“No man, who continues to add something to the material, intellectual and moral well-being of the place in which he lives, is left long without proper rewards.” Booker T Washington
Rewards and recognitions are key motivational factors for teams. In the past, I thought rewards were primarily financial rewards. As I explored this topic more I discovered that different individuals required different types of rewards to keep them motivated. All that some needed was recognition by their boss for their contribution, others needed some affirmation from their team mates while others felt satisfied with their year end bonus. Your job as a team or project leader should be to find out what sort of rewards and recognition your team mates are looking for.
The tricky part with a rewards and recognition (R&R) program is to formulate it in such a way that is both fair and balanced. A badly constructed program could work against the organization and foster complacency and unhealthy competition among team members. When constructing an R&R program I usually involve all the individuals who will be affected by it to contribute their ideas and suggestions. Rather than constructing a standard bonus ladder you should aim to have a more dynamic program which keep things interesting while keeping the goals clearly in focus.
At a startup company, especially at the beginning ,when finances may be tight it becomes essential to structure an R&R program which gives team members necessary rewards and recognition and keeps the motivational level high. Some of the techniques which I have used have been providing training and development budgets, recognition awards and stock options, these have been helpful when working on tight budgets. If budgets are tight you should focus on developing a lot more creative non-monetary rewards. Tailor them according to the personalitiesand motivations of your team members . Learn what motivates your team members today and tailor an R&R program accordingly.
Related article: Rewards and Recognition for teams