We’ve worked on many campaigns over the past 10 years that have effectively used incentives to drive real-time results and excellent ROI. We understand that an incentive program can be time consuming and often difficult to manage, especially when it’s a large-scale program running across departments and even countries!
That’s why we’ve taken the time to compile our key tips for a successful incentive program into one helpful article. The top tips below should help anyone plan and execute an incentive campaign that simultaneously improves company productivity and rewards employees or stakeholders.
Have a plan
While realistically you’ll want to start your incentive program right away, one of the most important steps is preparation. Planning is key; without it, things can quickly become chaotic. So our first tip is to start the process with a meeting where you outline the intentions of the program.
Understand your goals
In order to have a successful incentive program, you need to know why you are doing it and what you are trying to accomplish. Therefore, we advise you to think about the reasoning behind your incentive program, in order to get the best possible results.
Don’t overcomplicate things
At FMI, we recommend that you keep the incentive program simple. It should be easy to understand, both in terms of what to do and what they can get out of it, to encourage participation. Similarly, an achievable, but still challenging, goal will encourage more participation while improving company productivity.
It is important to understand that an incentive program is not a substitute for a salary, but rather a demonstration of gratification from your company. Therefore, you should dedicate a portion of your annual budget to the rewards program to reinforce the importance of the program to your employees.
Customize the rewards
Not all rewards will apply to all positions; there should be different incentives for different job roles. For example, incentives for junior and senior staff would be different. Knowing your audience will help you tailor rewards to specific positions and improve your chances of providing a successful incentive.
Choose start and end dates
Providing a clear start and end date will help your employees (and you) track their progress and give them a clear direction to work from. The end date gives the team something to look forward to and reinforces the idea that the reward is something special, reserved for those who put the most effort into their work.
Choose a suitable duration
The ideal duration of an incentive program depends on each case, but we can give you some tips to point you in the right direction. It should be long enough to have a real impact on the company’s productivity, but not so long that employees lose focus and give up. The basic idea is to keep your employees interested with regular rewards and bonuses. For example, if your incentive is year-round, there should be monthly winners along the way.
Let everyone know
If someone is performing exceptionally well, let everyone know! It’s important that your employees are recognized for their efforts. In addition, activities such as company award nights or even lunches with senior management show appreciation for the staff and can improve their attitude and performance.
The key to a successful incentive is communication. There needs to be a dialogue between you and your staff to not only communicate individual and company-wide successes, but also to listen to their opinions about the program.
Review and rework
No matter how hard you try, it’s unlikely that you’ll have created the perfect incentive program the first time around. So our advice is to talk to your staff, ask them what they think. Take note of what they say and use their input to make improvements to the next round of incentives.
If you think an incentive campaign would work for your brand and help increase sales, contact us today for creative ideas and inspiration. We are always happy to provide information and advice on how to best reward staff and stakeholders!