Thursday, April 29, 2010

"Incentive" is Not a Dirty Word

It is true that the media has made America rethink appropriate bonus and incentive structures from the boardroom, to government employees to union halls. However, let’s not forget that we still must convey that our human capital (employees, sales staff, and yes, our executive teams too) still need to be engaged to continue to perform at peak levels. Now more than ever we need to remember that if we cannot instill that “fire in the belly” for employees to want to be a part of a successful organization – then where do we expect them to go when this recession ends?

The focus on big and extravagant bonus and rewards has taken us into a national mentality of throwing the baby out with bathwater. We cannot forget that rewards and incentive strategies are still a key tool to drive performance and hence, production and profits. We need high performing employees to drive profitable businesses that can support a growing economy. Whether or not you are a great believer in capitalism, it is what our economy is founded on. We cannot simply switch gears and expect that eliminating such an important business driver is going to fix our economy. Engaged employees are just as necessary to a business’s success as a solid product.

With a little work and some smart innovation, the engagement industry should come out of this recession stronger and more resilient than ever. Don’t forget that more millionaires were born out of the great depression than at any other time in our history.

Sandra Daniel

President and CEO

FIRE Light Group

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