At many sales or employee events, there are incentive awards given to the top producers or achievers. As a funny motivational speaker, I speak at many of these events and prior to going on, oftentimes I will sit in the audience. Over the years, the comments that I have overheard from the “non-winners” have been interesting. Many have felt that the goals of the incentive program were unrealistic or that the people getting the awards “always win, so why bother…” etc. While such programs may increase profits, they – sometimes – do very little to increase teamwork or morale. In other words, any incentive program, whether it’s a sales incentive program or an employee incentive program, can either be productive … or counter-productive.
An example of a counter-productive program is where the goal is impractical or where only a specific number of participants will win and, therefore, the rest of the group will lose. Many in the group quickly give up or don’t get involved, because they don’t see how the goal can be reached or how they can win. Conversely, a productive incentive program establishes a realistic objective and rewards everyone in the department for reaching that goal. As opposed to the counter-productive program, this approach reinforces teamwork and increases overall morale.
The following 4 steps can aid you in creating a productive incentive program that enhances teamwork and morale, while simultaneously achieving an important goal. I call these steps the 4 D’s:
1) Define the Goal:
What do you want to accomplish? Who will be involved? What can you do to make the goal uncomplicated, include as many people as possible, and eliminate any obstacles to success?
2) Develop a System of Measurement:
How will you measure involvement and improvement? Allow those in the program to contribute their ideas with regard to the rules and the system of measurement, as well as the reward. Participation in the decision process greatly enhances a “team approach” and aids in increasing overall involvement.
3) Determine the Reward:
What reward can the company provide that acknowledges everyone’s contribution to achieving the goal? Consider a company-wide event where all can attend and have fun. Should you wish to reward individuals for specific achievement, think about something nice, but not “over the top,” such as plaques or certificates.
4) Dedicate Time from Leaders to Help:
Get management involved. Have them provide encouragement to all and keep everyone motivated. Leaders are supposed to provide support and guidance, not stand back with their arms crossed waiting to see how the group will perform.
The end goal of any incentive program should be that everyone has fun but, even more importantly, that the participants know the company is grateful for their hard work and dedication to achieving the goal.
Showing a 10-12% increase in employee productivity is just one result that you can expect when you conduct an employee incentive program correctly. My funny motivational speaker testimonial will prove to you it can be done, as will other testimonials regarding sales incentive programs found on my funny motivational speakers site.