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What Your Employees Don’t Tell You About Incentives

March 2, 2013

Daily ReadWhat Your Employees Don’t Tell You About Incentives

Uncreative and mainstreamed incentives have been used by manager for ages. Atta-boys, bonus money competitions, and praise may or may not be the best ways to make your employees happy or more productive. What’s worse is that the employees won’t tell you! So, here it is in plain English, the four ways you may be trying to get your employees to work harder but may well be having the exact opposite effect:

  1. Money. Financial incentives are probably the top way to motivate anyone working for you, and especially anyone whose job involves sales or finance. But, if extra money is the only motivator it won’t work for long, you need to bring emotions into it too. People need to feel like they are working to benefit something greater than themselves and they need to feel respected and recognized.
  2. Fear may motivate some employees for a little while, but threatening or berating them will eventually back fire. It may be through lack of loyalty, fear of being innovative or worse you’ll push the most skilled workers out the door.
  3. Competition. A little challenge might be a fun way to motivate your employee’s short term, but in the long run you want to create a cohesive team working toward the same goal – not every man for themselves. Competition should be focused on your competitors not against one another.
  4. Praise. Giving praise to the people who work for you is, of course, an essential part of being a manager, but everyday compliments become meaningless. Instead focus on earnest praise for finishing a large task or scoring a particularly difficult contract; tasks that stand out and deserve to be recognized and your praise will have more value.

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