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Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz. Meet the Idea Cafe Experts

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Featured Biz Question

I'm trying to come up with a proposal to motivate our employees to stretch a little more for the company. Does anyone have any incentive ideas (such as cash bonus, mini vacation)?

Answer from our Guest Expert Lillyvette Montalvo

Lillyvette MontalvoDear Idea Cafe Regular,

Offering incentives to employees for their positive contributions to the company is always a great idea! Who doesn't like reaping recognition for a job well done? Incentives promote positive reinforcement, the opportunity for a pat on the back, and the competitive factor among your staff can really be fun for them!

Check Your Wallet Before Offering the Treats

Before deciding on what incentives to offer, be sure your ideas don't burn holes in your company budget. Whether you start off with a small incentive or offer a golden Carrot everyone wants to get their hands on (and will cost you a pretty penny), make sure your company can afford what it's going to offer. Consider making your incentive programs or offers into some sort of a tradition -- something your employees can look forward to during certain times of the year, quarter or month. Take these incentive "seasons" into account when doing your annual budget. If you're going to implement an incentive program, ensure everyone can benefit. You want to make sure you can deliver what you promise. If you can't, you'll lose any and all credibility and loyalty you've earned to begin with, and that can really be damaging - maybe even irreparable -- to you and your company. Now, here are some incentive ideas for improving employee performances and attitudes. (continued)

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