At FMI, we understand incentives. We’ve worked on plenty of campaigns across the last 10 years that have effectively used incentives to drive real-time results and great ROI. We appreciate that an incentive programme can be time-consuming and often difficult to manage, especially when it’s a large-scale programme working across different departments, or even countries!
This is why we’ve taken the time to pull together our key advice for a successful incentive programme in one helpful article. The below top tips should help anyone plan and execute an incentive campaign which simultaneously improves company productivity and rewards employees or stakeholders.
1) Have a plan
Although realistically, you’ll want to start your incentive programme straight away, one of the most important stages is the preparation. Planning is key; without it, things can quickly become chaotic. So, our first piece of advice is to begin the process with a meeting in which you outline the intentions of the programme.
2) Understand your objectives
In order to have a successful incentive programme, you need to know why you are doing it and what you are trying to achieve. Therefore, we would advise you to consider the reasoning behind your incentive programme, in order to get the best results possible.
3) Don’t over-complicate things
Here at FMI, we would recommend keeping the incentive programme simple. It must be easy to understand, both in terms of what to do and what they can get out of it, in order to encourage participation. Similarly, an achievable, yet still challenging goal will encourage more participation whilst improving company productivity.
It is important to understand that an incentive programme is not a substitute for a salary but, instead, a show of gratification from your company. Therefore, you should dedicate a portion of your annual budget towards the rewards scheme in order to reinforce the significance of the programme to your employees.
5) Tailor the rewards
Not all incentives will apply to all positions; there must be different incentives for different job roles. For example, the incentives for junior and senior staff would be different. Knowing your audience will help you tailor the rewards to specific positions and improve your chances of delivering a successful incentive.
6) Choose start & end dates
Providing a clear start and end date will help your employees (and you) keep track of their progress and give them a clear focus to work up to. 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.
7) Choose a suitable length
The ideal length of an incentive programme is dependent upon each case, but we can give you a few tips to point you in the right direction. It must be long enough to make a real impact on company productivity, but not so long that employees lose focus and give up. The fundamental idea is to keep your employees interested through regular rewards and bonuses. For example, if your incentive is over the year, there should be monthly winners along the way.
8) Let everyone know
If someone performs exceptionally well, let everyone know! It is important for your employees to receive recognition for their efforts. Additionally, things such as company award evenings or even lunches with senior management show appreciation for staff and can improve their attitude and performance.
The key to a successful incentive is communication. There must 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 programme.
10) Review & rework
No matter how hard you try, it is unlikely you will have created the perfect incentive programme first try. So, our advice is to speak to your staff, ask them what they think. Take note of what they say and use their input to make improvements for the next set of incentives.
If you think an incentives campaign would work for your brand and help to increase sales, get in touch with us today for some creative ideas and inspiration. We’re always happy to provide insight and offer advice on the best way to reward staff and stakeholders!