I recently had an important meeting with the Harley Owners Group.

Given I was a co-founder, a life member, the #1 ticket holder and it was 30 years since we started, it was a landmark occasion.

This made me think about how we reward our people.

What’s the best way to reward your team?

To a certain extent they are already rewarded because they are paid to do their job – unlike the HOG where we were all volunteers.

Is getting paid enough of a reward?

Research suggests that most people are not motivated by money. In happiness terms, once we have enough money to be comfortable, then our drive to earn more is diminished. We might still pursue money as a goal, except it’s more likely to be for some reason – like power, prestige or status.

Also, our motivation drops when the reward is repeated at regular intervals e.g. getting paid each week. Thankfully people turn up to work to pursue other goals – social, career, community, learning…

The question of reward is clearly linked to motivation.

But do you want to give a gift or a reward?

Clearly, I don’t give my partner a reward (even though she most definitely deserves it). Instead, I give her a gift.

The big thing about gifts is that they are one-way – you don’t expect anything in return.

Today, most of us have most of the things that we want and if we don’t we can usually go out and buy them. Thus, the thought of buying a gift that is something they need is obsolete.

Instead, what we are craving for is connection and meaning.

Therefore, the best gift you can give someone is something that means something to them – regardless of the price or the item. We simply want to know that you thought about what matters to us. We want to know that you care.

In organisations, there is one more thing to consider. Are you rewarding the individual or the team? In other words, is a celebratory lunch better than individual gifts? Both can be great choices.

To give a special gift to your team, to put some effort into thinking about what they value.

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas break. We look forward to working with you in the new year!

Take Care,

Mike Allen