Tip Jar: A Fun Way to Motivate Your Team

Tip Jar: A Fun Way to Motivate Your Team

Leaders need to be inspirational motivators. Instead of just issuing commands and telling people what to do, they should help motivate their team to be their best and reach their fullest potential. That’s what separates a ho-hum manager or a blah boss from a WOW leader.

But how do you successfully motivate your team? Most importantly, by having a positive attitude and by being a passionate, determined example for those you lead. You can’t expect your team to be motivated to perform well if you’re setting the wrong tone and portraying a lackluster, disengaged attitude. People won’t be fired up to succeed unless you’re fired up to succeed! They won’t care if you don’t care!

Contrary to what some DUD bosses believe, people aren’t motivated through threats, fear, or bullying. Even if the team is driven temporarily into action because they’re afraid of reprisals for poor performance, it will be short-lived. They’ll eventually start looking for work elsewhere or start phoning it in on the job. They’ll never give what they’re capable of, or better yet, go beyond what they’re capable of, without a positive, motivated leader to drive them.

Creating a positive, impassioned culture is key if you want to WOW. Your team or your employees need to know they matter and they are appreciated. It’s your job as the leader to make sure that happens. As with any relationship, keeping things fresh, fun, and exciting goes a long way towards keeping people engaged and happy. Coming up with new and creative ways to motivate your team is always a WOW move. Here’s a simple, yet effective idea that gets everyone involved in improving themselves and supporting each other.

The “Tip” Jar
Create a box or a jar that can be placed in a communal area in the office. Label it the “tip jar,” but make sure everyone knows it’s not for cash bribes! Instead, encourage everyone to write a positive “tip” about their co-workers or fellow team members when they notice someone going above and beyond, making a difference, or setting a good example. No complaints or suggestions are allowed in the tip jar—only compliments. This encourages people to recognize and acknowledge the good works of others in addition to giving them the motivation to do well themselves.

Although some people might find complimenting their peers for the sake of complimenting them reason enough to share a tip, incentives help ensure participation. The reward doesn’t have to be huge to be desired. Perhaps a free lunch, a paid day off, a nominal gift card to a local shop—whatever you feel would be desired by your team. Hold a weekly “drawing” where you randomly select one of the compliments from the jar. In addition to being publicly praised, the person being complimented wins the incentive. And if you’re worried about people “stacking the deck” in their favor, require the person giving the tip to put their name on it. You don’t have to reveal the tipster, but those without the names of both the giver and the receiver wouldn’t be eligible to win the incentive. Also, be sure to put in a tip or two yourself! If you get a lot of submissions, read several or all of them aloud, even if the recipient isn’t a “prize winner.” The compliment alone will be motivational!

You’d be surprised at how little it truly takes to motivate and encourage a team. Positive reinforcement via a heartfelt pat on the back goes a long way—and a tangible incentive goes even farther. Whatever you dish out in terms of genuine, positive motivation will be returned multiple times over with great performance from happy and contented employees. The tip jar is one fun way to encourage positivity and bring out the WOW within your team.

Sheri Staak

Author: Sheri Staak

Sheri Staak has worked with and managed more than 1,300 sales representatives in highly aggressive and competitive marketplaces. She strives to maintain high levels of engagement with both individuals and management teams in challenging environments and marketplaces, aiming to embody and exemplify what she calls WOW leadership. Sheri is a PEAK PERFORMER in the industry as well as a devoted mentor to up-and-coming WOW leaders.

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