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Over the years it has been well known that large organizations usually struggle with innovation. The investors and leadership become more conservative once the organization reaches a certain size. Once this happens, there is less entrepreneurial spirit and less likely for employees to take risks that could result in failure and possibly lose their job. Companies seem to get comfortable with their current success without looking into the future and continuing innovation. There are companies that is happened to such as Borders, Blockbuster, American Motors, Pan Am, Montgomery Ward, and Woolworth.
Today there are a large number of organizations that promote intrapreneurship from within. These organizations let their employees spend 10 to 20 percent of their time on projects that are related to innovation. These innovative projects have nothing to do with their day jobs. Companies such as Google, 3M and Intel are well known for their efforts in this regard. Not surprisingly, these are some of the best performing big companies in the world of business today. But they are surely the minority, and more big companies need to get on board. (Deeb, 2015)
How it works
The first opportunity is a reward program for employees. FedEx employees that have ideas can help with the overall success of the organization. For rewards to have a positive effect on employees, they must be a measurable product or outcome and during a specific time period, a specific action, or directed toward a specific market or audience. More and more organizations are using incentive programs. There are different ways that employees can be rewarded. Monetary, free travel, prizes, assigned parking spaces, plaques, and public recognition are just a few. “These incentives are a way to engage the employees, and engaged employees help enhance the company’s bottom line. Companies with higher than average employee engagement typically have higher profits, higher sales, higher customer loyalty, above average productivity and higher stock returns” (Huhman, 2011). Giving employees rewards can promote employees to work harder towards a common goal to receive that extra reward at the end of the project whether monetary or not.
The next entrepreneurial opportunity would be to allow employees to be able to make suggestions and be heard. This requires leadership to want to allow this and actually listen to all of the suggestions. These are suggestions that would save the company money. “Once a year, launch an “idea crusade” for your company. Announce the campaign in advance with posters and flyers, explaining you are seeking unique ideas that will improve the company’s productivity, grow the business, and create additional jobs” (Clark, 2004). Management has to allow this type of change to be implemented into their company culture to ensure that their ideas are taken seriously. This will keep the employees motivated and continue to give their input on changes they think could save the company money.
The last opportunity is having a business that is transparent. FedEx has to have a culture that promotes transparency so that employees do not think that deals are being made without anyone knowing about it. The employees will have more respect for management and will be more comfortable speaking how they feel. “This type of work environment also means that employees feel extremely comfortable with speaking their mind (good or bad), and are in fact encouraged to do so. In turn, employers respect this feedback and take appropriate action where they can and as often as needed to keep the company on the right course” (Smith, 2013). Transparency within an organization promotes good communication and therefore brings out the employees’ creativity and motivation to get the job done.
The reward or incentive program would be the best option for FedEx. Companies are starting to understand that incentives built in to an employee’s salary is what keeps quality employees. FedEx has 425,000 employees worldwide. (FedEx, n.d.) With all of the different countries that FedEx does business in, government regulations make it hard for the organization to continually change.
With the high cost of health care in the United States, I believe one incentive program should focus on wellness. “Wellness programs are popular because health care costs have ballooned more than 40% in the last 5 years, and they’re able to reduce costs as much as $225 per employee. Plus, wellness programs often improve employee morale” (Exploring employee incentives, 2017). Offering this type of incentive to employees not only improves their morale but reduces the cost of health care.
Another incentive program should be peer recognition. This type of program is designed so employees can recognize their peers. This can happen face to face or even using social media or a simple email to a coworker. This type of program improves retention, employee interaction, and working relationships. This collaboration allows organizations to increase morale through interacting with each other.
Another option for an incentive program is for safety. FedEx has to put the importance of safety in every aspect of their business. “Safety programs are designed to motivate employees to focus on being safer at their workplace, in all sorts of ways: by developing defensive driving habits, taking frequent breaks, choosing ergonomics, and more. A properly designed safety incentive program not only rewards safe work, but also promotes proactive behavior such as making safety suggestions to others, identifying hazards and participating in safety committees” (Exploring employee incentives, 2017). Having a safety incentive program allows employees to be more proactive and watch for potential safety problems and concerns and get them corrected before it someone gets hurt.
