23 Ways You can Use Incentives to Improve Company Morale

23 Benefits that Boost Employee Morale

You’ve picked the best employees. and they were excited to work with you when they were first hired. Keeping those employees happy while they’re working for you can be tricky, though. What do your employees really want? Perkshr definitely help sweeten the deal and motivate workers, but they come in all shapes and sizes. We asked 23 entrepreneurs for advice on what they’ve tried in order to keep their employees happy.

“Ensuring high employee morale can be a challenge. What’s the company perk that you’ve found most useful for retaining enthusiastic employees? “

Benefits that Boost Employee Morale

Here’s what YEC community members had to say:

1. Random Displays of Appreciation

“From my retail background, the most effective perk to our employees was always random displays of appreciation. From random bonuses to paid days off, free products, lunch and more. The unexpected always went further than the expected and genuinely made lasting impressions that as a company we were always aware of performance beyond numbers.” ~ Sam Bahreini, Sam Bahreini

2. Team Events In and Out of the Office

“We regularly participate in team events outside the office like 5K runs, volunteering and team celebrations. These activities enable everyone to take a break from the “9 to 5″ to deepen relationships with their teams. Getting to know each other on a personal level enhances trust, empathy and collaboration, which translates back to the office environment.” ~ Michael KurlandBranded Group Inc

3. Passionate Worker Rewards

“I always weigh passion more heavily than resumes alone. A passionate person will motivate themselves and find ways to solve problems while somebody that is not will simply count down their hours for the week. Choose people that are extremely excited about the company and the problem you’re solving. One time, I even hired my Uber driver because he was persistent and passionate about joining our company.” ~ Andy KaruzaFenSens

4. Perks that Underscore Company Culture

“I wouldn’t say that there’s just one perk, as different things matter to different people. That said, there are few things that our team members have shared they really value about our company’s culture. One of those is the ability to work from home. Our company is global, with team members all over the world. Most, if not all of our team members find that invaluable. We also offer a wellness benefit that reimburses team members each quarter to help them reach their wellness goals.” ~ Robert GlazerAcceleration Partners

5. Personal Goal and Hobby Support

“From sending running shoes to one of my writers who is focused on her health to gift cards to hobby websites for one of my developers, I like to focus on providing perks that encourage the team to take and enjoy personal time to achieve whatever they want outside of work.” ~ John RamptonCalendar

6. Four-Day Work Week

“Last year, we kicked off a four-day work week at our company, and the employees have loved it! We already offered flexible schedules and the ability to work from home when necessary, but ensuring that every employee had a three-day weekend every week has been a huge morale-booster.” ~ Amy BalliettKiller Infographics

7. Extended Work-Remote Arrangements

“We just implemented an extended work-remote policy. For every two years of service, employees can take up to six weeks of continuous work-remote. The only requirement is that they overlap at least five hours each day with our headquarters in Chicago. This policy is intended to enable long-term travel, which is important to many millennials. It’s much better for everyone compared to quitting a job to be able to travel long-term.” ~ Luke LiuAlbert

8. Flexible, Comfortable Work Environments

“Rewarding employees with certain days to work from home is a perk that gives them the flexibility to work in a more comfortable environment, but it also forces them to be more responsible with time management. This will definitely separate your dedicated workers from the rest.” ~ Codie SanchezWww.CodieSanchez.com

9. Team Lunches for All

“Every Wednesday, I host a lunch event catered by different restaurants. Any team member, regardless of their job or whether or not they work in-office, is free to come and enjoy some free food. Not only is this a great way to keep people motivated in the middle of the week, but its also a chance to connect with telecommuting workers and make them feel more included with the rest of the team.” ~ Bryce Welker, CPA Exam Guy

10. Conferences for Professional Development

“Let your employees research relevant conferences that you might want to attend. There are a lot of good and valid conferences that your team members could benefit from. Doing a discovery day after a conference can also be beneficial for the whole team.” ~ Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now

11. Manager-Directed Support for Workers

“Dissatisfied employees don’t leave companies, they leave bad managers. On a positive note, managers who communicate well, show they care in those difficult times by being a pillar of strength and who are constantly building into the people they serve can help people stay loyal to a company. Invest in your managers, discuss difficult situations and learn from one another. The outcome will be high morale built on a culture of trust.” ~ David Ciccarelli, Voices.com

12. Happy Hour as a Staple

“Imparting happy hour on a weekly or bi-weekly basis is something that will never get old as long as you’re switching it up. Whether you’re changing the menu or venue, happy hour is a great way to strengthen your team’s camaraderie and have a good time.” ~ Patrick BarnhillSpecialist ID, Inc.

