Ever wonder why some decisions are so easy to make and some choices are so obvious? Psychologists have identified 4 main drivers of human behavior. Those drivers are at play in every decision we make.
In successful incentive programs, these four drivers work together. The more you understand these underlying forces, the better success you'll have with motivating your employees.
The Drive to Gather
It could be stamps, books or baseball statistics, but we love to collect things. This drive is at the core of every incentive program. It is part of the reason why trophies and plaques appeal to us (more on that in a moment), but it's also why incentive programs with tangible gifts are so popular. We like getting stuff. Something as simple as replacing a cash incentive with a tangible gift card can make a vital difference in your program's success.
The Drive to Protect
What's mine is mine and you can guarantee I'll fight to defend it. This basic need to protect our territory can be leveraged in two different ways to motivate people. An incentive program that positions your company against the competition will definitely help rally the troops.
You're also tapping into this drive when your incentive program includes healthy competition among your employees or between different departments or offices. You can be sure that last year's winners aren't going to give up their titles without a fight.
The Drive to Contribute
We know we're not alone in this world and that it takes a village to do just about everything these days. We want to know we're providing value and doing our part for a greater good. Incentive programs that align with the company's mission or goals will help your employees see their role in the "big picture," but that's just the first step.
We feel reassured when we're recognized for our contributions. This desire for recognition is a fundamental part of successful incentive programs. Frequently acknowledging your employees for their contributions will keep them motivated over the duration of your program.
The Drive to Share
Long before websites like Facebook and Twitter took our world by storm, we were social creatures. Even the most introverted among us wants to share their accomplishments with their peers and enjoys celebrating the success of others.
Because of this drive, successful incentive programs include some social element. An office leaderboard, a "pep-rally" that celebrates employees displaying leadership in their roles or something as simple as a weekly email showcasing one employee's success are all great ideas that feed our drive to share with others.
Our drive to contribute is rewarded when our boss celebrates our contributions at the annual company picnic. A weekly email that ranks the top performers taps into our competitive, protective drive. And of course, no display case full of trophies is complete without admirers. Understanding how these forces work together will help you find the right incentives to motivate your employees.
Photo credit: business.lovetoknow.com
Nikki Washington is Senior Manager of Marketing Communications for InteliSpend Prepaid Solutions, a company that builds custom prepaid cards designed to enhance the results of employee rewards and recognition programs, wellness programs and sales incentive programs. For more information on how to leverage incentives for your employees, including a free download featuring 10 Employee Incentive Essentials, visit us online at http://intelispend.com/employee-rewards-recognition/.