The pros and cons of rewarding your staff – StartupSmart

Do you have a reward scheme in place at the moment?


A staff reward system is a great way to let your people know that they are appreciated, but don’t go over the top to the point where being rewarded becomes an expected outcome of doing their job!


A good reward system is an excellent way to show your staff that you are noticing the work that is being put in and that you really do appreciate it when they go above and beyond what is expected for their regular pay check.


Something as small as an Employee of the Month title has an impressive positive effect and will, more than likely, boost staff moral within your business – and more importantly, boost the productivity of the business.


There are many ways to show your gratitude, here are some things that I have been involved in the past:


  • Dinner for two to the value of $500 at a high-end restaurant
  • Gold class cinema tickets for two
  • Two-night stay at a five-star hotel


Just to name a few.


There are also a lot of things that can be done for very little cost to the business, such as getting your suppliers to chip in for a gift.


On the flip side, there can also be a negative element to such a scheme. The rewarding system could create an overly competitive environment, pitting individuals against each other in hope of becoming the boss’ pin-up for the month. You may come across issues like staff not helping each other because they want their colleagues to look bad.


It may also open up the workplace to bullying in the form of verbal remarks such as, “the brown nose of the month”, “kiss-ass” and other similar belittling statements. Workplace bullying in this context can do a couple of things; it can diminish the award and, potentially, impact self-esteem.


If this happens, it is the customers who will be affected, as well as the bottom line of the business. It all starts out as a little healthy competition but ends up with a fight where, unfortunately, there is no winner.


Never fear! There is a solution to this conundrum; and it comes in the form of daily positive re-enforcement to all employees within the business. If you do choose to have a reward scheme, I strongly suggest that you spend your time promoting a healthy team environment where it is all about the team and not the individual.


So, sit back and take a good look at your staff and your management style (really take into consideration all the egos flying around the room, as this will greatly affect the success of a reward scheme) and work out if you want a team or a venue of individual workers.


In my experience, having been on both sides as a staff member and as a manager, I see no benefit in rewarding the individual with the title of Employee of the Month as it is an incredibly outdated way of thinking and should be removed from all modern-day establishments seeking the best from all of their employees.


To truly get the best out of your team you need to treat them as one.

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