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Blog » Business Tips » The Importance of Business Incentives and How They Can Save You Money

The Importance of Business Incentives and How They Can Save You Money

Updated on July 12th, 2023
Small Business Private Equity

Most corporate businesses understand how to get the most out of their employees. Payment is simply not the best method of ensuring loyalty and creative work from your employees. Their future success and growth are in the employees of the business.

As a corporation, the board can use incentives and rewards to not only save money, more, but they can grow their business at a consistent pace and have employee satisfaction at a higher rate. This will ensure that the star employees stay with the company.

There are multiple incentives to choose from, and all of them have different goals and outcomes set for their use of them. Managers and business owners must first decide what the goal is of the incentive, and what outcome they desire before determining which incentive to use. All incentives will save the business money in the long run. This is the case as long as it is accompanied by other business goals and values.

What is a Business Incentive?

Business incentives come in all shapes and sizes. However, the basis of all incentives is clear. A business incentive is when an encouraging reward or benefit is used to obtain a desired outcome through the employees. Employees are more likely to chase a goal or work towards a deadline when they know a reward is on the other side.

There are a few factors that can determine the choice of incentives businesses end up choosing. The first element that has the biggest impact is the financial budget. A budget sets the boundaries for the maximum amount of finances that can be spent on a set area within the business.

There are many ways to plan and create a financial budget. The focus when deciding on financial spending when planning an incentive program should be on the regularity and the number of incentives the business wants to hand out throughout the year.

Another factor that will have an impact on a budget of a company is traveling for incentive programs. Even though the incentive will cause the company to spend money, the business should take into consideration the chance of employees needing to travel to the incentive. Traveling to a holiday destination received as an incentive bonus is an example of this.

The Goal of Incentives

Incentive programs will have an impact on the business. The impact can be either beneficial or negative for the business, however, if a company makes great use of these incentives, multiple benefits and targets can be achieved.

Achieve or increase sales goals

Sales are the driving force that produces finances for the company. The money being collected ensure that all expenses are paid. It is up to the sales teams to provide the company with enough finances to lead to a profit and all company growth.

A sales incentive aims to provide the team with clear objectives and tasks to pursue. Employees receive a set of tasks to complete before a set deadline, which ensures a set of productive days to reach the goal. The key to setting goals is to provide a reward system that will pay out when the goal is reached.

Most companies have incentive programs, but the lack of a set reward for achieving the goal can cost the high productivity that drives employees to perform. Sales incentive programs will increase sales and income if done properly.

Of course, the goal must be clear from the top management. If the objective is to sell more of a specific product or to increase sales of a service, the communication to the team must be clear and precise. This will prevent the team from facing any challenges of unclear goals. With this the reward must be stated from the start, To ensure a boost in productivity and motivation behind the goals set by the business.

Education and learning programs for employees

Incentive programs can be a great tool to use to ensure employee growth and education. When the company employees grow, the team and corporation have the opportunity to grow with them. Simply allowing employees to learn and grow their education, the higher their value to the company. The individuals will now be able to provide new solutions or ideas to old or recurring problems.

United States companies have spent 358 billion dollars on training and education for their employees. Showcasing the importance of spending and investing in employees. The incentive program implemented can ensure that the company invests time and money into their employees on a regular base.

This will provide the employee with an opportunity to grow and experience recognition. The incentive will allow the employee to learn new skills from industry leaders that will increase the employee’s value to the company.

Another benefit for the company can be that the employee has time away from the office, which will allow the employee to rest and recoup. They have time to spend with the new information without a manager requiring the knowledge from them. The goal of education is to release the employee to grow and feel valued by the company.

Employee engagement and morale

A business can not only succeed by simply only allowing input from top management and the directors. Even though they provide clear directions and set core values for the company, the employees are part of driving the business forward.

Employees are the face that customers encounter daily, thus receiving input and queries from them is key. Multiple incentives can be added to ensure that employees are productive and to ensure that they feel valued. Productivity is not the only key factor to ensure employee engagement.

Business management must ensure a safe and healthy work environment that accepts different opinions and ideas. Corporations can have easily implemented incentives that will ensure higher engagement from their employees. However, most companies have a 54% unengaged employed workforce. This means that the employees will do the bare minimum in their workday. These employees do not want to improve or grow inside the business.

