The Incentive Research Foundation (The IRF) recently talked with many industry professionals to learn what changes program designers are making to employee programs during crisis recovery. In any economy, effective incentive, reward and recognition programs ensure that employees are motivated to achieve goals and that they’re rewarded for that achievement.
Effective Incentive Program Design
There are proven steps to take in designing incentive, reward and recognition programs, and those don’t change with the economic climate:
- Set 2-3 measurable objectives (aligned with company goals)
- Analyze the Audience (identify which employees can impact the goals)
- Fact Finding/Audience Involvement (tools or training necessary)
- Rules Structure & Budget (program structure, fixed & variable costs)
- Select Rewards (with program audience input – but no gift cards)
- Communicate the Program (launch, throughout and at the end)
- Operate & Track Results (run the program, evaluate throughout)
- Fulfill the Rewards (the sooner, the better)
- Evaluate & Measure (were goals accomplished? Determine ROI)
- Celebrate Success! (reward achievers, communicate results)
Although the steps to designing the programs don’t change, the IRF reports that adjustments are being made to programs in preparing for a recovery from the current crisis. Some current priorities include:
- Company leaders are increasingly focused on encouraging and maximizing teamwork, made especially more challenging as more employees are working remotely.
- Simplicity is valued. The more we’re bombarded with email and other messaging, the more people appreciate simple, easy-to-read communications.
- Employee stress and engagement are considerations. Safety programs now include stress management components. Incentive, reward & recognition programs are key elements to increasing employee engagement and all the benefits that a highly engaged workforce provides.
- Program goals, rewards and processes must be continually evaluated to make sure they are relevant to the current climate. This has never been more evident than during the COVID-19 crisis.
- Sales incentive programs may now include learning new skills for effective remote meetings and other ways to maximize customer relationships when face-to-face meetings are not possible.
At their core, incentive programs are a tool for learning and for reinforcing and rewarding the behaviors that are valuable to the employee and the company. The program rules and individual goals show employees how they can become more successful.
In general, corporate incentive marketplace professionals suggest that flexibility and adaptability are key in preparing for crisis recovery. To discuss the changing priorities affecting your workforce as you prepare for recovery, contact one of our Incentive Professionals today.