Top 7 “Incentives” that will NOT Attract New Employees

Different people react to the same things differently — what motivates one employee, might repulse another.
Top 7 “Incentives” that will NOT Attract New Employees
Donna James

Offering employee incentives is an age-long technique used to motivate the employees to achieve the goals that have been set for them and to increase the organization’s productivity.

These incentives even account for a large part of the expenses for small businesses as they try to motivate their workers to do better in different aspects of the business including customer relationship management.

While these incentives can work miracles and increase efficiency and productivity in your business. It can also bring about other negative impacts such as inconsistencies and a lack of teamwork among the employees as they compete for the top prize.

It is really all about the employees’ reactions to the incentives. If they react positively, you can be sure that they will be motivated and work themselves off for you or for the prize. But if the reaction is negative, then it would have been better than you don’t offer any incentives, as they are even less motivated.

It is hard to say categorically that certain incentives are a turnoff for employees because different people react to the same things differently. But as twiftnews inform, here are 7 incentives that are likely to repulse rather than attract the employees.

Game Time

The bulk of the workforce in many organizations today are millennials that are known to have free spirits. This is why many employers think that by offering them game time with arcade games, ping pong tables, food, and drinks, they would be able to attract this young generation.

But this does not really impress the employees. They will rather think you are showing a lack of ambition or you are not taking them seriously. Rather than offer games and drinks, you will do better by offering them regular training to help them improve their skill. This shows your ambitions and is far more attractive to them.

Flexibility in Working Hours

When putting out your job description, it might be misleading if you describe the working hours as flexible. There are many candidates who would take that to mean that they can show up at work any time of the day.

So, it is important that you fully disclose what you mean when you say the working hours are flexible. Otherwise, you risk working with unsatisfied employees with little motivation and ever-reducing productivity.

An employee of the month

This is an award given to the most hardworking employee at the end of each month. While it is a good way to reward hard work and dedication and is not something that has a tendency to aggravate other employees, it does not do enough to really motivate them.

It might even cause some problems for your human resources. The best way to reward someone’s dedication to your company’s growth is to have measurable data for all of your employees, then give out bonuses to each one based on a pre-arranged quota. This is the best way to drive productivity and effectiveness among your employees.

Travel Services

When you offer travel services as an incentive for your workers, it might seem great and appealing to all parties initially. But, if it is not handled properly, there could be some issues arising from this mouth-watering incentive.

For example, problems may arise when the employee(s) need to change the hotel reservation or delay their flight. If you handle everything, this might be impossible for them and cause unnecessary inconvenience or even place them in unsafe situations (eg. not able to book into a hotel). So, it is better that you ask for their preference or leave it entirely up to them.

Phone Bill Reimbursement

While this does not sound like a bad incentive on its own, the conditions around it can be pretty repulsive. Many companies require around-the-clock availability from employees whose phone bills are paid by the company or those using company phones. This is the unfair part as the employees have their lives to live outside working for your firm.

Compulsory Team Outings

You might have good intentions organizing trips and outings for your employees to bond together outside the office space. But the issue is, not all your employees will enjoy trips such as this.

There are some people that are just the indoor type, and these people might not take too kindly to this “incentive”. So, they cannot affirm such an incentive, and it does not even motivate them one bit since they lack interest in the trip.

Impersonal gifts

It is important to know your employees if you are going to offer incentives such as this. Although, many employees expect their companies to take care of them beyond their normal salaries and giving gifts is a good way to do that. But this could backfire if care is not taken.

These gifts start to become a problem for the employees if it is not useful to them. An example is gifting an employee free coffee coupon when they do not even take coffee or gifting an employee a coupon of solo vacation when they are married with little kids. Why would they want to leave their family to go on a boring loner trip? It is important that you know what gifts to offer each individual if you have to give them any.


Giving incentives to your employees might be a good way to motivate them. But this depends on getting the right reaction to incentives from the employees and their reaction is dependent on what you are offering. So, if you are giving incentives, make sure it is the right one. Otherwise, stay away from it and find other means to keep your employees motivated and productive.

About the author

Donna James is a freelance writer, journalist and proofreader from UK. Being interested in everyday development, she writes various blog posts and discovers new aspects of human existence everyday.

How to recognise employees in your remote team >