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There’s no doubt that your team works well together. Now, it’s time to think bigger and take on larger challenges. To do that effectively you need to think about how to reward your team better.

Begin with the Basics of Employee Motivation

Before getting into rewards though, step back and see first if you’re doing the basics right.

☑ Right salary. Yes, you’re paying the correct legal salary, but are you paying the right salary? There’s a Goldilocks range to salaries: not too little that makes people think of jumping ship, but not too much that it leads to lower performance.

☑ Good work environment. Your team should be challenged by the job itself, not the lack of tools and training needed to do it. This also means that people work well together, especially during event crunch times.

☑ Job security. The events industry is fraught with feast or famine cycles. Make sure your team feels you have their back by following through with employment contracts and shoring up salaries during lean times.

What Rewards Work Best?

The easiest and most common way to give rewards is spending on things like travel vouchers, gift certificates, and bonuses. These extrinsic rewards are great, but studies have found that intrinsic rewards have a better, longer lasting effect when it comes to employee motivation.

There are four types of intrinsic rewards:

  1. Meaning. Is the job I’m doing making a difference? Is it aligned with how I want to grow personally?
  2. Choice. Am I given the freedom to do my work the way I see fit? Do I have anything blocking my way from getting the job done?
  3. Competence. Am I doing my work well? Do I have all the training and help I need to succeed?
  4. Progress. Am I making progress towards my goals? Do I know where I stand now and how I’m improving?

Gaining confidence, helping a team member or leading a project to success are all examples of intrinsic rewards. Intrinsic rewards are stickier than extrinsic rewards, so make sure to give those out more often.

How to Reward Your Team

On top of giving the rewards themselves, you should have a clear system for handing out rewards. Here are some guidelines to follow when it comes to setting up your company rewards system:

1. Get the team involved.

This gives your team some ownership in the system, which is a reward in itself. Your team also gets to pick the rewards that motivate them the most.

2. Be transparent and objective when handing out rewards. 

Let your team learn how you’ll be handing out rewards. After all, rules are what makes it fun. Make earning rewards challenging as well while maintaining fairness.

3. Give intrinsic rewards more than extrinsic ones.

As mentioned earlier, people value intrinsic rewards more than cash and swag. It can range from a simple thank you email to having a gala awards night with real faux gold trophies.

What Intrinsic Rewards Can You Give?

Handing out intrinsic rewards cost you less financially but they do need to have some thought and effort put into them.

  • Praise. Recognize employees publicly or privately. You can give them a handwritten thank you note, an acknowledgment during a company meeting or throw a party in their honor. Everybody loves parties!
  • Service. Do something for your team, especially during hectic times. You can be their coffee guy or swap tasks with them for the day.
  • Team building. This doesn’t need to be an off-site, week-long thing. Simple things like posting on a thank-you board, board games or company dinners can still build team camaraderie without disrupting everyday operations.
  • Career improvement. Care for your team’s career growth by introducing them to key clients, subsidizing their online learning expenses or even just crediting them for their ideas that the company implements.
  • Support their passions. Be involved in what they love doing. Ask about their hobby or better yet, ask them to teach you about it. Who knows, maybe you might enjoy it enough to take on the hobby yourself.

Rewards are central to employee motivation, but you’re not doing this just to increase your profits. In the events industry more than anything else, having a team that works well will help you weather any storm more than having cash in the bank.

Glenn Santos

Author Glenn Santos

Glenn has been writing about technology, productivity and lifehacks for 10 years now. He was previously an editor for Android Authority and Geeky Gadgets, and was one of the first contributors for Startup Weekend's main blog.

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