How Do I Implement Incentives For My Team?

Incentive plans are important for Small Business owners. I hear many reasons as to why business owners fear implementing plans for their teams. Reasons such as “I pay them every week, which should be enough of an incentive” make me cringe a little. Yes, you do (or at least I hope you do) pay them each week to perform a set of duties. Providing an incentive may increase their productivity, make them feel valued and increase your profit! It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

There are some important factors to consider when implementing your incentives.

Is it integrated with your business goals?
If your goal is to maintain long-term relationships instead of quick one off sales, then reward for long-term sales. If your plan is to grow your customer base rapidly then an incentive could be based on each new client or customer brought to the business. Use your KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) to set your goals.

Is it easily measurable?

If your incentive requires a Masters Degree in Finance to figure out it won’t motivate your staff. Make it easily measurable and visible by everyone.

Is it achievable?
An incentive should require a push in effort, if it doesn’t your simply increasing your staff’s wage. The push in effort required should be achievable. Nothing will de-motivate your team as much as a goal so out of reach they will never achieve.

Is it consistent?
If you want your incentive to be successful, set the goal posts early and don’t move them during the incentive. This is another de-motivator for your staff. You can of course pick different KPI’s to focus on each month or quarter. This will allow people who have different strengths or skills to achieve.

Is it payable within a reasonable amount of time?
Keep time spans small, anything more than three months can quickly be forgotten. The larger the time required to achieve the larger the incentive needs to be.

Is it what your staff wants?
If you are offering a voucher to a camping and fishing store to a group of people who never camp and have no interest in fishing will it motivate them? Most likely not! Chose an incentive that appeals to everyone. Cash is always a great motivator but if you don’t want to use cash, then a couple of hours or a day off can be of value to your staff. Be very carefully about offering your own products or services as an incentive. It’s not a great motivator either, unless you’re offering a free Porsche!

Melanie Miller
Small Fish Business Coaching Gold Coast

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