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Enhanced incentive plans can drive employee productivity beyond just a paycheck

I have come to understand that people are motivated by more than just money. Money is a great motivator — but to some, it can be third, fourth or even further down their motivation list.

Incentive plans are designed to motivate someone, or team, to action. They must first have “enhanced” buy-in before they act, or you will have lower performing results.

Dave Schedin

This will be a multipart series around incentive plans, but first, let’s start with taking a look at understanding a few core values. These core values set the context for and actually empower enhanced incentive plans.

Core values:

  1. Employees are not just employees. They are individuals. They are uniquely, wonderfully gifted, creative and have purpose.
  2. A “laborer” is worthy of their wages.
  3. Wages come from profit. When profit is there, the wages (bonuses) can be paid. Business owners hire “laborers” to do the work and they’re worthy of the results they produce.

What are enhanced incentives versus just regular incentives?

Here is a formula I use to get a better understanding of what incentive plans include:

Pay Plan + Benefits Plan + Purpose Plan = Incentive Plan.

Pay plans, depending on the position, they can be very straightforward or be multifaceted about the financial reward(s) an employee will receive from their actions. We will cover this more in-depth in upcoming columns.

Benefit plans include all non-financial payment “extras” an employee receives. Beyond vacations, medical, dental vision and retirement, there are additional big and small “perks.” They can add great value to your benefit package that you might not have previously considered and entice employee to work harder.

Purpose plan. That’s right, a purpose plan. Core value number one gives you understanding that individual people have a unique purpose — not to just have a job and provide for their family. Purpose is best served when you, the shop owner or manager, and your employees are on a path to be the best version of themselves possible. What are you creating to be a better you, your team and team members? This is what helps activate your employees to want to be part of something bigger than themselves, and believe it or not, their career choice. Lack of a purpose plan will take the wind out of the pay plan and benefit plan sails.

I have seen some good pay plans and benefits plans offered, yet the employees still underperform. The owners missed the part of, not just job fulfillment for an employee, but career and purpose fulfillment.

How to know if you need to enhance your incentive plans?

  1. Are they producing the results you want with a high level of excellence and doing it out of passion for what they produce?
  2. Do they frequently thank you and are grateful for working for you?

Or . . .

  • Are they doing just enough to not get fired?
  • Are you paying them with benefits just enough for them not to quit?
  • Do you have employees in anyone position that seem to leave every two to three years or sooner?

Building an enhanced incentive plan is like building a major freeway you can drive 70 mph for hours on end. It takes time and money to make it happen. Ever notice how roads were built but then extended later? They saw the need created the money and then took the time to build the superhighway. Your incentive plan is your superhighway for your employees to drive on for years and head in a direction that helps fulfill their purpose.

Full incentive plans are best served with getting outside help and not reinventing the wheel. Having a deep forecasting and budgeting session for an incentive plan to get you there will pay you great dividends and give you a great ROI when done right. They must be matched to a forecast or it will typically cost you way more than you can afford. We create customized incentive plans based on what can be afforded now and into the future as the company grows. You don’t have to do it alone.


Next from Coach Dave in the Enhanced Incentive Plan Series: Part 2 – Technician pay plans and more.

** The first five who forward this “Aftermarket Matters Weekly” to another shop BEFORE July 1, and cc Coach Dave (copy and paste the email below) will receive a Level One Shop Evaluation including your current incentive plan review.

Dave Schedin can be reached at 800-385-0724,, and A complimentary 30-minute discussion is available for the asking.

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