It’s important to start out on the right foot when setting up your staff incentive scheme, so here’s a bullet point guide of what to consider before you embark on your journey.
In order to ensure that your scheme is a success, have you considered the following…
- Start with your overall business objectives and align your incentive scheme objectives with them. It’s important that you know what you want your new scheme to achieve.
- Typical incentive scheme objectives might include:
- Improving product profit margins
- Increasing turnover
- Increasing sales of a particular product
- Reducing customer complaints
- Improving customer feedback
- Developing behaviour in line with the corporate values and culture
- Improving employee skills
- You will need to allocate a realistic budget. This will need to cover the cost of the incentive scheme itself as well as some additional costs, which may include:
- Promotional materials for the incentive scheme such as posters, leaflets, letters, etc.
- Scheme administration costs
- A proportion of staff time allocated to overseeing the scheme
- Rewards, including postage/delivery of rewards
- Tax and NICs
- It’s important you understand your employees and the type of rewards that will motivate them to achieve the targets you set.
- Before you set up the scheme survey your employees to find out what rewards will incentivise them.
- You can conduct research through:
- Questionnaires – online or paper versions
- Town Hall meetings
- Team meetings
- Although the surveys should be anonymous, remember to ask for demographic information so you can determine if groups of employees prefer certain types of rewards.
- It’s important that the targets and performance measures that are set are clear and obtainable.
- Keep the targets and performance measures SMART:
- Set targets and performance measures that related to your staff incentive scheme and business objectives.
- Don’t change the targets and performance measures once they have been set and the scheme is launched.
- If targets do need changing add an additional incentive or have an annual re-assessment to tie in with your financial year end.
- Choose a clear start date, and if necessary, an end date.
- Alternatively allow your scheme to run in line with your financial year.
- Choose your timescales based on your objectives:
- Are you having a seasonal push on a specific product range?
- If changing behaviours then longer timescales will be needed
- Select rewards that are appropriate to your employees’ demographics, interests and role within the organisation.
- Offer a range of rewards so that you cater for the differing tastes of your employees.
- Popular rewards include:
- Gift vouchers or gift cards
- Gadgets and electrical items
- Activities people wouldn’t normally do
- Experience days
- Use the expertise of your marketing team to help you plan a high profile launch.
- Run launch events that your employees can attend during the working day.
- At the launch event have people on hand to answer employees’ questions and have some of the rewards available on display.
- Send out communications announcing the launch.
- Make the launch day a ‘big deal’.
- Once the scheme is launched it’s crucial to keep the momentum going by ensuring on-going communication with your employees.
- Updates could include:
- Who’s been rewarded and why
- Case studies
- Changes to the scheme, such as additional rewards
- Don’t forget to measure and report on how your staff incentive scheme is working.
- You should report based on the scheme and business objectives.
- Include employee feedback in your reports.
- Check what has worked well and what hasn’t and then adjust your incentive as necessary.
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.