17 Employee Incentive Ideas That Don’t Cost a Bomb

Incentives are an excellent way to motivate your employees. Therefore, we have 17 best employee incentive ideas to appreciate your staff members without hurting your pockets. Here is the list:


1. Make sure they have the right equipment

What can be an incentive, and yet at the same time, make sure your staff provides the same level of quality work? Make sure their computer is working properly. You can also provide an improved work desk or useful company swags such as T-shirts so that they can always work in comfort.

2. The best parking spot

Always find your staff eyeing for that same parking spot? Assigning the best parking spot in your building’s parking lot can even be a way to incentivise your employees! An example would be a spot that is close to the office or in the shade. Giving the best spot for a month would work as a daily reminder of how you value them.

3. A note of appreciation

Having someone at the very top of the pyramid complimenting or appreciating you can be thrilling. You can write a letter of appreciation to individuals that have been performing well at their job to show that you value them and their efforts. It allows your employees to know that you take the time to know about the great work their employees are doing.

4. Give the afternoon off

Having just a bit of down-time while the rest of the office is working can give your winner a true feeling of being rewarded for their work efforts. Be careful when utilising this tactic as it may cause unwanted and unhealthy competition in the office if overused!

5. Gift specialty books

A gift is always a great way to show your appreciation, but you can make it mean more by providing your staff with the resources he needs to improve their mastery in their field. Look for the materials that might be valuable to your employees like leadership, communications management, and interpersonal support books to improve their quality of life or work.

6. Dinner with the boss

Having a one-on-one with the boss is usually very rare. Setting up a dinner with the boss for your best employee could potentially enhance loyalty. This is because not only will they feel recognised and respected; you are also providing them with an opportunity to pitch their ideas to a top decision-maker.

It does not have to be a very fancy place because the idea lies in giving them your time. Furthermore, it will also allow you to connect with your staff to foster a better sense of community and culture at the company.

7.  Movie day in the office

Experiencing an emotion as a group, like fear during a thriller or laughter during a comedy, can create a strong psychological bond. You can forge a stronger team bond by taking a slow afternoon off to watch a movie in the office. You can let your winner pick the film as a bonus. 

8. Website or newsletter feature

Getting a public shout-out never fails to impress. If your company has a newsletter or blog, having a small feature on an incredible team member is a sure way to make them feel recognised and appreciated without burning your pockets.

You can also give a shout-out at the next meeting or praise the individual at the group lunch to make the individual feel appreciated.

9. Personalised company swag

You can always surprise your team members with stickers, mugs, or magnets printed with their faces or their names. It would be great for drinking coffee, decorating laptops, or for displaying on the kitchen fridge. These personalised items could work like custom Slack emojis for the physical world. People love to receive useful items such as mugs, hoodies or notebooks.

10. An honest thank you

It might seem like a throwaway reward. Still, a simple and sincere thank you can motivate and propel your employees to keep putting in their all because there is nothing better than a personal token of appreciation.

11. Office perks

Every office has some form of break room with some supplies. How about letting your winner pick the gadget you are going to buy next? You could even let him or her decide the snacks your break room should be stocked up with.

12. Festival or sporting event tickets

Giving your top employees a pair of great tickets as a reward once in a while probably isn’t going to break your bank. However, it will surely make the individual feel rewarded for his efforts.

13. Celebrate happy birthdays

Celebrating and wishing your staff on their birthdays is a caring way to make them feel noticed. Getting a cake would be affordable, as it will also allow everyone to take part.

14. Office treats

Surprising your employees with a pizza break, muffins, and bagels in the break room is another excellent and affordable way of showing your appreciation. The top-performing employee could decide on the treat.

15. The wall of fame

Some may consider it an old technique but having a framed photo on the itemised wall of best performers still works for many, especially if you are looking for budget-friendly ways to show your appreciation.

16. Organise team games

Games promote a team bonding atmosphere. You could organise an event like bowling or laser tag as decided by the top performing employee. It can also serve as a great afternoon and an occasion to bond with the rest of your team.

17. Office outings

Taking your staff out once in a while is one of the best employee incentives. You can have a barbecue, spend a day at the beach or even take them to the trampoline park for a relaxing and rewarding experience!

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