Creating Meaningful Incentives for Your Employees
The American economy is currently experiencing unknown conditions. Economists hesitate to label our situation as a “recession” simply because of the low unemployment rate and high job creation. Although we’ve seen an increase in interest rates and inflation, “Help Wanted” signs are still overwhelmingly visible throughout the country. It’s become clear that companies with positive employee retention are winning the labor game, but how can companies keep their workers happy? Is it all about salary or is there another factor driving retention? One possibility is simply creating a positive environment and meaningful incentives for employees.
Covid-19 introduced a new wave of employee expectations and many companies across the US tried to make themselves more enticing to qualified workers. Factors from increased salaries to improved working conditions were tweaked, but many employees still desire more from their employers. Work-life balance, the ability to work remotely, PTO, and monetary incentives are seldomly considered perks any longer, but the norm. Industries like nursing and education, with little room for flexibility in their schedules or salary plans, are losing employees in droves. People are simply choosing to leave careers that don’t highly value their employees or make it worth it to stay.
Employee retention can look like many things and there is no “one size fits all” solution for each company. Employees want to know that they are seen and considered as humans before workers. Management can contemplate offering flexible working arrangements to keep their employees happy. Working remotely or having the ability to take necessary time off when needed is a huge incentive for employees. It shows that managers trust their workers to complete their tasks on time and without extensive supervision. This can create a positive work environment and allow employees to have a successful work-life balance.
Aside from time and working conditions, successful companies look for additional ways to offer meaningful incentives to their employees. Monetary compensation, like a raise or bonus, is always a great way to show value and appreciation, but not all companies can afford it. Instead of offering significant bonuses that can dry up surplus money, consider very intentional smaller amounts. A small number of gift cards or “mental money” can go a long way in the hands of many workers to make ends meet. Employees that need to hire roofing companies to fix storm damage or take their vehicles to the shop for routine maintenance could use even a small bonus to truly meet their needs.
At the end of the day, the relationship between business and labor is changing. The needs of the labor force are becoming more powerful and businesses are having to make adjustments to retain employees, offering meaningful incentives for your employees is just one way to do it.