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Answer from our Guest Expert Lillyvette Montalvo

Mouth-Watering Incentives for Employees

Ah! The smell of money! Nothing makes an employee's pulse (and morale) quicken like the offer to earn some extra cold, hard cash. I'm not saying every employee is greedy, but earning extra cash for causes near and dear to them is simply a positive goal for many. Employees could apply the money "earned" to paying off necessary expenses or debts, contributing to their children's college funds, or even having a little fun and blowing away that money any way they want to.

Gift certificates work great as inspirations (and rewards) for improving employee performance. To sweeten the pot, you can let "winning" employees select from a menu of establishments to find a certificate more to their liking. Let employees suggest some places around town that they enjoy, and add these to your menu of gift certificates.

Savings bonds are another option to consider. More along the lines of saving for a rainy day, and perhaps a "bland" incentive for some, savings bonds may be just what some of your less-than-thrifty employees could use to help them save for college funds, retirement, or some other important future event. Looking back, years from now, they will be grateful for the saving bonds opportunities you offered

Designated parking spots for certain employee stand-outs is not only easy on the pocket book, it also lets everyone know who's doing well in the company. Put a sign up that says "Employee of the Month" or "Salesperson (or Employee) Extraordinaire." You get the idea. Monthly parking privileges like this are a continuous "pat on the back."

Your suggestion of "mini-vacations" is definitely worth consideration too! Decide what would work best and what will inspire your employees the most -- for instance, would they like to drive to a nearby bed & breakfast for a quiet weekend or hop on a plane for a wild weekend in Las Vegas?

Still hungry for some more suggestions? (continued)

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