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Do workplace incentives really work in Australia?

21 August 2017 - 3:04pm

Thousands of whitepapers, industry studies, opinion pieces and articles discuss the effectiveness of workplace incentives. But the question still remains: do they really work? 

The effectiveness of workplace incentives in Australia 

Industry research on the effectiveness of employee incentives is almost unanimously positive. A study from the Incentives Research Foundation for example, found that well-implemented incentives can improve employee productivity by 25 to 44 per cent.


Which employee incentives are most effective?Which workplace incentives are most effective?

The Harvard Business Review surveyed over 13,000 employees and discovered that performance-related financial rewards are associated with job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and trust in management. Another study by MetLife Australia found that job satisfaction increases from 45 to to 76 per cent when employees are offered benefits they actually want. 

A well implemented corporate health plan could be the key to unlocking the potential of your employees.

The evidence is overwhelming, but there's one caveat. If you don't offer incentives that employees want, and implement them effectively, research shows they can actually have a negative effect on performance, productivity and loyalty. 

Which workplace incentives are most effective?

Make sure you consider which workplace incentives are most effective when implementing your program, otherwise you could throw thousands away with nothing to show for it.

What individual employees want may be different, however, Metlife's recent Employee Benefits Study gives us some insight into what may be effective.

66 and 65 per cent of respondents respectively said they wanted flexible working arrangements and long service leave. These perks can be offered to your employees with little up front costs to you, but may do a lot to improve employee satisfaction.


Keeping your employees happy could be eas easy as offering the right employee incentives. Keeping your employees happy could be easy as offering the right employee incentives.

Coming in third and fourth were discounted health insurance with 46 per cent of votes and health and wellbeing initiatives with 40 per cent. This proves that a well implemented corporate health insurance plan, custom designed for your company and your employees, could be the key to improving productivity, job satisfaction and employee retention.

To get started and discuss how offering your employees subsidised or free health insurance could help you, get in touch with the team at HICA today.