Incentive Planning - Introduction

One of the toughest challenges faced by managers is how to motivate the sales team, so that their performances can be improved. Furthermore, maximizing the performance of their team requires a great deal of attention, as it also reflects on their own success. There is no generalized formula for the increment of the motivation of their subordinates. The factor that motivates one person may not prove to be as effective for somebody else. In fact, it might just go the other way around. Let us find out in the in the following chapters in detail.

There are various classical theories that guide us towards motivation, or help us in creating a motivation-oriented environment. Most of these theories are based on the fact that internal motivators need to be approached for bringing out the best in people.

Before having a look at these categories in their most basic forms, one should make sure that all the other criteria, as proposed by the need hierarchy, have already been achieved. For instance, if a team’s core survival essentials are not being met, an intention to form social groups will be out of the question for them. If they then work in a hierarchical sequence from the top towards the bottom, they cannot engage and focus on work, when the other initial motivators do not exist. They should always realize that it is not feasible to actually reach the top of the need hierarchy, nor can anybody satisfy all the needs; everything is related to being totally self-satisfied.

Theory of Motivation

There are different self-satisfaction values for different people when it comes to any of the six internally-motivating factors, which are − economics, aesthetics, theoretic, nature, structural and political. For those people, who judge their satisfaction level within the parameters of economics, they will want to know the amount of monetary or material possessions that would be enough for them.

Theory of Motivation

For the aesthetically-motivated people, they will want to know the limitations of beauty. For the theoretically acclaimed, they will try to find the new scopes of learning? And when somebody reaches a level of satisfaction, another immediate higher level of satisfaction is automatically generated.

Everyone wants a haven of their own and it will not be wrong to say this at all. Self-appeasement is everyone’s desire. Everybody wants his specific needs to be satisfied and the fact that each and every person wants something can act to a manager’s advantage. The only thing a manager has to do is to find out what drives the team mates in his team, who are working towards the same goal.

Realizing Motivators for a Team

Managers motivate his team-members by trying to find out the internal motivators of their team members. Managers employ many methods, such as observing and questioning, like what they would do with the extra income, if it were to be increased beyond their expectations.

Different employees, if they are being really honest with their answers, will answer this question the following ways −

  • The theoretically-motivated employee would possibly say, “I have been thinking lately of taking some lessons, which are not covered by the company’s policy of reimbursement. My expenses would likely be covered by the raise”.

  • The aesthetically-motivated employee will say, “I am thinking of buying a new guitar. The more I play it, the more I feel how bad my current guitar is. Also, while I don’t anticipate nor is it necessary for me to be the highest-paid employee within the department, it will surely help in managing things”.

  • A nature-motivated employee may say, “I was considering to adopt a pet animal from the local pet store. If I come across a salary hike, it will surely help with those expenses. I am still determined to make the commitment”.

  • A politically-motivated employee may say, “I will thank you for the hike; according to me, this should have happened a long time ago. I have earned it, because I am one of the largest effort contributors within the team”.

  • A structurally-motivated employee would most probably say, “I have still not thought of it, but I am very delighted to know that this happened. I think that I deserve a hike of this kind, according to the company policy.

  • An economically-motivated employee who is cautious about his/her financial state would likely say, “I will add this extra money to my investments. This will come handy while further compounding my rate of return

While the above answers will help, they find out the internal motivators are not wise to rely on just a single indication. That is why it is wise to ask additional questions, have keen and focused observation and use other assessment techniques to get a clearer picture. Behaviour is what people do; internal motivator is why people do so.

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