50 Employee Incentive Ideas to Reward and Motivate Your Staff

Without dedicated employees, your business wouldn’t succeed. That’s why you need to show your appreciation for their hard work through incentives and rewards. It doesn’t have to be luxurious, but more about creating excitement for your employees.

While there are plenty of ways to reward your employees, we’ve put together 50 creative employee incentive ideas you can try for your business. And yep, without breaking the bank.

1. Coupons and gift cards for online shopping sites

Online shopping has become so popular, especially in the middle of a pandemic when transportation is restricted. That’s why coupons and gift cards for e-commerce sites such as Amazon would be a practical idea to incentivize your staff.

2. Company goods/merchandise

It’s now very common for businesses to make T-shirts, mugs, or merchandise with company’s logo on them as gifts. Not only this would build your employees’ pride and loyalty, but this would also help to advertise your company image.

3. Gym membership

A gym membership would be a perfect reward for health-conscious employees. This will also encourage your employees to exercise more and improve their health.

4. Team lunches/dinners

Rewarding your team with a team meal whenever important work is finished would be so deserving. After long hours working on a project, nothing would be better than something that goes straight to the stomach.

5. Birthday celebrations 

A good company will never let their employee’s special day pass by without a small celebration. How about a surprise gift for your employees on their birthday? Showing your appreciation, especially on their birthdays, would mean a lot.

6. Free coffee/breakfast

An energize working day always starts with either a full breakfast or a nice coffee cup. Rewarding your employees with things that are essential like this will give a boost to their mood and performance. 

7. Work-from-home days

Working from home has its advantages of saving commuting time, parking fees, lunch expenses, and so on. Granting your employees a few days to work from home not only helps them save time and money, but also allows them to feel more comfortable working in their chosen space. 

8. A half day off

A half day off allows your employees to rest, feel less stressed, and maintain their motivation to work.

9. Spa days

Who wouldn’t want a nice spa day after long hours of hard work, right? This is no doubt one of the greatest employee incentives. Their tiredness from work would be rinsed off right away. This definitely would give back a new and more energized employee for your business. 

10. Paid vacation

What’s greater than a paid vacation after a big project? Your employees can rest, relax, and enjoy their vacation however they want.

11. Custom goods

A phone case or a mug made specifically for your employees, with their names on it, shows that you care about them individually. It engages them, and gives them the motivation to work even harder.

12. Netflix or Disney+ gift cards

In the age of digital, watching exclusively released movies or series through these channels as a source of entertainment has become too popular. Rewarding your employees by sending them gift cards is no doubt one of the most realistic employee incentive ideas.  

13. Movie tickets

A pair of movie tickets for your employees to watch with their friends, family, or beloved one is a classic way but has never gotten old. Simple but efficient, isn’t it?

14. Spotify or Apple Music gift cards

Listening to music from authorized sources is now a must. Instead of letting your employees bear this little expense, why not give them gift cards as a small reward? This is again one of the most realistic reward ideas. 

15. Thank you video

A simple thank you video for your team after achieving a goal costs nothing but your dedication. This clearly states that you as a leader deeply appreciate your team effort. 

16. Hall of fame

Using a part of your company hall to write each employee’s name on it would make your employees feel so proud of themselves. They understand that they are an important piece of the organization and what they’ve achieved to be marked on this hall.

17. Taxi credit card 

A taxi credit card allows your employees to save transportation expenses, so they’ll appreciate it.

18. Concert tickets

Purchasing tickets for your employees to go see the artists they adore could genuinely make them so happy.

19. A day at the salon

Getting your employees a day at the salon to refresh their look is never a bad idea, especially for female staff in your company.

20. Monthly awards

Setting monthly awards for your employees not only motivates the achiever but also motivates the rest of the team to work harder. This increases your employee’s job satisfaction and your team performance.

21. Meal delivery on the leader

A delivery meal paid for by the leader shows how generous you are, and is a great employee incentive idea to uplift your people’s day!

22. Phone bill on the company for a month

It could either be a business or a personal call. Covering your employees’ phone bill for a whole month is definitely a useful reward.

23. Company stocks

Investing in stocks is a great way to reward employees with huge achievements. Rewarding your employees with some units of your company stocks shows they’re an important part of the company. This requires careful consideration, though.

24. Special health care package

Health is the most important thing to a human being. A special health care package for your employees should be on the most prioritized list of incentives.

