• Barnett Waddingham
    Barnett Waddingham
  • Industry Spotlight: Cash is dead, incentives are alive…

    Incentives come in many forms. A lot of companies take the easy option of giving cash incentives as it’s quick, easy and doesn’t take much thought, but is this enough to motivate and retain staff?  Numerous studies have concluded that non-financial motivators are much more effective, and work better in the long term.

    Financial rewards plug a short term solution but are not sustainable. You have to become familiar with your staff and find out what values they have as individuals. Some may be motivated by money, but if someone holds respect and being listened to as their main values, money won’t motivate them. Ask your staff what makes them unhappy at work, and you’ll hear about an annoying boss, a low salary or an uncomfortable work space. Environmental factors make people miserable, and they can certainly be demotivating – they must be managed carefully to ensure you have a happy, productive workforce.

    My workplace has put a lot of thought into the best ways to motivate staff through new and innovative incentives. Environment is a key factor. Spending two thirds of your life in a dull, non-engaging environment can be counter-productive. Offices should be creative and sometimes designed, or at least have some input by the staff, with breakout spaces, a Moroccan style bar or roof-top sun terraces with ‘beach hut’ meeting rooms for example.  Providing a great work environment, one that people are proud to come to work in every day, will contribute massively to a happy and productive workforce.

    Another key incentive, especially for a working parent, is flexibility. This is crucial to attract a variety of ages especially in an industry where talent is in short supply. Accommodating part-time workers, flexi-hours and understanding the deep-seated need for growth and achievement is key to a contended workforce. I believe promotions should be an integral part of working culture, giving staff the opportunity to increase their responsibility, take ownership of their career through hard work, passion and innovation. With the ability to work from home now, each member of staff should be empowered to choose where they work at certain times to fit it in with work priorities and their own life.  A company that understands the busy world we live and work in, and allows for flexibility, creates highly motivated staff.

    Within the agency I work for, flexibility is prominent. Fun incentives have been set-up including BOB days, where twice a year you can wake up and decide, it’s back to bed for me with short notice.  Every month we finish early on a Friday (FOF – we will leave you to work that one out) to celebrate awards and share the agencies news followed by a boozy afternoon or the choice to leave early for a weekend.

    When it comes to interviewing someone you should use the code called PICK to decipher the key qualities: Passion, Inquisitiveness, Caring and Knowledge.  By ensuring this mentality is engrained into the DNA of the agency from top to bottom you will rarely end-up with a demotivated workforce.  I honestly believe the moto – work hard; play hard. Keeping staff happy has benefits of increased productivity, creativity, reduced turnover and an improved bottom line.


    Words by Annalisa Gribble, senior HR manager at The Specialist Works


    Find out more about The Specialist Works here


    Annalisa Gribble has worked in HR for 18 years. She started out as a recruitment specialist, originally within the finance sector working in large organisations such as Lloyds Banking Group and the Newedge Group.

    In 2013 Annalisa made the decision to change the sector in which she had grown her career and joined TSW to set up a new HR function for the company. Being a mum of three young children and working part-time, she has been an integral driver in the ‘people’ agenda at TSW which can be demonstrated in the success of the company achieving 3 stars (highest achievement) in the Sunday Times Best 100 Companies to Work For List in 2015.


    Jack Wynn

    All stories by: Jack Wynn

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