Creating incentives and bonus programs for your staffers can entice them to achieve higher levels of productivity. It can also serve as a motivator, improving job satisfaction and increasing workplace morale. To be effective, reward ideas for meeting goals should be attainable, applied to a wide range of staffers and be clearly defined.


Cash bonuses are a popular and effective type of reward. The bonus amount can be evenly distributed among reward recipients, divided according to participation or achievement level or based on a percentage of the goal, if the goal is monetary in nature.

Vacation Days

Extended vacation days, shortened work weeks or other incentives that allow employees paid time away from the office can be an effective reward. Allow staffers some flexibility in how they use earned their free time off, like leaving early on Fridays or attending a child’s school play during the afternoon.

Office Party

Host an office celebration when your team meets a goal. Bring in entertainment, a catered meal and throw the party during normal work hours. Include prize drawings for gift cards, business merchandise and “get out of work early” certificates that staffers can use to make a long weekend.

Prize Pool

Create a prize pool that you add to on a regular basis and use the pool as an incentive tool that rewards meeting small goals. For example, the pool might include a vacation day, a $50 bonus or a gift card to a local eatery. Employees get to draw from the prize pool when they meet a minor, yet important goal.

Recognition Programs

Publicly recognize staffers who achieve high-profile goals. This can be done in a staff meeting, a board meeting, in a company newsletter or by submitting a press release to the local newspaper. Include photos when possible.

Big Wig Lunch

Invite goal-meeting employees to attend a special celebratory lunch with the top managers of the company. Not only does this provide tangible recognition for a job well done, it also gives staffers a chance to network and do a bit of self-promoting.

Employee Choice

If you're unsure about what would be an effective reward to entice employees to meet specific goals, ask them. Invite staffers to be part of the brainstorming effort in which you devise appropriate rewards that are cost-effective for the company, yet desirable to employees.