10 Low Cost Employee Incentive Ideas

Creating incentives for your employees doesn't have to be expensive. Here are 10 ideas that will cost you very little:

  1. Listen to them.
  2. Praise them in person for doing something great.
  3. Throw them a party.
  4. Have lunch with them.
  5. Congratulate an achievement of theirs in a company wide meeting or email.
  6. Give them a day off work.
  7. Get them a small gift that let's them know that you understand what they like.
  8. Learn more about them.
  9. Surprise them. Arrange for their home or car to be cleaned.

While these ideas are fun, it's a good deal of work to sustain these efforts across all your employees. One highly sustainable way to motivate and reward your employees is to implement a peer-to-peer employee recognition. A well-designed peer-to-peer employee recognition program can dramatically improve your employee engagement. Research by Bersin & Associates describes the 5 characteristics that make an effective employee recognition program.

Originally published on July 24, 2014 → Last updated April 1, 2019

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Raphael Crawford-Marks

Raphael is co-founder and CEO of Bonusly, where his focus is on creating a work environment that enables the Bonusly team to thrive.


Bonusly is a fun, personal employee recognition and rewards program that helps people feel engaged and successful at work. ✨