How to motivate and incentivise your team

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Offer your employees rewards for a job well done. Use both verbal and financial motivators and incentives.

A big challenge in team building is coming up with new ways to foster and maintain a high level of motivation. How do you keep teams of people excited and driven to succeed over long periods of time? How do you keep your team motivated to improve their performance, and increase their achievements?

It is important to note that we’re not just talking about individuals, but teams of people working together. It is fairly simple to motivate a single person, but an entire team of motivated people will generate significantly higher results.

The key here is to give incentives for individual and team accomplishments. Incentives that reward based on collective achievement require people to work together and motivate each other to succeed.

Before we start talking about monetary and incentive-based rewards, it’s important to look at motivational factors that are not incentive-driven.

a. Make sure to display clear confidence in your staff’s ability, and give them room to work unsupervised where possible.

Employees who feel their managers and supervisors believe and trust in their abilities are happier and will always perform at a higher level than those who do not. They are motivated to “prove them right” and feel supported in their efforts.

Micromanagement quickly reduces morale. It is essential that you and your managers clearly express confidence in your team members. You hired them to do a job, perform a role, so you must ensure they have the space to do so.

b. Set up a system that rewards performance, and provides incentives for reaching milestones or targets.

Incentives are great motivators. An incentive is a reason to perform or act in a certain way. For example, if your team increases sales by 40% by month’s end, they will be treated to an expensive dinner.

Incentives need to be specific and have deadlines in order to be effective. In the example above, sales need to increase by 40% by the end of the month in order for the team to receive their dinner. If sales only increase by 30%, or if they increase by 40% at the end of the second month, the team does not earn their reward.

Time-specific incentives increase the sense of urgency, and encourage staff to work harder to achieve the objective. If the incentive is not time-bound, there is no reason to work faster or harder, since staff will assume they will reach their milestone “eventually.”

It’s up to you how you choose to structure your monetary incentives, based on your budget and resources. Remember to ensure that the terms of each incentive are clearly outlined, and that both parties (you and your employee) understand the agreement.

Monetary Incentives

  • Commissions
  • Bonuses for completing a challenging project, or hitting a target
  • Rewards for highest producing employee
  • Salary increases based on met targets

Gift rewards

  • Spa Gift Certificates
  • Books – consider motivational or business-related topics
  • CDs or DVDs
  • Meals – lunch or breakfast
  • Other gift certificates – gas, food, meals, local shops
  • Movie or theatre tickets
  • Weekend getaway – hotel, meals, etc.
  • Flowers
  • Gym Membership

Don’t overlook the value of company time spent enhancing your employees working environment, or their relationships with each other.

Team building is the final piece of the human resources puzzle – including recruitment, staff training, retention and professional development.

Happy employees will work hard and be loyal to your business, which translates into more capital in your bottom line. You can achieve this many ways – as I’ve described in this E-Class – and it doesn’t have to cost you any money at all.

A huge part of your success as a business owner lies in your ability to manage and support the people who work for you. If this is difficult for you (and it is for many entrepreneurs!), make sure that you surround yourself with strong managers and motivators who can help cultivate a profitable team.