This is part 3 of my Incentivize Everything series. Be sure to check out part 2, entitled Incentivize Everything! New Customers.
For any company looking to grow and be successful, they require a talented workforce. A team of employees who believe in the purpose and mission of the company will make it easy to implement new strategies, satisfy customers, and deliver great product. And as a marketer, if customers are happy and the product is worth bragging about, it makes our job that much easier.
But what does it take to create a great team of employees? What separates the people who will do their jobs, and even do them well, from those that will go above and beyond the call of duty?
Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh, is well known for his ability to create a strong team of workers devoted to the brand. Early on, Zappos instituted a policy for new hires, whereby they would offer each new hire a bonus (in the range of $1000-$2000, or about 1 month’s pay) at the end of their training period…to leave! By doing this, they were ensured that the people who stuck around actually wanted to be there, creating an atmosphere that supported professional growth within the organization and as a part of the Zappos family.
I am not saying that this is what every company should do, but it is a good example of an innovative human resources policy that led to a stronger team.
In many ways, traditional corporate salary structures actually discourage above average performance. There is a great line from the movie, Office Space, that in many situations you are only incentivized to work just hard enough not to get fired. And the truth is, companies that don’t use added incentives and don’t foster a sense of company pride usually discourage their employees from thinking outside the box.
If the only incentive is to stay employed, that’s all they’ll try to do.
But if you want real performance from your employees, than incentivize them to show you real performance. Offer monthly, quarterly, or yearly bonuses that are tied to certain projects. Prove to them that if they come in ahead of the curve, they’ll be rewarded for it. If they help you sell faster, lower cost, sign new contracts, that they will be acknowledged.
This creates a culture of efficiency, production, innovation, an optimization. People will want to come to work and excel at their jobs.