Incentivize an Imaging Project

Starting an imaging project might feel strenuous. However, it can be a fairly entertaining project for staff if it is managed correctly. How? As one my favorite professors ensured we understood…

Incentives matter.

Mrs. Patty

This article will go over some practical tips for obtaining buy-in from your imaging staff that you may have not considered. These incentives can be applied to almost any project. However, these incentives are more tailored to imaging because an imaging project can require certain measures in order to be conducted effectively and efficiently.

1. Casual Dress Code Day(s)—Save. Our. Slacks!

If you have worked with old documents, then you understand the film of dust that will be attached to your face, clothes, and hands after handling them. This is one thing that is hard to ever get used to and will likely never bring joy. Especially when it results in your once soft and stylish slacks now completely untouchable/unbendable.

So, if generally your dress code policy is as inflexible as dusty slacks, ask management about casual days for your imaging team during the project. This will give your imaging team the comfort and capability of bending, stacking, etc. It will also create a sense of respect and awareness that you understand what their task actually entails, versus requiring them to wear business professional/casual and ruining their expensive clothes.

2. The Right Equipment—So Equipped They Don’t Want to Quit.

The dust will create a very dry environment, especially for anyone that you ask to prep the records prior to scanning. Prepping the records can mean the person will be removing old paperclips, staples, and smoothing the pages. That is a lot of handling. Two things that likely will happen to those not prepping the records, but will definitely happen to those who are prepping the records, are their lungs will hate them from the inhaling of dust and their hands will feel like the Sahara.

To ensure they know that you are aware of these conditions and want them to remain comfortable, mention to your imaging team that they might want to bring a mask or supply them with a box of disposable ones.

The other is to provide them with gloves and their own personal tin can of balm for hands (aka “finger lotion”). This is a shoutout to my old boss who supplied us with both. Your imaging team will quickly learn that dealing with old records will have them saying, “Why would I ever get a manicure?” or “I can no longer bend my finger.” So, like my awesome boss did for us, mitigate their feeling of wanting to go home and wash the day off by supplying them with the right equipment to work in a comfortable and moisturized environment.

3. Headphones—Hey, We’re Simple.

Baboon using headphones and typing on computer.

Another productivity tool that we recommend is allowing your team to use their headphones to listen to their own music/podcast. Even if it will be limited to the one-ear-in and one-ear-out rule, headphones can make a surprising difference in the ability of your imaging team to focus on conversion. Headphones mitigate the need for small talk, which—while great for team building—generally requires some amount of eye contact and can take away from your team finding the small details like black lines from a dirty scanner, those microscopically-tiny corner page folds that keep us up at night, or post it notes stuck between pages that slow down the scanning process.

If you’re still on the fence for what headphones can do for productivity, envision the one task that you don’t necessarily want to do and definitely don’t want to do for long. What do you bring to your area to create that personal oasis and to zone in? Coffee? Music? Well, drinks are not a great thing to bring around a conversion project because they can spill on the paperwork, so really consider how the latter makes you feel. Ultimately, allowing your team to use their headphones is virtually a zero financial cost method to let your team know that you trust them enough to handle their business and listen to great tunes or learn something from their favorite podcast.

4. Food—the Universal Language.

If all else fails and your budget allows you to do so, purchase meals for your team. Notice we didn’t say “snacks.” Snacks are not a great investment, because the team will likely take the snacks to their station, which will lead to food residue being left on records. Also, snacks are not convenient for your team because your team will be going from touching dusty old documents or old rusty paper clips and staples to their snack.

As we all know, lunch is probably the most expensive meal during your time at work. Taking your team to lunch might not be a super common occurrence that you can do, but if you can do it at least once, it will create the team building conversation that you lose if you allow headphones. Some great times for a team lunch are at the start of the project—so everyone gets to talk and know one another—or at the end of the project to thank them for all their hard work.

Scene from show 'Dexter' where Dexter is bringing donuts for the staff to eat.

When buying meals remember, people understand that personal budgets are a priority, so don’t spend more than you can afford.


Try to remember that imaging projects take time, but it will be worth it because you’re teaching your team a lot of skills they can use in the future. Do you have any incentives that have worked for your imaging team? Let us know below!

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3 thoughts on “Incentivize an Imaging Project

  1. Thank you so much, Toni Moynihan-McCoy! I truly appreciate you saying that.
    Woah! That is quite a lot of documents.

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