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How to Get the Most out of Motivational Rewards and Incentives?

In a previous post, we discussed the best ways to motivate workers without having to resort to financial rewards. However, employees can only take so many encouraging pats on the head before that head starts to go numb.

Sprinkling in some well-placed incentives can reinforce the regular encouragement and public recognition of top performers.

Set clear goals and expectations that will be directly rewarded

Having the occasional pizza party or prize drawing might be a nice little touch that shows employees you’re thinking about them – but it’s kind of like getting your wife or husband a present on their birthday. It’s an unspoken rule that you’d be hard pressed not to follow.

To really leverage an incentive, start by setting attainable goals that workers know they’ll be rewarded for reaching. These goals shouldn’t be too lofty, but they should be something to really strive for.

When setting goals, be clear with your expectations for reaching or not reaching them. If it’s a rush job that absolutely has to get done, make sure your team knows it. If the goal is simply a higher sales or production goal that would be nice to reach, then let workers know that too. Clear expectations allow you to plan for specific results.

Finally when setting goals, try to create objectives for workers that give them a sense of ownership for a project, department or company’s success. For example, if your department hits that sales goal, put up a public banner or notice to show what your team achieved, and what they were rewarded with for achieving it.

Incentives can simply encourage good ideas and extra steps

Hitting a sales quota or production goal is something that’s easily measured, but what if you want your workers to be more creative or take that extra step around the office?

One idea could be to set up a “Caught You Doing Something Right” mystery envelope contest.  When someone catches a co-worker doing something extra or coming up with an improvement, that worker gets to select a mystery envelope out of a bin that contains a prize, such as an extra vacation day, car wash or gift certificate.

A simple, but effective way to reward innovation is to simply give a cash bonus or reward to employees who come up with a way to actually save the company money. Make sure that the bonus or reward is appropriate for the amount of money saved. For example, don’t hand out a $20 gift card to Applebee’s for an idea that saves thousands of dollars.

Perks can boost general morale

Having a dog-friendly office, foosball table or other perk might make for a good story, but what if you’re not exactly prepared to turn your place of business into a miniature Google campus?

There are many simple, basic perks that can help boost general morale and make workers feel appreciated. Some of the most basic are a 401(k) plan, paid parking and even free snacks in the break room.

Be creative with these perks and know that generosity boosts employee loyalty.

With respect to offering incentives, you want to give staff a reason to come to work every day – besides just a paycheck. It might require some investment to have motivated, loyal workers, but it’s these kinds of employees who often exceed expectations.

The talent acquisition experts at CAREERXCHANGE® can help you fulfill all of your needs in finding the best talent. Contact us today and we will be glad to assist you!

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