As a business owner, you hope to sell as much of your product as possible. Therefore, it is crucial, especially in the retail industry, to have a motivated sales team. Your sales force is responsible for making sales, acquiring new customers, forming stronger bonds with current customers and growing your business. Your company will suffer if your sales team is not energized to work hard and do their best. A way to encourage your sales force is by creating incentive plans.
There is a debate about whether financial incentives or non-monetary incentives work better. Financial incentives are rewards in terms of money that have the power to motivate employees. Meanwhile, non-monetary incentives are rewards that are not given directly as money to inspire employees to perform more productively. Both categories have their own pros and cons. But, non-financial incentives are the way to go for small businesses in the fashion industry.
Monetary incentives have been around for a long time, but money is not everything. Nowadays people desire more meaningful rewards. Younger generations, specifically Millennials and Generation Z, are looking for personalized incentives that increase their self-esteem. Plus, research shows financial incentives usually only lead to short-term motivation.
Companies have begun implementing non-financial incentives and the benefits are clear. They are inexpensive motivators, which is especially important if your fashion business does not have the funds to offer financial rewards such as pay raises or bonuses. In addition, non-monetary incentives will develop trust among your sales force and make them feel valued. They will also create a positive working environment for your sales team and foster loyalty to your company over time.
Let’s take a look at the 6 non-financial incentives we will cover in this article and why they are effective in motivating your sales force:
- Flexible Work Arrangements
- Opportunities to Advance
- Recognition and Rewards
- Time Off
- Themed Days
1. Flexible Work Arrangements
Everyone dreams of having some form of flexibility at work. For example, your sales team will be more enthusiastic about selling products for your retail business if they can schedule their own hours and work around other commitments. Your employees might have to balance working for you with school, family obligations, medical appointments, and personal hobbies. Flexible work arrangements can make your retail workers happier and their lives easier. Therefore, by offering this as an incentive, your sales force will be motivated to perform better.
Furthermore, there might be tasks that your sales force can accomplish virtually. The idea of working from home, even if it is once a week, might drive them to be more productive in order to achieve this perk.
Flexible working options also relate to the tasks you are given to complete. One employee might prefer greeting and interacting with customers, instead of replenishing stock and arranging inventory. As a result, you can reward high performers with the ability to do the responsibilities they enjoy and allow them to stop doing the task they dread the most. Your retail sales team will be excited to come to your store everyday and work efficiently if their preferences are met.
2. Opportunities to Advance
Career advancement opportunities are non-monetary incentives that can motivate your sales force. A lot of employees want to grow professionally and will work hard if they know there is the possibility for promotion at your retail business. Individuals who receive a promotion will feel proud of themselves and will want to do well in their new position. Plus, if you provide outstanding employees with the chance to take on more of a leadership role, they will gain experience managing a team and delegating responsibilities, which will benefit your fashion company.
Some people enjoy making an impact and will be motivated if they can earn opportunities to directly influence your fashion company. These employees will strive to have a say in significant decisions and by listening to their thoughts, they will truly feel that they are important to your business and will want to be a part of your company’s success.
Members of your sales force may have ambitions to continue their learning as well. If you offer top performers time for their education or training, they will be eager to return the favor by helping your small business prosper. In addition, you can create a mentorship program where you either act as a mentor or set up managers with new employees. This program will bring your retail team closer together, while helping your employees learn crucial skills and feel confident in their roles.
3. Recognition and Rewards
Recognition and rewards are additional non-financial incentives to motivate your sales team to go above and beyond at work. Everyone likes to feel valued and know that their achievements are being noticed. Your employees may start to be less productive if they feel no one cares about their efforts. As a result, it is essential for you to acknowledge your employees’ hard work and accomplishments.
One way you can do this is by writing a thank you note by hand to an exceptional worker. Although it is easy to send a quick email, a hand-written thank you note is more meaningful. Your employees will then feel special because you have taken time out of your busy day to consider the exact words you wanted to share with them about how they have been an asset to your retail business.
