Employee Motivation Ideas for the New Year

Employee Recognition Ideas

The start of the new year can be a slow time for many companies, especially retail companies (post-holiday down slide) and other types of businesses involved in sales. Businesses often tighten their belts after the holidays, and your sales staff may be lacking motivation to pursue new leads. To get things moving and keep your business going, you should try to implement tactics designed to renew your staff’s interest in selling. In doing so, you can create enthusiasm, boost incentive, and help your business thrive in the new year. While these ideas are geared more toward the sales industry, these employee motivation ideas can be applied in some fashion to most any business.

Contests are a good motivator to get employees off to an enthusiastic start to the new year. A sales contest can be a way to re-energize your sales team and fire up their competitive spirit. Design a competition based on your sales needs: focus on new customers, for example, or who can get the most new leads. Instead of having a long-term contest where prizes are not awarded until the end of the year, aim for short-term contests to keep the excitement going and give recognition to winners as the contest progresses to provide added incentive to keep up the hard work. Make sure the prizes/recognition are worthwhile. Receiving a reward that has no meaning or value will not motivate your employees to keep up their pace.

You can’t deny that cash is the greatest incentive for most employees, especially after the holidays most people are a bit strapped for cash. Choose a specific goal you want your staff to achieve, one that will help your business address a weak area or achieve a strategic goal. Set a time limit and individual goals and then reward your staff with cash when the goal(s) are met.

Be flexible in your employees’ work schedule and location of where they work. In the dreary winter months at the start of the new year, give your staff the freedom to work from wherever makes them most comfortable, whether it’s a coffee shop or from their own home, if that’s feasible. By giving them the freedom to design the working environment that works best for them, you may see an improvement in performance. Some employers feel that allowing staff to work from home will decrease their productivity, but, many businesses have found that the opposite is true. When given the privilege to work outside the office in a more comfortable environment, many employees tend to be even more productive. They want to prove that it’s not necessary for them to be tied to their office desk nine hours a day in order to meet or exceed company and individual goals.

If you sense your staff members need motivation to improve their sales, reward progress with power. Announce that the top sales person will get a special treat: the ability to hire an assistant, for example, or the ability to lead a meeting or make sales assignments.

Motivational gifts are also good rewards and serve as an incentive to keep up the good work. Learn a little bit about your employee before purchasing a gift; make sure it’s something he/she will value and actually use. While trophies and plaques make very nice rewards and employees appreciate recognition such as an “Employee of the Month” certificate, there are many other employee motivation ideas out there.

Check out the PaperDirect blog for more ideas on boosting employee morale and other ways to motivate your employees.