I’ve long been an advocate of some form of incentive schemes in small firms, and I have seen some results.
I’ve seen bonuses motivate some teams, despite personally have never really been motivated by financial incentives!
OK, that’s not the same as saying an unexpected bonus, hasn’t made me feel appreciated by my boss! Although at the same time, bonuses given to others who (in my opinion) performed worse than me has in fact left me demotivated.
What do you think about including some sort of financial incentive scheme for staff in your small practice?
Do financial incentives motivate the right behaviours?
Many schemes may seem to motivate the wrong behaviours, for example not working as a team and leaving (metaphorical) mess for others to clear up.
It could be said that they include some of the behaviours that contributed to problems in the banking sector over the last few years.If you’re looking for ways to get more from your team, download our team leadership guides (email address required)
Can reward schemes work?
I have seen schemes work well; when they’ve been constructed and managed to encourage and reward behaviours not just results.
I’ve also seen them work well when adjusted for longer term performance (e.g. signing up new clients that remain profitable for 2 years). Of course, that may get too complex for many small firms, or does it?
Does money reduce trust?
I’ve had several discussions with the owners of small firms recently and an interesting BBC news article chimed with them. This could be the reasoning behind not many small practices using bonus schemes.
But within small groups a team found that introducing an incentive makes people less likely to share than they did before. In essence, even an artificial currency reduced their natural generosity
Motivational crowding out
The article introduced the concept of motivational crowding out, I loved the term if nothing else. It’s where paying an individual to do a task they had already planned to do free of charge, could lead people to do less. Do you think that applies to staff in small firms?
Does this suggest they won’t, or will work harder – if there’s a well constructed scheme?
What are your views about giving bonuses?