25. Free tickets to art shows

Observing art is a delicate hobby. Reward your employees this unique experience would be a very interesting idea, especially for the artistic peopleq in your company.

26. A personal compliment from the company leader

An honest compliment directly from the company leader to an individual is a meaningful thing you can do to acknowledge your employees’ effort and encourage them to keep making progress.

27. More break time

Your employees can choose a day to have more break time than usual. For instance, instead of a 1-hour lunch break, they can have a 2-hour break.

28. One-day cooking class 

Ever thought about something unusual like this? A new and exciting activity could be a great choice to reward your employees.

29. Laundry service

Laundry service is one of the most essential expenses to many people. Your staff would be so grateful for this.

30. Car wash

This is a practical employee incentive for those who own cars. If they use other vehicles, you can adjust this type of reward accordingly. Bus tickets, bike wash, etc.

31. Gasoline vouchers

Well, there’s no argument of how crucial this kind of expense is. Some vouchers for free/discounted gasoline are definitely a practical option.

32. Occasional gift boxes

Who doesn’t love gifts? Gift boxes for New Year or special holidays are great rewards that will certainly cheer up everyone.

33. Sporting event tickets

Definitely no doubt about how amazing this type of reward is for the sports fans in your company.

34. Personalized moment for your employee’s new milestone

A cake to mark your employee’s important milestone at your company, why not? Needless to say, this shows your deep appreciation for their dedication to your company.

35. Budget for employee’s personal vacation

Sponsoring a part of your employee’s personal vacation is one of the most attractive rewards ever. A huge prize for their nonstop dedication is totally worth the penny. 

36. Reduced hours on holiday

Reducing a few hours of work on some holidays such as Black Friday or Valentine’s Day can be a thoughtful reward. Your staff can enjoy those hours and do whatever they want on these special days.

37. Team dance lessons

An activity to reward your team and at the same time increasing team bonding, there’s no reason not to try it!

38. A tour to a new local restaurant 

Supporting the locals and letting your employees taste new food, who wouldn’t want that? New restaurants usually have opening discounts as well.

39. A funny reward

This could be a funny trophy, a humorous souvenir, or a funny certificate. This gives everyone a great laugh, and lightens up the atmosphere of the workplace.

40. Team paintball day

Nothing brings more joy than a team paintball day. Your employees can relieve stress and increase their bonding through this activity.

41. Cookies

A simple way to a person’s heart. Some cookies to show your appreciation to your staff, why not? 

42. Team camping

Spending a whole day to camp with your team is wonderful. Blending in with nature after a long period of working can refresh a whole person’s soul. Plus, this also brings your team closer together.

43. Happy hours at work

It could be a snack time every day from 3 pm to 4 pm. A small break time with some free snacks after long hours of working is a simple, yet one of the greatest employee incentive ideas to reward your staff.

44. A simple appreciation act

Don’t be shy to show your appreciation to your staff through body language just because of your position. A tap on the shoulder for their great work speaks more than a thousand words.

45. Show recognition and acknowledgment publicly

It’s important to show everyone else in the company how much you appreciate certain employees’ efforts and achievements. You can mention their names in meetings, give them a nice parking spot, or let them choose what to eat for a team lunch.

46. Create a dream-work space

You can fill this space with a fancy desk and chair, as well as top-notch amenities such as an in-office exercise area and snack bar. Anyone with achievements and contributions can have opportunities to sit and work in this fancy space for one day.

47. Funny and thoughtful memes

Besides giving gifts, you can also send some funny and thoughtful memes and congratulations to your employees on a team messaging app. This can really make someone’s day!

48. Ask what they like

Simple, yet effective. You don’t always know what your employees want. And it can be a waste of time and money to give them what they don’t need. Just ask them what they like and give them that reward if it’s reasonable.

49. Yearly awards

Besides staff-of-the-month, your company should definitely have staff-of-the-year as well. This motivates the excellent employees in your company, and encourages others to do the same.

50. End of year ceremony award 

This employee incentive idea has become a should-have for any company. It’s a chance to look back at what your business has achieved in the past year and all the staff who’ve contributed to those achievements. This is a big appreciation ceremony for your staff. On this day, they can dress up and party at a fancy place.

Rewarding your staff not only shows how grateful you are for their hard work, but also motivates them to perform better in the future. It’s a win-win situation. Try to apply these employee incentive ideas, give your staff the most exciting rewards, and see how they react!

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