Most seasoned executives have been to a company meeting where employees stared off into space with glazed eyes, appearing to be disengaged, when the point of the rendezvous was to be highly engaged and move along with business. If the meeting was held right after lunch — the hour for the traditional Mexican siesta — that alone may be the problem. But, jokes aside, the disengagement could instead stem from a lack of meaningful performance incentives.
Strategies for Improving Engagement
In the field of business psychology, there are hundreds of approaches companies can take to increase the engagement — and, by extension, improve the performance — of their workers. But some strategies have a broader range of application than others. Below, we list four such strategies, and comment on each from the perspective of employee motivation.
- Be Generous With Financial Compensation
Mark Twain famously said, “The lack of money is the root of all evil.” His statement is a humorous rejoinder to the Biblical observation that money is root of all evil, but to employees who are financially under-compensated, Twain’s aphorism speaks the truth.
Miserly financial compensation leads workers to feel unappreciated, which leads to low morale, which leads to a lack of motivation to be engaged, which leads to a lack of productivity. In reality, not being generous with employees can be costlier than ponying up and providing great, performance-based financial incentives are possible if you have the profit column for it.
- Offer Incentive Travel Trips to Top Performers
Incentive travel trips to unforgettable destinations that entail awesome activities don’t replace financial compensation, but they can serve as a meaningful motivator to upper level employees who are accustomed to receiving generous bonuses, raises, stock options, etc. The key is to ensure that the trip is truly novel and not a cookie cutter vacation, as the novelty of the journey is largely responsible for motivating travelers to perform well enough to qualify for future travel.
- Implement a Well-Defined Promotional Track
Not to be rhetorical, but what kind of employees would you rather have: ones who don’t mind staying in their current position forever, or ones who are motivated to succeed greatly and reach higher levels? Practically every company offers job promotions, but not every business gives employees a clear, experience-based and performance-based appraisal of how the promotional process works.
According to Peter Vasic, Director Sales & Marketing at Engraving Services Co., “Replacement costs for an employee can cost a company anywhere between 100–250% of the employee’s annual salary.” Giving employees clear idea of the promotional path helps keep them in-house and motivated to reach the next tier of success in their work life.”
- Lead With “Carrots” Instead of “Sticks”
In The Carrot Principle — a seminal book on employee performance in relation to leadership styles — researchers Chester Elton and Adrian Gostick state that “Recognition answers a universal need to matter to those with whom we work.” Furthermore, “[The] #1 reason employees leave an organization is that they feel unappreciated.”
One thing that precipitates feeling unappreciated is a management style that leads with “sticks” — a style that recognizes mistakes far more than successes — instead of a management style that leads with “carrots” — a style that essentially takes the opposite tact. Put yourself in your employees’ shoes. Would you really feel motivated to engage more deeply with company business if your talents seemed taken for granted?
Who We Are
Incentive Travels Solutions is an incentive travel trip planner that specializes in creating and managing unforgettable, incentive-based travel trips that support teambuilding and motivation in the workplace. To inquire about our services, please call us today at (704) 540-1482, or use our contact form. We look forward to learning about your business and its reward structure.