$5,000 or Recognition. What would You Choose?

Do you think you’re getting the very best out of your team? While finding great talent is more challenging then ever, the bigger challenge is retention, as 95% of employees are thinking about leaving their job within the next six months. Are you sure you’re motivating people by what they want? Otherwise, you can be motivating people by the wrong carrot, which can motivate them to leave the company.

One of my clients, a VP of a SaaS company, put together a quarterly incentive for her sales team. The top salesperson wins $5,000! So, the A, B and C players position themselves at the starting line.

The starting gun goes off. What happens first?

The underperformer checks out. “How can I compete?” they think.

As such, this becomes their dis-incentive and de-motivator.

The B player will give it a shot and try to keep up with the A player but ultimately, the A seller wins.

The manager then invites the winner into her office and proudly says, “Congratulations! Here’s a check for $5,000. Well deserved.”

The salesperson looked at the check and responded with a quiet, “Thanks.” The manager surprised by her reaction, replied, “I just handed you a check for $5,000. I’d think you’d be happier?”

The salesperson looks at her manager and says, “I’d hand you this check back in exchange for the recognition that I’m the best salesperson on the team.”

Recognition for this salesperson was more important than $5,000.

Now you may be thinking, “I’d take the money!”

But many are thinking, “I can always make more money in sales I’ll take the recognition!”

The lesson.

Tap into each person’s individuality. Otherwise, you can be motivating people by the wrong carrot, which can also motivate them to leave the company.

Here are 10 questions to uncover and honor each person’s uniqueness, values and motivators, including yours.

1. What is most important to you in your career, where you work/company?

2. What gives you a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day?

3. If you could design your perfect day, what would it look like?

4. If you didn’t have to work, what would you do with your time?

5. What makes you happy?

6. What would you like to spend more time doing (home/work)?

7. What inspires/motivates you at work? At home?

8. What are your core values and top priorities you refuse to compromise?

9. How do you like to be rewarded / acknowledged for a job well done?

10. What type of incentive would motivate you to achieve more than you’ve already achieved?