More than 65 percent of employees report their company offers some sort of incentive for putting in hard work and long hours. And of those employees, 70 percent say receiving such an incentive helps keep them motivated and happy in their job.

But offering the right type of incentives or rewards for your employees makes all the difference. Indeed, not everything you choose to gift to your employees translates to honoring their hard work and dedication. Instead, offer something your employees actually want, helps them relax or recharge from the busyness of the office, and that they’ll want to work hard to earn again next year.

Keep reading to learn a few ideas that help them to do just that.

1. Offer a Life-Changing Experience

The problem with gift cards is that they often fall into one of two categories: They either give your employees a bit of extra pocket money for things they would have bought anyway, like gas or groceries, or they wind up sitting in someone’s wallet for months on end.

Gifts like this might provide a bit of excitement upfront, but they aren’t necessarily likely to impress hard-working employees. Cash incentives have also proven to be less than successful at motivating employees. Instead, try to gift experiences your employees wouldn’t otherwise get to see or do on their own. A vacation is always a good choice, as it takes your employees to new and exciting places, helping them break free from their normal, everyday routine.

But when you add in hotel rooms, car rentals, food and entertainment, these types of incentives can quickly add up. Luckily, cruises offer an easy solution. In fact, you may want to look into planning a cruise by checking out any number of Alaskan cruise prices in order to give your employees all the experiences, fun and adventure rolled into one.

2. Give Employees a Chance to Relax and Unwind

The reward for gifting a luxurious trip to your employees is that afterwards, they’ll return re-energized, relaxed and ready to work harder than ever. But this only works if you give them a vacation that offers time to relax and unwind.

A spa day might seem like the obvious choice. However, this kind of perk definitely isn’t for everyone. Instead, you want to choose something that allows your employees to spend their time enjoying the things they love, whether that’s relaxing in a hot tub and getting a massage or going hiking and kayaking in the wilderness.

3. Let Them Bring Their Family Along

Your most dedicated, hard-working employees are often just as committed to their family and loved ones as they are to your company. Show them you appreciate this dedication by allowing them to include their family in whatever you decide to gift to them.

Allowing for a plus-one or, for those with children, something that includes the kids is a great way to show you truly care about your employees’ happiness and that you care about their ability to provide for and support their family.

Choosing Better Employee Rewards and Incentives

Coming up with new ways to reward and incentivize your employees means more motivated workers in the coming year. This holiday season, if your budget allows, skip the cash incentive and instead give your employees the gift of adventure and new experiences, rest and relaxation, and perhaps even the chance to spend more quality time with their loved ones.

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