Top 40 Business Tips #8: Recognise and Reward

Last Updated Jan 24, 2011 12:01 AM EST

Podcast

Chester Elton
(8 minutes 43) Often companies are quick to use cash as the incentive for people to work harder. For example, meet your sales target and we'll give you a one-off bonus. But Dominic Toledo says you are appealing to the analytical side of the brain, the left side. The right side, he says, is connected to our muscle and drives effort, as well as being the emotional side of our brain that needs to be able to visualise the reward for that effort.

So the upshot is, non-cash rewards work better. It's this need for experience that makes travel such a great reward. Richard Froggatt reckons companies can drive even more effort by inviting the spouse along --- that way the partner will be nagging the employee to work even harder to achieve the target.

But you can't motivate staff just with rewards. Chester Elton, author of The Carrot Principle, says you need to reward based on results, but you also need to recognise effort. This is something managers are often very bad at. How often have you been told you've done a good job for trying, even if you didn't quite reach a target? Probably never, even if you put in maximum effort.

So motivation is not just about a reward, it's also to do with recognition day to day. Denise Pitt says this is particularly important in the call centre environment â€"-- one of the toughest jobs in any organisation. You also, of course, need to make sure you have the right people in the right job. Sometimes people just hate their job --- which means they should probably be doing something else.

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