Employee Incentive Examples: 5 Ways, 5 Days

Employee Incentive Examples: 5 Ways, 5 Days

At the crossroads of employee motivation and productivity lies a powerful tool: employee incentives. Some employees may already be familiar with the word “incentives” in the workplace thanks to Sales Incentive Plans or Stock Incentive Plans (SIPs). But incentives come in all shapes and sizes, and aren’t just limited to sellers.

Employee Incentives use the promise of specific rewards to motivate team members to take certain actions or achieve company goals within an allocated time period. Sometimes Incentives are directly tied to compensation, but they can also be tied to earning general Rewards Points that can be redeemed in the future for specific merchandise, experiences, additional time off, or any other type of reward an organization chooses to offer.

When used properly, Employee Incentives can act as a driving force that propels employees towards consistent compliance, performance and innovation. Incentives can accelerate the completion of mandatory security or anti-harassment training from weeks or months to mere days. Incentives can drive enhanced productivity, can positively impact employee turnover rates, and can strengthen the symbiotic relationship between individual aspirations and organizational goals.

There are many ways to go about crafting a company Incentives program that fosters genuine motivation and aligns seamlessly with organizational goals, budgets, and compliance policies. Here at WorkTango, we find it’s easiest to get started by establishing broad buckets of Incentive Categories, and then deciding what will fall into each of those categories, and what an employee will receive for completing each specific Incentive.

Common Employee Incentive Categories

  1. Culture & Engagement
  2. Employee Wellbeing
  3. Community & ESG
  4. Professional Development
  5. Compliance & Operations

Culture & Engagement Incentive Examples

  • Organize team-building retreats or outings
  • Participate in inter-departmental competitions or challenges
  • Host themed dress-up or costume days
  • Attend an after work social gathering
  • Share a company social media post
  • Join company-sponsored sports teams or leagues
  • Engage in collaborative brainstorming sessions
  • Organize or attend a team game night (online or offline)
  • Set up peer-to-peer recognition or shout-out boards
  • Secure a new customer referral
  • Provide a new employee referral
  • Attend team breakfasts or coffee breaks
  • Organize or join team book clubs or movie nights
  • Host or attend team potluck lunches or dinners
  • Participate in group ice-breaker activities or challenges
  • Celebrate team milestones or achievements together
  • Take part in team wellness activities (such as group meditation or yoga)
  • Host “Meet the Team” sessions for new employees or departments
  • Reach a personal or team goal
  • Complete a project under budget
  • Hit sales goal for the quarter
  • Complete an employee engagement survey
  • Maintain a perfect safety record for 30 days
  • Receive a positive customer review
  • Exceed revenue goals
  • Exceed customer service satisfaction targets
  • Showcase innovation or implement a new idea that benefits the company
  • Achieve consistent punctuality or attendance records
  • Demonstrate leadership on a team initiative or project
  • Contribute to a company publication or blog
  • Participate in or lead a community outreach or CSR activity on behalf of the company
  • Lead or assist in a company culture or engagement initiative
  • Reduce costs or streamline processes in a noticeable manner

Employee Wellbeing Incentive Examples

  • Run a 5K
  • Go for a walk
  • Break a sweat
  • Get your flu/COVID shot
  • Drink 8 glasses of water in a day
  • Bike or walk somewhere instead of driving
  • Take a 15-minute walk break during the work day
  • Practice yoga
  • Walk 10,000 steps in a day
  • Hike in a state park
  • Take a group fitness class
  • Complete your annual teeth cleaning
  • Complete your annual eye exam
  • Complete your annual physical exam
  • Practice 30 minutes of mindfulness / week
  • Meditate
  • Talk to a therapist
  • Take a mental health day
  • Read a book
  • Play with your pet
  • Cook a meal at home
  • Sign offline at 5pm
  • Practice deep breathing exercises
  • Engage in journaling or expressive writing
  • Listen to calming music or nature sounds
  • Take short breaks throughout the workday
  • Attend a relaxation or stress-relief workshop
  • Practice gratitude by noting three good things for the day
  • Limit screen time before bed
  • Explore a new hobby or craft
  • Connect with loved ones or close friends
  • Participate in art or creative therapy activities
  • Engage in a positive affirmation practice
  • Attend a support group or community wellbeing event
  • Commit to a digital detox on a weekend

