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Posted on 26 April 2022

Five powerful employee incentive ideas

5 minute read

The benefits of using incentives to reward, nurture, and motivate your team has been well-documented in the sales and service world. However, some businesses are reluctant to introduce incentive programmes as they feel that employees should be motivated purely by their salaries.

At Rippl, we find that a well-thought-out incentive programme can be good for business. It can increase productivity, reduce staff turnover and increase the engagement of your workplace community. Put very basically, a good incentive programme can bring huge improvements to your teams and to your business! Here are five powerful employee incentive ideas to effectively unleash the potential of your teams.

1. Financial compensation

Most salespeople are driven by commission and the promise of additional income which comes as part of hitting their targets and going the extra mile in their job.

Whilst a relatively simple goal to achieve in terms of individual/team performance, it can lead to overly aggressive sales teams (trying to close the sale to get their reward, or desperately trying to earn their commission).

Since the pandemic, salespeople have also been in search of a higher basic salary, rather than a high commission structure, and this has forced many organisations to revisit this traditional structure of rewarding high performers.

Whilst commission can work in the more traditional sales roles, within the motor industry, for example, there are now different ways to reward and incentivise your salespeople.

2. Extra holiday

Enabling employees to take extra time off from work to spend with family or to focus on ourselves and our wellbeing is another that ranks top in employee incentives ideas. Extra holiday, or additional days off, are becoming more and more popular post-pandemic.

Additional annual leave can often be used as an incentive method to encourage employees to stay loyal to the business, offering additional leave days for each year they stay with the business.

Sometimes additional holiday is much simpler, though. As an example, employees at Rippl have recently been given two additional holiday days to do whatever we please. It might be used for a birthday, an anniversary or just a day to put your feet up and relax!

It’s also a fantastic way of dealing with the wellbeing of your employees, that additional couple of days can work wonders!

3. Flexible working

Another popular topic that has come to light since the early days of the pandemic is where employees want to work and how they want to work.

There are so many benefits to allowing your employees to work flexibly, one major factor being a better work-life balance. It allows your teams to get the time back they didn’t have before, time to do the school run, to spend more time with the family, and to get those things done in the house that might not have been able to do before!

Other positives include higher job satisfaction, better staff morale and the ability to attract a higher quality candidate which can also massively reduce your recruitment costs. UK firms that choose not to offer flexible working were found to be generating £2 billion in costs according to a survey in late 2021.

Potential drawbacks to flexible working? There needs to be an element of trust between both employee and employer to be sure that this arrangement works.

4. Professional development

It’s well-known that employees who pursue professional development within their careers will perform more productively and will be more satisfied within their roles. Focusing on personal growth is key in employee incentive ideas.

Encouraging your employees to train in relevant subjects and applications — an advanced course in a software program they use daily, for example — can have an immediate effect on productivity. Professional development can also help raise overall staff expertise when employees with vastly different backgrounds and levels of experience are encouraged to share information.

When staff members can do their jobs more effectively, they become more confident. This leads to greater job satisfaction and improved employee retention. There is a range of low-cost professional development training options to choose from, including mentorships, job shadowing and cross-training.

Lifelong learning exposes your employees to new experiences and keeps them engaged in their work. Professional development training helps build and maintain enthusiasm, but it also inspires loyalty.

5. Consider an incentives platform

A platform that can offer employees the option to participate in incentives could help bring your sales and service people together, particularly if the platform can be accessed remotely. Introducing measured incentives with reward offers friendly competition that can be monitored by managers or team leaders to feed into the wider business goals.

Many organisations already run incentives – such as “hit to win” competitions or group league tables – but these are often managed in good old-fashioned spreadsheets and emails. This method creates a lot of admin work that takes up valuable time and, even when results are shared with your employees, the likelihood is that the key messages aren’t reaching the frontline employees.

A platform such as Rippl allows you to create and share configurable incentives with groups and teams across your network, to build a friendly sense of competition between your teams at base, or remotely.

To make the spending on any incentives go further, you can complement this activity with other motivational tactics, such as recognition cards or nomination programmes. By building the employment engagement organically with these methods, you will see a long-term improvement in motivation too.


This is just a flavour of some of the employee incentive ideas that are available to encourage higher levels of performance from your teams.

Incentives are an important part of staff retention, performance and employee happiness and choosing the right kind of incentive can be key to ensuring that your teams are performing to their optimum.

Explore how Rippl can unleash your team potential by delivering engaging and dynamic incentives.

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