5 key elements to your employee incentive scheme

An employee incentive programme can be a powerful and effective tool for boosting your company’s performance. However its how you develop it and communicate the programme to your employees that’s really important.

Setting employees clear and realistic targets that are directly linked to reward for them and the company’s goals and help achieve engagement, boost productivity and improve your bottom line.

  1. Clarity. Simplicity and transparency are the basis of a successful employee incentive programme. Two things need to be completely clear to employees for your scheme to have optimum impact and gain maximum buy-in:  “ what they need to achieve and what they will get out of the scheme in return”.
  2. Desirability. The key is to identify a reward that your employees value and would be willing to go the extra mile for. How? Ask them. For all your planning, your scheme will fail to get off the ground if the incentive on offer simply isn’t attractive enough.
  3. Inclusivity. To get the best ROI, ensure your scheme is inclusive, fair and accessible to employees at all levels of your business.  This may mean you need to tailor objectives and rewards to suit specific teams or business areas. Employees who feel left out can feel undervalued and demotivated.
  4. Communication. Maintain ongoing dialogue throughout the period under review. Promote the initiative through a launch campaign, then keep up momentum by highlighting employees’ achievements and how they’ve benefited from the scheme. Continue to get their feedback and input – that way you will know what’s working well and where adjustments need to be made. This will be valuable information when it comes to the next incentive programme.
  5. Return. The point of any employee incentive scheme is to boost profits and grow the business. Therefore your programme needs to be cost effective as well as attractive to employees. If employee targets are being met and you’re making more money than it’s costing you, then you are on the right track. Of course, the specific measures/metrics you use will depend on the objectives you set out for your scheme at the outset.