Is it time to remove the band aid?

band aidWhen the doom of the recession took hold, one of the first casualties was rewarding employees for delivering success using incentive programmes. An attitude of ‘they should be glad to still have a job’ took hold.

However, we are now slowly but steadily starting seeing a small yet positive growth in our economy. For the first time since the third quarter of 2010, all the main sectors of the economy, including services, industry and construction, have showed some growth.

Andrew Sentance, senior economic adviser, PwC says, “We should expect fluctuations, but the underlying trend is improving. This latest figure is consistent with our projection of 1% growth this year and 2% next, which would make 2014 the strongest year of the recovery so far.”


Getting in pole position

This means that businesses need to start thinking ahead for a brighter future and getting themselves in pole position for 2014. Confidence is returning to the job market and talented individuals are ready to move on for fresh opportunities in new organisations.

piggy bank band aidIncentive schemes have had a long hard attack of the blues and employers have done well during the recession by battening down the hatches to ensure all physiological and safety needs are addressed first, and making the most of recognising esteem by creating engaging recognition programmes.

However, in order to take the next leap, employers will need to start dangling the carrot and putting their money where their mouth is.


Why should I use an incentive scheme to deliver business growth?

Employee incentive schemes are once again becoming increasingly popular as more and more business look to get the best from their workforce and retain the best talent. But more than that incentive schemes can:

  • Persuade people to join your business
  • Retain existing staff
  • Increase staff motivation
  • Improve staff loyalty
  • Enhance staff morale
  • Boost employee productivity
  • Link individual and business performance
  • Focus employees on achieving targets

They may even offer additional benefits such as improving the quality of your employees’ working life and so reduce absenteeism.


Do incentive schemes work in the long term?

Staff incentives improve business performanceIncentive programmes can help deliver significant growth, and for many businesses they offer a win-win way of motivating and rewarding staff.

However, in order to get significant benefits from your incentive scheme it needs to be properly created, communicated and managed.


Here’s what you need to consider:


Incentive scheme objectives should be tied to your overall business objectives.


Rewards need to include something for everyone in your business, not everyone will want the same reward so you need to consider the demographics of your employees and choose rewards that match their needs and wants. Don’t choose rewards that you would like to receive.


Rewards don’t need to be expensive. Two of the most popular rewards are gift vouchers and gift cards which allow employees to choose where they will spend and what they will spend it on.


Your incentive scheme should be launched with a big fanfare, but don’t let the momentum slip. Before you launch work with your marketing team or an independent marketing consultant to plan an on-going communications strategy covering multiple communication channels.


During the recession employers were reactive to the economic conditions and cut incentive scheme budgets, but now is the time to strategically invest in incentive schemes to improve their business growth and stop the best employees leaving for the competition.



Sales incentives


John Sylvester

John is responsible for the motivation division of p&mm ltd and a Director on the board of the IPM. Specialising in developing, implementing and directing many large scale staff motivation, recognition and employee communications programmes.

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