Incentive Programs

As an employer in today’s business environment, you know the value of recognition and appreciation in the workplace. On a basic level, rewards and recognition programs help create positive company culture and keeps employees motivated and engaged at their jobs. On a higher level, rewards...

Wondering how effective your employee recognition programs are? You probably don’t have to venture too far to know if your employees feel valued and appreciated. Nowadays, a quick employee survey will give you a clear understanding if your employees feel engaged and valued at their...

If you live long enough, you will most likely notice that you’re slowly but surely turning into the stereotypical elderly curmudgeon who looks at youngsters with their newfangled technology and lack of social propriety with growing disdain. This process starts somewhere in your mid-to-late twenties...

There's a lot of common knowledge about what constitutes "good management" and "employee motivation".  But common knowledge is simply that: common.  It's not necessarily accurate or effective.  In fact, there are a number of myths about employee engagement that I'd like to dispel. 3 Myths About Employee Engagement and Motivation: 1. You Should Always Put On A Good Face For Your Employees Positivity is important, but you know what else is important?  Truth.  There's a reason why "The Matrix" was such a popular movie, and it wasn't only the pleather bondage gear and Keanu Reeve's deadpan delivery.  "The Matrix" offered a basic dilemma: would you rather live in a carefully constructed fantasy, or the terrifying real world?  Would you rather have happiness or the truth?  Keanu took the red pill, and most of your employees want the same.  They want to know what's going on.

Your office environment has a huge influence on the dedication and productivity of your employees.  If you have problems maximizing your employees' potential, hitting goals, and preventing turnover, then you need to change your corporate culture and the feel and function of your workplace.  Everyone praises the energy and unity at offices like Google and Edward Jones, but there's no reason why your company can't be equally utopian.

5 Ways To Vastly Improve Your Office Environment:

1. Fire The Gossips

Gossiping, backbiting, criticism, and cliques have no place in the workplace.  People will never feel safe enough to share their ideas and strategies in an office where politics and grade-school social structures abound.  As CEO Dave Ramsey says.
I have fired people for gossiping, and I will again. Problems and gripes are fine but they must be handed up to leadership, not spread laterally or down. Stamp out gossip if you want to have unity in your company.

2. Fire The Complainers

Just like gossip and backstabbing, whining is extremely toxic.  My husband managed a high-volume, high-pressure sales floor where it was extremely important to keep employees continually focused, motivated, and confident.  He maintained a no-tolerance policy for complaining.  If the salespeople had a question or concern, they were always welcome to come into his office and voice their opinion - he was very open to comments and suggestions.  But they absolutely were not allowed to sit around griping and grousing.  It's destructive to the complainer and absolutely soul-sucking for all the employees who listen to it.

Last week I wrote about the proven effectiveness of employee reward programs.  But those statistics assume your company is using an effective recognition program.  Unfortunately, some types of employee rewards are less helpful than others, or don't work at all.  If you want to get the biggest bang for your buck, make sure you're investing in a program that works! So, how do you know if your reward programs for employees are working? Go to the source! Employees can give you the necessary feedback of what is working, what needs to be improved and what they ultimately want when it comes to recognition programs. This can be done through a 1-on-1 conversation, online surveys, or small team meetings. Additionally, be sure that your employees are in a comfortable and open environment where they can share their thoughts freely. At the end of the day, when you reward employees in the right way, it gives value and meaning to the work they produce daily. Below we discuss common employee recognition programs and simple fixes you can make so you can reward your employees in the right way. 3 Types of Employee Reward Programs That Simply Don't Work: 1. Tenure Programs In a recent study by Forbes, researchers found that 87% of recognition programs focus on tenure.  Employees are rewarded simply for staying at a company a really long time.  Unfortunately, rewarding tenure doesn't work.  As Forbes put it,
Tenure-based rewards systems have virtually no impact on organizational performance. Did you stay an extra year at your last job so you could get a 10-year pin? I doubt it. It turns out that many of these tenure-based rewards programs are really legacy programs from the turn of the century when labor unions forced management to give employees “service awards” and hourly raises for tenure. Most large companies still have these programs today, yet... for the most part they aren’t creating much value.