Motivating staff across the festive season
Businesses need all their key people and stakeholder groups to be fully engaged. This is particularly relevant in the run up to Christmas, which offers a chance not only to squeeze every last bit of effort and revenue from the year, but also an opportunity to start laying the foundations for a successful 2012. Those that do this best are likely to be the businesses that steal competitive advantage and move ahead in their sector.
Here are some tips for organisations looking to plan and implement a motivation scheme.
The last few weeks of the year will see organisations working hard to extract every last bit of hard work and effort to maximise results and performance.
For organisations who depend on external partnerships for business success, maintaining engagement remains top of the agenda during this time. The way organisations motivate and reward their key people over the coming weeks will have a significant bearing on their business performance in 2012.
However, a motivation scheme needs to be maintained, not just during the festive season, but through to the New Year in order to focus staff on the targets for the year ahead and beat the ‘January blues’. Consider actions that can engage and motivate people quickly at the start of the year. This can be implemented by splitting the reward process with part before and part after Christmas.
Employee savings are an effective way to reward staff at the start of the year, with many platforms providing cashback offers and discounts. The opportunity to save money is particularly appreciated at the start of the year when household budgets are tight.
Plan the motivational process carefully and ensure consistency. Businesses should not reward for reward’s sake but consider what objectives need to be achieved by a reward programme. Once this has been achieved, the focus can be shifted to another area of the businesses that needs addressing.
Communication is key, and is probably the deciding factor between the success and failure of a motivation strategy. It’s vital to encourage a high level of take-up and create awareness and appreciation of what’s on offer.
Two-way communication between employer and employee is particularly important in order to raise awareness and drive take-up of a motivation scheme. This is best achieved across a range of channels, such as face-to-face briefings, printed and online materials, and interactive videos in order to help employers communicate the scheme effectively to the widest cross section of staff.
When planning the communication method, it is important to consider the structure of a company and existing communication channels that can be utilised to get the message across.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to rewarding people as part of a motivation scheme. A gift that will be attractive to a single graduate worker may not appeal to a working parent and if the gift is inappropriate, the impact will be lost and resources wasted. When planning a motivation scheme, businesses must take into account different requirements depending on their lifestyle, status and family situation.
Increasingly, employees are demanding personalisation and choice, and platforms that offer a vast range of incentive and reward solutions are particularly effective. Rewards can range from gift cards and vouchers, to experiences and travel.
Online is an especially useful platform for a reward scheme due to its speed and convenience. It is particular useful to an organisation which needs to issue rewards across multiple locations: as part of a reward programme, employers can issue almost any kind of incentive or motivational gift to any recipient in any location instantly for employees, channel partners or customers.
The act of motivating staff and stakeholders via a reward is a very important activity but is often not delivered and executed in a way that maximises the motivational and engagement returns that it should. It is a mistake to think a motivation scheme can run itself once it has been implemented. Instead, businesses should build on the scheme via an ongoing engaging communication and evaluation in order to continually increase performance.
About the Author
Andy Philpott is Marketing Director at Edenred, helping organisations engage and motivate people for enhanced performance. Edenred operates in 40 countries, with 6,000 employees, nearly 500,000 private and public sector customers, 33 million users and 1.2 million affiliates.