Managing Foremen Proactively Through Incentivizing – Part 3: Intangibles
Author: Adam DeLamielleure
Territory Manager from Michigan
To some degree, most employees are motivated by money. For some of your employees, money will be the number one reason why they come to work every morning. But, for others, money isn’t everything. As a manager, it is important to identify the other, non-monetary things (such as company culture or recognition) that motivate your employees.
How do you incentivize using intangible things?
The answer to this depends on two things: your company and your employees. The type of work your company does and your company’s culture will both come into play. At the end of the day, great performers want to be part of a great team.
The first step to incentivizing the intangible is determining what you want your company’s culture to be and what your big, long term goals should be. Providing a clear picture of what is important to you today, and what you hope to achieve in the future, is very important. Share the vision you have for your company with your people and, inevitably, you’ll find out which of your employees shares this vision. If an individual’s personal values align with those of the company for which they work, they’ll be more likely to work hard for—and have loyalty to—the company and its founder. I have seen this play out in my career as well as in those of several of my colleagues.
Once you determine your company’s vision and begin to work on its culture, you can look to your key employees and see if there are other forms of motivation you can tap into. In order to be successful, this will need to be very specific to the personal needs and desires of your employees. There isn’t just one right way to incentivize your employees. However, there are three very common ways to motivate your employees that are easy to kick off, immediately.
Celebrate success – Whether it’s an award-winning project, a great idea for increasing production in the field, or at the completion of a hard-earned certification, celebrate the successes of your employees. Many people just want to be recognized for their hard work and to be acknowledged for going above and beyond. A company culture that celebrates success will only create more success.
Include your team in the process – One of the fastest ways to improve the morale of your organization is to help your employees “buy in” and take ownership of your company. When “your” company becomes “our” company, things take off. You can do this by making your employees part of the business’s decision making process. Although it is always the owner’s responsibility to chart the course and provide the vision, letting the people responsible for the work have a say creates a place where an employee can begin to have ownership in what they do.
Play to your employees’ strengths – Get to know your employees and find out if they possess unique talents or passions. If they do and those talents translate well to the landscape/hardscape industry, let them use their skills for the betterment of your company. Sometimes there’s hidden treasure in your people and it’s your job to dig it up and put it to good use.
Many of us got into the landscape/hardscape business because we enjoyed the work and liked to build “cool” stuff outdoors. We didn’t realize there would come a time when our ability to motivate others to feel the same way would determine our success. While running the business isn’t as fun as the building work that got us here, getting better at it is very rewarding in its own right. We need to build our businesses the same way we build our projects: with hard work, a good plan, and quality people who are motivated and led the right way.
The challenges we see today in the labor market are not going away. How we react as an industry will ultimately determine our success. Will we sit back, complain, and do nothing? Or will we strive to better our businesses in order to attract, train, and retain the best people? There is no “silver bullet” and no magic wand, but utilizing incentives is definitely a step in the right direction. A better team makes a better company and ultimately, a better industry.