To bring about a person’s full capacity is true motivation. In order to accomplish such a goal an incentive program in which personalized incentives are executed for each employee will result in higher performance, lower turnover, higher innovation, and better vision for a corporation.
Many managers use different incentives in an attempt to motivate their employees. Such methods include:
- Gifts & Prizes: gift cards, free trips, candy, etc.
- Peer Recognition or Verbal Praise
- Parties or Celebrations
Companies such as Google have begun to tap into the notion of empowering the employee with autonomy and purpose. Many different corporations are also breaking the trend of how to motivate their workforce. One flaw I see in these incentive methods is in their generalized implementation. The issue with implementing a generalized incentive program is you are motivating every employee the same. To bring about one’s full capacity is true motivation. Each person’s capability is very different and unique; it comes from within. Each person’s thought process and method of learning is unique. Therefore each person must be rewarded uniquely to fully stimulate their distinctive thought process and motivate them to achieve their full capacity. Simply rewarding an employee with a bonus or a gift card demonstrates a leader is too lazy or sees that it is not beneficial to invest the time to personally learn of that individual and what drives them. The employee in return notices the leader’s lack of effort and feels of less worth. The employee then lacks a vision of their importance to their manager and the company.
To bring about one’s full capacity is true motivation. Every method of motivation is very distinctive to the individual. It is the process of discovering that method in which makes effective incentives crucial to one’s motivation. A manager must observe and build that relationship to discover what truly motivates that person, and execute that same process for each individual. Employees will only respond to an incentive if it is meaningful and personal.
To train a manager on how to develop the skills to build effective relationships with their workforce cannot be achieved through organized classroom training. This method of teaching separates classroom learning and reality. The leader of a company must do the following:
- Enforce periodic (weekly or monthly) individual interviews between managers and their employees. Allowing too much time between interviews demonstrates a lack of commitment by the managers to their employees and slows the process of building an effective relationship. A manager that makes an effort to learn of an employee’s life outside of work feels better connected to that employee and is more willing to fight for that person’s well being.
- Interject learning: allowing a leader to train the manager while on the job. Let the manager see their mistakes, observe what skills are already present or lacking, and participate in interactions between the employees and managers; afterwards providing feedback for the manager.
To implement this proposed personalized incentive method, the entire corporation must be on board with the vision of its importance. Every corporation allocates funds dedicated for the use of incentives. Allowing managers to use these moneys to fund incentives how they see fit to each employee will facilitate this objective. Company managers must also be allowed the resources and authority to realize these incentives. Though this method grants lower level managers with more power, managers must provide sufficient reasoning for each incentive granted and how it will benefit the corporate objective. Through metric analysis the company can determine the managers who are producing the most effective incentives through the degree in which the employees are performing and their sense of self-worth to the company.
Managers will feel a sense of accomplishment once their role has become personal when they have invested the time to understand the internal drive for each employee and played an integral part in fulfilling their employee’s goals.
Employees will exert more of themselves for the betterment of the company. This results in higher performance, lower turnover, and more innovation.
- To test the proposed incentive method, an implementation can be done within a smaller department or sector of the corporation. Having this sector act as an experimentation model should provide the results needed for further implementation in other sectors companywide.
- Within the sector provide the manager with the tools and resources needed
- Choose a sector that may be struggling in regards to the metric criteria already mentioned (output, sales, etc.)
- Choose a known leader who embodies the desired skills to mentor the managers in the sector.
- Once desired results are accomplished, a strategic plan must be established and executed to expand the incentive method to the entire company.