What is the best way to reward our back-office positions such as accounting, admin assistants, HR, etc?

Our sales team and managers have MBO's and commissions to drive goals. How can we improve the performance of our non-metric related employees? Are there certain metrics you track and reward them on? Any ideas would be helpful. We are always having contests and fun rewards for our sales team and feel that the rest of our employees and some of the hardest workers get overlooked.


As someone who has worked in administrative positions for the better part of a decade, I will say: being seen and recognized as part of the team goes a long way.

This can be simple - sending an email to congratulate your team on achieving a goal? Send it to the folks the back office positions, too, and call them out in the email as being part of the success.

A coffee shop gift card with a note that says "thanks for your work on this project" tells us that you see us, and you see how hard we work.

The more information your administrative and clerical employees have about the company goals and objectives, the more they can be involved in meeting them. Take them as true partners rather than peripheral positions - this helps them stay engaged in the work, which helps both you and them.

I'm happy to chat further about my experience - I've worked in huge corporations and small businesses and can help you brainstorm more solutions for rewarding your team.

Answered 8 years ago

In most small companies of less than 100 employees, it is best to motivate back office staff by providing clear direction on goals, demonstrating how they can be successful and then supporting accomplishments with recognition and non-cash rewards. A bonus program can be used but it is typically less effective and more expensive than a customized recognition approach.

The first step is to simply say thank you in a genuine way and connect it to results, such as: “We are able to repair our relationship with our important client because of your careful handling of the situation. The team can benefit from how you discussed the problem with them and found the solution that worked best to get us all back on track. I am planning to discuss your accomplishment with senior leadership so we can replicate this process in the future. Thank you!”

This example is specific, genuine and gives recognition that counts.

Another idea is to give non-cash rewards that are meaningful to the person. As an example, one of your high performers is planning to take time off and travel to Las Vegas with her husband. She is telling her friends at work that she is excited to see the Cirque du Soleil. An excellent reward would be to purchase these tickets for her and her husband to attend the event and present them to her before she departs. Tell her how important she is to the company and specifically mention a few of her accomplishments.

If your managers are not skilled enough to provide meaningful recognition with customized rewards then I would recommend manager training and to use small spot awards until your managers get up to speed. One word of caution, make sure that your cash awards are meaningful amounts for the employee’s accomplishments. If the amounts are not meaningful and the recognition is not timely then your actions can actually have a negative impact on motivation and morale.
Quarterly bonus programs can be effective but, once again, they are not as effective as customized non-cash rewards and you must have a well-established performance management system with effective goals setting and reasonably capable managers. This option is typically too expansive for small firms and it must be managed by a strong HR or Comp team to remain effective over the long term.

I hope this helps. If you would like to discuss further, please contact me.

Answered 8 years ago

Recognition is always powerful. Often much more than money.

Question for you: have you ASKED the people who you feel may be being overlooked what would make them feel appreciated? Co-creating the solution can be more fun and more effective than bringing it in from "on high".

Answered 8 years ago

Both team and individual accomplishments need to be vitally recognized.

Contests and rewards are great. But have you recognized things on an individual level? Your sales manager maybe would like some PTO to do volunteer work while your star sales agent is really passionate about a hobby (which you demonstrate by say, giving them an appropriate gift card after a particularly big sale.)

Fostering companionship over competition can go a long way as well so you don't have people feeling bubbling resentment over that one goldmine territory/client/etc. This is why your employees still need to be rewarded on team efforts when times are good-- so there's no impression of playing favorites.

Balance is key.

Answered 8 years ago

To have a reward system in place, the employer must have done some strategic thinking, as to properly appreciate the event. However, many companies do not do this, let alone celebrate such events. There is a lot of good reasons businesses should be rewarding their best employees. For an improved office culture, better engagement or to reduce employee turnover. There are loads of reasons you should show appreciation for your team. Let us look at the effective ways to reward your employees:
1. Handwritten thank you note: A handwritten note can go a long way, especially when it is written by the boss. It is free (if you do not count the cost of the paper and ink) while only costing time. Writing a handwritten note does a few things, well. It acknowledges the individual; shows you care and lets them know you are willing to put in some time for them. Sure, it is only a small gesture, but by itself or coupled with something else. This gesture speaks louder than words.
2. Party: When celebrating the end of one year and the beginning of another, an office party can be a great reward option. Office parties are great because it gives people the opportunity to feel valued and let their hair down, doing it. Two good consequences for a gesture. It might cost a little bit more money than the handwritten note, but your employees will thank you for it.
3. Office BBQ: Like the office party, having an office BBQ is also a nice idea. Perhaps on the Friday before the big day, have a BBQ for a few hours that you are supposed to be working. This works well because it allows for the team to take some time off while at work, spending time bonding with colleagues and having a few drinks. Showing you care by BBQing meat, mixing up some salad and drinking some nice drinks has never been better than when you are supposed to be working. It’s a simple gesture, cost effective and will get the staff merry and motivated for months afterwards.
4. Money: Money is great, everyone loves it. However, it is not always that great of a motivator. At least not for prolonged motivation. However, there is an exception. And that is a New Year bonus. Getting recognition for your work via a bonus, something you have earned can be much more validating than merely getting handed money. This would work for most people, as they would feel they deserve it. Especially being a time of year where there are many expenses, the bonus would be appreciated.
5. Time off: A week or two off for New Year is also one of the more effective ways to reward your best employees. Giving time to spend with family, or to fly to their home city without encroaching on their annual leave would be a welcome gesture to most people. As the employer is most likely taking a bit of time off, it is nice to let some employees have the same luxury.
6. Magazine subscription: Is it a coincidence that around the time magazines turnover is the time of the New Year? Maybe. Yet, it can be a good excuse to reward your team with a gift they’ll be receiving for the next 12 months. Because many magazines offer special deals around this time of year, it can be as little as $60 for a subscription. Present your team with the options and let them decide what they want.
7. Tickets to an event: There are lots of events going on, all year round. From sports to concerts and everything in between. Tickets can be cheap, and they can be a lot of fun for the team or individual members. Regardless, who ever said getting tickets to the football was only reserved for getting new clients?
8. Field trip: Much like the ‘Tickets to an event’, a good field trip can go a long way when you are figuring out ways to reward your best employees. Instead of the final day of work for the year, take the team somewhere! The odds are you are not the only business in the area. Maybe there is a football game on, or a distillery, or a rock-climbing wall (not all at once, though). Reward the team with a fun activity that everyone can participate in and you will be sure to improve your already great office culture for the following year.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call:

Answered 4 years ago

We have implement some measurements to cover all logistic team, for example revenue increase, profit ratio increase. Then other back up and logistic department will get the complete picture how they get the incentive and they will put their weight to help sale division.

Answered 4 years ago

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