Employers, supervisors and managers- you have GOT to incorporate incentives and rewards into your production goals planning! OK, so be honest. Did you just cry out “yes!” or did you cringe? Your guess is as good as mine as to why the inclusion of employee incentives & rewards is nott an expectation of management by now. Whether it’s ignorance or just plain laziness, there really is no excuse for managers not to craft some kind of motivational structure to your goal planning. Failing to do so doesn’t help you or your employees.
To explain, I will refrain from loading this post with statistics like the ones that have already been ignored by our potential cringers in the crowd. Instead, let me offer some personal testament. The president of the company I work for understands what a vital component of a healthy workplace culture employee incentives and rewards are. Let me tell you just a few of the small and simple, yet powerful, ways she implements incentives and rewards and how I’ve personally witnessed their effects:
1. Recognize Longevity
On each anniversary- she recognizes annually- congratulate and thank employees for their commitment and contributions to the organization. Not a real people-person? A simple card left on a desk would do the trick. My president also gives a gift of $10 per year on the anniversary. Also, the anniversary date is shown on the company intranet so that other executives and coworkers can recognize too. For my coworkers and I, our anniversary date is like a professional Christmas morning. What will be on your desk when you come in on your anniversary? She always leaves a card and sometimes a small candy bar or other small treat
2. Allow Employees to Let Their Hair Down- Sometimes
Hosting a jeans or casual day is a really easy and completely cheap way to communicate to your employees that you are a real person who appreciates an occasional, comfortable day at the office. Pair earning casual days with a goal as a great incentive- it’ll be one that employees quite literally can “feel” the reward of. We have jean Fridays- mostly throughout the summer- when business gets the busiest for us. She generally sets a specific time-frame (four weeks, maybe) but if we do well, she often extends it noting, “because you all have been working so hard…jean days are extended for X number of weeks.”
3. Spoil Them, Modestly
Is there a snack or treat that you’re known for making for your family? Are you famous for a silly impression of someone or something? Would the office enjoy a game of some kind? When they do well, or when they need a pick-me-up, share some love. My president is famous for cakes. We get cake for every occasion, and sometimes just as a surprise. She doesn’t make it herself, but it’s always something different and tastes delicious, and in the middle of an otherwise hectic or slow afternoon it helps us get back on track.
We all know that nobody ever dreams of a job just punching in and out without so much as a smile or a pat on the back throughout the years, so don’t let that happen under your watch. If you need inspiration, consider the “world’s best boss” of NBC’s hit show The Office, Michael Scott. The show depicts Michael’s annual “Dundies” awards as an occasionally offensive, yet effective reward system! The point is that your employees connect positive rewards with you, and their company.
IMAGE: Courtesy of Guy.com