11 non-traditional ways to reward innovative employees

There are four approaches to providing workplace incentives, and variations within each theme.

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Though end-of-year bonuses once stood as the gold standard, today’s reward programs are more varied and reflect an organization’s unique culture and creativity.

From peer-to-peer rewards to gamification and front-row parking spots, reward programs are evolving with the speed of an Internet meme. Your own incentive program plays a key role in driving innovative behavior, so it must serve your business goals while offering an array of aspirational carrots.

4 approaches to a rewards program

As CEO of innovation-training firm futurethink, I’ve worked with the world’s leading organizations and the most effective reward programs I’ve seen are a blend of compensation, gifts, recognition, and perks. Top innovators combine monetary rewards with recognition, and individual with team rewards in order to achieve a balanced program.

Organizations such as Zappos.com, Westin, and Honeywell have a clear understanding of their short- and long-term innovation goals and have created reward programs that help them to meet their objectives.

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