When considering how to incentivize employees, often the first thing that comes to mind is the idea of competitive financial reward. However, as I discussed in our blog post, Top motivators for employees in the 21st century business environment, today’s workers are motivated less by money and more by other factors. These include the opportunity to become involved in meaningful and challenging work, improvement of life, recognition for efforts, and company culture.

In this post I’m going to look at employee incentive program examples that you may be able to adapt for your own organization. These examples of incentive schemes help drive satisfaction at work. They inspire the employee to become engaged in projects and to act as ambassadors for their employers outside the workplace. They are proven to work, too: each of the examples below is an integral part of what has made their instigators one of the world’s top companies to work for.

Searching for the right mix of perks at Google

Google has been at the number one spot of best companies to work for seven times in the last ten years. While financial remuneration is good at Google, there are plenty of other perks that create its employee incentive program. As one employee told Fortune magazine:

“The company culture truly makes workers feel they’re valued and respected as a human being, not as a cog in a machine. The perks are phenomenal. From three prepared organic meals a day to unlimited snacks, artisan coffee and tea to free personal fitness classes, health clinics, on-site oil changes, haircuts, spa truck, bike repair truck, nap pods, free on-site laundry rooms, and subsidized wash and fold. The list is endless.”

Insuring the employee incentive program means a good time is had by all

When most people think about insurance, they think about mundane, tedious number crunching work. Not those who work at Acuity. Its organizational culture is all about creating a fun atmosphere. There are ping pong tables outside its cafeteria, and they hold regular beach bashes and ‘selfie days’. The company’s flagship event for its staff is the summer family picnic, with cash prizes, rides for all, and a life-size version of foosball.

Collaborating to create meaningful work experiences

The Boston Consulting Group has created a program called ‘Predictability, Teaming, and Open Communication’ (PTO) to encourage employees to take a greater role in rethinking work processes and increasing work/life balance. The aim is to help employees manage their lives better, increasing the value of work to the organization and the individual. Staff retention numbers have rocketed since the motivational program was introduced.

Broking respect and equality

The stock market is a high-pressure, volatile environment. It’s a dog-eat-dog world, but not at Robert W. Baird. Its employees benefit from a culture that treats every person with equal respect. All offices are the same size and there are no executive perks.

Common themes of successful employee incentivizing programs

The above examples are only four of the top ten in the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list. Throughout this list there are some recurring and constant themes.

The most obvious is that all the companies that are rated as a great place to work by its employees have an open, honest, and value-driven culture at the heart of everything it does.

These companies inspire and motivate employees by providing an environment that respects them. Managers encourage participation in strategy and process re-engineering. It is the employee’s business as well as the shareholders’.

The majority of the best companies to work for also offer telecommuting opportunities, or flexi-time. This enables people to spend time at home or with children when needed, while also allowing employees to work when they are most productive and unencumbered by the traditional nine-to-five routine.

To truly motivate your employees, look beyond financial reward. Develop a culture that encourages openness and collaboration, and honest communication. When feedback is accepted and acted upon, employees will accept the challenges set to them. They’ll more willingly come on board with project work as their motivation becomes the shared goal of your strategic vision. And that is peak performance in action.

Contact Primeast today and discover how a Change Agent Bootcamp and coaching in consulting and facilitating will help to define your organizational culture to encourage employee engagement.

Join our community of learners and leaders

Subscribe to receive updates on service launches, articles and free learning and development resources