What incentives can I put in place to boost morale and retain staff?

Our business is picking up, however we still wish to be cautious with pay increases and envisage freezing wages this year. Are there any low-cost incentives that will help us maintain morale and assist with retaining staff?

It seems a number of businesses are looking to implement pay freezes this year. It is wise to protect the purse-strings and keep a sensible eye on recruitment plans however there are a number of low cost incentives that you may wish to consider implementing.

A great start to the working week would be to purchase breakfast for your staff on a Monday morning. It starts the week off on the right note, it brings people together who may not necessarily communicate with each other normally, it encourages sociability and people obtain a better understanding of job roles within the organisation. At the same time it motivates workers, they see you offering them something different and although the initiative may not necessarily cost much it will certainly boost morale.

Have you considered allowing employees to set up their own social committee? This way workers choose what events to organise, you can set a budget which the company will subsidise, whether it be a football tournament or regular nights out; let the employees choose and your company makes a contribution. Ensure that all employees are included and events represent everyone within the business.

Another effective way to boost motivation is to appoint job titles that better represent the working role of the employee, this can make a huge difference, especially if you change terms to reflect a supervisory position. It can make employees feel valued especially when justified and can only help in staff retention. Only do this if it is applicable, and again ensure that you are non-discriminative when appointing.

Further reading on employee incentives

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Peter Done

Peter is the founder and group managing director of Peninsula Business Services, established in 1983.

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