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Staff Incentives: Just how effective are they?

Staff Incentives: Just how effective are they?
Business

IMAGE SOURCE – original (made by Hannah Harvey)

On paper, looking after your team sounds like common sense, but in practice, does incentivising your employees really benefit your business?

‘Take care of your staff and they’ll take care of your business’. The business world is full of catchphrases and slogans that may sound nice and role off the tongue, but most businesses would prefer to deal with facts and figures, not platitudes.

On paper, it sounds incredibly easy to ‘take care of your staff’, but in practice, incentivising your team does not come for free. With limited resources, you want to know that money spent looking after your staff generates some kind of return. And that’s where we want to help.

When we talk about staff incentives, most people immediately think about financial rewards like improved salaries and bonuses, but there’s actually much more to it than it. We’re going to look at a few of the staff incentives companies often offer and dig into a few key stats to see whether they really work.

  1. Free fruit, snacks and coffee

Sometimes, it really is the little things that make the difference. Perks like unlimited coffee, snacks and even fruit can have a big impact on things like productivity and wellbeing. Office fruit supplier Fruitful Office has shared their research into the impact of a regular supply of fresh fruit in the workplace and found that it made 79 percent of staff feel more valued. 81.5 percent also agreed that a supply of fresh fruit improved their quality of life at work.

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IMAGE SOURCE – Fruitfuloffice.co.uk

  1. Flexible work schedules

One of the most desirable staff incentives at the moment is ‘flexitime’. More and more employees are desperate to achieve a better work-life balance, and flexitime allows them to do that. Whether it’s flexible hours or the opportunity to work from home one day a week, this is one perk employers are increasingly choosing to offer. But does it work?

A study conducted by the University of Minnesota suggests it does. The research found that employees who had the support of flexible schedules were able to get more sleep, achieve a better quality of sleep and had higher energy levels at work. It also found that flexitime allowed workers to reduce signs of psychological distress such as work-life conflict and emotional exhaustion.

  1. Opportunities for continued education and training

With modern day employees changing jobs an average of 10 to 15 times during their careers, it’s more important than ever that employers do everything they can to retain their key employees. To do that, they must put opportunities in place that allow employees to take the next step in their careers, otherwise, they’ll look to do so elsewhere.

A survey on training and development by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development found that 95 percent of employers believe training improves retention and helps avoid recruitment and sickness costs. Ongoing training has also been proven to increase motivation, with a University of Warwick study showing ongoing training led to a 12 percent increase in productivity.

Have you implemented any staff incentives that have had a real impact? As an employee, perhaps there are certain incentives you’d like to see more of?

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