How to Help Employees “Buy-in” Without Bribing Them – Pick Dave’s Brain

This week’s question comes from John in Montevideo, Minnesota. He asked:

Q: How do I get my team to buy into my vision for growth, and the reward of a trip to Hawaii in two years?

Click to tweet this: Say “aloha” to appeasing your staff with a luxury getaway and say “aloha” to meaningful rewards. @DaveCrenshaw

What if I promised you an all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii?

This week’s question comes from John in Montevideo, Minnesota. He asked:

How do I get my team to buy into my vision for growth, and the reward of a trip to Hawaii in two years?

Dave:

A fun question to be sure. It’s also a very specific question. The idea that you are proposing is to motivate employees to work harder by dangling the carrot of a luxurious Hawaiian vacation. I’ll dissect that in a moment.

First, let’s talk about vision. Based on my experience coaching business owners, creating a vision is the most motivational thing that you can do for your employees. They want to feel that they are a part of a winning team that is going somewhere.

The problem that many entrepreneurs run into is they just have this idea in their head or they may have even talked about it in a meeting. However, talking or thinking about your vision doesn’t make it real—especially in the minds of your employees. No! In order for it to be real for them, they must have something tangible that they use as a reference. They need something written down.

No! In order for it to be real for them, they must have something tangible that they use as a reference. They need something written down. A company vision document that spells out in clear, prose form where the business is going to be in five years or ten years, whatever you decide, is helpful because then it helps it make it real for everybody else.

In this one page document, you want to describe specifics. Use plain language. Answer questions such as…

“What will we be doing?”

“How long is it going to take?”

“How many locations will we have?”

How many employees will we have?

“What kind of customers will we serve?”

If you give it to your employees in a concrete way, then they can see it and then they can buy into your vision.

Now, let’s discuss the victory trip to Hawaii. In my upcoming book—The Power of Having Fun, I talk about one of the biggest mistakes that companies can make when it comes to motivating people. Companies tend to assume that what motivates the leadership is the same as what motivates the employees.

To be fair, a trip to Hawaii is going to motivate most people, but what about the employees who would much rather go camping? What about the employees that would just rather stay home and watch Netflix? Or what about employees with children who will find that a “free” trip to Hawaii results in hundreds of dollars in child care expenses? Instead, figure out what motivates the individual, and use that.

A more powerful question that you might want to ask your employees, after creating the vision, is “What would be meaningful to you as a reward if we achieve our vision?” You might be surprised. It might be a trip to Hawaii. But it also might be a percentage of profits or a raise. It might be something far less expensive and time-consuming than a trip for everyone to a remote location.

Here is an axiom that I think really pertains to this topic. It was made popular by Dale Carnegie in How to Win Friends and Influence People:

If you want to motivate people to do something you want them to do, do it in terms of their self-interest.

Make a connection between your vision and what your employees want most, and you’ll find that they’re much more likely to get excited about it.

Thanks for the thought-provoking question, John!

If you have a question you’d like me to answer, go to DaveCrenshaw.com/ask.

I am excited to answer your thought-provoking question!


Feel like you’re the only one who care about your business? Learn how to unleash the power of a more motivated team, without paying them more. Maximize Motivation with a free copy from Dave’s mini-book, SAM: The Leader’s Tool, by clicking here.