The workforce has experienced some changes with more people leaving the workforce than entering it. With the Baby Boomers retiring, Generation X is not large enough to cover the void left in the workforce by the Baby Boomers, however, Millennials can fill the void but they lack experience. “This structural change to workforce itself has helped drive employee rewards and recognition to center stage, as CEOs and senior leaders must strategize to retain as many top performing Boomers for as long as possible, while simultaneously “training up” Millennials at a much faster rate than previous generations” (Van Dyke, 2016). The way the workforce is changing is helping incentive and reward programs become a priority for many organizations. This helps them retain the top talent needed while training a less experiences generation of workers.
Technology is being used in reward and incentive programs to keep up with the pace with technologies being used and adopted in their private lives. Millennials are technology savvy and expect to have the same technology used in their private lives at work.
The reward or incentive programs continue to prove that they work. In the United States, there are more than 50 percent of businesses that support having an incentive program with those organizations spending over $100 billion annually on various programs. The past few years, incentive programs range and breadth have more than doubled. (Feece, 2016) Employees that want to participate in the incentive program do so by completing their work targets or accomplishing their benchmarks eagerly. The rewards for making the personal targets are paid vacation days, a certain parking space for a period of time, or gift cards that are individualized.
Employees that participate in an incentive program are less likely to miss work or look for another job. “Retention is a nagging concern for virtually all employers, and any factor that improves the numbers of employees who stay with a business is worth strongly considering. Just think of the money saved in costly recruiting and training efforts” (Feece, 2016). Organizations are always looking for ways to save money and what a better way than on retention. Keeping turnover to a minimum should be the goal for every organization because it becomes expensive retraining a new employee.
Organizations that use incentive or rewards programs see less employee turnover because the program increases the employee’s enthusiasm. These programs create happy employees with the drive and determination to meet their goals and be successful. “An employee incentive program instills a feeling of value to employees and in turn promotes motivation for employees to be more productive and committed to their work and the company. A business will reap the benefits of a more inspired, loyal employee…and as the employee’s productivity peaks, the company’s bottom line increases” (5 reasons to use an employee incentive program, n.d.). These type of programs increases an employee’s self-worth and their outlook towards the company that they work for. This will motivate every employee involved and have a huge impact to the bottom line of the organization.
Providing employees with clear precise goals and targets to meet increase the productivity of those same employees because it provides direction and something to work towards. While working towards their goals and targets, they are committed and determined to get the job done.
There are many different entrepreneurial opportunities to choose from for FedEx. The different incentive programs that are outlined offer different benefits to the employees with the same outcome in mind. These programs reduce turnover, increase morale, and make the employee overall happier about their job. Therefore, increasing their productivity and creating an employee that is loyal to the company. Relationships within the company will be stronger and better because everyone wants to come to work every day increasing efficiency.
5 reasons to use an employee incentive program. (n.d.). Retrieved from: http://smartceo.com/american-executive-centers-5-reasons-to-use-an-employee-incentive-program/
Clark, S. (2004). Employee ideas can save your company money. Retrieved from: https://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/stories/2004/10/25/smallb3.html
Deeb, G. (2015). Big companies that embrace intrapreneurship will thrive. Retrieved from: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/243884
Exploring employee incentives. (2017). Retrieved from: https://www.hawkincentives.com/insights/exploring-employee-incentives
FedEx (n.d.). Corporate fact sheet. Retrieved from: https://about.van.fedex.com/our-story/company-structure/corporate-fact-sheet/
Feece, J. (2016). The impact of employee incentive programs. Retrieved from: http://www.smallbizdaily.com/the-impact-of-employee-incentive-programs/
Huhman, H. (2011). Take your Organization from good to great by fostering “Intrapreneurship”. Retrieved from: https://www.businessinsider.com/take-your-organization-from-good-to-great-by-fostering-intrapreneurship-2011-3
Smith, J. (2013). How to create an authentic and transparent work environment. Retrieved from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/10/04/how-to-create-an-authentic-and-transparent-work-environment/#78721dde6f96
Van Dyke, M. (2016). IRF 2016 Trends in Incentive Travel, Rewards, and Recognition. Retrieved from: http://theirf.org/research/irf-2016-trends-in-incentive-travel-rewards-and-recognition/1692/
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