Consider this: Does your employee currently have
any incentive to get their work done early, in higher
quantities, and/or under budget? If the answer is no,
then maybe as their employer you need to rethink
your motivation strategy. What can you offer your
employees if they get quality work done early, in
higher quantities and/or under budget? Incentive-based pay offers employees the opportunity to align
with the company’s short and long-term goals and be
accountable for their work. It also allows employees
to focus on specific, measurable outcomes and allows
them to share in the organization’s financial success.
NO ‘ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL’ SOLUTION
So, you’ve identified where there are gaps and decided
on a strategy of incentive-based compensation, now
what? Track employee sales (preferably in a program
accessible to all employees to view so they can see their
positive or negative progress as it relates to their coworkers) and consider giving a percentage of won sales
to the responsible employee. Here’s the catch: not every
employee will respond to incentives in the same way.
As a manager, all incentives should be based on the
desired outcome and tailored to fit the employee’s specific role within your business. Some people value non-monetary rewards such as status, company recognition,
and advancement. Unfortunately, there are always going
to be people who aren’t motivated by monetary or non-monetary rewards and will do the bare minimum to keep
their job no matter what. It’s up to you as the employer to
pick strong, hungry candidates to staff your team so you
can excel in your business in the most profitable way.
MEASURING A SUCCESSFUL INCENTIVE
How do you measure behavioral changes? Employees
must believe there is a fair and exact process for keeping
track of their actions, and that employers are tying their
behaviors to good and bad consequences. Track employee
sales (in a program preferably accessible to all employees
to view so they can see their progress) and consider giving
a percentage of won sales to the responsible employee.
To increase your conversion rate, consider giving an employee a small cash bonus for converting a
pre-determined percentage of the team’s total leads
into sales. Looking to get an increase in work output or have orders filled faster? Give an extra day
of PTO to the employee who fills the most orders or
completes the most deliverables in a month.
Measure your company’s customer satisfaction by
employee and award the employee with the highest ratings a bonus. Awarding a bonus or a spot cash award to
an employee going above and beyond ensures that the
employee will feel valued for their work, guarantees that
they hold themselves accountable to the highest possible
standard (since they want to be rewarded fairly), and
rarely pays out less than it pays back to the company.
INCENTIVIZE THROUGH A CULTURAL CHANGE
As a manager/employer, you have to toe the line of
being an authority figure and a colleague. Employees will be accountable to their own work if they can
respect and take pride in their management and the
company they work for. It might not be right in every
case for your company to use financial incentives
to drive accountability. Another way to incentivize
accountability without having to take out your company checkbook is to look to a change in the culture.
Create and foster an opportunity for your employees
to work together for a common goal. A good company
culture should shift constantly in response to external
factors (like a change in industry, an economic downtown, or a leadership change). I know what you’re
thinking. “How can I change my company’s culture if
it’s a moving target?” The good news is, your culture
should always be growing and developing, and therefore
you don’t have to settle on one idea long-term. Manage your culture as a continuous process through small
shifts, and your employees will stay happy and will want
to be accountable to their work. Employees in a company with a good culture will hold themselves accountable to getting their own work done so they don’t let their
co-workers down. A good boss doesn’t just give their
employees the answer. Instead, they provide the tools
their employees need to fix the problems themselves.
BRINGING IT HOME
Giving your company a “cultural gut check”, if you will,
is critical to inspiring employee accountability as an industry leader. If you follow this advice, you can be confident
your company is staffed with hard-working, accountable
leaders who will help reinforce a company culture of
accountability and help your organization be successful.
Sarah Wolf is an Associate at RAS & Associates, a strategy
and management consulting firm with fundamental values
to deliver “Consulting Reimagined” to its clients.