Incentive programs can build long-term commitment
Each rewards manager has their own vision of what helps motivate staff. Getting it right and rewarding can help increase organizational productivity and improve employee engagement.
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- Incentive programs can boost employee productivity and engagement.
- Non-cash plans are more effective at promoting long-term, sustainable motivation among employees.
- Monetary schemes still have a place in motivation, but their reach is limited.
- Employers can leverage social media to drive engagement and motivate their employees.
- Motivated employees will be proud of their organization.
Traditional reward programs solve the problem by offering monetary rewards. Such systems are easy to understand for employers and employees. Hit a goal, say a weekly sales goal, and an employee will get some extra money. But the consensus in the rewards industry has moved away from money for motivation in favor of long-term engagement strategies. Tracy Aslam, Sales Manager at New Look Business Solutions, says: “As the first step in the motivation process, we were looking to define tasks based on the strengths of the employees, which will give them confidence.
Aslam says this first step builds a sense of accomplishment and belonging in employees, creating a foundation upon which their employer can build. “It is important that employees are proud of the organization, that they know their role in the company and that they have the opportunity to develop,” she says. “[Employers] must also ensure that rewards are relevant to employee demographics; they cannot take a holistic approach.
John Edmonds, director of strategy and marketing at Pearce Mayfield, believes there is still room for a motivation strategy, in which an employee is rewarded financially, but staff who use a lot of cognitive and creative thinking are not necessarily motivated by money as much as other groups of employees. “A behavioral approach is only for the short term,” he says. “Yes [employers] financially rewarding their staff will only last a short time.
Gift cards used as a motivational tool can create a longer term commitment because there is a double element of reward: when staff get their voucher and when they go out and spend it. “[With a voucher], employees usually remember what they spent it on, ”says Aslam. “But if [the money] disappeared in their monthly salary, it could be swallowed up in mundane bills.
Edmonds tries to encourage the idea of meaningful work, which goes far beyond financial rewards. Such strategies help staff become aware of their role in an organization and how they can influence its future.
“That’s why thousands of people do charitable work,” he says. “They don’t get any money for it, but they feel gratified to help and make a difference. For example, we worked with a water supply organization that partnered with the Water Aid charity to volunteer throughout the year. The program was oversubscribed and helped the employer to boost staff motivation without giving financial incentives. “
But Duncan Brown, director, rewards and engagement at Aon Hewitt, thinks short-term motivation strategies work best. “Non-financial recognition works in the short term and the closer it can be to an event or behavior, the better. “
Brown says HR professionals are currently too focused on reducing costs in the short term and not enough on developing long-term employees. “They have become very focused on a relatively small talent elite, while the organizations we admire have implemented large-scale career development programs. Share plans, if well communicated and widely disseminated, are successful. Better performing organizations are likely to have them.
Meanwhile, Danny Clenaghan, CEO of Argos for Business, says employers should tailor their motivation strategies based on personal cues, such as birthdays and holidays. “The important thing is to tap into what interests the employees,” he says. “For example, their hobbies, their desires, their interests or if it is their family and friends that they are looking to help. We try to get employees to personalize the programs and we help each other make our approach as focused as possible.
For example, the motivator might be that an employee is looking to get a certain ambitious product, such as a tablet or e-reader. “We’re focusing on the family side right now, especially at certain times of the year, like Christmas,” he says. “If employees know that at Christmas they might have a gift or two for their family, that’s a good long term motivation. “
Use social media
Employers can also use social networks to engage and motivate staff over the long term. Colin Hodgson, Director of Sales at Edenred, says: “Organizations take advantage of social media to interact with their employees and provide them with structure. It’s about maintaining and locating their motivation strategy.
One option is to use non-cash recognition through technologies such as electronic thank you cards, Hodgson explains. “It’s great to have the ability, as an employer, to connect to a database to find your employees’ contact information and send a personal thank you message. The message can be displayed on an online bulletin board, where colleagues can add their own comments.
Hodgson believes that such a non-monetary reward triggers an enthusiastic response from employees because it recognizes their accomplishments in a personal way.
As the rewards industry moves away from pay-for-success strategies, social media and the internet provide versatile tools for employers to use to motivate their staff. But a key factor for a successful strategy is making sure that employees understand their role in their organization.
Case Study: Asda Employees Benefit From Good Customer Service
Asda runs a employee recognition program which rewards staff for excellent customer service and when organizational goals have been achieved.
The program, Asda Stars, operates in 660 locations and is available to 177,000 employees.
So far, 68,856 employees have received awards, of which 41,828 have been recognized as “unique” employees for their outstanding efforts.
An employee accumulates Star Points by achieving particular goals, and can then redeem them for a variety of rewards.
Jane Earnshaw, Head of Reward and Recognition at Asda, says: “We try to reward people and recognize people who stand up for the core beliefs of the organization. The most popular reward is the Asda Gift Card, which gives personal recognition.
Each store, distribution center and head office also nominates a “colleague of the month”, who receives Star points.
“A thank you should have some kudos behind it,” Earnshaw says. “Rather than adding an extra £ 10 to someone’s salary, with no events or communication and no real meaning as to why or how they got this, we think it’s important to create an event to thank our employees.
“There is no quick fix to long-term motivation; it is a combination of pay, work environment, learning and development opportunities and many other factors.
Point of view: Cary Cooper, Professor of Organizational and Health Psychology, Lancaster University Management School
We’ve heard so much from seasoned bankers that bonus are an essential part of their pay, but does it really motivate them or is it just an expected aspect of their job description?
I have real doubts that lasting motivation comes from a bonus culture. As we have seen in the banking industry, this had the unintended consequence of encouraging risk-taking behaviors that ultimately created the financial crisis.
For me, the lasting motivation comes from some sense of belonging to success. This can take the form of a company management information (EMI) or a stock plan, or a profit sharing at the end of the year, but for all employees, not just senior managers. .
The most important element of lasting motivation among a workforce is that they perceive that the success of the business is their success, but how this translates into employee benefits can vary widely, depending on the industry. or the corporate culture in particular.
Or as Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote: “The reward for something well done is doing it.
The government is currently in consultation on the idea of giving employees ownership of their companies if they give up certain labor rights, which is not true. We know from various success stories and management research that when employees have share ownership, they will be profitable and it will be sustainable, so there is no need to tie it to waiving rights.
Apart from share ownership, it is also about asking staff what the organization can do to strengthen their loyalty and what benefits would motivate them.
The top management of many companies simply does not engage with their shop floor or even top floor employees on these issues. If they did, we might find an answer to lasting motivation within the organization.