3 Tips for Taking Advantage of Company Incentives


Top workforce challenges that employers will be prioritizing in 2019 include attracting and retaining top talent, training and employee engagement, according to the 2018 MRINetwork Performance Management Study. With increased focus on these areas, the MRINetwork poll revealed that many of the best programs employers have to offer are the same ones that workers desire. The issue is that candidates are not always sure how to access company incentives that have the ability to engage and retain them, or how to approach management or human resources about these motivators.

When employer respondents were asked about the best incentives they were likely to offer to retain talent, 48 percent stated performance-based bonuses most often, the poll found. Ongoing training, non-performance related bonuses, career pathing and merit increases rounded out the top five.

Interestingly, when candidates were posed a similar question – what incentives would be the most likely to make them stay with their company – they cited virtually all of the ones employers referenced, with 51 percent pointing to merit increases, 49 percent referencing non-performance related bonuses and career pathing, and 45 percent most valuing performance-based bonuses.

So how can you as an employee take advantage of the best incentives your company has to offer? Here are a few recommendations:

1. Know what’s available

It would be one thing if your wish was your company’s command. That’s rarely the case. So it behooves you to find out what offerings are on the table and go from there. Talk to current or former employees about what’s available, or speak with your manager or human resources department.

2. Establish a plan 

Whether it’s a bonus, ongoing training or a merit increase, you need to present an informed plan to access your desired incentive(s). Do some research to determine key selling points that can move your discussion forward. You may even have colleagues or friends who’ve been in a similar situation. Listen to what tactics or arguments they’ve used to gain approval from their manager. Taking their feedback into consideration, your plan of action should reflect your personality, needs and capabilities.

3. Keep the momentum going

Assuming you’re able to access the incentive(s) you seek, it’s important not to rest on your laurels. Some self-reflection is necessary to determine what will keep you motivated. Be honest in assessing your weaknesses. In what areas can you improve that are measurable? Get some feedback from your manager about the areas in which you can improve. This will show him or her that you’re engaged and earnestly interested in becoming better in your role, which will likely make it easier to access future incentives.

The worker-to-employer relationship is one of give and take. By understanding this and going above and beyond toward the fulfillment of your responsibilities, your employer is that much more likely to do whatever it takes to make you stay.