In a slow economy, employees have fewer opportunities to take a job at another company, but entrepreneurs would be remiss to take their fingers off the pulse of company morale simply because employees have fewer options. “Companies that don’t think about employee incentives and basically rest on their laurels and think ‘the economy means fewer jobs therefore, where are they going to go?’ Are the companies that, as soon as the labour market picks back up will see their turnover rates going from 5 % to 50 % and it will happen overnight,” says Mark Murphy, author of The Deadly Sins of Employee Retention and CEO of Leadership IQ, a Washington D.C.-based executive education firm.
So what’s one of the biggest reasons people quit their jobs? One of the major reasons is being dissatisfied with their supervisor. In the cramped confines of a small business, with the pressures of work, the relationship between employees can be tested on a daily basis. In bigger companies there are more opportunities to move to other jobs if you’re dissatisfied with a particular supervisor, whereas smaller companies may have less options so they run the risk of losing the employee.
I think it’s fair to say that one incentive scheme for your business will only just do when things are easy, if they ever are! With costs increasing and employees feelings the squeeze and businesses being unable to provide pay rises I believe it is even more important than ever to have flexible and adaptable incentive schemes.
It might be one of the oldest text book sayings, but it really does deliver results if done right; Think outside the box and work with employees to find out what works for both parties involved. I’m sure an employee that uses public transport would find an incentive scheme that ends up saving them money to help with the New Year ticket rises very appealing. Maybe the business could pay the increase, but is this realistic? Probably not, but an incentive scheme that allows the employee to check emails and do admin tasks in the morning and then travel to work straight after peak time has ended would have an equally positive result with significant benefits to both parties.
It’s so important to break down what would benefit the employee, incentive schemes don’t have to be big or complicated, keep it simple with little wins that are effective and add up!