8 Creative Incentives that Improve Workplace Productivity

Improve Workplace Productivity

One of the key components of leading a successful team is knowing exactly how to motivate its members. What makes great leaders great is their ability to inspire everyone in a company: from the top managers to the youngest team members still learning the ropes. But sometimes, transferring one’s enthusiasm for a job or product isn’t enough. Luckily, a good employee incentive program can solve a lot of productivity issues and can improve workplace productivity.

What’s amazing about encouraging coworkers is that a well-constructed incentive program doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, and it can be almost anything you can think up. Whether you decide to go for something traditional or unique is entirely up to your imagination. You may even find that what works best for your team is a combination of several motivational methods.


The thing about adults is that they love playing just as much as children do. Something as simple as a bit of friendly competition between teams, or a system that rewards high-performing employees can be an excellent motivator to improve productivity. What’s great about gamification is that you don’t have to create your system, but can use one already created by a team of experts and customize it to fit your own needs.

Company Swag

Cheaply-made T-shirts won’t improve the productivity of your workforce. But company swag that is made with the effort to promote company culture just as well might. If you don’t already know it, company culture plays a huge role in workplace productivity. The simple fact that there’s a significant difference between the turnover rates of companies with an established company culture compared to those without one should be a good indicator that it’s something you need to pay attention to.

The way swag fits into this is the fact that it promotes said company culture. Not only is it a way for employees to show off their pride in working for a company, but it also creates a bonding experience. Whether you welcome each new team member with a box of goodies or create a unique product for those working on specific projects is up to you. What you can expect, however, is that encouraging people’s sense of belonging is sure to increase their motivation and productivity in the long run.


Sometimes, the best employee incentive program is the one that’s been tried and tested many times. There’s nothing creative about compensation, yet it works like a charm in encouraging productivity. How you decide to go about it is entirely up to you (and your financial possibilities). You can offer raises, bonuses, profit-sharing programs, or even stock. Do keep in mind, however, that monetary compensation probably won’t be enough on its own. To boost your team’s morale, make sure you’re combining it with recognition, as well as some more exciting incentives.


One of the most common things millennials want out of their jobs is flexibility combined with security. You’d be surprised how simple finding that sweet spot can be. Something as easy as offering flexible work hours, or encouraging employees to work from home on certain days of the week can not only boost morale but can also improve productivity by allowing your workers to finish their tasks while still having enough time to focus on their personal lives.

Exciting Tech and Software

If your team is young and tech-savvy, introducing exciting gadgets and software can be a super-efficient employee incentive program. Whether it’s by updating your staff members’ workstations or giving them access to productivity tools, automation, and a corporate alumni management platform, this simple solution can do wonders for your results.

The sky’s the limit, and you probably already have a pretty good idea of what would offer you the most value. Whether it’s higher-resolution displays for your designers, a VR system that employees can use to preview products or attend complex training sessions, or a software solution that uses calendar data to automatically calculate mileage, don’t be afraid of making such investments. Eventually, they’ll more than pay off.

Free Food

Sometimes, the problem of low productivity stems from the environment. Meetings are an excellent example of occasions that aim to solve problems or bring everyone up to date on certain happenings within a company, yet still manage to be huge time-wasters and energy drainers. Unfortunately, they’re not always entirely avoidable through using email or company chat apps.

In such cases, bringing in a factor that will get people excited is a great employee incentive idea. Something as basic as breakfast and good coffee during a morning meeting, or holding a brainstorming session during lunch can encourage staff to be more excited about the event and, thus more willing to actively participate, tackle problems, and think up creative solutions.

Change of Scenery

The state in which someone is at their most productive – effectively finishing tasks, being able to avoid distractions, coming up with their best ideas, or even doing things that have never been accomplished before – is recognized as a mental state called Flow. In most cases, the best way to achieve this type of focus is to eliminate all distractions, including external and internal ones, to work at one’s biological peak time, as well as to introduce the right stimuli.

What’s great about this is that you can achieve the last of these factors pretty easily. According to some people, something as simple as listening to the right music playlist, or working from a location you’ve never been to before can provide the required feeling of novelty that can trigger Flow. So, next time you need your team to dominate a task, why not choose a creative new location to work from? It can be anywhere – whether you choose the local park or a beach in Thailand is completely up to you.

Personal Growth

When it comes to providing staff with training and personal growth opportunities, you’ll find that it’s one of the most effective employee incentive programs there are. Investing in your staff is something you should be doing regularly. And what people often fail to realize is that this type of incentive offers multiple benefits.

As a business leader/manager, you get people on your team who are up to date on the latest trends, have a set of skills they can apply in finding new, creative solutions, and are continually growing so that they can take over more important roles (and bigger responsibilities) with time. Your employees, on the other hand, receive invaluable stimuli and a sense of accomplishment, as well as a feeling of being valued. So, the next time you’re trying to find a way to engage and motivate workers, why not provide them with some exciting learning opportunities?


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Summing Up

The key thing to remember about workplace productivity is that it does much more than just increase your bottom line. Great teams are well-managed, but what makes them stand out is their dedication to the job. There’s absolutely nothing as inspiring for someone to work harder than getting to dedicate their expertise to a project they’re passionate about.

So, while looking for the best employee incentive program for your company, you must consider more than just the results. Ultimately, what you’ll want to achieve is a coherent unit of dedicated team members who’ll help you fulfill short-term and long-term goals. Not only that, but these are the people who will help you create new ones, allowing everyone on your team to be proud of, and fulfilled by your common vision.

Sarah Kaminski

Sarah Kaminski

Sarah Kaminski is a freelance writer and social media marketer. She works with a number of small businesses to build their brands through more engaging marketing and content.

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