Awesome Incentives Your Employees Will Excel For

Over 70 percent of employees don't feel appreciated or valued by their employer, according to employee research interviews conducted by Forbes. And another 60 percent said they don't feel their career goals are aligned with their employers' plans. Earning a paycheck is just one reason that motivates employees to show up for work. Doing fulfilling work, being challenged, feeling appreciated and staying engaged are other reasons that too many companies overlook. Fortunately, creative incentives can re-energize your work culture and give your employees new ambition. Here are some ideas to get started:

Luxury Event Tickets

The chance to win box seats to a professional sporting event encourages your employees to excel for an irresistible incentive. Courtside seats for basketball season and coveted NFL tickets during the fall top the list of prizes. Whether theyíre unbelievable seats or just a few tickets for a job well done, employees appreciate the friendly competition that sparks over game time.

Make sure to purchase tickets from an authorized source like Ticketmasterís NFL Ticket Exchange. These resale tickets are verified by Ticketmatser and issued with a unique bar code, so you know your employees will never be left standing at the gate.

Pet Days

The Young Entrepreneur Council found that bringing your dogs to work can help lower stress, boost morale and lead to higher employee retention. Taking your dog to work has become so popular that June 21st is deemed "Take Your Dog to Work Day." Other places of business have an open-door pet policy a few days a week, or whenever employees feel like it. Google, Build-A-Bear Workshop and Clif Bar all welcome pooches to make their workplace more welcoming and flexible for pet lovers.

Put your pet policy in writing, and determine which types of animals are allowed in the office. Otherwise, you may wind up with an eclectic zoo of different animals. Google was wise enough to make it clear they simply aren't a cat company and feel that with so many dogs around, the furry felines would be too stressed out for the workplace anyway.

Flex Time

Millennials are notorious for wanting more flex time and work-life balance. They generally donít mind working at home, on weekends or odd hours as long as they also get plenty of personal time. Treat your staff to the millennial mindset and a more relaxed work culture with flex time.

Design a system where employees can work toward more telecommuting time, coming in late or taking a few extra days of vacation. Reward employees who are responsible, hardworking and willing to go out of their way to help the company by honoring their vision of a work life balance. Outline how flex time works, what the limitations are and how itís earned. The idea is to keep employees from feeling resentful of each other and assuming someone isnít pulling their weight.

Sabbaticals

Nearly 25 percent of Fortune's "100 Best Companies to Work For" offer fully-paid sabbaticals. Dreamworks Animation, Adobe, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and General Mills are just some of the companies that make the sabbatical list. Enticing your employees with a paid sabbatical can lead to long-term loyalty, productivity and a reputation for being an awesome place to work.

Clif Bar awards sabbaticals to all employees after theyíve been working there for seven years. That means that if they stay for 14 years, they get two sabbaticals that last from six to eight weeks each to do whatever they want. Setting a long-term goal to work toward keeps your employees happy and focused on earning the prize.