The Four Vs of Employee Motivation: Velocity, Visibility, Value, and Valor

A recent Gallup poll revealed that only 30 percent of employees are actively engaged at work, and 18 percent are actually actively disengaged. Disengaged and distracted employees cost businesses money as they ‘sleepwalk’ through their workday, bringing little energy or passion to the table. Making matters worse, actively disengaged employees are more than unhappy at work—they act out their unhappiness by undermining what their engaged colleagues accomplish on a daily basis. For businesses that want to continually innovate and grow, engaged employees who work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company are required.

According to Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workplace report, “engagement makes a difference to the bottom line,” which can have an impact on productivity, profitability, customer service, turnover, and absenteeism. Incentivizing can also make a big difference, according to a study by the International Society of Performance Improvement. The study showed a 27 percent performance increase when an incentive was offered for persistence toward a company goal.

Not all encouragement, engagement and incentive programs are created equal, however. It’s important to utilize whichever approach is best for driving your desired action. By 2001, the Incentive Federation’s biannual study found prepaid cards to be the most popular rewards for employees, consumers, and partners (dealers), but there’s more to an incentive program than just finding the right reward. Try sticking with the 4 Vs of employee engagement when you implement an employee recognition and motivation program.

[wcm_restrict]Velocity. Recognition at work is like love at home – you can’t give it too often, as long as the appreciation is sincere. Recognition can be telling an employee, “great job helping that customer,” or “your presentation was creative and made your point well.” It lets employees know that their work is being seen and they are on the right track for a reward. Although rewards can be given less frequently than recognition, they are just as important. If rewards are only given once a year, employees might forget about them, or think the recognition is insincere and slip into bad habits from time to time. Find a strong balance between coveted prizes that can be used for employee rewards, and a timeline that works for your team.

Visibility. How the reward is presented is just as important as the reward itself. Tell your employees how much you appreciate them out loud. Making their successes visible to the rest of the team provides the employee with the recognition he or she deserves, while continuing to motivate others. Be specific and bold with what you’re rewarding an employee for; it will be more meaningful than something generic and will also help others to understand how they could have been rewarded as well. Try using social media to recognize standout employees on a weekly or monthly basis.

Value. An hourly employee might be motivated by a $50 gift card, but an employee that is making a significantly higher amount of money, especially in the six-figure range, would not. Incentive expert Robert Hobart proved that that the value of the award must be at least 2-3 percent of the employee’s monthly earnings to drive a desired action.

Valor. Gallup found that the more employers focused on employee’s strengths, the more they could “eliminate active disengagement.” Properly recognize the energy and spirit your employees bring to the table. For companies that want to remain on the forefront of innovation, employees must remain engaged and motivated to work hard.

Arranging an employee motivation program can give meaning to work for many of your employees, while ensuring you remain on track to meet company goals. Your employees deserve proper recognition – remember that without them, you wouldn’t be where you are today.[/wcm_restrict][wcm_nonmember]

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About the Author

David Jones currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of CardLab, a pioneer in the prepaid industry. The first to offer businesses the ability to customize a Visa Incentive Card with a company logo, the Dallas based company was founded in 2004. Visa Incentive Card is issued by The Bancorp Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used wherever Visa debit cards are accepted. The Bancorp Bank; Member FDIC.

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