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Incentives for staff


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Hi All,

I am looking at ways to boost staff morale and enthusiasm. I have some staff who go above and beyond the call of duty and who are constantly going that extra mile while others are happy to just sit back and do the bear minimum. I'm thinking of implementing a 'team member of the month/half term/term' with some sort of monetary reward (gift card??) as way of recognising staff effort and a way to perhaps motivate others.

Has anyone any experience of this? What criteria do you use? Do staff vote by secret ballot?

Thanks for your help

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My experience of this was on a leadership course where this was encouraged , we don't do it as yet , but depending on how many staff you have and how they would respond to this is a starting point , some people find this type of reward difficult to accept , it could just be a certificate or acknowledgment. I tend to praise at the time , reiterate in super visions and always thank everyone before they leave.

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I think as HappyMaz states be careful regarding taxable income if you are going to implement a monetary gift, reward.

I also think once you have implemented it, you have to be able to sustain it, otherwise people might feel a sense of disappointment.

I think our preschool ethos is that all staff strive to do their best whilst at work, which includes me.

I personally feel the well done, the scrummy cakes at staff meetings and a small Christmas gift given personally by myself may go some way in showing their efforts do not go unnoticed.

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it's so hard isn't it? You could be describing my team and we've been round the houses with this!

I found when I actually thought about it,that those giving the bit extra of their time and effort weren't actually motivated by any materialistic thing but the intrinsic reward it brought knowing they had helped someone etc. and those that would be motivated by a monetary/gift card reward (i.e probably those that don't give a bit more!) would soon (and did!) find the motivation drying up when the value of the gift card became less motivating/or became an expected part of the job


You also have to have incredibly measurable, transparent 'targets' which don't always match what you are trying to improve - have you looked in to why people are feeling a bit down in the dumps? Maybe if staff could be honest about it you could address the root cause (it could be as daft as the kettle takes forever to boil and we don't have time to drink the coffee; new kettle happy staff! - or in my other halfs place of work - the coffee is dire and cheap!)

taken from a quick google!:

When managers are asked to list the Top Ten Motivators for their employees
the list looks like:

1 - Salary
2 - Bonuses
3 - Vacation
4 - Retirement
5 - Other Benefits & Perks
-------------------- the money line --------------------------------------
6 - Interesting work
7 - Involved in decisions
8 - Feedback
9 - Training
10 - Respect


Managers rank money items as their employees' Top Five Motivators. When employees are asked to rank their own Top Ten Motivators the list looks like:

1 - Interesting work
2 - Involved in decisions
3 - Feedback
4 - Training
5 - Respect
-------------------- the money line --------------------------------------
6 - Salary
7 - Bonuses
8 - Vacation
9 - Retirement
10 - Other Benefits & Perks

print and give out one


we are at the stage now where things are discretionary (dodgy I know!) but built around 'get yourself off early, you've stayed back plenty this week type things including the spontaneous cream cakes, flower stems etc and yes, always saying thank you and well done

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I think in a way that is how it is.....some people will always go the extra mile because they are conscientious or they feel they get more back the more they put in. Others are paid 9 - 5 and that's what they do....not a moment more and follow their job description to the letter.

I have over the years worked with both sorts of folk.


In terms of your over expectation staff, look at why they do it? Is it their own desire to do an outstanding job? Are they more involved in decision making than some of the others? Are they still training and so trying or improve their CPD?


As for the others, are they doing a satisfactory/good job? If they are then although you may find it strange that they don't want to contribute more then you can't really criticise them. If however, they are not doing a good job that is different.


Maybe ask them if there are areas of interest that they would like to have a more active role in, in the setting I worked my boss asked us if we had interests and when identified we took the lead in planning for those areas which made us feel more involved.


I think you need to be careful rewarding performance especially if you are in a small setting as some folk are just not competitive in that way and could cause resentment if same person keeps winning. Praise as you go along is always good and if your not so motivated staff are doing things well (even if it isn't amazingly well) then praise them too....we all like to be praised and sometimes that can motivate people to try harder.


At the end of the day childcare is a hard job and trying to get yourself pumped up for it day after day can be a challenge ...... we used to tease each other as we went from the kitchen through the door to the nursery it was "OK ladies, lets put on our game faces" and that is how it has to be, but in my experience the days you really threw yourself into it were always the best days :D

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