Maximizing Productivity Through Incentives


While a paycheck is a great incentive to work hard, it takes more than that to motivate most employees.  Your workforce is composed of a diverse group of employees with different desires and priorities, so a one size fits all incentive program is often not the best answer.  Motivated employees with high levels of engagement and enthusiasm lead to increased productivity, so the incentives you choose are vital to the continued success of your organization.  Here are a few non-monetary suggestions to show employees that their work is valued and serve as an alternative to the age old “carrot-and-stick” approach.

Be a Great Leader.
Simply put, be someone you’d want to work for.  No matter how much an employee is satisfied with their job duties and coworkers, they’re not going to be productive if they aren’t happy with their boss. Therefore as a manager, it’s important to be easily approachable, non-temperamental, and empathetic.  The most productive companies are led by executives that are great communicators and highly engaged.

Offer Praise.
Many managers struggle with giving recognition for a job well done.  Take a few moments each day to walk through the job site or office and observe the great work your employees are producing.  Stop and thank the employees that are working hard and compliment them on the completion of a well done project.  A little thank you can go a long way in creating a positive culture.  Sometimes a little reassurance is all that’s needed to pep up productivity.

Encourage a Collaborative Environment.
Remove the boss mentality from the office.  Rather than having your team report to one individual, encourage them to work together.  Studies show that more employees are afraid of letting the whole team down than letting their supervisor down.  A team mentality often results in people staying later, coming in early, and devoting more energy to a project.  Having a team work as equals will produce better results and make employees feel like a valued part of the organization.

Surprise Employees with Lunch.
When a team or individual has been working really hard, bring in breakfast or take them to lunch.  This is an excellent way to recognize employees for hard work and let them know they’re appreciated.  An unexpected pizza party instantly puts a smile on anyone’s face and can actually foster an atmosphere of open communication and facilitate new ideas.

Reward Outstanding Efforts.
If an employee optimizes process or closes a great deal, recognize their achievement during the all staff meeting.  It’s important that employees receive public recognition when they’re valuable assets to the organization.  Consider implementing a rewards program that allows employees to also recognize each other.  Prizes can consist of trophies, small gift cards, etc. if they receive a set amount of “kudos”.   Set team goals and reward achievement with company social events. Not only will this increase productivity, socializing as a team can improve office morale.

No matter which incentives you decide on, make sure you are effectively communicating all expectations, possible incentives, and career aspirations.  Encourage open conversation and feedback from your employees and remember that criticism is a direct path to demotivation.

For more articles on how to increase motivation and office moral browse the Best Practices  section of the RealStreet Staffing blog.  RealStreet Staffing is the leading employment agency for construction, engineering and architecture professionals. Contact us today to see how we can assist with all your hiring needs.

It was my distinct pleasure working for RealStreet, aka KJMK, on separate FEMA disaster recovery assignments and long-term recovery planning assignments between October 2004 and May 2006 in the aftermath of Hurricanes Ivan, Katrina, Francis and Wilma. I found working with these professionals enjoyable as well as self-fulfilling and rewarding. After a 9-year stint as Read More…

Steve Spry, CAPZO, Certified Alabama Planning and Zoning Official

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