As we enter April and we finally begin to thaw out from a brutal winter, especially in the Northeast, this is a good time to throw open the windows and let in some fresh air. While this certainly applies to your home or business, this metaphorically can apply to your incentive or recognition programs as well.
Incentive and recognition programs when designed correctly should be constantly evolving to reflect the changing focus of the company. This helps keep the program top of mind with the employees, and it also allows the employees to focus on the areas that most greatly impact the business.
Allow me to spend a little bit of your time to explain how this can work for a recognition program. Let’s say you are a manufacturer, and the initial focus of your program was safety and length of service. If we designed the program properly in the beginning, each of these indicators will tie back directly to the bottom line. By reducing accidents, we reduce worker’s compensation claims, expenses associated with being out of work, etc. By providing an incentive for an employee to remain at the company, we are reducing training costs for new employees and also keeping our best and most efficient employees, etc.
Now, it is a year later and your expenditure on worker’s comp claims and turnover rates continue to go down. That’s great, let’s keep that going or possibly tweak the program to focus the spending on some of your lagging indicators if there are any.
Along with this minor change, as part of our “spring cleaning” initiative, let’s also add some other indicators that may impact our company’s bottom line. After a year, your employees will be used to logging into their participant account to see how they are doing with the safety and years of service program. Now, we add a wellness indicator. This can be something simple. Maybe, we provide each employee with a pedometer and if they walk a certain number of steps in a day, a week or a month, they will receive some points for their effort. We all know that a healthy workforce has fewer missed days, but they will also have reduced health insurance premiums. Again, we are tying this indicator to the bottom line. Everybody wins.
Another aspect of adding a wellness indicator like the one mentioned above is that it adds a bit of a fun element to your program. Most people enjoy a good competition, and this one is totally in there control to attain.
There are easily dozens of indicators that can be added to your program to refresh or tweak it, and while this example is specific to a recognition program for a manufacturing company, this concept can also be applied to recognition programs for service industries or sales incentive programs for any industry. The basic idea here is to break out those rubber gloves and a bucket of hot water with some Lysol and see the benefit a little effort will provide.