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What Incentive Motivates You? Types Of Incentives Explained

What Incentive Motivates You? Types Of Incentives Explained

By: Tina Walczak & Cam Schreiner

An incentive is something that motivates an individual to perform an action. Whether you are trying to motivate your team to reach their potential, a creative to design great work, or your husband to go to the gym; everyone has a unique incentive that works for them.

Incentives can be broken down into three categories:

  1. Recognition
  2. Reward
  3. Appreciation


Recognition is an exceptional and effective motivational tool for anyone that derives value from being praised. Giving praise to someone and letting them know they did a good job publicly is more beneficial than when they’re told privately. Being publicly recognized makes the person receiving the praise feel like they are doing a really exceptional job.

Tina, our Chief Design Officer, finds as a mom she’s just expected to be doing mom things without receiving any recognition or appreciation. It would be nice to be recognized for that, as it’s difficult to feel motivated when there’s no validation or recognition that she’s doing a great job. Communicating these needs to the people around you, such as letting your partner, team or superiors know you recognition is a requirement for you to feel encouraged and validated.

Cam, one of our designers at Hiilite, described his wife’s relationship with incentives and recognition, saying she feels validated and motivated from the praise she receives from her soccer coach, more so than from winning a soccer match. High performers rarely hear the praise, and often receive a lot of the hard feedback. It’s important not forget to give those who work really hard the recognition they need to perform at their best.


Rewarding someone with a gift, money, free parking or so forth is an exceptional way to motivate someone who derives value from receiving rewards. Small tokens as incentives will motivate people to do tasks and achieve your desired outcomes.

Hiilite’s CEO, Will, wanted the Hiilite team to start producing more products, so we can sell them on Envato and our store, and our team is full of really talented people who can create these products. Heather, for instance, developed an image carousel. As an incentive for moving forward with this project, Will asked Heather what would motivate her to complete the project within a certain timeframe. We thought she would ask for time off or more money, but she literally just wanted donuts.

Another way we implement rewards into Hiilite’s culture is bringing in random reward incentives into the office every few Fridays. The most important thing about any incentive is making it count.


The last type of incentive is appreciation. Appreciation as an incentive is showing someone you care by participating in a shared experience or hosting an event or activity that everyone would enjoy. If you and most people were to rank the three types of incentives, appreciation is rarely a person’s key incentive. Typically, this is an area that many of us aren’t paying enough attention to.

At Hiilite, team lunches, show appreciation to the team by thanking them for the handwork they’ve been doing.

What’s Incentifies You, Your Team, Partner, Friends and Family Members?

How do we find out what incentives people? Simple asking. As simple as it sounds, the easiest and most effective way to find out about a person is to ask and be interested in them. But don’t just take their word for it, observe.

At Hiilite, our passionate, creative and innovative team is committed to providing superb quality customer service. We deliver results-focused marketing services while building thriving relationships that fuel growth and catapult our people and our clients to success.

Follow our Instagram account @Hiilite – Also, watch our LIVE Instagram videos, Thursday at 4:00pm PST or send us your business or design related questions.


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