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Going the Extra Mile
It's not a one-way street
As leaders, we want to encourage our people to step up and go above-and-beyond.
However, it’s not fair to ask people to give more and do more if we assume that the compensation they are already receiving from us is going to cover the extra effort.
We need to step up and go above-and-beyond, too.
First off, make sure that your compensation and benefits are at least competitive for the industry in your region.
Second, consider “benchmark” bonuses. I don’t recommend “top performer” bonuses, since that may set up an unhealthy competition in which people are incentivized to undermine their coworkers. With a benchmark system, people who bring in extra value to the company (e.g., sales, X hours of billable work, etc.) receive a bonus that reflects that. People have to beat the benchmark—not each other—to receive the bonus.
Third, once the money-side is covered, consider how you can offer opportunities that help your “rising stars” achieve the success and fulfillment they want. Covering the cost of training or PDHs? Opportunities to work on the projects that build the experience they want? Invest in your people’s futures.
Finally, make sure that you consider the “soft” or “intangible” side of their professional lives. Provide the ergonomic keyboard they prefer. Have the good coffee in the break room. Encourage real work-life balance, so your people have a chance to recharge. Make sure your people feel valued, respected, and appreciated.