One of the ways to let your staff know that they are your partners is to reward excellence services or activities that led to profit. Everybody (including your staff) wants to be wealthy. If you reward them for the good things they did, they will keep doing it to attract more rewards.
For example, “The owner of Mixon Tire Company made the employees of his six stores the following offer: “Whenever your store goes one full week without customer complaints, we will pay everyone a dollar an hour more for the entire week.
Each customer was given a comment card to fill in and mail back. The card asked customers to rate the quality of service and tell of any problems that they might have encountered. The comment cards and any other complaints from dissatisfied customers were used as the way to keep score.
To ensure that production was kept high, mechanics were offered a production bonus as well. Mixon knew that complaint-free service would generate enough repeat and referral business to more than cover the dollar-an-hour increase in wages, and it did.
Complaints dropped over seventy-five percent, from an average of several per week at each store to only one or two per month. Some stores went as long as three weeks in a row with zero complaints.”~Michael Leboeuf.
Mixon’s plan for improving service has a number of important strong points than a good service incentive plan should have. The goal is simple to understand, attainable, and easily measurable.
The rewards are based on team performance. This creates positive peer pressure and lessens the chances of anyone loafing or saying, “That’s not my job” or “I’m off duty” to a customer. How would you like to face your peers knowing that your negligence cost each of them an average of forty dollars?
It’s a continuing program and not a one-short campaign. Every week is a new challenge and a new chance to make the bonus. The responsibility for eliminating complaints is placed squarely on the shoulders of all employees.
Use Recognition and Praise
A reward system that bases pay on performance will get and keep almost everyone’s attention. But if you don’t have the resources or budget to reward with money, consider rewarding with recognition.
It usually cost little or nothing and it’s one of the most powerful rewards. People want to feel important and appreciated more than anything else, and a well-planned recognition program will get you incredible dedication.
Employee-of-the-month awards with the employee’s picture on the wall, changes in title, certificates, citations, trophies, plaques, personal congratulatory letters from top management, honors and awards presented at banquets, special pins or other jewelry, favorable publicity, and anything that connotes status make excellent recognition rewards.
Michael Leboeuf shared the following experience. “I checked into a hotel in downtown Saint Louis. In my registration packet was a booklet of coupons. Printed on the cover was a message that read as follows:
‘As our customer, you are very important. Would you mind taking this praising coupon book? When you see any of our hotel staff doing something right or treating you well, would you get their name and present them with a praising coupon or turn it in on the front desk?’
What a stroke of genius! I thought to myself. Here’s a hotel that’s going to build an outstanding service reputation by letting the customers tell them who’s doing something right, and rewarding and recognizing the deserving employees. And that’s exactly what Sheraton Saint Louis is doing.
The praising coupons are the brainchild of the hotel’s Quality Committee. Employees redeem coupons for points that can be turned into cash prizes, T-shirts, coffee mugs, clock radios, sports tickets, and other symbols of recognition for the outstanding service.
The idea has worked so well that the hotel started using “back-of-the-house praising coupons.” Whenever a frontline employee, such as a waiter, gets outstanding help from a non-frontline employee, such as a cook, the waiter gives the cook a coupon for helping him serve the customer.
As Ron Tarson, head of training and development at the hotel, puts it, “When I see an employee having a good week, I’ll tell him, ‘You’re having a good week. You got two coupons.’ Just the attention from management makes all the difference. A lot more people are willing to take a chance to be outstanding.”
As a leader, you should sit down with your management team to create your own rewards or recognition strategy. It could be anything. You may not use the hotel’s strategy, but you can simply call up a staff (during staff meeting) that offered excellent service to customers during the week, and recognize him in a special way before other staff. That single act will motivate others to give their best at all times.
An old saying from the military has it that a man won’t sell you his life for a million dollars, but he will gladly give it to you for a piece of ribbon. Recognition and reward are powerful tools anybody can use to get the best from his staff.
If you want to creatively come up with reward and recognition strategy for your organization, you can simply send an email to us via firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07032681154. We will come over to your organization and monitor what you do and the job description of your staff, and create reward and recognition system for you. Keep soaring.
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