This piece originally ran on ASNOA.com.
One of the hardest parts about working as a team is motivating your fellow group members. I once had an agent ask me how he could convince his coworkers to cross sell business and upsell current clients. Without hesitation I responded, “With money and fame!” The tricky part was that his business plan could not involve many money incentives, so he needed other ideas to motivate his team. So, my search was to find other ways to compensate and motivate employees that would not break the agency’s budget. The answer I found was unexpected, and threw me for quite the loop!
Publicly Celebrate Success
Who does not like recognition from upper management for a job well done? I spoke with a bunch of different employees to get their opinion on monetary vs verbal recognition, and I found that while most liked monetary motivation and wanted to keep that as an option, they really liked recognition during a meeting or in a company announcement! Interestingly, being recognized on social media was also a considerable a high point for employees. Being praised during weekly meetings or in newsletters seems to be one the most highly talked about step to motivate your employees to go beyond the expectations of their current job descriptions or goals.
Learn About Your Team
Employees want to be known within the organization they work for. Nothing is worse than a boss who doesn’t know their employees’ names nor anything about them. Not taking the time to learn personal information about your team can make employees feel undervalued, and nothing kills profits faster than an underappreciated staff. Learning about your workers will help you find new opportunities to encourage their motivation. For example, what if you had the idea for everyone to earn a day off if they worked longer hours? Seems great, but if everyone in your office has children, they won’t be able to work longer. The managers new motivating reward was to work longer hours to achieve a full day off. Basically, get to know your staff so you can create and motivate them by what fits their needs. More importantly, when you show genuine interest and gratitude, your employees will do their best not to let you down.
2020 showed us that employees can thrive working from home. If your agency is back in the office full time, offer some flexibility with work hours or location! If your team continues to meet their goals every month, why not allow them to work from home some days of the week! When your employees enjoy their work, they are more productive and that it great for your success. Another tip is to offer paid lunches, free coffee, or something your employees enjoy.
Get Their Input
Wondering why your current incentives are not working? Why not ask the people you are trying to incentivize what rewards they prefer! Send out a survey to each department and get your staff’s feedback! Gather the feedback and write out a clear plan for how you will implement the incentives. You may need to mix it up a bit and offer different incentives for different departments or levels of management. A great all-around incentive is a trip to an event, so check out more information about how you can affordably bring employees with you when you go! This will show your staff that you value their input and their hard work, and that you are taking concrete steps to show your appreciation!
Finally, Track It
Now that the incentive programs are in place, how are you going to track them? Many companies are holding their employees accountable for tracking their production by sending tracking forms to their manager or tracking consultant within the company. Other companies are utilizing their management system to track sales goals, performance, compensation and provide said reporting options to their employees. Each week or month, an employee will know exactly where they stand regarding the program.
By offering employee incentive and recognition programs in the workplace, you will create a company culture that your staff will want to engage with! Make a conscious effort to routinely recognize employee achievements. Be specific and personal in your acknowledgements, and possibly send an appreciation letter or create a wall of achievement awards. Remember to be specific when creating an incentive program so everyone has clear expectations, and make sure all the goals are attainable. The overall goal of your incentive program is to boost performance and motivate your team for your entire agency will grow.