Incentives That Inspire Your Team

Earl Nightingale quote on time for dreams - artisticleader

Most managers are familiar with performance-based incentives. These are the rewards your team or team members earn by achieving a set goal. There is another layer to incentives that adds value to your organization in a way that a performance-based incentive can not. I call it the team satisfaction incentive.

The team sat incentive is not a new concept. Company holiday parties and summer picnics are examples of this kind of incentive. As are weekly massage therapists, free lunches or snacks, and unlimited vacation. As always, I want you to think outside the box and create an employment experience that is both memorable and valued. Here are some ideas:

  • Provide CPR/First Aid training for your team. Unlike physical activities which may be intimidating for some or karaoke which may be embarrassing for many, CPR training is the kind of thing that makes you feel empowered. Your team members will walk away with a certificate that says they have the skills to help others, even someone they love, at a time of dire need. I’ve never forgotten that Knowledge Adventure, my employer in 1992, provided CPR training for us. It’s always helped to keep the company high on my list of favorite workplaces.
  • Provide a vegan cooking class. Now, some of you may wonder, “why vegan?” Well, that’s easy. While everyone eats vegetables, not everyone eats meat. Also, today’s vegan recipes are delicious! Vegan cooking often uses more oils and spices since there’s no meat fat to add to the dish. This gives people a chance to expand their skills while learning to cook healthy, delicious meals.
  • Build a home together with Habitat for Humanity. Most people want to give back to their community, and everyone likes helping people that are trying to help themselves. Habitat for Humanity weaves both of these together in a cause that creates a real bonding experience for those who build together while making you feel good about your fellow humans.

Each of these options focuses on developing life skills. They’re the kind of skills many of us think about (saving a life, cooking better, building something) but rarely invest the time into learning on our own. When you and your organization provide these kinds of experiences for team members, you set yourself apart as the kind of manager, and the kind of company, that people seek to be associated with in some way. You increase their team satisfaction by helping them build better selves.

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