Employee Incentives: How To Get People To Do What You Want
When People Do Not Perform
You're a manager in an organization and you have a "problem" employee. This employee comes to work each day indifferent and is careless with his/her work. He/she performs below expectations and there have been complaints from customers or other employees about, or as a result of, this person's work.
What do you do?
Clearly the expectations of each other are misaligned. The trick is to somehow bring the difficult employee in line and make them do what you want. If you've read Dale Carnegie's How To Win Friends & Influence People, you will know that the only way to make people do what you tell them is to make them WANT to do what you tell them. I'll say that again:
The Only Way To Make People Do Something
...Is To Make Them Want To Do It!
This is where employee incentives work a charm...
It's Not Always About Money
Employee Incentives do not necessarily always refer to monetary incentives. They can do though. Some companies have Employee Incentive Programs like bonuses which are paid out based on the performance of individuals and divisions within the company.
An incentive is anything that will motivate the employee to do a better job. Each employee is different. There are things you can put in place to
motive a group (such as performance based bonuses) but sometimes you
need to give individual employees a unique incentive, particularly if
they need to 'step up'. 90% of the time, it is not additional money that is the answer.
Employee Incentives That Work
If an employee is underperforming, give them a title or a responsibility. There is the story of an employee who was careless with price tags in the shopping center, much to the chagrin of customers. When her manager appointed her "Supervisor of Price Tag Posting" her whole attitude changed and she completed her tasks satisfactorily.
If you are replacing someone else's role...and the task has fallen upon your shoulders to give them the bad news yourself, depending on the scenario, you could convey it in a way to make them feel too important for the role (eg "your presence will attract a great deal of attention"). Another way would be to sincerely throw in a compliment and boost their self worth to soften the blow. (eg "the boss said that the reason for the replacement was that your management skills were required to improve this other area in the company").
When you have a conversation with your direct reports make it seem as though they are the most important person in the room. Don't fiddle with your Blackberry, look out the window or continue typing. Listen!
As a project engineer that has worked on construction sites, I have to find ways for employees to comply with safety requirements. It's not always easy to change that kind of culture in the workforce. It takes time. We've had $100 vouchers to give away as safety incentives for completing safety hazard observations. One hazard observation = 1 entry of their name into the Hard Hat from which the winner is drawn each month!
I believe that people come to work looking to do a good job. In most cases, all they are after is a recognition that their efforts are contributing to the success of the organization. They just want to know that they are not another drone or number and that they are making a difference. That's all.
Dale Carnegie's Guidelines
These are 6 points taken from Dale Carnegie's teachings that an effective leader should keep in mind when it is necessary to change attitudes or behavior:
- Be sincere. Do not promise anything that you cannot deliver.
- Know exactly what it is you want the other person to do.
- Be empathetic. Ask yourself what is it the other person really wants.
- Consider the benefits that person will receive from doing what you suggest.
- Match those benefits to the other person's wants.
- When you make your request, put it in a form that will convey to the other person the idea that he or she will benefit.
In other words, make the other person happy about doing what you suggest.
The Impact of Successful Employee Incentives To Your Business
- Creates win-win situations for the employees and the employer
- Boosts morale & employee motivation
- Boosts productivity & employee performance
- Improves employee retention
- Reduction in absenteeism
- Indirect positive affect on your customers/client
I'm not so naive to suggest that these approaches work all the time, but in many cases they will produce an outcome that is closer to what is desired. Good luck.
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