Whether you own a business or work for someone else who does, there are sometime bumps in the road. If one of those bumps is a decrease in productivity you may wonder how to correct it.

Some managers and business owners prefer to inspire their workers by example. Others would rather give inspirational speeches to pump up members of their staff. Still others like providing certain job perks and incentives to encourage employees to do their best work.

Your company may be thinking about starting an incentive program. But if they need some ideas, here are some creative incentives that increase workplace productivity.

1. A Night Out

A night out on the town is a great way to figuratively let your hair down. It’s especially helpful after you’ve been working long, hard hours on a difficult project.

When projects have been completed successfully, offer a night out as a reward. It’s an ideal incentive to increase workplace productivity for staff members.

Cutting loose releases tension and lets everyone have a little fun and enjoyment before starting the next large work assignment. After returning to work they’ll be ready and able to put their noses to the grindstone and increase workplace productivity.

If you are self-employed, treat yourself to a night on the town once in a while. It will give you the same rewards and help you work harder too.

2. Free Lunch

Do you need another creative incentive to prod others to get more done? Think about offering everyone free lunch one day a month when productivity is above a certain level.

Be sure to schedule it on a group calendar when everyone can attend. That way nobody will feel left out and you’ll achieve your goal of higher productivity levels.

3. Company Potluck

Another way to boost the morale of employees is through a company potluck. You can schedule one indoors or out, depending on the weather as well as your location.

Having a chance to get to know each other and share during non-productive time encourages teamwork. Employees feel like they matter to each other and will be more cooperative as well as work harder. In turn, this will cause workplace productivity to rise further.

4. Flexible Hours

Just about everyone has had their home life and work life clash at one point or another. That’s why offering flexible hours is a great work perk. Rather than being forced to take time off, employees can work different hours at times.

This alone can cause an increase in workplace productivity. But when you add in employee satisfaction on top of that it will help even further. Happy staff members spend less time grumbling and more time working.

5. Special Bonuses

Announcing special bonuses is one way to get more out of your employees. In fact, if you slip it in when a greater amount of work is required, you might be surprised at the outcome.

Of course, it isn’t something you would want to offer too often, or it might not work as well. But when you really need to increase workplace productivity and increase profits, it could help.

6. Additional Time Off

Offering additional time off is one creative incentive that might enable you to increase workplace productivity. Obviously this isn’t always an option that will work.

For instance, if you’re self-employed it won’t be as easy to take time off. Still, you could work ahead or do other things to get more done so you can enjoy time off.

7. Extra 401K Money

When you need another creative incentive consider extra 401K money. While this probably isn’t a common way to increase workplace productivity it will provide lasting benefits.

As an example, maybe a certain employee performs outstanding work and has a marked increase in their productivity. You could reward them by adding another 1% to their 401K for the next month.

8. Stock in the Business

You could offer stock in the business as another creative incentive. It might even be a way to start phasing yourself out of the business through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan.

When you need an exit strategy for your business, what better way to go than with productivity at a peak? This incentive ensures employees work hard since they will have a piece of the pie too, so to speak.

9. Job Promotion

Dangling the carrot of a job promotion can also provide the motivation for someone to improve their productivity. When they know there is a promotion and a raise attached, they’re more likely to work hard to receive that reward.

But giving out promotions may have another side benefit to productivity. If you promote the right people it could take some of the load off of you.

10. Company Car

Do those in higher positions in your business have a company car? Perhaps this is the incentive needed to make productivity better?

Spread the word that a company car will be awarded to the highest producing team member each month. Then watch productivity and profits increase in your company.

11. Cash Awards

In general, cash is always a good motivator for getting more work out of people. If you offer cash bonuses in your company it could urge workers to up their game.

You could tie different productivity levels to different cash awards. This way everyone works harder, produces more, and gets something even if they don’t hit the highest goal.

12. Holiday Parties

Holiday parties are a fun way to get people to work hard and get more done. When they know a fun party is coming up they will work hard to finish their work so they can attend.

You don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s to have holiday parties. Instead, try to spread them out all during the year. Have a St. Patrick’s Day party in March after hours.

Then, host a May Day party during the day at work and give everyone flowers. In July have an Independence Day Picnic. When Thanksgiving and Christmas roll around, with productivity up you can coast until the new year passes.

13. Health Insurance Discount

A creative incentive lots of people would work hard for is a health insurance discount. With prices of insurance higher than they’ve ever been, receiving a cut in what you pay would be welcome.

Offer this as a way to incite your workers to be more efficient and productive. When they get more accomplished the increased revenue could more than make up for what you spend.

14. Business Cell Phone

Sometimes the smallest perk can have a big impact. Offer a business cell phone to the team member with the highest performance numbers. Or, if it makes sense for your company, provide phones to the bottom earners with significant performance improvement.

15. Gift Cards

Gift cards these days can be spent almost as easily as cash. Give employees incentive to work hard and be productive with gift card rewards.

16. Gym Membership

A gym membership offers staff members the opportunity to get healthy as a reward for their hard work. When they use it to improve their health it could have the effect of making them even more productive.

They will be in better shape and need less medical care. In addition, they’ll probably work even faster which helps them get still more tasks done.

No matter what kind of work you do there will always be challenges. But with creative incentives you can increase workplace productivity and solve at least some of them.