It is a costly
mistake to get lost in the false theory that more money equals
this is costing you valuable time, revenue, employees...and
even threatening your own job. Cash will always be a major factor
in motivating people and a solid compensation plan is critical
to attracting and keeping key personnel. But the key is that
additional cash is not always the only answer and in many cases
not even the best answer.
Too many bonus
or commission checks get cashed, spent and forgotten just that
quickly. Grocery stores and gasoline stations are among the
necessary stops that
seem to get in the way of using your extra cash on something
special for you.
to giving commissions or bonus dollars is to give gifts through
a catalog point system.
you choose will provide you with catalogs, price sheets and
point checks at no charge. The structure for your bonus plan
can remain the same but instead of awarding cash to your employees
you award equivalent points. Those points may then be used to
purchase an enormous variety of gifts or travel plans from the
involved is long-lasting. It begins with the employee being
able to browse the catalog choosing what they will strive to
earn. The catalog acts as a tangible reminder of their goal.
The gift itself will last as evidence of their achievements.
have implemented this program, the employees are overwhelmingly
in favor of the point system as opposed to cash. This type of
program is very popular with employees because they purchase
things they would never normally have the "money"
compensation in place, let's look at non-monetary motivation...20
steps to success.
When your employees accomplish something
they have achieved something. Your recognition is appreciation
for that achievement. I believe that most managers don't give
enough recognition because they don't get enough. Therefore,
it doesn't come natural to do it. If this applies to you, you
need to drop this excuse like a bad habit! Become a giver! Look
at the price. Recognition is free!
A form of recognition yes, but a very specific form.
Physically applaud your people by giving them a round of applause
for specific achievements. Where? When? The answer is wherever
and whenever. At meetings or company-sponsored social gatherings,
a luncheon, or in the office. At the end of a shift, before
a shift, and whenever possible in the middle of a shift.
or trophies is another effective way of applauding your people.
Although "wooden applause" is often successfully used
in the form of Employee of the Month plaques, more creative
ideas are sorely underutilized. Take the time to be creative,
matching special accomplishments with unique awards.
Coaching. Coaching is employee development. Your only
cost is time. Time means you care. And remember your people
don't care how much you know... until they know how much you
the emphasis is on positive feedback, I make sure to do this
coaching in "public." Whenever you recognize and encourage
people in "public," it acts as a natural stimulant
for others who are close enough to see or hear what's taking
Is training ever finished? Can you possibly overtrain? NO
and NO. For whatever reasons, too many people feel "My
people have already been trained" or "I've got good
people...they only need a little training." But training
never ends. Schedule "tune- up" training sessions.
These should be led by you or by a supervisor with help from
specific employees who show a particular strength in the skills
taught. I know this takes time, but these types of training
sessions will continually enhance the performance of your people
and the productivity of your business.
Path. Your employees need to know what is potentially
ahead for them, what opportunities there are for growth. This
issue is a sometimes forgotten ingredient as to the importance
it plays in the overall motivation of people.
paths within your organization. Do you promote from within?
I hope you can answer yes to that. Although specific circumstances
require you to look for talent outside your company you should
always first consider internal personnel. If you do this you
are sending a very positive message to every one that there
are indeed further career opportunities within your organization.
Titles. When you talk about job titles you are
tapping the self-esteem of people. How someone feels about the
way they are perceived in the workforce is a critical component
to overall attitude and morale. Picture a social gathering that
includes some of your staff. The subject of work inevitably
comes up. Will your people be proud, or embarrassed, to share
their title and workplace? The importance of feeling proud of
who you are and what you do is monumental.
as you think of possibilities for titles. Have your staff come
up with ideas giving them input into the titles. Bottom line,
you are dealing with pride...and pride enhances a positive attitude...and
a positive attitude is the foundation for continuing success.
Work Environment. A recent industry study shows
just how inaccurate your results can be. Employers were asked
to rank what they thought motivated their people
and then employees were asked to rank what really did motivate
felt "working conditions" was a nine (or next to last)
in terms of importance. What did the employees say? Number two!
Working conditions are very important to the way employees feel
about where they work.
does your office look nice? Are there pictures on the walls,
plants and fresh paint among other features that generally make
people feel good about their environment? Does their work space
have enough room or are they cramped in a "sardine can?"
What about furniture? Is the desk the right size, chair comfortable?
Is there file space and do they have the miscellaneous office
supplies needed for maximum performance? Is the temperature
regulated properly so they don't feel they're in the Amazon
jungle one minute and the North Pole the next?
Praise. This too is associated with recognition
but the key here is timing. When there is a reason for praising
someone don't put it off for any reason! Promptness equals effectiveness.
Praise people when the achievement is fresh on everyone's mind.
What is effective
is for us to get off our keisters and go out and tell whoever
it is what a great presentation it was or applaud them for the
sale...praise them promptly for what they accomplished or achieved!
Don't allow time to creep in and snatch away any ounce of the
positive impact that praise can have when it is delivered promptly.
Roles. Give your people leadership roles to reward their
performance and also to help you identify future promotable
people. Most people are stimulated by leadership roles even
in spot appearances. For example, when visitors come to your
workplace use this opportunity to allow an employee to
take the role of visitors guide.
