The Frequency

Improving Company Morale: 10 Ways Incentives Can Help

From giving unlimited PTO to piloting a work-from-home program, here are the 10 answers to the question, “Can you share some important ways a company can use incentives to help improve morale and productivity?”


  • Offer Unlimited Paid Time Off
  • Reward High Performance With Time Off to Relax
  • Present a Benchmark Bonus
  • Build a Performance-Based Bonus System
  • Provide Monetary Bonuses
  • Boost Productivity With an “Employee of the Month” Award
  • Supply Incentives for Outside-of-Work Hobbies
  • Buy Lunches for Boosts and Motivation
  • Plan for Days Off Like “Summer Fridays” 
  • Include Flexible Remote Hours


Offer Unlimited Paid Time Off

Providing employees with unlimited PTO (paid time off) is a great way to improve company morale and productivity. This policy is great for everyone. As long as employees are working their assigned hours and getting the work done, there shouldn’t be any issues. This policy also helps avoid burnout, which can be a real problem for remote workers.

Encourage employees to take PTO and actually use it. To do this, we have a “PTO Bank” where employees can save up unused PTO hours and use them at a later date. This encourages them to take PTO and actually use it, as they can save up hours to use later on a trip or another event they really want to attend.

Matthew Ramirez, CEO, Rephrasely


Reward High Performance With Time Off to Relax

One of my favorite workplace incentives for boosting both morale and productivity long term is to reward the top performers with a designated day off. 

There are multiple reasons for this. From a bottom-line standpoint, you’re giving them something with real, tangible value that doesn’t actually cost your business any extra money. I especially like this as an incentive for employees or teams who finish a large project or at the successful conclusion of workload peaks or busy seasons. 

Those teams have probably been putting in some extra time and effort to make that happen so they could use a bit of a breather, and this kind of incentive encourages them to take that time they need to destress and rest. This‌ makes them better able to keep performing at a high level, moving forward without as much risk of burnout.

Archie Payne, CEO, CalTek Staffing


Present a Benchmark Bonus

Offering a reward such as a bonus or a gift card for hitting certain benchmarks keeps a team motivated month after month, particularly during stressful dry spells. This applies if the task at hand is consistent and measurable, like generating leads. 

A commission-based position can particularly demoralize if the results are worse, so this benchmark to hit for the reward should be something achievable. The lower paycheck stings a little less when they know the bonus is coming.

Trey Ferro, CEO, Spot Pet Insurance


Build a Performance-Based Bonus System

I think one way a company can use incentives to help improve company morale and productivity is by rewarding employees with extra bonuses for performance. Examples can be hitting a sales target, achieving a project milestone before the deadline, or simply just for doing a good job. It helps motivate employees to work hard and gives them something extra to strive for.

This type of reward system is effective because it sets clear expectations for employees and helps them know what they need to do in order to get a bonus. It also helps employees feel like they are being recognized for their contributions and gives them a sense of pride in their work, which helps to boost morale.

Shaun Connell, Founder, Writing Tips Institute


Provide Monetary Bonuses

Money is the most hard-driving incentive. Business is an exchange of services for money, and when employees know they can earn more, it often motivates
them to challenge themselves, which ultimately helps them grow personally and professionally. 

Monetary bonuses shouldn’t equate to time in the office; instead, incentives should weigh on the quality of effort and results.

Breanne Millette, CEO, Bisoulovely


Boost Productivity With an “Employee of the Month” Award

Recognizing good work and rewarding it with a clever incentive program can give a major boost to employee morale and productivity. 

For example, instituting an “Employee of the Month” award for those who have gone above and beyond could be just the ticket to keeping staff engaged and motivated. Not only will the chosen employee receive recognition, but they’ll also gain status among their coworkers—making everyone else want to strive harder to be next in line. 

Incentives don’t always have to come with a price tag. Simple things like getting an afternoon off every once in a while can go a long way in motivating employees to work even harder.

Carlos Trillo, CEO & Founder, Evinex


Supply Incentives for Outside-of-Work Hobbies

One of the best ways a company can use incentives for moral improvement is to provide support and a budget toward the hobbies and interests of employees for them to do outside of work.

This could be things like a voucher for a local climbing center or skatepark, a book voucher, or a gift card for a hiking shop for any employees who like to go outdoors in their spare time.

Not only will employees be grateful, but it shows that you genuinely listen to them and care about them outside of their job.

Wendy Makinson, HR Manager, Joloda Hydraroll


Buy Lunches for Boosts and Motivation

A weekly team lunch for the office courtesy of the company can boost energy and productivity immediately, and give employees something fun to look forward to each week. A well fed employee is a productive employee, and everyone loves a free meal. Changing the restaurant up each week can get people even more excited too.

Chris Coote, Founder & CEO, California Honey Vapes


Plan for Days Off Like “Summer Fridays”

Summer Fridays are a great incentive to keep employees productive and engaged. Team members will be focused Monday-Thursday so they can enjoy the long weekend with their friends and family. Not only is it a benefit that everyone will appreciate, but it’s also done strategically. Companies can reward their employees for cracking down and getting the job done with an extra day off.

Randee Machina, Director of Marketing, Simpli Pleasures


Include Flexible Remote Hours

If you aren’t in an office that is already using remote work, it can be a good incentive to provide some remote work time for your employees. The chance to work in a comfortable environment, while avoiding the morning commute, is an incredibly attractive incentive for almost any worker. 

Even just one or two days out of a workweek can be a blessing to a weary office worker. It can also act as an excellent litmus test for future remote or hybrid models that you may want to incorporate into your business on a more permanent basis. 

Regardless, you’ll be surprised just how popular and morale-boosting this sort of incentive can be for an office. Employees will love working in a stress-free environment, even if it isn’t every day.

Max Ade, CEO, Pickleheads


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