If you are like most successful leaders you want results. You want the kind of high performance team that can take your organizational vision and turn it into reality. You are looking for maximum impact, profit and success both now and over the long term. That’s what it’s all about, right?
Rewarding your team is essential to getting results. When you reward your team for results you not only motivate them to work harder and do the things that will grow the organization, you improve their job satisfaction and loyalty. In return, you become a more effective leader and manager because you are able to drive the results you need.
It’s not enough to reward your team with every possible option available to you. Whatever you reward will be repeated, so you must be strategic about the rewards you give and the methods you use. You must also be consistent. If your team isn’t confident in reward potential you will lose some of the motivating force behind the reward. Here are some tips.
- Praise Privately: Take the time to approach your team member one on one and praise their efforts. Make your praise friendly, personal, and real. It’s amazing how powerful a simple comment of thanks and praise for extra effort is in employee motivation. Private praise builds a level of personal trust and loyalty between you and your team that is incredibly valuable.
- Praise Publicly: Give credit where credit is due. Don’t make the mistake of giving an entire team credit for the work of one or two individuals. Comment about extraordinary effort in front of the entire team. Thank the team member and place value on their efforts and sacrifices.
- Give Something Tangible: Praise efforts, but reward results. Tangible rewards like gift cards, bonuses, pay increases are the type of reward that puts your money behind your words. If money is tight in your organization, consider giving a tangible reward like additional paid time off or other perks.
- Make it Individual: Resist the urge to give the entire team a blanket merit pay increase or a blanket bonus of a set percentage. If you reward everyone the same your high performers will become slackers over time. Instead reward each person individually according to their results. Consider a merit bonus structure that is tailored to each role and targets key performance indicators that the team member can actually affect.
- Promote Where Possible: Ultimately promotion is one of the best rewards. Be willing to promote high achievers quickly or delay promotion for those who don’t deliver results. When you make a promotion, communicate to the entire team the results that lead to the promotion.
Whatever you reward will be repeated. It’s just human nature. It’s also true that you get what you pay for. As you reward your team, make sure your praise is sincere and honest. Make sure your tangible rewards are generous and appropriate to the results you’re rewarding. When you demonstrate integrity your rewards become a powerful motivating force for the entire team.