Community & ESG Incentive Examples

  • Participate in team-based volunteering or community service
  • Refill a reusable water bottle
  • Start composting
  • Plant a garden
  • Fill a recyclable container
  • Carpool or use public transportation to get to work
  • Set up or join a company Green committee
  • Participate in community clean-up or tree-planting events
  • Adopt a plant for your workspace
  • Recycle at home or work
  • Share eco-friendly tips or best practices with colleagues
  • Support or buy from local sustainable vendors or markets
  • Reduce food waste by participating in a “leftovers” lunch day
  • Set up or contribute to a company sustainability fund or initiative
  • Digital meetings to reduce travel carbon footprint
  • Volunteer in your community
  • Donate blood
  • Donate to a specific charity
  • Organize or join company-sponsored community clean-up days
  • Mentor or tutor students in local schools or community centers
  • Adopt a local park, garden, or public space for regular maintenance
  • Organize a charity or community event at work
  • Sponsor a local sports team or arts event
  • Host or participate in a charity auction or raffle
  • Participate in a food, clothing, or toy drive
  • Sponsor or host an educational event for underprivileged communities
  • Serve on the board of a local organization

Professional Development Incentive Examples

  • Be someone’s onboarding buddy
  • Shadow a colleague
  • Attend a “lunch and learn”
  • Attend a professional meet-up or networking event
  • Attend a webinar
  • Complete an online course
  • Mentor someone in your field
  • Meet with a mentor in your field
  • Give a “lunch and learn” on something you love
  • Share a great idea for a new product or service
  • Implement a new process to boost efficiency
  • Learn a new language
  • Take part in group workshops
  • Attend a team leadership development seminar
  • Engage in customer service excellence workshops
  • Engage in industry-specific skills development sessions
  • Shadow a coworker

Compliance & Operations Incentive Examples

  • Send your first Recognition
  • Add a picture and bio to your profile
  • Download the WorkTango mobile app
  • Complete a company survey
  • Complete new hire onboarding
  • Complete anti-harassment training
  • Complete safety training module
  • Complete cybersecurity training
  • Attend a company policy and procedures workshop
  • Complete First Aid & CPR training
  • Complete diversity, equity & inclusion (DE&I) modules
  • Pass annual compliance and regulatory courses
  • Complete product or service knowledge sessions
  • Engage in conflict resolution and communication workshops
  • Attend IT trainings
  • Participate in professional ethics and conduct seminars
  • Finish environmental and sustainability awareness courses
  • Complete emergency response and evacuation drills

Each employee incentive idea that we’ve explored above may or may not be suitable for your unique organization. But chances are at least a few of these examples will work!

WorkTango’s own data analysis of 950,000 WorkTango employee experience platform users indicated that organizations who offer 25 or more Incentives see the highest rates of success and employee engagement. Employees of companies who offer 25 or more Incentives in the WorkTango platform complete 83% more actions in the platform than companies who offer only 1-5 Incentives.

Therefore, when considering building out an Incentives program, we therefore recommend starting off with at least 25 Incentives (ideally more), and swapping Incentives out as necessary based on new key initiatives, mandatory training, company-wide initiatives, or HR or Sales priorities.

If you’re looking for an easy way to get started with employee Incentives or Employee Recognition & Rewards, we hope you consider WorkTango. WorkTango’s Recognition & Rewards solution includes Incentives and has been purpose-built for the dynamic needs of modern workplaces. The software platform offers a plethora of admin-friendly and customizable options, enabling organizations to craft an Employee Incentives program that truly resonates with their workforce.