If you own, operate or manage a business, then you are probably wondering how to motivate your employees. After all, unmotivated workers put out less work and fewer quality results.
Motivated employees will work longer and harder for your company, increasing your profitability and revenue. Of course, this isn’t to mention the improved atmosphere and overall joy of the workplace. However, it can seem overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. Therefore, here are 10 powerful ideas for a work incentive program you can implement today.
It seems every company today, from apps on mobile stores to Fortune 500 companies, is using gamification. The idea of gamifying your workplace is simple in theory. You make the work addictive by utilizing psychological principles.
For instance, rewards should be closely timed with the completion of an important task. This way, employees will associate the accomplishment with positive feelings and emotions. Therefore, if a sales person knows they will receive a bonus or at least a compliment for reaching their daily sales quota, they are participating in a work incentive that borrows from gamification.
2. Communicate Trust
You want your employees to feel that you trust them. If they feel trusted, they will relax into the work and actually be able to get more done. If they don’t feel like they can complete their assignment without being micromanaged, it could lead to resentment. This resentment will cause them to put out lower quality work and possibly even quit over time.
Great ways to build trust are to create clear outcomes that you want to hold the employee to. Standards allow for solid boundaries within which the employees can have freedom and autonomy. Studies show that workers that are allowed more control over their workspace and workflow perform better.
3. Garner Feedback
If you go about your daily duties blindly, you might never get a solid insight into how your employees feel about the company and the requirements. When you ask for feedback, however, you can get one step ahead of potential conflict.
There are various ways to garner feedback and have a solid data set. Through these resources, you can greatly improve worker productivity through a work incentive program.
You can conduct a survey via email and have them respond privately in a BCC. You can also have a random poll where people drop a card in a box. They can leave comments for things they wish to improve or things they like about the current trend of things. This way, you’re getting the feedback directly from the source. Afterwards, you can adjust your work incentive program with these details in mind.
4. Hold Contests with Prizes
Workers love contests, and frankly who doesn’t? Contests give people something to work towards. It paints an exciting picture of the things to be won for doing a good job. A paycheck can only go so far in motivating workers.
A solid work incentive program constantly refreshes contests that are exciting. Don’t cheap out with low-quality rewards like a $10 gift card to a coffee shop. Rewards should carry real value. The amount you spend on prizes will pale in comparison to the increased work output you will enjoy. These rewards can be a free paid day for the first employee who reaches a difficult target or a one on one meeting with their top boss. It could also be some quality employee wellness programs as well.
5. When in Doubt, Praise
Don’t go around insulting or putting down your employees. Negativity doesn’t promote great results. Instead, praise your employees for each important occasion.
This will ensure they carry a great attitude around all day and really feel appreciated. That way, they will be more likely to go the extra mile, stay late to complete a project, and put their best energy into the work at hand.
6. Be Specific
Vague mission statements and project outcomes don’t motivate anyone. If people don’t know what exact target they need to hit, they can never know if they’ve achieved success. You certainly don’t want confusion or depression to plague your office environment. Prevent this by being incredibly clear and detailed with the metrics that will decide success or failure in every project, large and small.
7. Support New Initiatives
When your employee has a new idea that could shake things up in the company, you might be tempted to put it down. However, this is the last thing you should do. Even if you don’t agree with the idea, you should let the employee explore it.
Instead of saying no, try saying yes. As a last resort, cite budget concerns for why you can’t move forward on it if it truly isn’t a great idea. Otherwise, allow them to make their case. It could boost their productivity immensely if they feel you believe in their new ideas.
8. Encourage Leadership
Leadership is something that every manager should want their workforce to display. This is not only due to the time you can save by not micromanaging them, but also to the increased results you can enjoy. Research shows that employees react better to autonomy and not financial incentives.
9. Use Positivity, Not Negativity
The carrot is much more powerful than the stick. Simply providing punishment for not performing is not enough. You need to use positivity more than negativity. People respond better to it, and they feel more respected.
10. Remind Them of Their Responsibilities
Even though you should resort to positivity whenever possible, sometimes you need to be firm. This involves clearly reminding employees that are not performing to standards that they are being paid to deliver certain results. Be gentle, but communicate the consequences of repeatedly failing to bring their best work to the table.
When it comes to a proper work incentive program, it can feel difficult at first. However, they don’t have to. If you use the tips above, you can come up with an effective strategy for keeping your employees motivated in the good times and the bad. That way, you can sit back and watch the results as your business soars to new heights of productivity and profit.
What’s your opinion on a great work incentive program? Do you have any strategies that you have used successfully in the past? Comment below to share your thoughts!