Employee Critical Drivers and Performance Bonuses


Employee Critical Drivers and Performance Bonuses

What employees want vs. what employers "think" employees want


I have heard it said, and I am a full believer that if you have happy employees you will have happy and satisfied customers. So… how do you get happy employees?


That is the question that drives many business owners and bosses crazy. It is not a question that is easy to get a handle on because every employee has different likes/dislikes, tastes, personalities, and backgrounds. So how do you put one thing in place in your business that assures that your staff will be happy and motivated?


There have been many people long before me researching this topic. Asking questions like: What does it take to bring these qualities out of the nine-to-fivers? What motivates employees to do better? What can I do to make my staff love our customers, and show it?


Even though each employee is different there are some similarities


One study done by Talent Culture revealed the following:

What Employees Want -

1. Appreciation of work done

2. Feeling of being in on decisions

3. Sympathetic help with personal problems

What Managers “Think” Employees Want

1. Good wages

2. Job security

3. Promotion

So the questions to ask yourself are:

  • How do I show appreciation to my employees and what results am I seeing from this?

  • Do I “really” value my employee’s comments and input on business decisions?

  • Is there an avenue in my business that allows employees to share personal issues – confidentially and with focused help given?


Here are six motivation secrets that can help you keep your work force happy and driven to succeed.


1. Individual attention matters.

While teamwork is an important element of company success, and grouping your employees together has advantages in building that "team" mentality, nothing beats individual attention when it comes to individual motivation. The best way to go about this is to offer direct praise when an employee exceeds performance goals or does some exemplary work.

2. Advancement opportunities are enticing.

People tend to feel stifled when their job becomes repetitive or stagnant. Going too long in the same position, with no changes or hope for change, will eventually demotivate even the most ambitious employee.


3. Leaders set the example.

As a leader within your organization, people are going to look to you to set an example for the rest of the group. You're going to be setting a tone, a work ethic, and a set of values for the company whether you mean to directly or not, and setting the right example can have a meaningful effect on the mentality of your staff.


4. Socialization makes people more committed.

Most people try to separate their personal and professional lives, and it's usually for the best. Trying to make everyone in the office best friends is often a bad idea for a number of reasons, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't have personal conversations within a typical work environment.


5. Transparency is the key to communication.

Transparency builds trust; when people understand that you aren't hiding anything, and that you'll listen to anybody, they're far more likely to respect you as an authority and appreciate you as a leader / boss / business owner.


6. Critical Drivers and Performance Bonuses.

Studies have shown that money, oddly enough is down on the list of what employees want. However, do keep in mind, employees want to be paid for doing their job. I have never been a big fan of calendar type bonuses (i.e. Christmas bonus). After a while employees seem to just expect it. What I am a fan of are critical drivers and performance bonuses.

To insure your staff is meeting your expectations and actually obtaining a ROI, it is important to define each positions’ critical drivers. Critical drivers are vital because they paint a clear picture of what’s expected out of your employees. They inform the entire team of what is expected, the tasks at hand, and how they contribute to the overall success of the business.


Some examples of critical drivers are:


  • Procurement of a certain number of new customers

  • A certain level of gross profit

  • # of days in a row where there is not a mistake made or a goal is achieved

  • No overtime hours worked in a week

  • Employee is not late for work in a week

  • Sales of a certain line of merchandise

Performance bonuses are agreed upon amounts given to employees when they accomplish their critical drivers. They can be individual for each employee or team related so everyone on the team benefits. I have a client that gives out gift cards to the entire staff when they hit a “team” critical driver. I have another client that buys his staff lunch when they hit the critical driver. Either way, the employees win and they know why they are bonused – which is critical so they will do it again.

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