Keeping your staff engaged day after day, week after week, is no mean feat for businesses. From the Monday blues, to the post-holiday slump, ensuring your team is at its most efficient, most productive, most creative and most motivated can feel insurmountable at certain points in the year. At that’s before you’ve taken each staff member’s personal life into consideration. From problems at home, to health troubles and general life worries, there’s a lot that can distract our most important assets; our employees.
Incentivisation can help businesses overcome disengagement and distraction, especially when it’s applied intelligently. Incentives can work wonders for a workforce, but they can also cause a litany of issues including nurturing unhealthy rivalries, generating accusations of favouritism and leaving some staff feeling patronised or unseen.
Get incentives right, however, and you could power up productivity and nurture a positive company culture where staff feel more engaged and involved in the business. The key to getting it right? Asking your staff. Find out what types of incentives would motivate them (time off or financial rewards?), discover whether competition or collaboration would be more incentivising for them. Set up a poll for your team to gather their opinions.
Here are a few good suggestions to get the ball rolling:
- Get competitive
For some businesses, competition amongst staff simply doesn’t work. For others, it can light a real fire under employees. To avoid resentments brewing, consult your staff on reasonable targets and their ideal benefits. You may also want to stagger rewards so that more staff receive bonuses (this can prevent one high-performing staff member walking away with the prize every quarter).
- Give “idea bonuses”
Encourage creativity and workplace engagement by giving ideas bonuses. Call for fully-formed ideas (with a practical plan) which either generally benefit your business or target a particular issue, then ask the whole company to vote for their favourite after the deadline. The winner(s) will receive a prize (consult your staff on what they would most like) and will see their idea implemented.
- Offer on site benefits
Some employees will not be receptive to target-oriented schemes. In some instances, creating a working environment which offers perks and benefits is highly incentivising. Employers who arrange fresh fruit deliveries from Fruitful Office, host yoga classes, arrange at-desk massage appointments, fill workplaces with fresh flowers (you name it), frequently enjoy lower turnover rates, higher employee loyalty and increase health and happiness amongst staff. This, of course, has a knock on effect upon the business itself.
- Allow autonomy
As Dolly Parton sings, working nine to five (or indeed 8.30am-6pm) is no way to make a living. Giving your team greater autonomy over their working life can be hugely incentivising. Increasing numbers of businesses are allowing flexible working, which means setting targets for each day, week, month or quarter – then allowing their employees to set their own working hours. Perhaps some are night owls and others are early birds, perhaps some work best from home in their pyjamas. Everyone is different, but flexible work practices with clear demands can help businesses achieve more, while keeping their staff happier.