How did you celebrate Labor Day? For many it signifies the end of summer, for others the beginning of football season. Labor Day is our opportunity to recognize the significant contribution of the American workforce. As a leader one of the most important aspect of your role is recognizing and rewarding your team. Now is the perfect time to evaluate your reward systems to ensure you aren’t making these common mistakes.

The Win/Lose Effect

Some rewards align well with the objectives of the organization such as adding new clients or resolving customer issues quickly. But these can also have unintended consequences. The most public case recently was the Wells Fargo new account incentive that went unmonitored resulting in significant loss of client trust and now is worse than their initial projections. The mistake I see service companies make is to incentivize the service desk to close tickets quickly. Have you ever been on the phone with a customer service rep who couldn’t wait to get you off the phone? Is your reward system creating a scenario where the employee wins, but the client loses?

Throw Money At Them

Increasingly, employees are less motivated by monetarily. No longer can you throw stock options and pay increases at those who want more time with their family or oven the luxury of leaving work at the office knowing they won’t be called away from their son’s soccer game or grandma’s 90th birthday party. A recent study revealed that nearly 40 percent of job candidates worldwide said schedule flexibility is now among the top three factors they consider when making career decisions. Another study found 37% of tech workers would take a 10% pay cut to work from home. Are you using the one size fits all reward system by simply throwing money at them?

Want to create better reward strategies? Download my one-page tool for customizing employee recognition and client appreciation.