Design the Optimal Employee Rewards Program: Measure & Adjust Accordingly

The steps required to design an effective employee rewards program have been addressed in previous posts. Because employee reward, incentive and recognition programs are a critical component of corporate employee engagement strategies, it’s important to get them right. This article from Forbes, Maximizing Employee Engagement By Leveraging An Organizational Social Impact Strategy” shows the impact of organizational social impact. Two of the steps that are often overlooked or not given enough thought are:

Step 7: Operate and track results, and

Step 9: Evaluate and measure

Whether this is your company’s first employee reward, recognition or incentive program or your company has been using this strategy for years, these two steps are critical to inform both the current and future success of the program. 


Once clear goals are set in Step 1, regular measurement will reveal whether those goals are being met, however many other factors will affect and can predict the effectiveness of your program. Some other factors to consider in the measurement of your employee programs are:


  • Unanticipated events: Top of mind right now is the current COVID19 pandemic. This is certainly an event that we could not imagine planning for that is affecting every company and every employee. Your company may be furloughing employees, adding essential workers or transitioning your workforce to work from home. Each of these situations would require an adjustment in your program rules and practices. Other unanticipated events would include weather emergencies, terrorist activities, natural disasters, etc.


  • Unintended consequences. Partnering with an experienced Incentive Professional will help to mitigate unintended consequences, but if you should encounter them, an immediate program adjustment will be necessary for a successful outcome. Examples of unintended consequences are:


    • Making the rules so stringent or the reporting system inefficient so that employees are tempted (and able) to cheat to earn the rewards.
    • The rules are not structured fairly, so that the usual top performers are going to earn all the rewards and there is no possibility of many of the participants to improve performance and earn rewards. This can be demotivating and completely avoidable when the program is structured effectively.
    • Offering rewards that do not appeal to your audience. This is why inviting employee input in Step 5 (choose the rewards) is so important. Often the program designers are very different than the participant demographic. Surveying the participant audience or inviting representatives to help in the reward selection will ensure that you are offering rewards that will motivate your audience and are appropriate to the activities you’re requiring in exchange for the rewards.


Contact us today to talk with one of our Incentive Professionals who can help you design and monitor an employee reward, incentive or recognition program that will deliver results.


Brian Galonek


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