5 Free and Cheap Incentives

Keeping your team motivated requires a comprehensive, multi-pronged approach. But when your organization’s resources are thin and traditional incentives like bigger salaries aren’t in the cards, you need to look for innovative ways to reward your team’s hard work and inspire them to continue reaching for success. Below are five incentive ideas that’ll make your team feel appreciated without breaking the bank.

1 – Better work spaces. If you have access to slightly more enticing space—bigger cubes, private offices, or even just a desk with more natural light—it could be a powerful perk. Mind the costs to move and outfit your new digs.

2 – Flex time. Some employees find incentives like this give them the ability to strike a better work/life balance to be worth more than a fat raise. Allowing workers to shift their hours to accommodate family or personal schedules could boost staff retention and snuff out malaise.

3 – Remote work arrangements. This won’t work in every organization, but if you can support telecommuting—even on a limited basis—you may find your employees are happier and more productive. Beware potential expenses if your company doesn’t already have the technology infrastructure in place to allow working remotely.

4 – New titles. It’s a strategy that’s especially effective if your organization is cash-strapped and unable to pay the top-tier wages of others in your area or industry. Keep titles realistic and relevant, but allowing a little leeway or individuality (maybe your senior project coordinators become Masters of End User Experiences) can be a fun perk.

5 – More vacation. While not technically a freebie, a little extra paid time off can work wonders for employee productivity and morale, while helping the team to avoid project burnout. Stagger days off and be sure that everyone gets (and takes) their share of downtime.


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