By Eli Cherkasky, Chief Operating Officer, Exiger
Hitting your numbers is always top of mind for business leaders, especially as we enter Q4 and have line of sight to the end of the year.
Oftentimes, when a business outperforms its budget, executives breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy the momentary reprieve before pushing into the next quarter or the next year.
But to do so risks skipping a crucial step that jeopardizes your long-term success – that is including your employees in that achievement.
Leading companies aren’t waiting until the end of the year to recognize their employees’ contributions; Instead they’re finding innovative ways to reinvest business gains to improve employee experience, compensation and wellness.
Here are three ideas to reward the people that helped you beat your numbers:
1. Quarterly Bonuses
The traditional end-of-year bonus can create anxiety and frustration for some employees as they manage their expenses throughout the year and try to budget around a December surplus (see: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation for what not to do).
Quarterly bonuses, on the other hand, are a great way to incentivize your people year-round. They’re retentive and they allow people to make more money in-year without a negative impact on the company’s P&L (because bonuses are accrued regardless of when they’re paid).
2. Mid-Year Merit Increases and Spot Bonuses
Spot bonuses and mid-year merit increases are a great tool to reward star players and teams that have outperformed their goals. Spot bonuses are usually one-time payments or rewards that recognize agility, ingenuity and going above and beyond to achieve a company goal or complete a company project.
Mid-year merit increases allow companies to assess and reward performance in the middle of the year (often when most of the action is happening). This ensures that you can recognize great work that’s already happened in the first two quarters while also incentivizing teams to keep up the momentum through the end of the year.
The main value of these tools is that they reward strong performance immediately or closer to when the work happens. This communicates your company’s appreciation for exceptional work and encourages others to follow suit.
3. Do Something Fun (No, Seriously)
Businesses often underestimate the importance of creating stress-free moments of fun.
One of the best ways to reward your people is to bring them together to celebrate. Did your sales team blow out the quarter? Give them a budget to plan a departmental party. Did a last-minute team effort secure a big win? Plan a congratulatory happy hour. Does the product team need a breather after a crazy couple of months? Reinvest in an off sight to help them recharge and brainstorm big ideas for the next sprint. You can also create opportunities for your people to have more fun outside of work. Consider transitioning to discretionary time off; This rewards your people with greater autonomy and flexibility around their vacation time or family time. Or reinvest your earnings into expanding healthcare benefits or introducing new wellness perks.
Outperformance Should Be a Win-Win
Your people are the lifeblood of your business and it’s vitally important that when the business outperforms some of those gains are reinvested back into the people that made that success possible.
Too often, companies wait until the end of the year to reward their people (or fail to do so entirely). But in order to retain your people, it’s important that they feel their organization recognizes and values their contributions. Deploy these ideas when success happens and they’ll go a long way toward cultivating a culture of trust, loyalty and mutual success.