The future of corporate success depends on employee recognition.
Companies are starting to catch on to the fact that we have to start putting people first. Employees are the most valuable commodity at our disposal, and we have to honor their needs for belonging, achievement, and growth in order to keep up with the ever-changing tides. Employee recognition and rewards are crucial to achieving this goal.
If you’ve already got a plan in place for employee incentives, consider how well it’s working for you. We can’t say for sure whether team rewards or individual rewards will be more motivating for the individuals in your company. You know your team best—and if you’re anything like most managers, you’ve got a long laundry list of incentive schemes that didn’t work very well in the past. But by taking a closer look at the pros and cons of each approach, you can identify areas for improvement and plan ahead for your next adaptation.
In the ever-changing future of the workplace, we might still be debating the merits of team performance vs individual performance and figuring out how to balance the two goals for maximum profitability. It all starts right here, right now, with the ways we’re rewarding our teams and the individuals that create them.
Rewarding Team Performance vs Individual Performance
Chances are, you’ve already got an incentive program up and running at your company. But maybe it’s not working the way you thought it would. Perhaps you have minimal participation, you’re not seeing any increase in motivation, or you’re anxiously awaiting a higher ROI.
If you’re in a tricky spot with your employee rewards, the best thing to do is to evaluate your existing program to make sure it’s adequately balancing the risks and benefits of the approach you’ve chosen.
Whether you’re administering team rewards or individual rewards, here are the pros and cons you need to be aware of.
The Pros and Cons of Team Incentives
Some companies rely entirely on a system of team goals and incentives. This strategy is particularly common in environments like call centers or sales floors—where metrics rule and team-wide competition can be highly lucrative. Team incentives come with plenty of perks, but the drawbacks are definitely worth paying attention to.
|This approach appeals to employees who may be less comfortable being in the spotlight, as well as those who might not earn incentives very often.
To maximize your success with team-based rewards, make sure you have some way to recognize and acknowledge the team members who pull most of the weight—as well as a way to identify and redirect those who aren’t putting in their fair share.
The Pros and Cons of Individual Incentives
Other companies set up purely individual goals and incentives. Think about the annual president’s club or free annual vacation—opportunities like these are awarded on an individual basis only. Individual rewards might not work for everyone, but they’re great at getting every employee to feel recognized and appreciated for their hard work.
If you’re choosing to go with individual incentives, be prepared to spend most of your time setting appropriate goals for each employee. If your goals aren’t on point, it won’t matter how great the reward items are—because very few people will earn them. Also, make sure you’re not just rewarding the top 5% of employees over and over again. Repeat winners are great, but you should set clear parameters that make sure everyone feels recognized and rewarded.
In a perfect world, there would be no conflict between team performance vs individual performance. You’d offer a mix of meaningful incentives for both types of goals that perfectly addresses the needs of all personalities and motivational styles in your company.
The only problem is, it takes a lot of time and effort to manage and maintain a complex incentive structure. Most HR departments couldn’t handle that heavy lift on their own.
Thankfully, you don’t have to.
The best employee rewards companies are experts at crafting custom incentive programs that creatively balance team and individual rewards. You’ll have frequent winners at all levels, and watch as your employees respond positively to the recognition they’ve always wanted. With high-value name-brand rewards and dedicated back-end support, these programs are the key to motivating the remaining 95% of your company.
Inproma has over twenty years of experience in the employee rewards industry. We create rewards programs for companies who need large-scale support and fully customizable options—and our programs fully deliver on increased employee engagement. Want in on the action? Let’s talk.