8 Tips To Increase Your Bottom Line And Grow Your Business

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Landing a large contract can be a milestone for a growing company but if your team is ill motivated to fulfill the demands of the contract loss may be eminent. There is a need to help the team see where your raising the bar for performance and productivity with out creating a more tense environment.

Increased demands to improve productivity while cutting costs have made it more necessary than ever for employers to examine methods that get the best results possible from their workers. Providing incentives based programs is believed to be the best path to performance improvement.

Some argue that incentives only cause companies to pay more for the result they would have achieved if no incentive program were in place. Yet according to the Stolovitch study well designed and implemented incentive systems increase performance dramatically, the researchers found. Only 8% of surveyed employees said they would have achieved the results without incentives. The key here, Stolovitch noted, is to base the incentives on improved performance.

Still some believe that incentive programs create competitiveness. While others believe a little competition keeps everyone on their toes. That said, many companies claim that incentive programs, administered effectively, encourage mutual support and improved teamwork.

According to the Stolovitch study incentives were found to increase the value people assign to important work goals. Rewarding people for exceeding goals causes them to value their work more, leading to increased self-confidence and loyalty to the organization.

That said, managers and executives are most frequently rewarded for reaching long-term goals. Rewards most often include incentive compensation, year-end bonuses, and profit sharing. Non-manager employees are more likely to receive spot bonuses, usually associated with reaching short-term goals. It is especially important to reward staff for exceeding performance goals.

Among the common incentive programs that work most effectively are the following:

1. Issue a weekly challenge to motivate staff to enhance productivity.

2. Hold on-the-spot contests to reach daily and weekly goals.

3. Announce impromptu $100 bonuses when teams exceed goals

4. Enhancing a job title to reward performance

5. Keep a “goody box" for significant daily contributions toward enhancing performance.

6. Use e-mail to motivate staff via one-on-one communication.

According to a recent survey by SHRM of HR professionals, nearly half say money is the best reward to their top employees. There are numerous types of rewards for good teamwork and individual performance. According to the following personalized rewards work best.

1. Issue Gift certificates for valuable ideas

2. Offer profit shares for top performers

3. Offer Free night classes to advancing team players

4. Let staff choose their own incentives.

5. Free Lunch for a week or restaurant issued gift cards

6. Personalize monetary and non-monetary rewards to the individual preference and potential.

7. Offer company shares

8. Offering prepaid debit gift cards from credit card issuers like American Express or MasterCard. The card provides the recipient a designated spending value that can be used anywhere anyplace and anytime. Prepaid Debit cards or stored value cards seem to work most effectively in the work place as a less complicated incentive program to achieve improved performance and raise the bar of your standard of productivity. Managers and execs don't have to worry about handling cash or sifting thru stacks of bulky gift certificates. Prepaid debit cards are easily tracked online, replaced when lost or stolen and additional funds can be added to the card on the fly.

Reynolds American's board gave six top executives about $10 million in benefits as part of a long-term incentive plan. The so-called “performance shares" are cash payments based on the company's stock price.

One successful businessman said, “Entrepreneurs should continue rewarding employees, because if they don't raise the bar someone else will. "

Mark Askew is founder of Fimark's Rewards Gifts and Incentive Programs at http://prepaid-gift-card.fimark.net, a resource for corporate business owners, execs and managers seeking to raise the bar in staff performance, enhance team work and increase the bottomline.


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