What types of incentives actually motivate employees?

Employee engagement is a prize coveted by all managers. When employees are happy and motivated, they are not only more productive, but also more likely to be innovative and creative. On the other hand, disengaged employees are more likely to slack off, be absent from work and spread bad feelings around the office.

There is good news, however. According to Pew Research, national employee engagement levels are currently the highest in recorded history. Approximately 34% of American workers consider themselves engaged at work. Meanwhile, only 13% of workers consider themselves to be actively disengaged - i.e. they feel miserable at work. That leaves 53% of workers who are not engaged - they show up, do the minimal amount of work and go home.

Clearly, there is an opportunity for managers to actively engage employees and thereby achieve higher levels of productivity. The challenge, however, is to identify the types of incentives that actually improve engagement levels.

Is money everything?

In another report, Pew Research revealed that, for the majority of Americans, wage growth has stagnated while productivity has increased. It would stand to reason that raising wages to better align with productivity trends could have a net positive impact on engagement levels. However, money, though important, is not the sole motivating factor for all employees. Today's workers crave recognition for their efforts and they respond well non-monetary rewards.

To learn which incentives are most likely to motivate your employees, check out the infographic below: