Motivation? Let staff choose their own rewards

Businesses often make the mistake of thinking their staff will be motivated by a set incentive. For example, a reward such as an iPad won’t be motivating if the employee already has two at home. A Mediterranean cruise won’t motivate someone with the propensity for seasickness. All management gurus know by now that it’s recognition which is the ultimate motivator. So a reward chosen by the employee, coupled with recognition from management and peers, makes the largest impact.

Entrepreneurs need not employ incentive and reward companies when the process for letting staff choose their own reward can be simply handled, ideally from the time of recruitment:

  1. Agree the workplace goal for the measured time with the employee.
  2. Let the employee identify a few motivating rewards against the goals (short term/long term) which could be a dinner in the Shard to a family trip to Disneyland. This needs to be within the respective budget, of course
  3. Suggest experiences over product – these carry a far stronger emotional connection. Whether it’s the business-class trip the employee would never otherwise be able to make on their own or a hot air balloon ride, experiences leave the biggest impression.