Incentives in the workplace has been a hot topic for many years. Traditional research suggests that money is the easiest and the best incentive. However, in recent times, new research is suggesting that it’s not all about money, but rather motivational factors per person. This makes matters complex when determining how to incentivise staff.
Motivational specialists, such as Dan Pink, suggest that not everyone is motivated by money. Money can work some of the time, but often it causes stress and de-motivation among staff members. This causes a dilemma of sorts for corporations. What used to be easy (ie. If a staff member performed well, they get paid more money), is no longer valid.
The world is undergoing a change in perspective. Where people are not simply going to work for money, but going to work because they believe in the company. They believe the company’s core values and motivations match their own, and they want to work with that company. Money is no longer a major motivational factor.
Since money is no longer a main driver, companies have been looking to other alternatives in order to motivate their staff. It has forced companies to understand the people they have employed. Companies now have to understand who these people are, how they work together, what makes them tick, and how each individual responds to incentives.
The top incentives that employees respond to, fall into two main areas; Money and Recognition. Money is what companies know – do a good job, and you will get more money – whether it be through bonuses, salary increases, or vouchers. Recognition, on the other hand, is slightly harder to figure out. Some people want all the glory – be it through certificates of achievement to public announcements. While others still, are not worried about that at all. They just simply want a thank you from their management.
In conclusion, there is no one rule fits all for company incentives in today’s corporate world. It’s time for companies to realise their biggest asset, and focus on it. That asset being their people. People run a company. They are not cogs in a machine. They are unpredictable, moody, and whimsical. Companies need to identify what makes each one of their employees feel appropriately incentivised.
It’s not easy. It’s a long, ever-winding, road. But if companies want loyal staff, staff that will stick with them through thick and think, they will take the time and money to find the right method to incentivise their staff.