Employee Retention

A list of incentives for employees that cost little to nothing

Compiling a list of incentives for employees that drives retention but doesn’t break the bank is a serious challenge.

89% of employers assume that their employees leave because they want more money. Yet only 12% of employees earn more money at their new jobs.

This shows a real disconnect between what employees want and what their employers offer.

For instance, a little recognition can go a long way towards improving employee morale. 59% of employees feel under-appreciated at work, but 69% say they’d work harder if they felt more recognized.

You don’t have to spend lots of money to make employees feel appreciated. Your company culture plays a big role.

If you have a culture where employees don’t feel like you value their time or presence, they won’t put as much effort in. And they’ll be less likely to stick around long-term.

But offering a thoughtful list of incentives for employees is a simple way to show you care.

In fact, the right employee incentive program could increase your employee performance by up to 44%.

In an increasingly competitive market, this is a massive difference. Especially when you factor in that companies who offer a list of incentives for employees see a 79% higher success rate when it comes to achieving their goals.

So, why don’t you check out this list of incentives for employees that are low or no-cost? Let’s take a look:


Giving employees the opportunity to interact with colleagues who share their identities and experiences helps them make new friends.

Employee resource groups can also reduce loneliness, particularly if your team works remotely.

As a result, these communities can improve mental and physical health and increase employee performance. 

Flexible working hours

There’s no scientific basis for the traditional 9-5. It was introduced by American labor unions in the 1800s. Henry Ford took it mainstream in the 1920s. It’s been the standard working day for millions of people ever since.

But as the world learns new and different ways to do things, one of the simplest ideas on this list of incentives for employees is to empower them to work when they’re most productive.

The standard 9-5 just doesn’t work for some people. That doesn’t mean they’re not good at their jobs. They may even be more productive if they worked fewer hours, meaning you make more money. 

If you want to get the best out of everyone you hire, and retain them long-term, you need employees to work on the schedule that’s best for them.

Productivity breaks

Regular breaks can improve focus and make us more productive. Especially if your team works long hours and/or in a fast-paced environment.

Allowing employees to take breaks when they feel the need shows that you value them. It also shows that you trust them to get the work done, even if they’re not at their desks every single second.

And it shows how important their mental and physical health needs are to you, helping you build a more diverse and inclusive workplace.

Quiet spaces

Open-plan offices aren’t always the easiest places to concentrate in. I find it almost impossible to concentrate in them, particularly if it’s noisy. The more time I spend in them, the less work I can get done. I need somewhere quiet to recharge (and sometimes to work).

Offering a quiet space where office-based workers can go to recharge gives them more headspace to focus on their tasks without the distractions that come from other people.

This applies to the virtual noise that comes from remote working, too. Constant notifications from messaging apps or emails can make it difficult to get things done, especially if you have a busy inbox.

In many cases, these notifications aren’t urgent. Most things can wait until the task at hand is done.

If you’re worried about urgent requests, you can create protocols that regulate them. This could include having different managers disconnect at different times.

Mental health days

We’ve all had days where we’ve woken up and felt unable to take on the world. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a natural part of life that can be influenced by everything from not sleeping well enough, to personal challenges, to the weather. 

Offering employees the opportunity to take a mental health day shows that you value their mental health and the contributions they make to your business.

If someone had to work on a day when they were struggling, it would impact their productivity. It may also impact their colleagues, bringing overall employee morale down, too.

So why not allow employees time to recharge so that they can come back to work when they’re better able to perform?

Prioritizing their mental health like this will improve employee satisfaction and retention.

Social media shout-outs

When someone gets a shout out in public, it shows them, and the rest of the world, how much you value them.

You could give an employee a shout-out for successfully completing a project, highlight your long-term employees, or celebrate new hires. 

There are lots of ways to reward and recognize employees on social media, and most only take a few minutes to put together.

You’re likely to get more engagement on these types of posts than typical sales posts, too. Sales posts always get less engagement on social media, but when people see that you appreciate the hard work your employees put in, they’ll warm to your business. As a result, you could attract new customers and improve your employer brand.


Establishing a list of incentives for employees that actually gets results doesn’t have to be super expensive or complicated. Incentives are about showing employees that you’re grateful they chose to work for you. And that they continue to spend their time and energy helping you grow your business. 

And of course, the higher your employee engagement and satisfaction are, the greater the rewards you, and your team members, will experience.

If you want to easily promote your list of incentives for employees, look no further than Workrowd. Our one-stop shop brings all your employee events, programs, groups, and information together in a single, user-friendly hub.

That way, every team member can tap into the best your organization has to offer from day one. Visit us online to learn more, or write us at

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