Rewarding Great Ideas

by Stacy Zemon

Let’s say that you’re a multi-system operator, looking for a way to foster innovation and creativity in your DJ business.

Perhaps you’re wondering how to reward great ideas without breaking the bank. Here are some ideas to get your juices flowing.

Rewarding great ideas is vital to the success and productivity of any company. According to a study by employee motivation agency, Maritz, 55% of employees strongly agree that the quality of their company’s recognition programs affects their performance, but only 10% of those polled are satisfied with these efforts.

In a mobile entertainment company, innovative new ideas are king, so they should be acknowledged. There are lots of strategies for rewarding productive creativity; some are tangible, others are intellectual. Some recognition is public, some private.

Determining the best reward programs for your DJ service takes time and thoughtfulness, but it’s worth the effort because the right program will not only recognize great ideas but also bring more of them to your table.

Before You Start Rewarding, Foster an Innovative Culture

Long before your mobile entertainment company can reward the great ideas, you must first foster the creation of those ideas.

Driving performance requires companies to focus on their No. 1 asset: their employees. What drives innovation? It’s not coming from technology or processes. It’s coming from people.

At your monthly staff meetings, why not have employees judge each others’ ideas? People can show what they’re working on just to get a fresh set of eyes on something or to propose a major new direction for the company.

When ideas are flowing, it’s time to decide which ideas are worth rewarding. The good ideas—the ideas that will improve, grow, or transform your company—deserve the most plaudits. But, distinguishing these ideas, especially when they require time to mature, is sometimes difficult.

Try to encourage and reward all ideas that come up. You want a culture that celebrates almost the wackiest of the ideas for the bravery in putting it out there.

Points, Prizes, and Other Perks

When great ideas emerge, bonuses are the most common solution for companies with a large enough cash flow. Although an extra check is rarely unwelcome, many more creative options exist to reward employees in a meaningful way.

You could also recognize smaller ideas with a points rewards system. When an employee comes forward with a fresh idea, they earn points which can later be traded for tangible gifts, gift certificates, or gift cards.

At RockYou, a social game developing and advertising company, great ideas are recognized monthly with their “You Rock Awards.” Driven by peer nominations, RockYou awards employees for solving a problem, designing a game or otherwise showing innovation. You Rock nominees spin a wheel to choose an award such as concert tickets, an extra day off, or an iPad. All You Rock recipients also receive a golden bobble-head cow trophy.

No Two Employees Are Alike

Rewards always need to be meaningful, memorable and motivating, but there’s not a one size fits all solution. By offering choice to your employees you get much more engagement and can drive the kind of results that they want.

With rewards and recognition natural sense of competition may arise, something healthy for companies seeking a truly innovative culture. Companies should recognize a group with great ideas when merited, but there’s nothing wrong with recognizing an individual doing something incredible.

If a group comes to the table and one person has had the eureka moment that inspires everyone else, I don’t think it’s wrong to tell or show that person how much his or her work mattered. That’s how innovation works.

Stacy Zemon – Publisher and Chief Scribe

Stacy Zemon is internationally considered a leading authority and leader in the DJ industry. She has reached an audience of millions as a Radio, Club, Karaoke and Mobile Disc Jockey.

Stacy’s work as a Writer, Author and Publisher have enabled her to spawn the largest number of DJ business owners in the world!

She is author of the world’s best-selling DJ books: The Mobile DJ Handbook, The DJ Sales & Marketing Handbook and The Mobile DJ MBA, and was a longtime writer for DJ Times magazine.

Stacy is also the Founder & President of DJ Video Network – Internet TV for DJs, by DJs.

Her mission is to provide educational resources for DJs that support their professional growth and financial prosperity.

Write to her c/o Stacy@ProMobileDJ.com. For the longer version of Stacy’s story, click here. To learn about the business services she provides for other DJs, click here.

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