It’s amazing what a, “Great Job” or, “Thank You” can do for an employee’s work and productivity. Too often we forget to be grateful for how hard employees work day-in and day-out to make the business run smoothly. Encouragement and recognition rewards worthy workers. So how do you implement a good incentive program?
The first thing you’ll need to consider is how much you want to spend. Looking at the excess company funds is a great starting point. The amount you have available to spend on an incentive should be determined before anything else. If funds are low, consider paper certificates or special recognition during the next company or department meeting. If there is more money available, consider professionally produced plaques, gifts, or even vacations (a program we offer here!). It will all depend on what you have available and how much of that you are willing to devote to employee incentives. Be willing to spend some money to reap the returns of even more hard work and happier employees!
Next, you’ll want to determine how you will award the incentives you’ve selected. Will it be for the best overall employee, or the best from each department? Smaller companies may want to opt for company-wide while larger companies should have awards among departments. Consider how many awards you can afford to distribute. It won’t do to hurt the business to appreciate the workers, but actually invest time and thought into the decision.
Now, how an employee will achieve the incentive? What are the criteria to win? You will most likely want to choose someone who has been with the company at least 6-months to a year, though the decisions are completely up to you. Decide if there is a sales or monetary goal that needs to be achieved, or if a management board/peer review will determine a winner.
It is important to have clear cut rules so that employees not only have goals to strive for, but also to make it fair for all employees. Incentives are not supposed to increase animosity!
If you want to avoid putting together packages and certificates, you can show your appreciation for hard work by offering profit sharing to employees, like we do here at DPOE. You’ll still need to determine who receives such benefits and how much (typically, those who have been with your company a year or longer will receive more than new employees) but it is a great way to encourage your staff to work harder, to grow the company and take responsibility for their work.
Question of the week: What incentive would make you work harder?