Motivating Employees – Small Awards Go a Long Way!

I recently read a great article by Rebecca Skilbeck entitled: 7 Strategies For Maintaining Employee Motivation When Remote. I am going to discuss Ms. Skilbeck’s second strategy, “Recognize and Celebrate Achievements,” because I think it is so creative, simple and beneficial. The idea is that offering small awards to employees throughout the year is more beneficial than giving them one raise every December 31.

Ms. Skilbeck says:

“It’s not just major goals or KPIs that should be acknowledged. To keep employees motivated it’s important to set and celebrate mini-milestones. Employees who receive regular small rewards – even if it’s only thanks, are eight times more engaged than employees that receive monetary increases once a year.”

I agree!

It’s the little things in life. A big raise once a year makes a worker feel great for a little while. But, if you want to motivate year-round, small rewards are the way to go.

Here in Philadelphia, when an opponent of the Philadelphia 76ers misses two straight free throws in the second half of a game, every fan in attendance gets a free small Frosty from Wendy’s. Well, a small Frosty costs $.99, they are decent but not historic and I doubt most fans ever cash in on the deal! Nevertheless, when any opposing player steps to the line in the second half, the fans in attendance (remember fans in attendance?!) rise in unison. If the player misses the first, the fans go wild. When they miss the second? PANDEMONIUM.

It works for the Sixers, because the fans have incentive to try their mightiest to distract players attempting free throws. And it works for the fans because, well, who doesn’t love free stuff?!

Of course it works for Wendy’s, too, because a person getting a free frosty invariable springs for a cheeseburger and fries to go with. That makes it a sweet triple play promotion!

Like Sixers fans, your employees love the notion of getting free stuff. Not only that, but getting free stuff for doing a good job has the added benefit of making an employee feel valued. And, maybe, they will go for the free burger and fries (give a little extra!). The company benefits because, well, productivity increases. Of course, your customer base benefits because they receive better services and/or products (for free!). What’s not to love here?