Rewarding Your Stars

How to Keep a Team Motivated

Talent isn't easy to find in 2017. I know first hand, from hiring for my own team to finding the right people for my client's. It gets more and more challenging year on year (and we're told it's going to continue to get harder).

And since it's seven times more cost effective to develop and retain your existing staff than to recruit new ones, how you reward them is ever important.

I was reminded of this when Mr W came home after an awards ceremony having won a prize from his employer in recognition of his work, namely an all expenses paid two day/night event at Royal Ascot. Not quite in the cost bracket for us smaller companies perhaps but it wasn't the generosity of the prize that surprised me the most. It was the video clip a colleague had taken of him going up to collect the prize that astonished me. Here was a man I have known 18 years leaping around, arms in the air, up to the stage in surprise and delight. I barely recognised my miserable middle-aged man.

You see, it wasn't really about Ascot at all. It was being identified as a performer. Of being applauded for doing a good job and being a good example. And Ascot, for him, is about sharing a day with other successful people within his firm. The public recognition was welcoming, but remember for others this is simply embarrassing. We are not entirely a world of extroverted sales people so we need to remember from time to time to recognise people's work in different ways, to account for those that don't seek loud applause, of whooping colleagues and noisy celebrations.

In my own industry reward is usually in the format of commission and bonus schemes and recruiters love a league table.

For those organisations on a small budget or struggling to think of innovative ideas, fear not. A team lunch, a box of chocolates, a small gift card, or a sincere 'thank you' go an awfully long way.

Clare Wight, Managing Director