

“Show me an incentive and I will show you the outcome.”

Charlie Munger

Schedule a Demo with us today to learn how to incentivize your team and create a company that people want to work for.

To have a more detailed plan on creating an incentive plan head to our recent blogs for individual industries

How to Create an Incentive Plan for Construction Workers

How to Create an Incentive Plan for Manufacturing Workers

Download our resources for your industry here

Build your bonus plan

Speak with an expert to create your bonus plan