When it comes to incentives, what managers believe their employees want and what employees actually want are often different.
Ask managers to name the best reward they can offer their people and most will likely say that it’s money. Yet research shows that in reality, employees rank pay far lower than managers expect. While money continues to be important for attracting and retaining good people, it is not necessarily the factor that inspires them to go the extra mile.
So if employees are being paid fairly and already have reasonable benefits, what else do they want? What will keep them engaged and loyal to the company for the long-term? Fortunately for managers, finding out is as easy as asking.
One of the natural advantages of a small business is that there are fewer layers of management separating the company’s CEO and its employees, which means business owners have more opportunities to learn what is most important to their people. Secondly, it means you’ve got a head start on incentives because your employees likely have a sense of belonging, if not ownership.
Recognition, respect and rewards outside of a regular paycheck consistently rise to the top of the list of what keeps employees happy. Among the ways their bosses can deliver:
By learning what motivates your people, you can begin to invest in genuine forms of recognition and rewards that will make them feel appreciated. This investment will help reduce turnover, boost loyalty, and have a positive effect on your company’s morale.