In the past, most employees showed up, did what they were told, and worked at their jobs with a sense of loyalty. However, with the changing landscape of the workforce - what keeps employees engaged, creates a sense of loyalty, and drives sales?
According to Forbes:
That trend represents a sea-change from 25 years ago when the assumption was that once you got hired, you did as you were told, stayed as long as you could and got paid increasingly more money to make it all worth it.
A combination of recognition along with incentives help drive sales and creates a more satisfied workforce.
Employee engagement is more than just showing up for work. A team member must feel that their work is valued and that they are working towards a larger goal. In fact, self-fulfillment and a shared sense of purpose are key metrics in a successful team, as well as any aspect in our personal lives. If we are engaged in what we do, then we tend to perform better.
Employees who feel a connection to the company outperform those who do not. A sense of pride in what the company represents allows the team member to showcase their own pride and belief system in whatever it is that they are selling.
Simply put, "Engagement equals sales."
Incentives and Recognition Foster Inspiration
Incentives that are tethered to a measurable achievement or action fosters self-fulfillment, as mentioned earlier. For instance, instead of an employee being punished for not achieving a set goal, targets that focus on rewards that give the employee a sense of worth.
Incentives do not necessarily have to be a monetary type either. Paid time off, trips, company-branded swag, and things that are not necessarily money can really pump up your sales team.
Employee recognition is equally important. An employee who performs well and is not recognized for their effort will start to feel unimportant and their sales will reflect that. They must be rewarded mentally as well as with a tangible item or incentive and the two do not have to be in-tandem for sales to increase although a good combination is favorable.
In this article by Forbes on employee recognition, it states:
Financial reward is a great thing, don't get me wrong, but it's not the equivalent of recognition. Let's not kid ourselves. It's a short-term solution. Neither is constant praise for average work. Recognition is a key tool in employee retention programs for a reason: people need more than constructive feedback and positive affirmation. They need recognition of extra effort. They need to "feel" it. This will never go away as a basic human need.
Value = Performance
Your sales team has to feel that they are valued and this does not just include the top performers. In fact, it is crucial that those who do not perform as well feel just as important as the rest.
An incentive program that is executed well needs a few key components:
- It is fair and attainable
- It recognizes all employees, not just those on top
- It has a specific goal
- It is tied to the employee's sense of value
According to a recent Gallup poll, employees actively engaged with employers via incentive programs of some variety are up .5 percent since 2014 to 32 percent today.
By implementing an incentive program that also focuses on recognition, you have a winning combination that is sure to increase sales performance in your team.