13. Quick Trips for Team Morale

“A day at the beach, a simple barbecue or happy hour and appetizers at a local bar can all boost employee satisfaction. When people bond outside of work, overall morale improves. Aside from that, your own energy will be infectious when you treat your employees well.” ~ Zev HermanSuperior Lighting

14. Outside Adventures and Bonding

“Allow team members the opportunity to bond outside of the office. Host company events like roller skating, participating in parades and volunteering. When team members get to know their peers, they will be excited to collaborate with one another and will be more comfortable offering ideas to help innovate and build the company.” ~ Nick FriedmanCollege Hunks Hauling Junk

15. Work-Life Balance

“While work-life balance is a struggle for everyone, one way to help employees stay engaged and enthusiastic when they are at the office is to allow them, when needed, to work from home. Trusting employees to get their work done while controlling where and when they do it has been a huge perk or morale booster for us. Working from home might allow an employee to clean while on a conference call, wait for a repair person or do laundry in between proposals leaving them feeling more balanced and less frantic.” ~ Kim KaupeZinePak

16. Bonuses for Great Performance

“Bonuses are huge incentives that pack the same punch as raises without getting stuck with the large permanent financial increases. Bonuses and raises show employees that they are appreciated and they are doing their jobs well. This, in turn, boosts their enthusiasm. Set up a bonus structure where employees can earn annual bonuses if they meet predetermined performance goals. Make sure the goals are clear and realistic. Bonuses don’t have to be large to be effective. Plus, the tick up in productivity and creativity will make them worth the money.” ~ Blair ThomaseMerchantBroker

17. Health Care that Takes Care

“We not only provide a health insurance plan for our employees but also pay for the cost of their and their dependents’ coverage. Showing your employees that you genuinely care about them and their family’s physical and mental well-being is an investment that leads to employees staying with your company for more time. The lower employee turnover and higher morale more than offset the cost of making sure that they have the peace of mind that their families health care insurance is covered.” ~ Doug BendBend Law Group, PC

18. Sales Incentives

“Having weekly sales incentives really help employees with drive, friendly competition and enthusiasm. Take a goal that employees are expected to hit and raise the bar for a month. For the employees who hit that goal, at the end of each week have a Friday morning meeting with all the staff and hand out gift cards, gifts or anything else that would be rewarding to the employees that hit the new weekly sales incentive goals.” ~ Sarah YeverovichEmpowered Staffing

19. Freedom and Empowerment

“Freedom and empowerment is the ultimate benefit. Providing unlimited time off is an explicit assertion that you trust your team members to manage themselves and their time. For morale, it is one of the best ways to help employees manage their energy, avoid burnout and have the flexibility to be with family and friends at key times.” ~ Eric MathewsStart Co.

20. Ample Time to Unwind

“Even if you have the most fun and entertaining office environment ever, nothing beats just being able to unwind at home or on vacation. Everyone needs time away from the office but unfortunately, a lot of companies don’t give ample paid time off to their employees. Allowing employees to take care of their personal needs without repercussions is a huge benefit for everyone involved.” ~ Kristy KnichelKnichel Logistics

21. Educational Opportunities

“Giving employees time and money to further their education is a great way to retain enthusiastic employees. The best employees aren’t happy standing still. By funding education and training, the company benefits from more capable staff, and the employees are able to constantly improve their skills and their career opportunities.” ~ Vik PatelFuture Hosting

22. Great Co-Workers

“The best perk for one particular employee is surrounding them with ambitious, energetic and amazing co-workers. Of course, you’ll need to build a fantastic company culture to attract and retain those amazing people. However, if you allow folks who don’t pull their weight into the organization, they’ll lower the bar for everyone.” ~ Jeff EpsteinAmbassador

23. Employee Values that Mirror the Vision

“Create a vision for your company that includes each employee as shared goals, builds cohesiveness and boosts morale. At my firm, we let employees go home early on Fridays, which we find helps alleviate some of the stressors of commuting and avoids the Friday afternoon dread.” ~ Ali Mirza, Rose Garden Consulting

Photo via Shutterstock

The Young Entrepreneur Council The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.