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An Incentive Is More Than Just A Reward, It Requires A Deeper Understanding Of Core Motivations.

Lately, a lot of incentive ideas for your employees are introduced and recommended on the internet. Each of them seems like a brilliant idea to bring positive effects to your workplace. However, do team incentives truly work? Do they really have a positive influence on your team? Let’s dig a little deeper into this concept for a better understanding and implementation of incentives. 

What Benefits Do Incentives Bring To You?

Incentives are widely recognised as objects or events that employers give to employees for the desired outcome of employees’ work. Incentives can be various types of rewards such as bonuses, gift cards, parties, or even employers publicly thanking employees. 


When you incentivise your employees with certain rewards ahead, your staff are likely to increase productivity and extrinsic motivation to accomplish the specific task or assignment. Similarly, when you set incentives for your team, team members will present more teamwork and cooperation among themselves. With rewards after achieving something, your employees can feel recognised for their effort, and the atmosphere of your workplace will be positive and engaging. Hence, can we say incentives are absolutely great for your company? Not quite. There are some shortcomings of giving incentives. 

What Are The Disadvantages Of Incentives?


If you incentivise your employees without clarifying your intention, you might end up encouraging some negative behaviours or performance you wouldn’t expect. For example, if you promise to give employees incentives individually when succeeding in a specific project without telling them the importance of teamwork, your employees would compete against their team members instead of cooperating with them. Similarly, if you incentivise your employees to produce as many products as possible in a short period of time, the quality of each product might result in being very poor. 

A few hands try to reach a trophy.
Incentives offered without thorough consideration may cause unnecessary competition.
Competition – Incentives: Team Building, Rewards, Motivation, Teams. Credit: mohamed_hassan


A study by the Harvard Business Review in 2017 suggests that ‘incentive pay’ discouraged the commitment of employees, instead of increasing their engagement with their work. It implies that incentives, especially in the form of payment, can lead employees to avoid taking risks or creativity and merely comply with what they are told to do. Incentives can also damage employees’ intrinsic motivation, because employees may find it difficult to enjoy their job due to the increased pressure with the set incentives to accomplish something. 

So, Should We Use Incentives, Or Not?

You need to contemplate what types of incentives you offer to your employees. Giving them extra money or a set of expensive vouchers may seem easier if they truly work for increasing productivity and performance. However, it is so much harder than that. True effective incentives are about making your employees feel recognised, cared for, and appreciated by you. That way, your workplace will be a more comfortable, encouraging environment for your employees to work, which ultimately boosts their intrinsic motivation. 

Lights say "THANK YOU" in the dark in front of a landscape.
You cannot underestimate the significance of showing gratitude and appreciation to your staff.
Thank You – Incentives: Team Building, Rewards, Motivation, Teams. Credit: Unique Team Building

Therefore, incentives you should try out are not so much giving them money, but more about saying ‘thank you’ regularly, providing flexible social support, and helping your employees step forward in their career paths. Offering team building programs is one of the greatest ways of incentivising your employees because you can feel refreshed from your daily workload while learning skills such as communication, cooperation, and teamwork.   


Incentives can be tricky. Your understanding and deep consideration are required to incentivise your employees without bringing negative results that disadvantage both you and your employees. Unique Team Building is here for you to help!   

Let us design a unique team building program for your employees to show your appreciation and increase performance as a team for a better working experience. 

Email us or call 07 3186 1026.

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