Back to list February 25, 2019 Workforce Incentives You can have the best ideas in the world, but if you don’t have the best talent working for you, your business may struggle to reach its potential. Great employees can assist you in so many ways. They can lighten your load to allow you to focus on things such as expanding and improving your business. Plus, they can improve customer loyalty through outstanding service. Retaining terrific talent requires more than just giving people praise. You also need to provide workplace incentives to keep them happy and reward them for their excellence. Here are five things you can offer that will lower your turnover rate and encourage employees to stay with you. 1. Lots of Paid Time Off (PTO) So many people fret about their time off when they need to use it for legitimate reasons, such as caring for sick children or getting necessary medical care. If you offer more PTO, you put people’s minds at ease. They may not take all the PTO you make available, but they know it’s there if they need it. 2. Free Gym Memberships Whether you give all your employees memberships to a nearby gym or you subsidize their membership at a gym of their choosing, this incentive shows them you care about their health outside of work, too. As a bonus, encouraging your employees to stay physically fit will improve their focus on the job and also lead to fewer sick days, as well as lower healthcare costs. 3. Food and Drinks at Work Most small businesses have limited budgets, but you can probably afford to give your employees free snacks that go beyond the usual coffee in the break room. Consider supplying: Water, soft drinks and juice Fresh veggies and dip Snack-sized bags of pretzels, peanuts and other treats Employees love small perks like this. 4. A Generous Sign-On Bonus It doesn’t have to be big, and it doesn’t have to be money, either. Perhaps you do work for a restaurant that can provide you with discounted gift cards. Or, maybe you can give out an extra vacation day as a sign-on incentive. Showing people you appreciate them right away can set you up for a more fruitful relationship. 5. Instruction in Specialized Skills If you can offer your employees a chance to learn, chances are they will stay with you longer. People like the opportunity to improve their skill set. Offering educational benefits like tuition reimbursement shows your desire to invest in their career growth and development, and can also help them build confidence and increase forward thinking and succession planning. Giving employees the opportunity to improve their skill can help to improve the overall organization, and can challenge employees to develop and grow within the organization as well. While it makes them more marketable in the long term, the more significant benefit is that it proves their importance to your company. You show you will invest in them and believe in their ability to improve. The Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation works with local employers and educational institutions to develop programs that help teach skills employers need. You can talk to us to learn more about our workforce development program. We can also advise you on funding opportunities to implement other workforce incentives. By showing your employees your appreciation, you have a better chance at keeping them engaged for the long run, helping your business thrive.