A motivating force

Written on the 7 April 2009


STAFF motivation can be a company’s No.1 problem in achieving top results. But the equation to achieving better staff motivation is quite simple. Incentives plus staff equals increased profitability. Incentive schemes can be easy to implement and do not need to be a massive expense.
 What are incentives?
Essentially a business needs to follow a formula when initiating an incentives system. Arguably, most important is sustaining the system and following through on promised compensation.
A basic system works on the premise that rewards or incentives will generally be provided to employees who have reached a certain goal, either personal or within a team.
There are three essential tips to consider when implementing an incentives system. Firstly, it is important to make sure the business chooses appropriate incentives to the business.
Secondly, the business needs to make sure they can afford incentives. There would be disgruntled and unhappy employees if a reward was promised but not followed through with.
And finally, it’s important to keep the incentives system simple and transparent. Unachievable targets and an abundance of rules could have the opposite than desired effect.
Set small achievable targets for your employees with reasonably matched rewards and increase the reward value as the target grows.
What does this mean for your business and your staff?
Incentives can make a massive difference to the morale of staff. Not only would an effective system persuade staff to join your business, it is also an excellent retention tool. Consider the job application process: a person will apply for a job based on what they know about the company.
Attractive features such as company culture, salary and incentives are often the driving force when applying for a job. An incentive system can be the difference between hiring a motivated applicant, who will strive to achieve the targets; and an unmotivated applicant who simply ‘needs the job’.
A good incentive system will generally boost staff members’ productivity as staff will be more focussed on achieving targets. If group targets are set it can be a good tool to encourage team work and friendly competition.
 What can go wrong?
If an unplanned and improper incentive system is implemented, the business runs the risk of the system having an opposite effect of morale and motivation. A major concern with incentives systems is choosing appealing rewards. Incentives unsuited to employees will have little effect on overall performance. Tailoring your incentives to your team will ensure the process is not a waste of time or money.
Incentives paradise
The Gold Coast offers a playground of incentive options and as two iconic locations on the coast attest, incentivising can be a successful business tool to sustain growth and retain staff.
Greg Magi, general manager of RACV Royal Pines Resort says their resort offers many incentive options. For those after a sporty fix, it doesn’t get much better than golf at Royal Pines.
“For incentive groups wanting to experience the great outdoors Gold Coast style, golf at RACV Royal Pines Resort is an option that can be as serious or social, competitive and fun as you wish,” explains Magi.
With added health benefits of experiencing life outside the office Magi believes a day on the greens could be just the motivation staff need.
“The opportunity to escape the office, and get active on the green, will also inspire and motivate those who have never picked up a club in their lives, right through to players with impressive handicaps,” he says.
 Royal Pines offers a variety of golfing options from putting competition, target practice, or interactive clinics. Mark Gibson and the team of teaching professionals at the resort deliver energetic and educational experiences to their guests and attendees.
But the run on benefits of incentives are invaluable with Magi explaining their activities can be effective for team building too.
“An exclusive new five-hole format, for small teams of two, three or four is also a great way to get your delegates working together, and less than and a half hours to complete, is proving a popular option for groups looking to maximise their schedules,” he says.
For those after a relaxation fix, getting in touch with nature might be better suited. Helen Cole, conference and corporate sales manager at O’Reilly’s believes incentivising is essential in the current climate.
“Incentivising staff is imperative, particularly in today’s competitive and uncertain economic climate. Overall employees are working harder than before and with mergers and redundancies, team dynamics are changing. Delegates are under real pressure to perform,” says Cole.  
“We therefore find a common objective for many groups is to reward and re-energise teams, and get team members working closer and more productively than before.”
Cole says the philosophy O’Reilly’s preaches is also very much practised in their company.
“O’Reilly’s have many methods of motivating and retaining staff. The obvious channels include ‘awards’ – this includes quarterly, annual, and mission statement awards where performance is measured on making every guest feel special,” she explains.
“However O’Reilly’s is a unique work environment whereby for the majority of staff, their workplace is also their home. Staff are encouraged to interact with guests, along with the O’Reilly family members, and unlike most hotels, are given a special privilege of having access to facilities.”
 O’Reilly’s offers their incentive and conference guests a mixed bag of activities to revitalise and educate.
Cole explains the activities range from spa treatments to laughter and breathing workshops.
“We offer all delegates complimentary wine tasting at our Canungra Valley Vineyard, where they can also experience ‘stomping’ of the grapes – guaranteed to make even the most stressed out employees laugh and relax,” says Cole.
“A more obvious opportunity to unwind is The Lost World Spa, a true haven for those seeking rejuvenation, relaxation and balance. Using all natural Australian Sodashi products, the spa offers mind-melting massages, therapeutic skins care treatments and vinotherapy,” she says.  

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