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By Noelle Brooks

How Develop An Effective Employee Incentive Program. Aerial shot of a full cup on coffee on a white able. Bubbles in coffee looks like a smile.

When developing business strategies, customers take center stage. They are the reason for the 15+ hour work days and endless brainstorming sessions. Lead generation and customer retention are crucial aspects of a healthy business.  However, these metrics hinge on employee performance. So how does a company guarantee high quality work performance? Companies need to invest in their staff to create loyal workers. Employee incentive programs are a great way to accomplish this goal. Here are a few reasons why employee incentive programs are great for business:

The Importance of Loyalty 

Productivity makes or breaks a business. Loyal employees produce at increased rates with higher quality. They are also more committed to customer satisfaction, which is essential to retention and growth. Additionally, dedicated employees are more likely to provide new ideas that contribute to a company’s long-term goals. Other benefits include:

  • Improved efficiency
  • Increased stability
  • Fewer quality errors
  • Positive brand reputation

On the other hand, neglecting employees creates an apathetic and/or unhappy staff. This significantly minimizes growth for your organization.  If not properly addressed, this leads to:

  • High turnover rate
  • Low quality work from employees
  • Sales below potential
  • Negative brand perception

Since employee loyalty does not occur overnight, companies must nurture this sort of dedication. This is where an employee incentive program comes in.

Creating an Employee Incentive Program

Developing an employee incentive program can be daunting. The best approach is to use a specific, step by step process. One such model is the ADDIE Framework. This process is broken into five steps:


This is a crucial part of the process. In this step, the company collects all data relevant to its current status and future objectives. This creates the necessary parameters to develop an effective program.


This is the brainstorming phase. In this step, the company reviews other successful programs, sustainability, and staff involvement. It is important to be as specific as possible and consider all potential outcomes.


This is the part of the process where the program is created. It should be relatively easy if steps one and two have been properly executed. Be thorough and keep objectives in mind. Make certain that the program is:

  • Easy to understand
  • Aligns with company objectives
  • Provides attractive incentives
  • Rewards frequently
  • Allows employees to control the outcome


This is the moment of truth. Be sure all necessary resources are in place. Do not forget to have a clear communication plan for feedback. Assign someone as the point of contact (or several people depending on your size). Dedicate a separate email or chat system to handle all employee concerns. Create an easy to follow process for how to address these concerns and any other issues that may arise.


This is the last part of the process. In this step, strengths and weaknesses are assessed.  Any necessary adjustments are made and then re-evaluated. Sometimes, you will find certain parts of your program actually hinder your goals. This step needs to be done repeatedly throughout the process.

Employee Incentive Programs In Action

As previously mentioned, creating an employee incentive problem can be difficult. Even with the proper tools, it may be difficult to decide what works best. Suggestions for possible programs include:

  • Point systems: Employees earn points based on performance. These points can be redeemed for certain rewards. Choice Premiums has a diverse selection of products that great gifts.
  • Social and Networking events: Host team gatherings and networking events and give them something to look forward to that is still connected with your work. Offsite events can be anything from dinner or a night at the museum.
  • Learning opportunities: Provide opportunities for education and skill development. This includes free seminars, scholarships, and new training opportunities.

Ultimately, happy employees equal happy customers. No matter what strategy you choose, make employees the focal point. They are your biggest resource and can be your greatest advocates. Give your company the boost it deserves.

If you need help creating your own incentive program or have other questions, contact us at 478-741-8888 or email

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