How To Motivate Your Employees With Goals and Rewards

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What employee doesn’t like to be rewarded with a “job well done” accolade? Better than that is a reward system that kicks in whenever an employee goes above and beyond what is required of him or her. You can motivate your employees by setting goals and establishing rewards, in a bid to increase productivity and to build employee morale.

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Before setting up a system of goals and rewards, management must determine what outcomes are expected of each employee. Moreover, developing multiple goal levels can help your team reach even higher, perhaps enabling your company to identify new leaders to reward them accordingly.

Establishing multiple goal levels can have the desired effect of helping you identify what goals you would like your team to reach and to adjust these levels as needed. Essentially, you make adjustments as you examine the ability of your staff to accomplish its goals within the parameters you have set.

Upward Bound

Multiple goal levels have the advantage of enabling you to track performance specific to each employee. You already know what the minimum requirements are of the job. You also know what you would like employees to achieve over and beyond the bare minimum.

By establishing multiple levels, you can tier your rewards accordingly. For instance, if each employee must sell 100 widgets per month, then they have met minimums. At 125 widgets, you signal that such employees are working 25 percent above the minimum. You can increase commission rates for each threshold met up to a certain amount.

Team Feedback

No elevated goals should be attained without feedback and progress reports from management. You’ve established the objectives and you have imbued your team with a vision and the steps necessary to achieve their goals.

As your team works toward its goals, you can review progress on a regular basis. This also means informing your staff of how they’ve progressed day by day and week by week with charts and graphs offered to demonstrate competencies. Provide favorable feedback, offer up praise and explain what laggard employees can do to reach higher. Your goal here is not to disempower, rather to motivate your employees/team to excel.

Reaching Higher

Clearly, you want to spell out what happens when goals are met. For instance, as each member reaches a particular threshold they must understand what the rewards are. In the earlier example, your team learned that a higher commission structure kicks in once more widgets are sold. For some companies, other rewards may be employed such as gift certificates, prizes, cash or other incentives.

Your action plan should be clear and identifiable. Consider employing the SMART model where goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based. Ensure that your team members have the tools needed to get the work done and be prepared to meet with your staff individually for feedback and assessment. This has a special to motivate your employees to try to beat their past records.

Let’s Review

Once a time-based goal has been achieved, prepare to meet with your team to discuss the results. Consider a two-fold approach here: one that gives a general assessment such as, “Our sales were up by 39 percent over the previous month,” and an individual assessment that you give to each employee to discuss their own progress. With the personal meetings you can give specific results and explain what steps can be taken to improve those results. Your goal here is not to admonish, rather to praise past accomplishments and to develop a framework for improved success moving forward.

Once you have completed your initial review, it is time for you to examine your goal levels. You will need to be honest and realistic here: if your goals are too ambitious, then discouragement can set in. If your goals are too easy to reach, then raise the level higher without stretching the rewards or compensation. Keep your team in the loop by showing how each goal has a positive, intended effect.

“Sean Hambrick is a commercial property manager and consultant. He enjoys sharing
his tips and insights on various commercial property blogs. See here for more information serviced offices Docklands.

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