Rewarding Your Team’s Positive Performance
How can you keep everyone motivated, get the performance you expect, give them the rewards they deserve, and not go over budget? Try these strategies.
1. Pay For Performance
Organize everyone's pay so that it directly reflects his or her contribution to the organization. Have short-term and long-term measures of their contribution to the team's success, and to the organization's objectives and goals. Set a goal that all employees receive at least one third of their pay based on performance.
Talk with your employees and work together to document what actually contributes to success. Then reward them for it.
2. Keep Your Eye On The Clock
The reward must be close in time to the behavior being rewarded. Everyone has their own tolerance level, but you can't wait until the end of the year "awards ceremony" or "performance review" to tell people their work was good this week. Each behavior and reward requires a different schedule. I advise between one day and one week after-the-fact.
3. Be Specific
Be specific about the behavior being rewarded. Attitude is important, but it is hard to replicate. You want to reward the behavior that demonstrates the attitude.
Let all team members see you regularly rewarding the behavior you really value.
4. Provide Opportunities For Everyone
Provide many opportunities for rewards. If only the top ten percent of your people get rewarded you will create a win-lose environment. And who ultimately loses? You, your customers, and your bottom line.
Build a system where each team or team member is measured against an independent standard, not against each other. Then anyone or any team who meets their standard earns their reward. This builds interdependent collaboration.
5. Offer Non-Monetary Rewards
Here are my favorites: Praise. Recognition for Effort. Pats on the Back. Training. Educational Opportunities. Flex Time. Flexible Benefits. Leadership Opportunities. More Challenging Projects. Open Communication. Access to New Technologies (hardware and software). Casual Dress Codes. Telecommuting. Creative Time. Extended lunch hours.
If you want the best ideas, get Bob Nelson's books: 1001 Ways to Reward Employees, and 1001 Ways to Energize Employees. Have your team read these books and report to you on which rewards they would value the most.