There is much controversy in the corporate world about the effectiveness of different types of employee incentives. Some say money is the only true motivator, others say that only the employee has the power of self-motivation. Employing tactics that are balanced is a solid plan.
A Salary Increase Reigns Supreme
Don't kid yourself. Employees expect to be compensated for the work that they do making the incremental salary increase one of the most effective employee incentives. If the company cannot afford to offer a permanent salary increase, consider offering bonuses for performance, loyalty, dedication etc.
No matter how dedicated and loyal an employee, a business will retain a person for only so long that does not receive monetary recognition for their performance regardless the other incentives given. Trips don't pay the rent or put food on the table.
It's the Thought that Counts Incentives
In addition to consistent salary increases, additional incentives to include in your annual budget do not need to be extravagant. You can show employees your appreciation with a small gesture such as movie passes, restaurant gift certificates, or gift baskets. Singling out an employee for excellent performance is a motivator for many.
Respect Begets Respect
Though gifts and rewards are satisfying, offering recognition to employees is often far more effective at increasing productivity and employee retention.
Many highly successful businesses employ this tactic by investing time in and displaying genuine respect to employees. Understanding what each employee expects to get from his job, his personal life goals, and how his personal life affects his job performance will help the manager to bring out the best in his employees and to better lead them to productivity and success.