How to Incentivize Employees When Morale is Down

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Every business owner or manager has, at one time or another in their career, faced the challenge of low morale among their employees.

It might have been when you lost a key client to another firm or missed this quarter’s sales goal. The recent tough economic climate has left many employees feeling overworked and under-appreciated.

How can you re-energize your staff when morale is low? There are many employee awards programs you can implement that will not only raise morale, but will produce motivated teams dedicated to the success of your business. Creating a system of rewards and incentives for your staff doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are a few low cost ideas to show your appreciation to your hard working staff.

Implement Flextime
Allowing employees to have a more flexible schedule is a great motivator that will attract and keep high-performing employees. Flextime doesn’t mean less work, it just means that employees have the benefit of working outside of the normal 9 to 5 business day. If you do initiate a flextime policy, it is important to determine who is eligible. Consider establishing eligibility based on performance goals or tenure. Consult with your team before you start to determine if this is a viable incentive. Make sure you set parameters and guidelines for reviewing requests and scheduling.

Offer Corporate Memberships To Your Team
Discounted gym membership, access to a corporate suite to watch your local sports team, or tickets to a concert are all great incentives. Not only do they promote well-being, they also offer a great way to facilitate new business relationships when they’re used by your staff to entertain clients.

Though, this may be something to discuss with your staff before joining the gym or buying concert tickets. While there is an “up-front” cost to these types of employee awards, there may also be an added benefit on the tax side if this is used for entertaining clients. Consult your accountant before you engage.

Work With Your Team to Identify Specific Areas of Interest in Job-Related Skills
These can then be used as a reward for performance. Once you’ve determine an area of interest, have high performing employees spend a day with an in-house “expert” to learn more about the topic. For example, if you have an entry level person who is interested in learning more about sales, offer them a day on the road with your top closer as an incentive. If they reach a set performance goal, they get to spend a day out of the office learning valuable skills from an “expert”. It will not only their boost morale, it’s also training for their future.

Even small gestures can also go a long way towards boosting morale and incentivizing your employees. Something as simple as a Friday pizza lunch for your team after a hard week can boost spirits.

Giving a hardworking employee an inscribed copy of your favorite business book for an outstanding performance, or taking them out to lunch when they achieve a goal can go far.

Remember, your business will fail or succeed based on the work of your staff. Implementing an employee awards program is a great way to show your appreciation and boost employee morale. It’s a smart business decision that will help you to attract and retain high-performing employees who will be dedicated to making your business a success!