Another way to recognize your sales force is by praising an employee during a weekly meeting for an excellent job done that week. This can increase the self-esteem of the worker being recognized, while encouraging others to do their best in order to receive that same praise. Public acknowledgement allows other members of your sales team to celebrate each other and establishes a positive atmosphere at your retail store. In addition, you can recognize your workers on your social media accounts. By sharing your employees’ achievements on social media, you are conveying that you value their efforts and in turn, they will be motivated to be featured in their own post.
Rewards have the power to encourage members of your sales force to perform at a higher level. Potential rewards for your fashion business to offer are gift cards, tickets to events, donations to charities, and luxury products such as clothing or jewelry. Employees will want to improve their performance in order to get these rewards. Remember you can personalize these items and choose them based on the hobbies and passions of your workers. For example, if you know one of your most hard-working employees has a favorite restaurant in the area, you can provide them with a gift card for that restaurant. Not only will your employee be thrilled about the gift card, but they will also appreciate your thoughtfulness and be delighted to be a member of such a caring sales team.
4. Time Off
Time off is a non-monetary reward that can encourage your sales force to do their best everyday. A lot of people wish they had more time for vacations or to do the activities they love. By offering time off to employees who perform highly, your workers will realize how important their well-being is to you and be motivated to be successful at your fashion company. An extra day off will help members of your sales team improve their work-life balance as well.
Time off is especially beneficial if your small business is not able to afford financial incentives like pay raises or bonuses. After returning from a day off, your employee will be cheerful and ready to take on the challenges ahead.
5. Themed Days
Themed days are a fun incentive program to set up for your retail business. This cost-effective way to motivate your sales team is simple and engaging. For instance, offering casual Fridays where employees dress down is a great idea. They will feel more comfortable in their informal attire and always have a day to look forward to. Another example is allowing workers to dress up in a costume for Halloween.
You can even create a bring your pet to work day at your fashion store. Your workers will not be the only ones enjoying the perk of having adorable pets around, I know customers will be just as excited to see them. Although you want your employees to be professional, it is crucial to create opportunities for them to have fun. By implementing themed days, they will be able to express themselves and learn more about their co-workers, while you are building a strong company culture.
Offering trips for your sales force to go on together is a non-financial incentive that you can establish at your fashion company. Keep in mind not every employee will be interested in the same experiences you or their co-workers are excited about. Therefore, researching different types of outings and getting input from your sales team is essential. These trips can facilitate a team bonding experience and boost morale in your workplace.
Examples of trips that your sales team might be motivated to achieve are going out to lunch, participating in a painting class, attending a sporting event, or volunteering together. If your employees are stressed, any of these trips can act as a well-deserved break after reaching one of their goals.
The motivation of your sales team is crucial for your fashion store’s success. The modern employee does not solely care about money. Workers desire for their company to help them progress in both their career and personal development. Your retail business might not be able to afford monetary rewards. But, monetary rewards typically provide short-term motivation and your goal is to encourage your sales force over a long period of time. It is clear that non-financial incentives are the way to go for your small business in the fashion industry.
Not all employees are excited by the same incentives, so you will get the most out of your sales force by implementing various non-monetary rewards. Today we covered 6 non-financial incentives that will encourage your sales team to improve their performance. The first non-monetary reward is flexible work arrangements. Whether you give your employees the ability to choose their own work times, the opportunity to work remotely, or you allow them to focus on the tasks they prefer, this flexibility will increase their productivity. Next, the second reward, not given directly as money, for you to provide is opportunities to advance. Promotions, leadership roles, decision-making power, and continued learning are ways for members of your sales force to grow in their careers and as people.
Third, recognition and rewards are non-financial incentives that go a long way. If you acknowledge your employees’ accomplishments either through a hand-written thank you note, praise at a meeting, recognition on social media, or with a personalized reward, they will feel valued and strive to do their best. The fourth way to drive employees to work harder is time off. The top performers of your sales team will appreciate you rewarding them with a day for themselves and will come back better than ever, ready to lead your company to success.
Fifth, themed days are effective, non-monetary incentives that create a fun atmosphere for your fashion business and provide employees with freedom and comfort. If your workers are enjoying themselves, your customers will then feed off their positive energy. The sixth and final non-financial incentive we looked at is offering trips for your sales force. You should be open to suggestions from your employees about any trips they are interested in. These outings can be a perfect way for your sales team to not only get to know and trust everyone but also inspire each other to work harder.