Is monetary incentives the only way to keep employees motivated and productive?
A recent interaction with one of the potential clients for Kennect triggered this conversation. It was a simple bull session, but a critical one that needs to be talked about in detail – “is money the only motivator to drive employee performance”.
The oldest trick in the book says that the only way to get desired results from employees or perhaps to retain them is to offer good financial incentives. In my previous posts, I’ve already discussed the good and the bad financial incentives and how they drive an employee’s behaviour towards the organizational goals.
But the story doesn’t just end here…
Apart from money, which of course is the primary motivation for everyone who steps out of the house to make a living, there are more than one factors that build a lasting employer-employee relationship and boost loyalty.
In this article, I’m going to put some light on what these factors could be and how you, as a representative of an organization, can leverage the potential of rewards that go beyond monetary benefits.
Money is definitely the driving force behind employee performance – the better they perform, the more they earn. But there could be times when an employee could feel demotivated or simply bored from doing the same monotonous work for the uninspiring reward that gets credited to the bank account at the end of each month.
Like every other aspect of life, sales reps expect some degree of surprise element in their jobs and reward system. For instance, anyone who sells the maximum insurance plans during the holiday season wins “A two-day luxurious stay in a 5-star property in NYC and tickets to the Broadway show," incorporating the element of excitement and aligning with the sales velocity formula. Announcing such rewards over and above the regular paycheck would definitely create more engaged and productive employees.
Non-monetary compensation can include but are not limited to time flexibility, remote working opportunities, gym membership, corporate discounts, retirement schemes, annual vacations, childcare, and so on. We’ll discuss them in detail in a bit.
But before that, it is very important to note that a well-defined and successful compensation plan takes into account the specific needs of employees and their lifestyle requirements to create the catalyst for peak performance. A good manager understands the strengths and weaknesses of employees and uses the information to create positive triggers.
“Organizations that incorporate non-monetary compensation strategies often see better outcomes and increased contribution.”
Trekking through the river of frozen ice, a luxury spa, or perhaps a special VIP invite to the Global Film Festival.
Experiences count, especially for today’s multigenerational workforce. They love to tell stories of their adventures and escapades. Your most talented employee may not remember the team lunch in the most expensive restaurant in NYC, but they’ll definitely appreciate you for delivering a once-in-a-lifetime Coldplay concert experience where they got to meet their favorite artist backstage. Therefore, empower your salespeople with incentives that include experiences and opportunities that matter to them.
One of the employees completed a nerve-wracking project? Reward him/her with a day off so they can unwind and spend some quality time with family and friends.
A difficult project can take a toll on anyone’s mental and physical health. Some field projects can be daunting for most salespeople that they’d rather quit mid-way or completely fail to deliver. But if there’s an employee or a team bending over backwards to accomplish goals, you must reward them with some FREE TIME after the successful completion of the project. They’ll appreciate the gesture and bounce back stronger for more challenging projects.
Sponsoring a public speaking course, maybe?
We all have certain personal development goals that we wish to master as we progress through life. But organizational goals tend to be time-consuming and draining, leaving no time for employees to pursue their personal goals. As mentioned earlier, understanding the personal aspirations of each team member would help create opportunities for them to grow with the organization.
At Kennect, we sponsor online courses to help professionals grow in their domain. We’ve covered topics like advanced programming, networking, public speaking, physical wellness, and even investment management. These courses ensure that all our employees stay up to date and make informed decisions in all aspects of life – whether or not it directly impacts the organization.
And the Best Sales Persona of the Year goes to……
We all love to be recognized for our effort and contributions, don’t we? And what’s better than getting public recognition? The feeling that our work is getting recognized and appreciated across the board can drive us to keep delivering at our level best, year on year. The same is true for the salespeople who collectively contribute majorly to a company’s growth. Without an efficient sales team, it would be difficult for an organization to survive in today’s competitive environment. So, if you don’t have an award ceremony organized for them, do it now. Making it an annual activity will keep them motivated and committed to your company’s values.
Give the top performer a chance to lead a project or a team
We all crave some power on the work front. You may be wondering about what kind of power? Well, it means creating opportunities for promotion, higher designation, or more authority.
Creating a promotion plan with clear milestones, training, and career options can work as a great incentive for high-performing salespeople. Another way to delegate power is to segment the organization’s broad goals into various small goals and ask your top performers to lead each goal. Give them the opportunity to choose their own teammates and lead them until the goals are accomplished. The one whose team surpasses expectations gets the promotion.
Such activities boost sales team engagement and retention which creates an overall boost for the bottom line.
When it comes to incentives, one size does not fit all – what might motivate you may not motivate your employees and vice versa! To inspire your team members to maximize their potential, you must identify, remember and leverage the trigger for each of your employees and create an incentive program that allows them to earn the variety of rewards and experiences they crave – and that will turn the tide for your sales team.