Article: Incentivize teams, not individuals!

#TotalRewards

Incentivize teams, not individuals!

The intrinsic motivators of recognition have always been higher for a group or team than for an individual
Incentivize teams, not individuals!
 

The intrinsic motivators of achievement and recognition have always been higher for a group or team than for an individual. Sports provide the best examples of this and stand testament to its continuous need.

 

The company needs to provide opportunity for every team to spend time together, bask in a celebration of achievement and be motivated to perform together

 

We work in an environment that requires us to collaborate, function as teams, have common goals and yet, when it comes to rewards, we gravitate towards placating individuals. It’s but natural for us to be a little more than just skeptical of the system. How can we be part of the team and yet aim for personal achievements? If your intention is to increase productivity and efficiency, incentivize teams. If it is purely for retention, it doesn’t matter.

The intrinsic motivators of achievement and recognition have always been higher for a group or team than for an individual. Sports provide the best examples of this and stand testament to its continuous need.

There is no single formula for incentivizing teams. But it is important to know the motivating factors for each team. While a sales team might be incentivized through team competitions or contests, a development team might find a group workshop more alluring.

What you need to provide is the opportunity for every team to spend time together, bask in a celebration of achievement and be further motivated to perform together, not as individuals.

Rewards, recognition, achievement and motivation come in different forms. In my opinion, music is one of the most underrated group activities that can help motivate a team, but its also one of the most effective. While not strictly a reward in the manner we would define it when planning our annual programs, music has been used to enhance team pride and a sense of achievement – both of which are key ingredients in any reward program.

Recently, a high performing team from one of India’s best known telecom companies got together at a premium hotel in Mumbai for their meet. As a group, they had performed magnificently and almost everyone in that room could have been called to receive an individual award. Instead, the company decided to throw them a challenge - to be divided into four different groups, learn various music instruments and come back to perform as a symphony of peers—all of this in just two hours.

The challenge was accepted, facilitated and delivered–almost to perfection. A fourth of the group played violins, another quarter learnt and played flutes, the third quarter performed using harmonicas and the last group sang in harmony while they did a collective rendition of Carl Orff’s O’ Fortuna. Just two hours from never having played a musical instrument to performing.

The energy of the group at the end of the session was unbelievable. They were inspired and motivated. Chest thumping, high fives and proud nods all around. This was a group that had just been through an almost impossible task and they came out trumps yet again. It was far better than being called one-at-a-time for an award; far better than seeing just one or two of their members being shortlisted for fast track or leadership development. The group had built a greater sense of pride in each other and they had just experienced what they could achieve together.

Go ahead and think out of the box and be creative. But remember to incentivize your teams, motivate them and build that pride in the collective, not the individual. It yields better results for the organization.

Topics: #TotalRewards, #ExpertViews, Compensation & Benefits

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