One thing that I’ve learned while working at QIC is that everyone is different. Let me say that one more time, everyone is different…Every client we have, every employee in the office, every program we manage, they’re all different. Now I know you probably just read that and thought, “Yes, of course everyone is different. Where are you going with this?” Well bear with me if you will.
Everyone at QIC likes different foods, has a different style, and thinks in different ways. When it comes to spending our Rally Rewards Program points, some people are savers (me) and some people are spenders (Michelle). Some people want iPads and headphones, while others want coffee makers and food processors. Having a variety (or in our case an almost limitless number) of rewards helps to make sure that there is something available for all of your employees.
Story time! A friend and I were out to dinner when we started a conversation with the group next to us. We were all talking about what we did, where we worked, etc…The usual “Hi, I just met you” small talk. When it was my turn, I started with “I work for a company here in Memphis, Quality Incentive Company. We help design and manage incentive and recognition programs for all kinds of companies…” before I could finish someone from across the table said “Hey, you guys actually run our program…I got a crock pot a few months ago and I use it all the time.” Now, this burley man wasn’t exactly who I had in mind to order a crock pot, but come to find out he loves to cook and had wanted to try several crock pot recipes for quite some time.
It is also important to remember this when creating a rewards program. People are motivated by, interested, and engaged in different things. Now we have our documents for Best Practices and we have worked with all kinds of program designs, but don’t be afraid to be different. No one knows your employees, your customers, your staff, quite like you do. Do you have a team that is competitive with each other or more focused on achieving their own goal? Are your customers motivated by special promotions? Does your staff like being recognized in a group setting or one-on-one? I find it interesting that of all of the programs we have, not a single one is exactly the same.
We recently advised a client with multiple locations to examine each of the company’s locations – as employees in one location (and their responsibilities) were very different from those in other facilities. Everyone shouldn’t be measured by the same KPIs. The solution? Each location created their own rules. They had 3 common indicators, but then it was up to HR and the plant managers to choose from a list which rules would work best for their plant and for their employees.
So what I’m trying to say is that it’s good to be different, to think outside of the box. Programs are different, customers are different, and employees are different. Create a rewards program that is unique to your company culture – one that allows your employees to choose rewards they want, not something chosen for them. Go ahead – embrace the difference.