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36 Examples of Employee Incentives

Employee incentives are rewards, benefits, working conditions and opportunities that are offered to employees in order to improve recruiting, retention and performance. This includes any pay above base salary such as a performance bonus. Employee incentives can also include working conditions such as the ability to work from home and minor perks such as healthy snacks. Things like social status, position in a hierarchy, opportunity for advancement and growth can also be viewed as incentives. The following are common examples of employee incentives.
Annual performance bonus
Career advancement
Commission on referrals
Commission on sales
Convenience and comfort e.g. work from home
Customer satisfaction bonuses
Education support e.g. time off
Employee benefits
Employee discounts
Employee recognition
Employee referral bonus
Flexible schedule
Incentive pay
Industry opportunities e.g. speaking at conferences
Luxurious offices
Milestone bonuses
Office locations e.g. convenient or high status location
Onsite daycare
Paid time off
Performance-based pay
Perks e.g. free snacks
Power, authority and position
Profit sharing
Project completion bonuses
Quality bonuses
Retention bonuses
Retirement plan
Safety bonuses
Sales bonuses
Signing bonuses
Social status e.g. working for a high status firm
Spot bonuses
Team environment e.g. frequent team building events
Training programs
Travel opportunities and luxuries
Tuition reimbursement
What is an incentive to one employee may be a disincentive to another. While monetary rewards are universally popular, things such as team building events may greatly improve the job satisfaction of one employee but be a source of dissatisfaction for employees who would prefer to focus on their productivity and life.
There are many different types of paid time off and employee benefits.
Some employees will be strongly motivated by opportunities to take on responsibility, learn, grow, network and achieve high visibility in an industry. Others would find all of this terrifying.

Hygiene Factors

Hygiene factors are basic employee expectations that greatly decrease employee satisfaction if they aren't met but don't increase satisfaction when they are met. For example, free coffee in an office is so common that employees may simply expect it and not view it as a perk.


Perks are small rewards such as a free meal that are offered to employees. This can feel a little childish whereby adults are supposedly motivated by things such as free snacks. It might be tempting to think that minor perks encourage mediocrity in some way. This is depicted in the 2022 American science fiction television series Severance whereby employees have no life outside work, due to an element of the plot, but are obsessed with obtaining minor perks in an environment of complete mediocrity whereby employees don't understand the meaning of the work that they are completing.

Working Conditions

This is the complete list of articles we have written about working conditions.
Business Life
Company Issues
Contingent Workforce
Economic Rights
Employee Needs
Growth Opportunities
Hygiene Factors
Internal Controls
Job Satisfaction
Job Security
Knowledge Workers
Office Politics
Professional Life
Quality Of Life
Time Off
Work Environment
Work Life Balance
Workplace Issues
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