3 Types of Incentive Programs To Motivate Your Employees

The Things That Get Rewarded Get Done.

This is what Michael LeBoeuf calls “The Greatest Management Principle”.  If you want your employees to practice certain behaviors, to achieve certain goals, then you must motivate them to do so with a reward system.

Many companies have implemented incentive programs with mixed results.  This is because a program is only effective if it is truly motivational.  The three keys to an effective incentive program are:

1. Goals must be clear and consistent

2. Goals must be achievable

3. The reward must be something the employee actually wants

Once you’ve ensured that the first two elements are in place, you can focus on the third: what do employees actually want?  What type of reward will truly motivate them?

There are three types of incentive programs that I have found to be highly effective.

1. Cash Bonuses and Gift Cards

Everybody likes money, simple as that.  The cash bonus is the simplest and most universal reward, but it is only as impressive as the denomination.  Gift cards have the benefit of near universality, but they provide a value even higher than their actual denomination because they are automatically a luxury item.  While a cash bonus may be put towards something boring like gas or groceries, a giftcard to The Cheesecake Factory ensures the reward will take the form of an enjoyable dinner out.

2. Privilege Rewards

Privilege Rewards can take many forms: a better parking stall, an extra-long lunch break, flexible shift choices, an afternoon off, a week’s access to the manager’s lounge, a plaque or commendation.  The benefit of privilege rewards is that they don’t cost the company much money (some are even free), but they are not as universally enticing to all employees, so you’ll have to tailor the prize to your people.

3. Points Systems

Points Systems are incentive programs where employees can earn points for a variety of positive behaviors.  The employees save up the points to purchase the prize of their choice.  The benefit of a points system is it allows you to reward your employees for a huge variety of behaviors and goals.  For instance, employees could earn points for punctuality, hitting sales goals, recruiting new employees, practicing safety, minimizing sick days, landing new accounts, or all of the above.  Points systems combine the flexibility of cash with the glamor of luxury.  They are always motivational because employees can earn virtually any reward they desire, from sports tickets to iPads to vacations.

Employees need constant motivation to achieve their full potential.  To learn more about incentive programs for your business, click here.

1 Comment
  • Ryan
    Posted at 11:59h, 07 November