Impact of staff motivation incentives on productivity

The Harvard Business Review states that 82% of Americans don’t feel their supervisors recognize them enough for their work.  But in the same study, 40% of Americans stated they would put more effort into their work if they felt more recognized. 

Incentivization, recognition, and rewarding seem to go a long way in increasing productivity. But do they really work? And how do you put them in practice? Here are specific strategies and some real-world examples to introduce incentives into your workplace!

Do incentive programs really work? 

A Cornell University research study suggests that immediate rewards increase intrinsic motivation by linking an activity and a goal, so employees who are rewarded more frequently are more motivated to complete tasks. Several surveys have also indicated that incentive programs can increase employee performance by as much as 44%. In addition, companies that use tangible sales incentives also see annual revenue increases that are three times higher than those that don’t. 

What makes a good incentive program? 

The best rewards programs clearly communicate their judgment criteria, so employees understand what they’re working toward. They also reflect the wants of the workplace, which sometimes goes beyond purely financial. For example, do they want scheduling freedom? Would they enjoy an after-hours social event? 

Good incentive programs are also built on more than just major accomplishments. Celebrating big wins is always important but consider the work that goes into smaller milestones that made success possible.  

Public recognition is also key when it comes to individual employees meeting their goals, the feat announced in a company email, newsletter, or internal communications platform to enhance value and inspire others.

What are some strategies for implementing an inventive program? 

Create a tiered recognition system: A tiered employee recognition system is a way for managers to recognize employees based on how they perform specific tasks. This system allows managers to reward employees who excel at certain tasks while also giving those who need extra attention a chance to shine. Tiered employee recognition systems are often used in sales teams where each member has different responsibilities. 

Offer incentives based on increments of time: Employee incentives based on increments of time are great for motivating employees to work harder and faster. This method helps employees understand how much they need to do to reach their goals. Employees who feel like they are working towards something meaningful will be motivated to perform better.

Make it a group goal: Including your employees in the process of goal setting can be a strong motivating force. Decide on your priorities as a group and choose a deadline for completion. Then, when goals are achieved, reward the team as a group!

What are some examples of real-world employee rewards? 

There are two types of employee incentives: rewards and recognition. Rewards are tangible gifts given to employees for outstanding performance. Recognition involves giving out awards or certificates for achieving goals.

For service-based industries, customer reviews are key. From Grizzly Bear Lawn Care’s lawn professionals to ALAC Services window and home services, these companies can provide incentives to be named an employee of the month for best service or best customer review.  

What about tech-forward companies? Provide an incentive for completing the constant training that’s needed in this field! For example, if you’ve introduced a new security awareness training from a company like Curricula, with modules on cyber security training stories, posters, security awareness downloads, phishing simulations, and more, offer an incentive to the employee who finishes all the modules first. 

Sometimes the company product can be the incentive itself! For example, Boutique Film Labs, a full-service online film processing lab, could offer incentives by offering heavily discounted products or services for employees who are also filmmakers or photographers. On the flip side, Texas Adoption Center is all about social events, both internally and with their adoption families, so their employee incentives could range from holiday parties to catered events to say thank you for their hard work. 

Employee motivation is a major issue for companies across the country. If you’re looking for ways to motivate your employees, an incentive program could be just the thing to kick your team into high gear!