Need New Ways to Motivate your Staff?
You've tried them all - balloons, contests, posters and cake.
How do you keep your associates energized day after day, year after year?
How do you energize yourself to come up with new ideas to motivate and inspire
That was the topic of a recent ICSA (International Customer
Service Association) Chapter Meeting. Companies and consultants shared ideas
that have worked for them. Perhaps you'll find one (or two) that will add
a spark to your team and yield bottom-line results.
Peer Recognition Awards
Recognition and awards are far more meaningful when they come
from co-workers. These awards build cooperation and collaboration versus
competition for management's attention. Here are some awards created by customer
LIFE (Leadership Is For Everyone) Awards: If associates
see someone doing something that deserves recognition, they can give him/her
a LIFE Award. They can even recognize co-workers for their participation
in activities outside of work.
Thank You Notes: Everyone receives a pad of notes
with "Thank You" on the top of each page. Anyone can make out a Thank You
(TY) note to express appreciation for something another associate did or
said. They highlight the reason for the TY on the note and sign their name.
All of the TY notes are posted on an Award Board. At the end of each month,
the Reward and Recognition Team picks a winner. The winner and the person
who nominated him/her get prizes.
Living Our Values Awards: These awards are linked
directly to an organization's values. This is a tangible way to reinforce
values and behaviors aligned with them. Co-workers nominate their peers
and note the value they see modeled. The organization has a catalog of gifts
that can be purchased with the appropriate number of awards. (The desire
to win a certain gift can help ensure the long-term impact of this program).
In a difficult economy, you may have limited resources available
for financial incentives. So, get creative! Here are a few ways companies
provide incentives without spending a lot of money:
Coupons: Design clever coupons for desirable rewards
such as one hour off, two hour lunch with a buddy, extra dress down days
or, the ultimate, have your manager wash your car! (You may want to save
this last one for nice weather!).
Creative Displays: Create a mascot that the whole
team can identify with (better yet - let the team pick its own mascot).
One organization picked Mr. Potato Head and designed a Team Goal Board with
this mascot, complete with moveable parts. Every time the team met an agreed-upon
goal, they got to move the part of their choice!
Another organization developed a board with the theme "Life's A Beach".
The Board had a map with clearly marked destinations. Each week, they had
a goal to reach another destination; if they reached it, then everyone received
a beach-themed gift like beach balls, water bottles and towels.
Ensure Bottom-line Results from your Incentive
Coming up with a clever idea to motivate your staff is one
thing; coming up with ideas that yield bottom-line results is another. Here
are four principles of an effective, value-added incentive program. Following
these principles will allow you to make a meaningful contribution to your
organization's morale and bottom line:
Link to a Real Business Need: Incentives tied to
a real need (e.g. attendance, service quality, teamwork) will generate spark
AND business results. And, if you align them with your core values, you
reinforce the foundation of your corporate culture.
Let Employees Pick the Incentives: You will see
greater buy-in, commitment and participation if the employees get to choose
Keep Changing the Program: Incentive programs can
get stale after a while. To keep up the momentum and the morale, keep changing
Reward Improvement; Not Just Goal Attainment: Some
associates will give up if they cannot achieve the goal. Others will be
de-motivated if the same "star" wins every time.
To motivate everyone, be sure everyone has a chance to win.
Encourage and reward improvement - it shows that you care - and that's one
of the greatest motivators of all.