With low employee engagement, companies face severely low productivity and insight from their key section of the business, the employees that work with customers on a daily base. Incentives such as working from home can create a work culture that allows engagement. This incentive must focus on bringing out the creative side of the employees. Additionally, managers must be open to listening and appreciating the input that the employees have.

Prevent burnout

Employees face tough decisions on a daily base, which can lead to high-stress levels. Moreover, work-related problems have been stated as 66% cause of most individuals’ stress. Employee occupations have been linked to a high level of burnout throughout the last few decades.

Employees that face burnout will experience exhaustion, reduction of personal accomplishments, and cynicism. These symptoms can be due to high-intensity work or working longer hours without the adequate rest needed to recover. According to clinical psychologist Dan Pelton, employees spend 85% of their workweek communicating through instant messages, emails, and texts. This enhances the burnout that employees encounter in the workplace.

Corporations can target burnout by implementing incentives that allow employees to work shorter hours, or have more time off to rest. An incentive program that allows individuals to rest more often when the company goals are achieved, will allow the employees to come back well-rested and ready to hit the next goal or objective.

Companies can introduce another incentive in the form of working from home. This will allow employees to work a percentage of the time from home and the rest of the time in the office. The office stress and constant communication will be reduced and productivity will skyrocket. Employees will have more time to focus on the task, and not on constant communication and workplace distractions.

Employee retention

Employee turnover can come at a high cost for a business. The term employee retention refers to the company’s ability to keep its employees. The longer an employee works at a company, the more time can be invested to ensure the employee grows within the business.

A study shows that it costs a company 1.5-2 times the annual salary of the employee lost to find a replacement for the company. The cost of advertising, researching, and conducting interviews are reflected in the time and financial loss. Other costs such as training and educating the new employee can lead to a loss in a certain department for certain businesses. The productivity is lost and most employees will take up to two years, depending on the position to gain back the high productivity.

High employee turnover can be prevented by simply placing incentives in place. That will ensure that all staff members feel valued and rewarded for the hard work that they do for a business. The incentive will ensure that the employees are productive in chasing a goal and then reward them for reaching their goal. This showcases the business’s effort to improve employee retention by simply adding more value to its employees.

The Different Types of Incentives

There are two main categories for business incentives. The incentive must either have a monetary value. This refers to a financial benefit such as bonuses, promotions, or other forms of financial gain for achieving a goal set by the company. This financial reward can be provided when the goal is achieved or at the end of a set time.

Monetary Incentives

Monetary incentives are programs that will reward employees with financial benefits when a goal or objective is reached. Employees can receive a promotion at the end of the working year, which will showcase the company’s appreciation for them. Another form of monetary incentive is bonuses and financial rewards that are paid immediately when the goal is reached can be paid.

Promotions and bonuses

Financial benefits can have an everlasting impact on the company’s employees. This incentive rewards employees with a financial benefit. Companies will pay a set amount of money straight into the employee’s pocket once they have achieved the goals and objectives set by the company.

The difference between a promotion and a bonus is that a bonus is a once-off payment, mostly immediately after an employee has achieved the set goal. The employee will receive the financial benefit and will be able to move to the next goal. No added responsibility or consequences are connected with a bonus.

Promotions on the other hand provide the employee with a cash reward either after the completion of the goal or annually. This can be seen as a raise for constantly achieving goals set by the company. The promotion can include more responsibilities due to the increase in monthly financial benefits.

Profit sharing

Profit sharing is when a business rewards its employees with a percentage based on the profit made throughout the year. This can be in the shape of a cash reward, stock incentive, or adding finances to the employee’s retirement fund.

This incentive is not as popular but can be used for managers or employees in higher positions. This will ensure that employees are motivated to grow the business. Business owners use this incentive to create a sense of personal connection for employees to their workplace. Owning their stocks in the business they are working for is a great way to ensure that they continuously pursue growth and profit.

Commission based incentives

Commission-based incentives are a well know method within every sales team. This program sets goals for sales teams, either for each sale or when a target is reached. The employee receives a set percentage of financial gain. This incentive aims to ensure that the sales team is motivated to increase the sales of products or services.

A commission incentive reward the employee immediately after reaching the goal. The incentive program motivates employees by simply rewarding them with instant gratification after acquiring a sale.

Not all employees love the pursuit of persuading or selling products. However, most employees do enjoy a financial benefit for their hard work to sell products to their customers. The incentive is a great tool and can lead the company to grow at a rapid pace.

