Often times bosses come in with the attitude that what will motivate the employees is the want to do a great job. While this works in some walks of life, and with some people, it doesn’t mean that everyone is motivated by a sense of pride. As a matter of fact there are a number of people out there who aren’t motivated by pride in the setting of a job. They are motivated by money. It’s something that people respond to. It’s what they are there for.
When you, as a boss, are thinking about motivating your employees, ask yourself a question: if this job didn’t pay, how many people would still be here? The answer in many cases is none. There are very few jobs where people would do it for free. Athletics might be a field where people would do it for free. That’s why it’s possible to motivate your employees by pride and the sense of doing a job well. But when it comes to hourly jobs, like working at a bank, or sweeping floors at a hospital, most people are there because they need the money.
Your incentive program should speak to them in a financial sense. Giving them incentives they will really care about is what matters. Giving them a gift card to a store they don’t shop at will make those that shop there care, and others will be unmotivated by it or only keep a passing interest in winning.
Incentives should be valuable to all and in that regard they should be general. Giving out a Visa gift card will allow employees to use the card anywhere in the world. Giving out a local shoe store gift card may only entice a small number.
Deciding to do the incentive at all is something that should be considered. It’s nice to have the flexibility to do it or not, but if you do it, then you should do it right.