One good reason why employee incentives sometimes prove to be ineffective for companies is because of the mistaken belief of employers that everything begins and ends with the employees. In truth, employee incentive programs can only be successful if you incorporate, integrate, and relate it with everything that makes up your company.
Make Your Company Goals and Mission-Vision Employee Centric
Remember that employee incentive programs are made up of two sections: financial and non-financial incentives. To achieve and provide the latter, start by reviewing your company’s goals and mission-vision statement. Are all of them all about you earning profit and nothing else?
Is there any mention made about how employees benefit if and when your company does well? Is there any mention made about how much a company relies on its workforce?
Once you’ve made the necessary corrections, take the time to explain the changes you’ve made to your employees. Make sure that they understand the need for cooperation and harmony. Lastly, emphasize the give and take relationship between the company and the employees.
Make the Financial Incentives Sound as Exciting as Possible
When introducing an employee incentive program to your workforce, do it the way you would advertise a new product to your market. Make everything sound as exciting and as attractive as possible. Don’t rely on mere figures to convince your employees to follow your directives. Yes, they’re powerful, but why leave it at that when you can make them sound even more tantalizing?
Be fair and realistic with what you want to get employee incentive programs that offer multimillion dollars’ worth of commission won’t work if you’re asking your employees to give you the stars and the moon.
When deciding on the goals for your employee incentive programs, make sure that they adhere to two important conditions. Firstly, they must be fair to your employees.
Don’t ask them to do something that – although achievable – might compromise their values and principles. Don’t take advantage of your employees if you become aware that they’re at desperate straits and liable to do anything for the incentive you’re offering.
Secondly, they must be realistic. Don’t give out rewards that are obviously unattainable because you’ve attached impossible goals to them. Don’t dangle incentives in your employees’ noses if you don’t mean to give them out in the first place.
Consider time constraints as well. Are you giving them enough time to complete the task at hand? What about the required resources?
Do all your employees have equal access to the necessary resources?
Options, Options, Options
The most effective employee incentive programs are those that provide employees with numerous options to choose from. You must always be flexible when creating and modifying your employee incentive program. Don’t expect all your employees to fall in love with your first choice. People tend to have different priorities and perspectives, and to ensure that your employee incentive program will work, give your employees the freedom to choose the reward they wish – but only within reason and within your power, of course.
Use Winning Employees as Models
When an employee is rewarded by your employee incentive program, take lots of photos of how happy he or she is with the rewards provided and use this as an example to motivate other employees to work harder in the future. A picture speaks a thousand words, after all, so seeing the actual effects of the employee incentive program will cause your employees to respond more favorably than having you expound on and on about its benefits.