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Creative Incentivisation

leadership motivation

Creative incentivisation

How can you incentivise your people if you can’t pay them more?

You may need to drive a particular team or group of people to deliver for your organisation in a way that’s outside of their day-to-day remit, above their own expectations, in a new way of working or for a short- or longer-term transformation.

In commercial organisations you can galvanise individuals and teams towards goals, project completion or transformation by bonus-related or financial incentives.

What if you’re working within a public sector organisation, charity or don’t have the budget to incentive people financially? What else can you do?

This is where you can get creative with incentivisation.


I’m not talking about the background perks that tech businesses are famous for: having a great free canteen and your dry cleaning done.

I’m not talking about ball pools, table football, video games and bars that agencies of yesteryear and WeWork were famous for.

I’m talking about rewarding people for extra service, for doubling down on a mission or project or getting stuff done.


Your HR team are your obvious first port of call on reward and recognition - what can be done within the business rules for individuals and teams - but when those opportunities are reviewed and exhausted, that’s when you need to get creative.

Working in central government I organised an art competition for kids to design a cover of a report. Whilst we couldn’t reward them with any prizes or goods, we did organise for the winner to be hung in Number 10 and a visit for the winner and the family to view it hung.

How could you flip this for your people?

  • What public spaces don’t you have that gets footfall from the public that a recognition could be seen in?
  • Where is a part of your organisation that would be a privilege for people to visit?

Working for Richmond Council during the Rugby World Cup it was essential for the Head of Comms to have a view of  CCTV camera and be connected to the team to make announcements in the fan zone outside the stadium for helpful loud speaker announcements. Being in the control room is a rare privilege.

  • Do you have a news room, nerve centre or studio that it would be significant or interesting to visit?


Alternative creative ideas

Could you offer your people 30 minutes with the CEO, board member or senior manager?

Is there another office in your own country that it would be considered useful or interesting for them to visit?

Is there a partner or supplier you could organise an interesting tour or visit with?

Could you organise job shadowing, secondment or short term job swapping with another part of the business?

Does your organisation offer any corporate hospitality or organise events that you can treated your team with backstage view or a front seat?

I’d love to hear your creative incentives.