Reward is different for each of us.
Whilst we might all like a pay rise, money is not a top motivator for most people. In a study across the UK, money came out as 10th in the top ten motivators. So this is not the top reward most people are looking for.
Likewise, being given a trophy can be everything to one person and insulting to the next – and if it is done in an empty way, it can do more damage than good. The message here is that different people like to be rewarded in different ways – with the one key underlying constant, that the reward has to be meaningful rather than empty.
So what can you do? Try these with your team and see how you get on:
- Get to know people. Ask each individual during a 1:1 or over coffee, what they get excited about, or what do they really enjoy? When have they gone home and felt they’ve really achieved something? What tends to motivate them in a way that they actually work harder/put more effort in? Why?
- What works well? Based on their responses think about what kind of rewards might work well for them – or ideally, discuss this with them too. For example, if they talk about really liking it when the whole team recognises their input, would they appreciate team meeting feedback and praise, rather than 1:1?
- Remember and take action. The above conversations are worth nothing if you forget or do nothing in response. You’ll want to ensure the first time someone does something great, you reward it in a way you’ve discussed and you know will have the desired effect. Then this will have been a great use of your time and effort rewarding in the right way.
Give it a try, and remember to adapt to each individual.
The 21st Century manager asks their team “what can I do to support you, and enable us all to meet our goals?”