To create a workforce that’s motivated, feels valued, has high morale, and is as productive as possible, you should consider creating a rewards and incentives programme. From an ‘employee of the month’ status to an all-expense-paid trip, rewards come in all shapes and sizes, meaning that no matter how small your team and budget, you should be able to benefit from incentivising your team.
Here are some tips for making rewards and incentives work for your staff
• First, think about what exactly it is that you want to reward. You can then use this information to lead your incentives. For example, if you want the team sell as much as possible, think about giving them a commission or other reward per sale, or per level of tiered sales targets
• Make sure your staff want what you’re offering. Some people are motivated by money, whereas some people are just as motivated by recognition. You might need a combination of both. It’s important to take the time to really get to know what your staff care about and tailor the rewards and incentives to that. Otherwise, you could be spending money and effort with no real return for it
• Consider asking your staff to take part in an anonymous questionnaire to ask what would motivate them. Alternatively, you could create a rewards catalogue, where you list a number of rewards that are within your means and allow employees to save up points to claim them – the points being granted when they hit particular targets or complete specified projects or activities to the standard you set
• And don’t forget to check the rewards are reasonable for you, too. As an SME, you may not have lots of spare cash to spend on rewards and incentives, so make sure that the cost of what you’re offering is outweighed by the value that the rewards can bring.
Legally, you’ll need to stay very consistent with how you reward your employees. Make sure that each and every employee is equally aware of the programme and understands the criteria they need to fulfill to achieve the reward. Then make sure that you can justify each reward you give using that exact same criteria. This way, you shouldn’t be accused of favoritism or discrimination while rewarding employees for their achievements – even if the same person is a frequent winner. See our guide to equal opportunities and diversity
(And on the topic of frequent winners, your most successful candidates may be able to play a motivational and training role in supporting others to achieve similar results. This gives the winners even further recognition, while enabling others on the team to learn how to be as successful. The end result? Even greater productivity for your business that’s driven, sustainably, by a strong employee culture of supporting each other, pulling together and getting results.)
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