Unexpected Incentives

Employee recognition doesn't always have to be anticipated by your staff for morale to improve. Sometimes it's unexpected little things that can boost morale and drive motivation. Tanveer Naseer posted a write-up last week explaining how a soda machine could teach all of us a thing or two about motivation. His post included a video of Coca-Cola placing a vending machine on a college campus and providing students with more than just the one Coke they were expecting.

Naseer brought up a good point with his post. One reason that students were so happy was because the things they were receiving were completely unexpected. These unexpected rewards from the mystery Coke machine more than likely pumped them up for the rest of the day and more motivated to accomplish the tasks at hand.

An employee working for an incentive will help drive behavior. However, it's not so much the incentive itself that drives the behavior as much as the recognition behind it. Without proper recognition, behavior really won't be modified and your incentive program won't reap a great ROI. Naseer's post suggests an addition to a planned incentive: surprises. Having an impromptu verbal praise for an employee or providing a reward for your staff that's not anticipated can do wonders for morale improvement in an office. Random acts of personal recognition will help reinforce the behavior modification your incentive program is trying to achieve.