As we enter the last part of July, a lot of parents here in the Southeast are starting to talk about the return of school in a few weeks. I grew up in the Northeast where school did not start until after Labor Day, so this still seems like a scary proposition to me, but I can usually justify it by remembering their “summer” gets started a lot earlier as well!
So, how does “Back to School” relate to incentive and recognition programs? Well, for many companies the summer months represent a bit of a slowdown where employees take most of their vacation time. With the end approaching, it is a good time for program administrators to roll up their sleeves and make some updates to their program.
For sales incentive programs, it could be the addition of a training component to their incentive program. Maybe there is a new product introduction or we want to start the busy fall season with some bonus point opportunities for their existing program. Those are some pretty good ways to get participants re-engaged in the program and find out who is paying attention.
For an employee recognition program, this could be a community service event where all participants earn points for their participation, or keeping in theme with back to school a quiz or survey reminding employees of safety initiatives at the company.
In either case, or really in any season, it is never a bad idea to take a step back and assess what is working and what is not working – or could work better in one’s incentive or recognition program. If you do not already have one scheduled on a periodic basis, ask your incentive/recognition partner to set up a status call or a more formal program review, so you can collaborate and address the challenges that you are experiencing. In other words, do not be afraid to raise your hand even if you do not know the answer or even the question. That is why we are here!