Rewarding Your Employees for High Performance

For a long time, the adage of “the customer is always right” reigned supreme among businesses trying to succeed. This leveraged a competition among companies, and industries: what would bring more people through doors, whether in-person or virtual? How do we please potential clients, exceed sales quotas, and provide a quality product or service? 

The honest and simple answer lies in realizing that the world is rapidly changing, and along with it ways of doing business. Through our years of experience, we have learned that only prioritizing the customer leads to employee burnout and company instability.

Instability does not lead to success; so we propose an alternate route, one that takes a more holistic approach to the economics of business by understanding the symbiosis between employee satisfaction, customer appreciation, and financial success. It may seem counterintuitive, but understanding and appreciating your employees on an individual level is a surefire way to increase both your profits and visibility in the marketplace.

Understanding Motivation

If you are wondering where to begin, understanding motivation is crucial. Incentives are a big driver of personal achievement. Whether they are prestige, respect, or a sense of accomplishment, they can be the main reason why employees decide to stay and grow within your company. Other important factors feeding good performance are validation of talent and effort, skill improvement, and industry recognition.

Also, understanding the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation is key when onboarding new employees and reviewing current ones. “Intrinsic” refers to the natural drive to do the things we love, and “extrinsic” is more about external validation, such as prizes, awards, accolades. Understanding how each force motivates individuals on your team will help you to align each one to the role that suits them best. It is often incredibly effective to enhance intrinsic motivation with extrinsic elements to focus efforts and incent the ideal behaviors among your people.

Utilizing the New Workforce

The trend of companies employing remote workers became entrenched after this last year, which widens the pool of candidates — if you can source your talent from around the world, then it becomes easier to find the exact right person for the job. If you understand the motivation behind your business and the employees you’ve hired, then it becomes easier to see how to build the right team: which balance of competencies and attitudes will both anchor your company and help it grow.

Having the ability to choose the right people means having transparency at the outset about what you’re expecting each employee to do, and why you think they’d be good at fulfilling that role. It also helps your employees make their own decisions as to whether your company is right for them. It engenders a feeling not of a hierarchical, top-down structure, but of attention. You’re allowing your employees to grow and evolve and perhaps move laterally within the organization if they develop their skills in a certain direction.

Customizing the Rewards

In this article we have been focused on how to nurture the best employees by understanding motivation, being transparent about business practices, and appreciating the symbiosis between employees, customers, and success. It is a three-legged stool in that if one leg breaks, the whole thing topples.

Let’s discuss rewarding our employees based on who they are as individuals. If we, as leaders, offer a flexible reward system, it creates an achievement process that ensures greater employee satisfaction. Comprehensive benefits, paid sick leave, tuition reimbursement, vacation — these are all kinds of rewards that can entice the right people to join your organization and help it to flourish. If we treat our employees as valued members of our team, and show them through actions that their fulfillment is an important part of our mandate, it will build a solid work environment of loyalty and trust, giving us the opportunity to fix concerns as they arise. This can only translate positively to our customers, who will appreciate the higher quality and consistency of what we offer.

Prioritizing our employees’ job fulfillment and work/life balance consistently leads to better returns. When employees are invested in where they work, when they see how they are an integral part of a larger whole, they want to help us succeed. Happier employees stay in their jobs longer, are more creative within their roles, are more willing to take direction, and understand that their success is directly linked to the company’s success. That is the key to higher performance and productivity, which translates to higher sales and a higher quality of life.

We at CompTeam are constantly looking ahead to anticipate changes in workplace culture in order to share them and make them actionable for our clients. Let us know how we can help you achieve sustainable growth — contact one of our talent management professionals to begin the conversation.

Keywords: employees, understanding, motivation, people, business, happiness, fulfillment, performance

About the Author

Sam Reeve

Sam is the CEO and founder of CompTeam.

His core focus is leading companies through transformational change by optimizing talent initiatives with reward programs to achieve long-term strategic objectives.

Sam’s diverse experience includes the design and optimization of performance-driven variable compensation plans for executive, sales and core employee populations of growing companies.

Prior to founding CompTeam, Sam has worked in compensation functions of notable firms such as BlackRock,  McKesson and Automatic Data Processing (ADP). Sam is a global certified compensation consultant (CCP, GRP) with over 20 years of experience in Total Reward Strategies.

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