How small businesses can incentivise their staff without spending


2020 has brought on no shortage of stress for both businesses and staff alike. With people being stood down or laid off, pressure on wages, it has been stressful for employees and business owners alike. So, how do we incentivise our staff and keep up office morale during these unpredictable times?

Generally speaking, there are two main types of incentives in the workplace being compensation incentives and recognition incentives (an easier and yet meaningful one to implement in this environment).

Compensation incentives include items such as:

  • raises
  • bonuses
  • profit-sharing
  • signing bonus
  • stock options.

Recognition incentives can be vast and wide and include simple actions such as:

  • praising employees
  • yoga and gym memberships
  • team lunches cooking demonstrations
  • massages
  • education
  • mentoring
  • volunteer days
  • matching of donations
  • extra day off.

It is understandable that businesses may not want to put any more financial pressure on themselves in these unpredictable times, so it’s important to find ways to incentivise and reward your staff that do not break the bank.

We have found that more businesses are incentivising their staff by helping their wages go further. In the past six months, we have had a far greater uptake of our mortgage-mapping service which involves us managing employee mortgages.

With wages at best stagnated but in many cases down, having mortgages professionally-managed helps them with their financial health and wellness which, in turn, improves workplace productivity.

How it works

An advisor would generally come into a company/attend zoom session and conduct a financial health and wellness test of employees’ mortgages with a mortgage mapping programme. (For employees who are not yet on the property ladder, they are provided with tools that can help them get there).

Becoming financially independent is a goal most employees have and our role ensures that they are aware of what is in their control to maximise the growth in equity in their properties. The banks set borrowers on a repayment treadmill, but do not provide their clients with the tools & mechanisms to build their wealth through their property.

Employers value this service as it does not cost the company or the staff anything to have their staff’s loan analysed but does address a core area of importance for their staff. Typically a staff member will only move/refinance their mortgages if it makes financial sense to do so, and it can often provide substantial savings to the employee over the life of the loan.

This service that provides staff with greater cashflow or an ability to provide them with tools to grow their wealth has been very well received by both employer and employee alike. Knowing that their staff’s greatest assets (and often, their greatest liabilities) are professionally-managed, ticks a core value box of employers.

So, when incentivising your staff, if you are concerned about your cashflow, think outside of the box. Consider what do your employees need? How can you help them? What will help them maximise their income and take the pressure off them and their families?

Dean Perlman, Director, Charter Finance