What’s the best way to incentivise staff?

It is probably safe to say that, if you want to know how best to motivate staff, look at John Lewis. Experience and research has demonstrated that, in the modern environment not only do staff respond to incentives but, they actually attach a value to the way they are treated.

For this reason, many companies today provide staff with a wide variety of benefits and incentive packages. These may include lunches, or breakfasts, for example, for those arriving at the office early enough. Companies routinely provide private medical health insurance, cars, and the reward schemes. It is common to have a salesperson of the month receiving a prize which can be significant in value.

In addition, and perhaps most valuable of all, is shared ownership. John Lewis is a great example of how ownership can be shared with staff. The model is not right for every company, but it requires very little investigation to see how motivated the staff in that company are.

Giving shares to staff can be tax efficient if done correctly. Equally there are some excellent schemes available including the Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI). This scheme allows a company to allocate share options up to a limited value to key members of staff as a form of incentive. Options are exercisable at the market value at the date of grant, and any discount from that value may be taxable. However the growth in the value of the shares from the date on which the option is granted up until the date of sale is tax free. This scheme is particularly excellent for employees in a company that is likely to be sold in the not too distant future.

Share ownership can equally be desirable across all or many employees. To facilitate this, government has created a range of tax efficient share purchase schemes and share option schemes some of which carry excellent tax incentives for the employer.

We would strongly recommend considering how loyalty and the attractiveness of a job can be improved by relatively inexpensive provision of an interest in the company. Call us on +44 (0)330 024 3200, and talk to us about how your staff can be motivated.

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