Because who doesn’t love attention and free stuff?
When it comes to incentives or gifts, there are 4 types of human drivers. Collectors are people who enjoy gathering things and status. Collectors are motivated by their desire to accumulate more possessions. Killer instinct is the biological inclination one has to defend what’s theirs. Earning “Employee of the Month” is an incentive that rewards the natural instinct to fight for a winning position. Socializers are wired to bond with others, making talking about accomplishments extremely fulfilling and motivating. The workplace is mostly experienced as a social setting which is what makes incentives and reward so powerful. Lastly, we have the explorer. This driver represents the motivation to create work that contributes to something greater. Positive reinforcements promote innovative thinking and uplift the team’s ability to tackle new problems in creative ways.
Did you know that the brain is more likely to access real images from the right side of the brain? Tangible incentives are things that activate the senses and are specific. The right side of the brain is the emotional side- tangible incentives are stored here and drawn upon for later reference. Over on the other side, the left brain is logical and not accessed as often or in as much detail as the right. Cash incentives are not emotional or abstract and are tucked away there.
Understanding different types of people and how the brain generally processes incentives/rewards is imperative for the overall health of your workplace. There is not always time to be devoted to getting to know every person’s hopes, dreams, and desires, but finding ways to reach a broad spectrum of personality types is an achievable goal. Incentives help to build confidence and morale, but they can also help to get to know each other. Interactive point systems, trophies of any sort, vacation time, etc. all promote encouraging conversation with peers and healthy amounts of competition.
Gift cards have proven to be the #1 employee incentive* and are everyone’s favorite hassle-free gift for a reason- it’s like shopping with the someone else’s wallet. They are flexible, they can be personalized, and do not lose value quickly.
At a smaller company like PVM, employees know each other and are in contact extremely often (we call our team the PVM family). We have found much success, and more importantly, fun, in utilizing online cash incentive programs. Online programs save money, time, are instant, public and interactive with personal devices. Bonusly is a platform that allows employees to send each other real money on a public thread (used with Slack) as a redeemable perk for doing great stuff at work. Each month PVM employees are given a fixed amount and users are able to select an amount of money to send with a shoutout. At the end of the month the balance refreshes which encourages involvement.
There are many other great platforms and programs available online that can be implemented in creative ways to fit your unique company dynamic. Office morale and productivity go hand in hand. Make a point to figure out what areas in your existing reward system can be altered to revamp your entire workplace energy.