Top 10 Low-Cost Employee Incentives

In a perfect world, everyone would be intrinsically motivated to participate in their company’s wellness program. As you know, we don’t live in a perfect world, and most of the time people are motivated by extrinsic incentives. Often, intrinsic motivation doesn’t come until participants see changes in themselves. Maybe they have more energy, their clothes fit better, or they feel better emotionally. But if they don’t see a reason to even give the wellness program a try, they may never experience that kind of intrinsic motivation.

By offering other incentives to entice employees to dip their toe in the “wellness water” eventually the may start developing their own internal motivation.Offering this kind of incentive doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are some low-budget ideas to consider incorporating into your wellness program.

  1. Offer paid time off. Since you’ve already budgeted to pay your employees for their time at work, giving them some extra hours or even days won’t add more of a financial burden. Taking some time off can also reduce burnout and increase productivity.
  2. Dress-down days. I don’t know many people who like dressing up for work. If you administer your wellness program with a point structure, consider letting anyone who earned X amount of wellness points dress down for a day or even a week.
  3. Bring your pet to work. This might be a stretch for some worksites, but it has been done!

4. Raffle off prizes. If your budget doesn’t allow for everyone to receive a prize, hold a raffle. The more points an employee earns, the more times they are entered into the raffle.

5. Reserve coveted parking spaces for the “Wellness Champion” of the week or month.

6. Have a wellness trophy. Each week or each month, award the trophy to a new employee who has earned the most wellness points or who has exemplified wellness in your workplace.

7. Provide lunch. Just make sure it’s healthy!

8. Massages. Pay for a massage therapist to come onsite for a day.

9. Remote work days. This may not work for all worksites, but this is a great way to give your employees some flexibility as a reward for hitting their wellness goals.

10. Host a healthy potluck. Provide the main healthy dish and let employees bring sides and salads to supplement the meal.

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