Recently, one of the members of my coaching & mastermind programme asked a rather thought-provoking question that sparked quite a bit of debate:
“How can I properly incentivise and remunerate my team members to encourage them to do their very best work?”
This got everyone thinking as there several ways in which this can work.
One of the members told us that they offer annual profit share to their employees in order to remunerate them.
Sounds fair enough.
But in my experience from my time training and working in practice in South Africa, I used to get part of the profit share. But I never really understood how it worked or how I contributed towards it, which meant it wasn’t really a driver for me.
Other members of the group told us that they offer annual bonuses and/or Christmas-time bonuses instead
But, here’s my take on that…
…not everyone is driven and motivated by money.
In fact, it’s a known fact that most people who are paid well (above average salary) won’t actually be driven by more money.
(Disclaimer – typically people who fall into sales roles are driven by more money. But for most people working in other roles, they’re not… assuming a certain base salary is being met)
So, here’s a completely crazy idea…
Why don’t you ask your team members what they’d like their incentives and remuneration to be?
Sit down and start an honest conversation with your team members about what would work for them.
After all, it’s your team members who receive these perks or incentives, so doesn’t it make sense that it should be things that they actually think are beneficial and worth working hard for?
Ask them whether monetary bonuses would drive them?
Maybe not. Even if you are motivated by more money it doesn’t mean everyone is and this might not be something that appeals to your employees.
The below video explores the idea that ‘carrot and stick incentives’ – instead of being motivating – strip any enjoyment out of the process of learning or working hard on problems.
So, if ‘carrot and stick incentives’ such as bonuses won’t motivate your employees, what other things could you use to motivate your staff?
- More time off. For example, giving employees the option to purchase additional holidays
- More frequent appraisals and greater feedback
- More freedom and autonomy in their role
- Greater involvement in company decisions and strategic direction
- More flexibility. For example, the option to work flexible hours or the ability to work from home/remotely on certain days
- More focus on team bonding. For example, monthly get-togethers for employees in different spots each month
- Other perks such as death in service bonus for family, a perkbox in the office containing goodies for team members etc
There are so many options that aren’t simply monetary rewards and, as such, might actually be more motivating and attractive to employees.
Once you’ve had a chat with your team members to determine what they would ideally like as incentives and remuneration, it’s important that you take this feedback on board and actually put it into practice.
It might be a little more complicated for you to work out a system whereby employees can purchase additional time off for example than it is to simply pay them a bonus at the end of the year.
But, surely it’ll be worth putting in the extra time to set this up and get it moving if it means you’re going to benefit from having happier team members who are willing to work hard and go the extra mile for you and your practice.
What strategies do you have in place to reward and remunerate employees in your accountancy practice?
Let me know below…