Five Low-Cost Office Incentive Ideas
When you’ve got your own business it can be difficult to balance your budget and make ends meet. Scrimping and saving is the name of the game, and finding affordable office space and low cost office supplies can be just the beginning. Consideration of employee salaries, transportation expenses, business taxes and more can leave many entrepreneurs struggling to stay afloat.
With so many different accounts siphoning off precious cash flow, incentives for employees may seem like a highly unimportant aspect to running a business. Employees, however, are the fuel that keeps the company running, and failure to keep satisfied people can make for disastrous results. The cost of contracting and orienting new employees far outweigh any incentive costs. With a little preparation, you can offer incentives at minimum cost to you and maximum enjoyment for your staff. Think outside the box to create office incentives that you yourself would appreciate. Remember that incentives do not have to fit conventional standards.
Create an Office Community
The office has to remain focused on business proceedings, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have more informal gatherings outside of work. Holding after-work events can be a great way to introduce new colleagues, allow for inter-office bonding and relax in a new environment. These gatherings can be low-cost events with economical food and drinks.
Feed your Staff
Who doesn’t love a free lunch? If you can’t offer more lavish incentives, order takeaway during a busy workday and raise everyone’s spirits. Hunger satisfied, your employees will return readier than ever to perform well.
If budget allows, take employees to a local restaurant and have a group meal. Getting out of your office environment, if only for a short time, provides welcome change and a rewarding enticement.
Hold a Contest
Think of a great contest that relates to your business and office culture, and offer a prize to the winner. Treasure hunts, memory games, trivia and guessing contests can be an excellent way to break up the daily routine. Prizes do not have to be costly items; they can be inexpensive but useful, such as tickets to the cinema, or a voucher for a café. Or, they can be a gift of the company’s product, such as a handbag if your company manufactures bags.
Your contest can even subtly work toward an office goal, such as finding the best quality low cost office supplies. Remember to focus workplace contests on any aspect except work performance. The purpose of a contest as an incentive is not to evaluate performance but to create an enjoyable workplace for all.
As part of your employee incentive strategy (or all of it when budget is tight), remember to give compliments. Giving credit where it’s due and praising a job well done is an easy way to boost morale and raise your employees’ spirits.
Cold Hard Cash
As your business grows with the help of your dedicated staff, try to include at least small bonuses with pay checks whenever possible. Birthdays, holidays, a completed project and other occasions are great excuses to slip a little extra into the envelope. Even small amounts of cash make excellent incentives for employees.
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