A great place
to hand out leadership roles is to allow your people to lead
brief meetings. Utilize your employees' strengths and skills
by setting up "tune up" training sessions and
let one of your employees lead the training. The best
time to do this is when new people start.
a meeting leader after someone has attended an outside seminar
or workshop. Have them lead a post show, briefing the other
employees regarding seminar content and highlights.
Have your employees
help you lead a project team to improve internal processes.
Spirit. Have a picture taken on your entire staff (including
you!), have it enlarged and hang it in a visible spot. Most
people like to physically see themselves as part of a group
contests in your area, try to create contests and affiliated
activity that are team driven. People driving to reach goals
together definitely enhance team spirit solely because they
must lean upon others and be prepared to be leaned on.
One very effective
idea for me has been building a collage of creative ideas with
the "Team" theme. All employees are responsible for
submitting a phrase referring to TEAM on a weekly rotation.
Each of these ideas (such as TEAM: Total Enthusiasm of All Members
or There is no I in Team) is placed on a wall, creating a collage
of Team-oriented phrases. Don't have one person responsible
for this...do it as a team.
Recognition. This is the secret weapon. And like any
secret weapon, timing is most critical. If this is used too
often the value is diminished. And if it is used only for special
occasions and rare achievements the value is escalated. We talked
earlier about general recognition and the positive impact that
has on your people. That will go up a few notches when it comes
from an executive. Some of the same vehicles can be used here
such as memos and voice mail. To add yet another level of stimulation,
have an executive either personally call to congratulate someone
(or a group) or even show up in person to shake hands and express
his or her appreciation.
Gatherings. Scheduled offsite events enhance bonding
which in turn helps team spirit, which ultimately impacts your
positive work environment. Halloween costume parties, picnics
on July 4th, Memorial Day or Labor Day, and Christmas parties
are only some of the ideas that successfully bring people together
for an enjoyable time. Some others that I've used with equal
success are softball games (against other companies or among
employees, depending on staff size), groups going putt-putt
golfing or movie madness.
Dress Day. This will apply more to the Business-to-Business
world based on the difference in normal dress codes from the
Business-to-Consumer arena. For those required to "dress
business" every day a casual day becomes a popular desire.
Use holidays to create theme color casual days such as red and
green before Christmas or red, white and blue before July 4th,
or black and orange prior to Halloween. This will add to the
impact you're trying to have by calling a casual day in the
first place. Establish pre-vacation casual days for each individual
employee to enjoy on the day before his or her vacation.
events are a perfect opportunity for casual days to support
your local or favorite team with appropriate colors, buttons,
and logo wear. Spontaneous casual days produce a lot or stimulation
based on the element of surprise. Announce a casual dress day
for the following work day "just because." Use individual
or team casual dress days as contest prizes or awards for specific
Off. Implement contests that earn time off. People will
compete for 15 minutes or 1/2 hour off just as hard as they
will for a cash award. And in many cases, I have had people
pick time off over cash when given the choice. Put goals in
place (padded of course) and when these goals are reached by
individuals, teams or the entire staff, reward them with time
off. Allow early dismissals, late arrivals, and extended lunch
periods or additional breaks.
Seminars. Outside seminars are a stimulating break.
Because outside seminars are not always cost efficient for most
people, consider on-site seminars or workshops for your staff.
Use outside seminars as a contest prize for one or two people.
Then set up a structured plan for those seminar attendees to
briefly recreate the seminar to the rest of your people when
they return. Now everyone gets educated for the price of one.
Responsibility. There are definitely employees
in your organization who are begging for and can handle additional
responsibility. Our job as managers is to identify who they
are and if possible match responsibilities to their strengths
Contests. Over the years my contests have produced up
to 170% increase in performance. But equally as important, they've
helped maintain positive environments that have reduced employee
turnover by 400%.
most successful contests seem to be those affiliated with different
themes. Holidays, anniversaries, sports and culture are examples
of ideas to base contests on. Sports, without a doubt, provide
the largest opportunity for a wide variety of contests. Even
Culture can be used to create theme contest. My favorite is
using the '50s and '60s as a theme for a contest that I run
at least once a year.
Management. There are many articles and books available
on the subject. Make this reference material available to your
people. Make sure they know it is available and encourage them
to use it.
have an in-house seminar on stress management techniques. So
that production time is not lost, you might consider having
a brown bag luncheon with a guest speaker on this subject. Because
stress is an ongoing concern, anytime is a good time for a seminar
like this to take place.
Be as flexible
as you can with breaks during the course of the day.
Days. Every now and then pizza, popcorn, or cookie days
will help break up that everyday routine and help people stay
motivated. Because it is a natural tendency for people to get
excited in anticipation of something, structure some of these
days in advance. Then buy some pizzas or different cookies or
even whip out some different types of popcorn.
and Gimmicks. Use different gimmicks as awards to help
inspire performance increases from your people. The key to awards
is establishing the perception of priceless value that is associated
with them. They should be recognized as status symbols in your
environment. Here are some of my ideas: