The Smoke and Mirrors Around Your Employee Incentive Program
Organizations discovered a long time ago that a little recognition can make a big impact. Offering up employee incentives for a job well done is proven to increase productivity, engagement, retention, and overall improve the health of the company. From an employee of the month program to incentives for completing employee training, you would be hard-pressed to find an organization that doesn’t offer up some type of rewards. What may be more difficult is finding one that does it well.
Take a close look at your rewards program. Have you made changes to it in the last decade? Is it motivating your employees as it should? If not, it could be doing more harm than good.
For one Bigtincan Zunos customer, they learned the hard way how much a reward-ridden training program could hurt their bottom line. Before switching to Zunos, their program enticed employees to complete training modules, and in return, they would earn points and an opportunity to go shopping in a virtual store. It didn’t take long for employees to learn that, with a small amount of effort, they could click through training and get rewarded without actually learning anything.
In an effort to motivate their employees to train, they inadvertently created bad employee behaviors and rewarded them for it. Engagement on the surface was something to celebrate, but those numbers were smoke and mirrors hiding a depleted training budget and unknowledgeable workforce. This went on for years without them realizing that their training and rewards program could ACTUALLY work if they changed a few things.
It’s Time to Take Action
If this sounds anything like your employee incentive program, it’s time to clean things up. Start by taking inventory of your program. Are you getting the right type of results? Don’t just look into the vanity numbers, but dig in. Just because you’re seeing the right engagement, doesn’t mean you’re getting real results.
Then, think about the type of rewards you are offering. Do people get excited about the rewards? Get feedback from your employees and find out what really motivates them.
Finally, consider the timing and frequency. Are you offering up rewards too often or not enough? Figure out your organization’s sweet spot for giving rewards and what makes sense for your program.
Rewards and Recognition in Action
To learn how it’s done, let’s revisit our Bigtincan Zunos customer. After switching to Zunos, they cut off rewards cold turkey. By removing any expectations of prizes to earn, employees could focus on what was really important: training and development.
Armed with fresh content and a gamified platform, their employees began to engage with training without receiving anything in return. Sure, they missed the training perks but that didn’t stop them from taking time to learn. The company reintroduced rewards slowly into their training program, spacing them out, and kept timing a secret so employees remained on their toes. In a matter of a few days of releasing rewards, they saw an increased engagement of 200% that held steady for weeks after a lapse in incentives.
For the sake of your employees and your organization, let’s shine up those trophies, recognition, and rewards programs. It may take a little elbow grease, but the results will be well worth the effort when you have a more engaged, and happy workforce.
CEO & Founder at WordWell Creative