Back to blog

Great Ideas for No-Budget Employee Incentives

on 24 October 2017


Posted by Kevin Senior
Glasscubes img21

Today’s businesses face many challenges. Many are still recovering from the most recent economic downturn and trying to figure out how to deal with the changing political landscape. For many business owners and managers, the challenge is trying to retain good employees and motivate their whole staff, within budget constraints.

While salaries and other financial perks are important, here are three economical ways you can keep your team happier.

1. Work Flexibility

One of the most challenging things for a manager can be budget restrictions. If you can’t provide your employees with the salary increases or bonuses they deserve, you run the risk of losing your best workers. Even if employees don’t leave the company, you might notice a loss of productivity if your workers are unhappy.

One important benefit many companies can offer their employees with minimal or no costs is work flexibility. There are certainly many jobs that require employees to be in their workplaces at specific times. It would be difficult for a chef or bus driver to telecommute, for example. However, for many office jobs, the work could be done just as well at different times of the day or from home.

There are many different options that could be offered to your staff. While some employees might prefer a 8pm to 5pm job, others might prefer to work 9-hour days for the opportunity to have one weekday off per week. Others might like to work 10-hour days, four days per week, in order to always have three days off per week.

Telecommuting is another popular option. Employees could benefit considerably from saving the time and expense of commuting to work each day. You could still stay up-to-date on all the projects in your office, thanks to project management software and team collaboration software.

2. Team Building Get-Togethers

It may sound quaint, but the working environment can make a huge difference in employee retention and motivation. A happy workplace can result in far less employee turnover. Now the question is, how do you keep your workplace happy without a generous budget? One way is to try to provide opportunities for workers to spend quality time together. This could take the form of employee lunchtime potlucks but there are many options to be creative.

To compensate for a small budget, encourage small acts of kindness in the office and try to set an environment where people feel appreciated. Even small treats as a “thank you” for the completion of a big project could go a long way. To preserve productive time at work, employee events can take place outside of work hours. There are plenty of group-friendly options available such as painting parties where an instructor walks a group through painting a canvas to create their own personal masterpiece. Volunteering is another great way to provide a teambuilding opportunity that lets employees interact away from the office and their usual routines. Habitat for Humanity and other charitable organizations are happy to host groups who want a chance to give back to their communities.

3. Group Events or Competitions

Team building doesn’t need to only take place in the office. Thinking outside the building (box?) is particularly important if your employees are geographically dispersed or work different hours. Consider setting up an intranet where employees can provide positive feedback to each other or recognise birthdays, service anniversaries and other milestones. Let employees share recipes, the birth of a baby, and promotions with their co-workers.

Encourage a healthy workplace by starting a fitness tracking competition. This could include tracking the number of walking steps taken each day, completing annual physicals, and other health goals. Electronic tracking devices and apps have made these types of fun competitions easy to set up. Promoting exercise and good health among your employees can also result in how often employees miss work due to illness and medical appointments. This, in turn, helps your employees and your whole company perform better.

Walking groups, company sports teams, and other group activities are another great way to combine health and team building. Check to see what opportunities there are for businesses to participate in fun group activities in your area. Don’t be afraid to be creative a try a number of options to appeal to different groups. Set up a lunch time bocce ball tournament, dedicate a corner to a book exchange, or give employees the day off on their birthdays. These are all small steps to take that could pay off with a happier workplace and dramatically lower employee turnover.


Glasscubes is a user-friendly collaboration software for teams. Connect everyone that you work with in an online workspace that improves the way you share files, manage projects and communicate with each other.

For more information, contact us by calling +44 (0)20 3274 2310 or email us at

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more industry related news and topics.


About this author: Kevin Senior

Managing Director at Glasscubes. With over 30 years experience working with businesses of all sizes and industries, Kevin brings success to fast growing companies advising on best practices and growth lead technology solutions.
The modern intranet & extranet