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  • Writer's pictureNanna Andrea

8 Valuable Employee Incentive Ideas to Engage Your Team

A team having a brainstorm

Incentives can be used in many different ways to show your employees the value of their work – and push their performance to new levels. A well-aimed incentive can involve anything from a gift card to an exciting opportunity to grow professionally. 

No matter the means, the goal is always to recognize and reinforce behavior that leads to greatness!

In this article, we’ll explore the important significance of employee incentives and how they play a pivotal role in creating a positive workplace. Discover eight incentive ideas that can take your corporate rewards program to the next level. 

Employee Recognition: The Road to Higher Performance

Understanding the lasting benefits of employee incentives and what they mean to the workforce is important for various reasons. From heightened productivity to happier employees, incentives can completely transform a workplace, steering it in a much more positive direction.

In today’s job market, disengagement among employees is a concerning issue, and an expensive one too. According to earlier studies, unhappy employees cost billions a year! A dwindling workforce morale leads to higher turnover rates and diminished productivity. It affects your bottom line and it also strangles the creative energy that is the engine of an innovative work culture.

How Incentives Play Out

Yes, having a sizeable salary can be great – but it doesn’t fulfill the same role as incentives do. It is a whole different ball game.

The purpose of an incentive is to guide employees toward desired positive behaviors that result in desired outcomes. For example, giving a performance-based bonus for meeting project milestones can motivate employees to exceed expectations. It can even lead to accelerated progress or a finished project with exceptional results!

Employee incentive schemes can also work in your favor if the goal is to attract and retain talent. Keep in mind that these should always be included within the scope of a larger recognition program.

For more ideas for employee incentive programs, check out our guide here.

And What Are They, Really?

There are several types of incentives, and the key is to identify what kind of rewards will work best within the structure of your own workforce. Employees are just like any other humans, energized by different things, because that is human nature.

Nevertheless, some of the most common staff incentive ideas are the following:

  • Monetary bonuses

  • A pay raise

  • Tuition reimbursements

  • Extra vacation days or more time off

  • Referral compensation

  • Health and wellness perks

  • Additional work flexibility

8 Employee Incentive Gift Ideas

A team celebrating success

Let’s explore the ways in which you can show your employees the appreciation they deserve.

Below are eight monetary and non-monetary employee incentive ideas aimed at creating a more positive work culture. They can easily be turned into celebratory events for the people who make a company successful – your team players!

1. A Monetary Bonus or a Pay Raise

Bonuses and salary raises are undoubtedly the most common compensation schemes around. And they surely do the work of motivating employees!

That said, most employees want something more than just to see higher numbers on their pay slip.

2. Corporate Gift Cards

HR managers are always looking for new and innovative ideas to incentivize their employees, and gift cards are, in many ways, delivering a different experience.

A gift card holds a certain credit amount that can be redeemed for purchases or services. These gifts can be especially helpful if you’re managing a large team.

Instead of offering a one-size-fits-all incentive that might not be suitable for everyone, a gift card is a smart solution. It allows the recipient to spend the money on the card on anything they like.

Here are some ways in which your employees can use a gift card:

  • Magazine subscriptions

  • Movie theater gift card

  • Concert tickets

  • A course gift card

  • Fitness and wellness gift card

  • Museum passes

For more ideas on how to incorporate gift cards into your employee recognition program, check out our guide here.

3. Extra Vacation Days and Time Off

This is probably one of the most appreciated incentives you can give an employee who has worked long hours on a difficult project. If you notice your team players are struggling with maintaining a healthy work-life balance, time off or extra vacation days are a great incentive.

Well-rested employees are more creative, productive, and innovative. A good benchmark is to offer a certain number of days off depending on key performance indicators (KPI) or metrics.

Give your team some time to relax after a job well done so they can come back to work with recharged batteries!

4. The Magic of Flexibility

Flexible working hours have become the standard norm across the global job market. One interesting twist to this “new normal” is to actually let your employees work out a flexible schedule with the rest of the team. This can encompass anything from what hours they work to where they work and how much.

If your company has a rigid working schedule, this is a good way to start building a more adaptable workplace. However, always be sure to set clear guidelines to help employees maintain the level of productivity that is expected of them.

5. At-Work Wellness Services

A fun idea is to treat your employees to wellness services at work. This is an incentive with benefits for both the employer and employee. Performance is directly linked to a workforce’s health and wellness. Therefore, by offering health-enriched incentives, you can have a direct positive impact on your team’s motivation.

At-work wellness services can look differently at different workplaces. Still, inviting a yoga instructor, meditation guide, chiropractor, massage practitioner, or even a life coach is something that would be enjoyable for many at the office. It’s also a way to introduce healthy habits for free that your employees might take up on their own time later on.

Another perk is to offer a wider choice of wellness activities through gym or fitness club memberships. These can be combined with health and wellness reimbursements for employees who hit specific wellness milestones.

6. Shared Team-Building Activities


Team-building activities are a great way to combine an incentive with a workplace culture-building goal. Reward the whole team with fun out-of-office activities that will motivate them to set new creative goals for their next project.

It’s also helpful for new team members to get to know each other on a more personal level outside the office environment.

7. Professional Development Opportunities

Continuing on the path of mutually beneficial incentives, professional development training is a motivational incentive for employees who are eager to take their skills to the next level.

As you invest in your team’s professional development, you’re also creating a stronger and more competitive pool of HR resources.

Here are some professional development incentive ideas:

  • Workshops and seminars

  • Courses online and offline with certifications

  • In-house scholarships

  • Study time subscriptions to digital learning platforms

  • Tuition reimbursements or study loan coverage

8. Profit Sharing

One of the most effective ways to empower employees is to make them an intrinsic part of your organization. This means turning them into owners or shareholders.

Profit-sharing is an excellent incentive that makes employees feel more invested in the success of a company. According to a study made by Gallup, 40% of employees would change jobs to have profit-sharing benefits.

There are several different ways to do this.

For example, some employers will offer stock as part of a benefits package. Others might offer a direct profit-sharing scheme where employees are incentivized to reach certain sales targets before they can participate in a profit-sharing program.

Regardless of the method, profit-sharing fosters a strong sense of teamwork and shared success, aligning the interests of your employees with the prosperity of your company.

Creating a Culture of Corporate Wellbeing

happy employees in a positive and healthy work atmosphere

Leaders and HR executives play a significant role in keeping their teams engaged and motivated. By putting the focus on a successful incentive program, you can craft a strategy that covers all areas – from financial wellbeing to physical, mental, and educational.

Remember, you're not just celebrating the achievements of your employees – you’re creating a culture of corporate wellbeing for the future.

We wish you the best of luck in your endeavor!


About GoGift

An illustration of a woman showing a gift card from GoGift with her hand

GoGift, a leading global provider of gift card solutions, specializes in offering innovative and versatile gift card services to over 15.000 corporate clients worldwide. With a commitment to simplifying the gift-giving process, GoGift provides a broad range of gift card options from numerous popular brands, catering to a diverse array of tastes and preferences. Their services are designed to enhance the gifting experience, making it more convenient, personal, and enjoyable for both the giver and the recipient.

For more detailed information about GoGift, please visit their official website:


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