The Voynich Manuscript … The Great Pyramids … Stonehenge – fascinating mysteries to be sure. If you’re hesitant regarding the implementation of employee recognition, customer incentive, safety incentive or sales channel incentive programs because you view the task as mysterious as these … relax, rethink, and reconsider!
Allen Schweyer, Principal and Partner at Human Capital Innovation (CHCI), discusses what makes or breaks a successful incentive program in this IRF blog post. He identifies three elements as mission critical: program design, program communications, and accurate measurement (ROI).
As Allen points out, program design must be based on thoughtful and thorough consideration of the program’s purpose, its participants and parameters. Be careful not to include too many KPI’s (key performance indicators) as this can add complexity and dilute program effectiveness. Focus on measureable objectives that will have meaningful, positive impact on the organization.
Employee recognition and incentive programs are many times launched for the right reasons but fail due to a variety of avoidable negative factors (as Allen notes). They can fail because of poor design, but failure or lack of positive results can also be attributed to poor communication. Communicating the program, its purpose (and its potential positive impact on the organization), as well as the potential to earn exciting rewards is key. Every employee recognition program, customer incentive, safety incentive or sales channel incentive program should be executed with the fervor and enthusiasm of an extensive marketing campaign. After all, your program is an extension of the organization and should be branded heavily and fueled by consistent communication to all.
When done right, these programs are exciting and can be game-changing. Consider that proper communication conveys the meaningful purpose [the organization is serious] of the recognition or incentive program.
Measurement and the ability to draw accurate conclusions based on program analysis are vital. We refer to this as ROII (Return on Incentive Investment). Measurement should be considered when designing the program as well. If the program is too complex or contains immeasurable or vague objectives, ROII will be more difficult to determine.
The Bermuda Triangle … Bigfoot … Loch Ness … true mysteries! Designing, executing, maintaining and evaluating employee recognition programs, customer incentive, safety incentive or sales channel incentive programs … not so much!