Think back to the second or third grade when your teacher passed out that year’s sales catalog to the class. You’d open the catalog, flipping past the pages of candy bars and wrapping paper that needed to be sold for your school’s annual fundraiser, and head straight to the prizes page.
If you sold 15 candy bars, you’d get a package of glow-in-the-dark ceiling stars. Sell 50 and you’d get a pogo stick. It went on and on, eventually culminating in a grand prize that was usually something incredibly awesome — like an electronic keyboard. Every kid dreamed of the big prize! Since the only way to get it was to sell, sell, sell, it created a healthy sense of competition between you and your classmates to the point where everyone was excited to get started.
In many ways, that sales catalog mirrors an in-office rewards program. The department that goes above and beyond the expected quota of sales or assignments due is the one that receives an incentive. Some of these incentives are even offered before you begin — as a reminder of how your hard work will pay off.
Even though your shoes won’t light up as you walk through those office doors as they might have in the second grade, being rewarded for a job well done never goes out of style. If you don’t already have an employee-rewards program, or you’d like to re-evaluate what you’ve got going, here are three ways to get the ball rolling.
Include all the departments separately and as a whole
Some companies have a rewards program in place for their sales team, but why not bring in everyone? Every team can strive toward bigger and better things!
For each department, set up a series of pre-specified goals to hit and rewards that will be given upon reaching those goals. Establish a companywide goal in terms of overall monthly profits, or positive customer service reviews. For those, throw a pizza party for the whole staff to get everyone in on the fun!
Think small as well as big
Don’t forget to reward the little goals as well as the large. As a big goal can be rewarded with a bonus, or trip, a small goal can be rewarded with a Starbucks gift card or lottery tickets.
Small rewards can still be a lot of fun and they also help keep the work environment fun and lighthearted.
Encourage your team to work together
The one danger in an employee rewards program is that it can create a sense of “dog-eat-dog” competition between your employees, and you don’t want that. This isn’t a real life version of “The Hunger Games” — you still want everybody working as a team. So while the individual rewards are good, encourage a sense of communication and camaraderie between team members.
At weekly meetings have everyone go around, speak up and share tips so that everyone can be at the top of their game.
The point of a rewards program is not to pit your team against one another, but to create a stronger one. ●
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Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing startup bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark and copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best.