Guest Article: 4 Common Misconceptions about Employee Incentives

Having good intentions is unfortunately not enough at all to make employee incentives work for your company. If you want to spend your money on a truly worthwhile cause, do make sure first that you’re not suffering from any misconceptions about employee incentives.

Misconception #1

Money Makes the World Go Round And maybe it does, but not all the time. True enough, surveys will frequently show that employees desire financial incentives more than non-financial ones while employers believe otherwise. Who do you think is right?

You might think that it’s what employees believe that counts but in reality, the employers have it right. It’s undeniable that money has the power of changing people’s perspective…but once the money’s on their hands and spent for whatever reason, they lose motivation immediately after that.

When choosing and giving out employee incentives, always make sure to do what you can to maximize on its benefits.

Misconception #2

Performance-Based Employee Incentives are the best but in reality, it’s not… At best, performance-based employee incentives may cause temporary to semi-permanent changes in performance but these changes would disappear just as soon as you stop rewarding their performance.

Secondly, performance-based employee incentives do not directly or even indirectly lead to change in behavior. An employee’s behavior can and will only change if you give them a reason to do so, and unfortunately for you, performance-based employee incentives usually prove to be an insufficient reason to change.

Misconception #3

It’s All about What You Do. Many mistakenly believe that they have what it takes to motivate their employees. All they need is to research about the issues at hand, spend for the costs incurred, work hard on improving the incentive strategies they devise, and everything will soon lead to the results they desire.

But in the end, you’ll soon find out that no matter what you do, there are just some people who don’t respond to the incentives that you’re offering. And it’s not because you’ve made a mistake but simply because they just don’t want themselves to get motivated.

If you get confronted with such employees, make it a point to set up a one-on-one consultation with them. During that time, encourage them to open up and explain why they seem to lack ambition and drive. If the answers provided are unsatisfactory, then you have a tough decision to make: take the time and effort to change their attitude or let them go?

Misconception #4

Incentives are Always the Answer. That is patently untrue. No matter how much incentive you’re giving your employees, none of them will work if there’s something wrong with the person - or the job itself.

Earlier on, personal problems of employees have already been tackled. Now, it’s time to tackle the problems regarding the job itself. Have you ever thought of considering that maybe, the reason why your incentives aren’t working is simply because you’re using the wrong employee for the wrong job?

If so, then you need to delve deeper into your HR department. Review your recruitment and placement strategies and rectify whatever needs rectifying to ensure that you’ll always end up with the most suitable employee for the job.

And to close this topic, always remember that the best employee incentives are those that come directly from your heart. If your employees are aware that you’re giving them incentives not just because you want to increase your profit but also because you truly want to thank them in the best possible way, they’ll surely appreciate whatever employee incentives you end up devising.

Mario Churchill is a freelance author and has written many articles on various subjects. For more information on sales incentives or employee incentives, please checkout his website.