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. But how does a company guarantee high quality work performance? Creating a pleasant work environment is not enough. Companies need to truly invest in their staff to create loyal workers. Employee incentive programs are a great way to accomplish this goal. But first:
Why does loyalty matter?
Productivity can make or break 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 (costly) quality errors
- Positive brand reputation
Conversely, neglecting employees creates apathetic and/or unhappy staff. This not only hinders growth but negatively impacts it. Results include:
- High turnover rate
- Low quality work from employees
- Sales below potential
- Negative brand perception
However, employee loyalty does not occur overnight. Companies must take specific actions to nurture this sort of dedication. One of the best ways to accomplish this is with an employee incentive program.
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:
- Analysis: This is a crucial phase 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.
- Design: 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.
- Development: 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
- Implementation: 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.
- Evaluation: 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. This step is executed repeatedly.
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
Here are a few real-life examples for additional inspiration:
Ultimately, happy employees equal happy customers. No matter what strategy you choose, make employees the focal point. If you need help creating your own incentive program or have other questions, contact us at 478-741-8888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.