Non-monetary Incentives

Non-monetary incentives are programs that will reward the team or employee by providing them with rewards that have no financial benefit to them. They can be as simple as receiving a few days off or working an extra day at home. Other forms of this program can be an all-paid travel experience or educational seminars and input that the employee would enjoy. Consequently, gift cards can be included in the non-monetary incentive programs.

Recognition for employees and managers

Employee recognition can have a major impact on the workplace. This is one of the easier reward incentive programs to incorporate into any business. Corporations can simply recognize the hard work of employees by thanking them in front of others.

A simple gesture of praising the employee for reaching a goal in front of their peers and managers can motivate all of them to be more productive and work towards their goals. There are multiple different forms of recognition but the aim of the incentive stays the same. To ensure that the employee is recognized for their hard work, and valued for the time and energy placed into to company.

Retreat

Planning and scheduling retreats can be of great benefit to all employees. A retreat works best when rewarding a team within a company. The retreat will allow the team to leave the office and head to a location where they can relax and spend time connecting with the team members out of the office.

A retreat can be used to provide the team with education on a certain topic or problem that they face. While sharing knowledge at a retreat is great, companies must ensure that the team has time off. This will ensure a well-rested and motivated team that will return to the office ready to break new records and achieve all set goals.

Leave and employee breaks

Providing employees with well-structured breaks or time away from the office in a form of leave is a great incentive that can grow the company’s productivity. Individuals can work under high stressing conditions and long hours, however, this does not produce the best results.

Break incentives will allow employees to recoup for a few hours, or days. This will ensure that they return with more energy and creativity to take on objectives and tasks that lie ahead. Additionally, these incentives can easily be added to employee benefits and companies will be able to draw from the benefits in no time.

Traveling and education incentive programs

Incentive programs that include traveling and education must be chosen and evaluated carefully. The impact the incentive program will have is massive if it is rewarded to the correct employee.

Not all employees enjoy the same training or traveling destinations. Thus, rewarding a travel incentive to an employee that desires to be home with their family can lead to a demotivated employee. Or by rewarding an employee that has been to a set location multiple times, with the same traveling incentive. This keeping the options open as to where the employee wants to travel to is of utmost importance.

The educational incentive is a good method of ensuring that the employees learn and grow on a consistent base. Most employees do not educate or learn new skills outside of working hours. This will ensure that the team constantly grows, which will bring a fresh and creative solution to the table.

Also, conferences, virtual meetings, or trade shows can all be used as educational incentives. The education incentive aims to provide the employee with a reward that will provide them with new knowledge that they can use within the business.

The Benefits of an Incentive Program for Business

The financial benefits of the inclusion of incentives will be felt through a majority of systems within the business. These incentives will not provide the company with physical, financial benefits per se, however, they will increase productivity, team work and growth within the business.

Particular non-monetary incentives can be implemented without the company spending any money. The recognition incentive can be done weekly by calling an employee into the office, calling them out in front of other staff members, and thanking them for their hard work and time at the office. This step will show the employee’s appreciation and that the company values their input.

While other incentives might need some financial backing, the benefits will outweigh the money spend in the long run. A retreat will not only boost morale but will motivate the team to work together to increase sales.

Companies can include incentives in business trips — and in this way save money and provide an employee or team member with some time away from the office. Corporations will extra money to ensure that the employee can travel to a location for business purposes. Additionally, by simply adding a bit of finance to the trip, the employee can rest an extra few days. The employee can be given the option and the only expenses for them will be leisure activities.

Conclusion

In conclusion, employees are the backbone and driving force of any business. It falls on the corporation’s shoulders to ensure that the entire team is motivated and well looked after. Well-thought-out incentives are a great way to ensure the employees that they are important to the company.

Not all incentives will cost the company money, hence choosing both monetary and non-monetary incentives is of crucial importance. The business must ensure that the incentives are solely for the benefit of the employees will appreciate it.

Deciding an incentive that motivates the employees and not the head of the business. Corporations can be selfless and provide their employees with constant motivation throughout the year to ensure that they as well as the company grow, and achieve new heights.

Pierre Raymond

Pierre Raymond

Pierre Raymond is a 25-year veteran of the Financial Services industry. Driven by his passion for financial technology he has transitioned from being a quantitative stock picker, to an award-winning hedge fund manager, credit risk manager to currently a RISK IT Business Consultant. Pierre is the cofounder of Global Equity Analytics & Research Services LLC (GEARS) and a current partner at OTOS Inc.

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