By Gabby Rolette

A big part of running a successful business is making sure your employees are happy and actually enjoy coming to work every day. When you have employees that love their job, their energy resonates with customers. If your employees sound tired, bored, or just not that into it, you can bet your customers will be quick to catch on.

So, how do you ensure employee happiness? One way is to provide incentives for them to work toward, while having fun along the way. Here are four ways to incentivize your employees.

1. Implement a Bonus Structure

If your employees never have a goal to work towards, aside from their paycheck, they may never push themselves outside of their role. Implementing attainable bonus structures can encourage employees to work harder because they know they will be rewarded.

Bonus structures can be implemented on a personal level, a departmental level, a company-wide level, or all three. It’s also a good idea to break the bonus down into tiers to help make them more attainable. Here are some examples of bonuses you can implement.

  • Personal:
    • How many cases did an individual support rep handle compared to the group
    • How quickly were new cases handled
    • How many positive reviews an individual received as a result of how they handled a case
    • How many items an individual sold
  • Departmental:
    • How many new customers were on-boarded
    • How many customers were saved from cancelling
  • Company:
    • How much did the the company grow in a certain period of time
    • Number of days without accidents or errors

2. Go on Company Outings

Company outings are a great way for coworkers, supervisors and departments to mingle. Outings give your employees a chance to bond and build relationships they may otherwise not have the opportunity to while at work.

If your employees work in a team atmosphere, team building activities are super important to help the team and the company grow stronger. A team that works well together is a team that achieves success together!

Some examples of team bonding activities include:

  • Having a movie night
  • Going out to dinner
  • Happy hour
  • Hosting a bowling event

Some examples of team building activities include:

  • Going on a scavenger hunt
  • Participating in a relay race
  • Signing up for an “Escape Room” activity

If you run a small business and don’t have the funds to spend on some of the activities above, look for fun team building ideas that cost little to no money that you can do right in your own office.

3. Recognize Employees Each Month

Recognizing good behavior and hard work is a great way to keep your employees on the right track. If you’re celebrating an employee each month, take it one step further and include other incentives like:

  • A free vacation day
  • The option to work from home for a day
  • Gift cards
  • Letting them choose a catered office lunch
  • If you have a dress code, letting them wear casual clothes one day

While being named Employee of the Month may not be incentive alone, employees may work harder to win the EOM title knowing there are other perks as well. If you’re a small business owner, check out these tips on setting up an effective Employee of the Month program.

4. Make Break Time Fun

For the most part, all businesses have to allow their employees to break for at least 15 minutes each shift. However, if you want your employees to really feel refreshed, you should allow at least a 30-minute break, and set up some fun break areas in and around your office where employees can do things like:

  • Draw
  • Do puzzles
  • Play games
  • Watch TV
  • Relax on comfy couches
  • Eat lunch outside

If your employees are working in a fast paced environment like a call center or a high stress environment like a hospital, it’s important to make sure they have adequate means of blowing off steam and taking some time to collect and refresh themselves.

Otherwise your employees are going to get burnt out quickly, you’ll have a higher turnover rate, and your company will spend more resources on hiring and training new employees which can be both time consuming and costly.

Featured photo credit: Depositphotos