|Your manager may indeed lack the power to do anything about these incentives for you and your fellow employees, or he may lack the initiative or skills to do so. |
There are ways for companies to provide employees in any job with opportunities to earn incentives and awards. Whether on an individual, group, departmental, or company-wide basis, each employee can participate in some sort of reward program.
Depending on your responsibilities, there can be an array of incentives associated with quality, service, productivity, attendance, work beyond the call of duty, and any other number of positive behaviors. You should do some homework and put together some suggestions as to the best way to set up such a program in your department.
Your next step is to meet with your manager again and show him your ideas. Be sure to ask for his inputs, and then indicate that you would like him to take the proposal to senior management. If he still says there is nothing he can do, believe him. Take the proposal to management yourself.
As a side note, some companies provide cash bonuses to their employees based on the usefulness of their suggestions. There are several reasons for you to suggest such a system in your proposal.