Entrepreneur Themes and Member Resources

Lessons In Aligning Motivation and Incentives

Fred and I have learned a really valuable lesson over the last few months that I want to share with you. It has to do with motivation and incentives. How do you align them for your team? How can you know what will be most motivating and most incentive-creating?

As we interviewed hundreds of amazing women to be Her Corner facilitators, Fred and I realized that one of the most important qualities we are looking for in a candidate is her motivation to help other women. If a candidate asks us in the first interview what she will be paid to facilitate a group, we know she is not the right person. It’s not that we don’t want to pay her or that we don’t think pay is important. Of course we do! But we are looking for women who are motivated by more than that. And, luckily, we have found many of them.

SERIOUSLY, THESE WOMEN ARE SO ACCOMPLISHED IT MAKES US FEEL LIKE WE’VE BEEN TWIDDLING OUR THUMBS FOR THE LAST 20 YEARS.

But here’s what we missed.

So we’ve got the motivation part of the equation figured out. Where we’ve stumbled, though, is on the incentive piece. We are learning that just because a woman is motivated to help other women does not mean that her incentives are automatically aligned with those of Her Corner. How do we create a system where each facilitator wants her cohort to work together for more than just the six months of the Accelerator program? In her mind, the facilitator’s motivation has been satisfied. She has helped nine women through the curriculum and has seen them achieve amazing results.

But we’re looking for more.

The truth is, we believe that women entrepreneurs need support for the long term and we intend to provide that for as long as any woman wants it. So how do we create an incentive for our facilitators to want the same thing? This is a question we are grappling with right now.

We are working to create incentives that align with their motivations as well as the company’s objectives. And that’s a hard but necessary struggle to overcome to ensure that Her Corner’s model works for everyone—us, our facilitators and, most importantly, our members. And while that will take some time to work through, we know we will get there.

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