Real Estate Investing Success – Team Building 101 – We Could All Learn From Big Corporate!

When determining how various motivational theories can apply within an organization the list can begin with and end with the incentives offered to an employee or team member. Non-monetary incentives in the workplace can potentially produce some of the most powerful forms of human motivation known. A well- run incentive program can result in motivational incentives that cause increased morale, productivity and loyalty. Recognizing birthdays, attendance, anniversaries or even providing turkeys at Christmas are all examples of non-monetary tools used for improving employee motivation. Employees often remember the effects of a non-cash reward long after the value of a monetary reward is spent. Organizations must include measures that encourage employees to feel as if their presence is as important as their performance. People want more out of work than getting paid. Merit increases, bonuses and other incentives go only so far in motivating staff to be productive and to continue making positive contributions. “Focusing on the top non-monetary motivating factors: open communication, recognition, career development plan and the ability to make a difference in the workplace encourages employees to motivate themselves” (Falcone, 2002). How a company motivates its employees critical to the success of any organization. The same can be said when building your team.

Many organizations have a significant amount of turnover not only within its corporate environment but also amongst its client companies and customers.
It is vital that your organization has developed a strong foundation for the incentive programs that it utilizes. Some incentives range from immediate “thank you” notes and gift cards to local eateries to long-range financial incentives based on the achievement of corporate goals. Executive managers have found that effective ways to “motivate employees to achieve the desired goals of the organization include creating an environment with strong, respectful and supportive relationships between the organization’s managers/supervisors and employees and a focus on genuine expressions of appreciation for specific employee achievements, service milestones and a day-to-day acknowledgement of performance excellence.” (Daniel & Metcalf 2005) Employees like instantaneous recognition. This will motivate them to continue achieving. Long-range incentives provide a positive influence on performance and help the employees believe that they are apart of the collective success of the organization. Some rewards are provided on a weekly basis based on team measurements. We should all take this approach when building our teams. A successful team is a motivated one.

But it doesn’t begin or end there. A well thought out incentive plan is essential to success. Is a company going to distinguish itself by paying higher-than-average salaries or by paying salaries that are competitive and finding other ways to attract and retain top performers? Offering signing bonuses has helped companies to get the best candidates in the door. Once they are in, keeping them becomes the challenge and companies begin using non-monetary elements as forms of compensation. Examples may include allowing flexible hours after a set period of service, creating a pleasant working environment and providing praise and advancement opportunities or benefits. Above all, strong compensation plans consider what’s needed for the company to maintain its competitive edge today and sustain growth (Grill, 2006). The challenge of attracting and retaining talent has led employers to recognize what employees have been saying for awhile. It is not about pay only. It is the total offering that attracts, retains and motivates workers today.

Organizations must motivate their employees in order to attract and retain employees; they must make high performance an attractive option for employees; they must encourage employees to build new skills and gradually foster commitment to the organization (Milkovich and Newman, 2006, Chapter 8). Some programs are designed to weed out self starters and challenge employees through Atkinson’s Achievement Motivation theory. In the simplest sense, motivation involves three elements: (1) what’s important to a person, and (2) offering it in exchange for some (3) desired behavior. A combination of motivational theories can be used in the design of a performance management program. By using the Reinforcement and Goal Setting theories, both individual and team performance has been impacted. Without any incentives in the workplace, activity levels drag. While motivated leaders in the practice are clearly excellent role models, many times incentive programs can help fill voids or augment management styles (Riegger, 2004). In order to increase employee performance, goals are created at the individual and team levels. The goals serve as standards to which employees can compare their performance. In meeting these goals both teams and individuals are rewarded immediately. Rewards are matched to desired performance objectives and withholding payouts are a way to discourage unwanted behaviors. Performance-based pay is contingent upon achievement of important performance goals that are challenging and specific. The amount of the incentive reward also matches the goal difficulty. Bill Nolan (2005) stated, “Reward your staff by setting financial goals, scheduling productive staff meetings and offering staff-incentive programs, you’ll retain your current employees and grow financially.” It is imperative that goals are realistic to the employees who are going to be held accountable for reaching the goals. If the employees view goals as unattainable, a reverse motivation will occur. Goals should be built using the S.M.A.R.T. formula, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Targeted.

An organization’s investment in its employees should not end with their paycheck. Their investment should include compensation, retirement plans, health and insurance benefits, and even career development benefits. An employee’s compensation package puts value in their pocket while providing them and their loved ones peace of mind. The purpose of the compensation program is to support the organization in achieving its mission and goals by attracting, motivating, and retaining highly-qualified individuals who are committed to delivering client and business results.

There is rarely one correct way to design system or pay an individual. Compensation systems have a profound impact. Studies have shown that you can obtain a greater increase in productivity through the use of non-monetary recognition items (merchandise, plaques, life-style items, etc.) on a dollar-per-dollar basis than by using only cash to increase productivity. Or, at the very least, combine non-cash with cash awards. In a recent study of manufacturing team motivators, more than half of manufacturers say cash works best when combined with non-cash incentives such as recognition programs, training and development, promotions, and changes to work content. Many other studies have shown that employees find the most meaningful incentives to be things that have no cost at all, starting with personal thanks from one’s manager for doing a good job (Nelson, 1997).

Motivation plays a vital role in the achievement of organizational goals. In order to be successful and maintain that success a company must ensure that the many interest of its stakeholders are taken into consideration. An organizations plan should support the overall business strategy by attracting and retaining critical talent, controlling costs, and motivating employees.