Low-cost, Effective, and Successful Rewards Program Tips

by: Nichole Gunn May 24, 2011

Employee incentive programs are effective business strategies that motivate and engage employees. To initiate successful programs, the rewards involved must be clearly defined and understood by all involved.

Objectives and their related rewards cannot be perplexing, if they are, employees will not be interested in the reward program, causing the initiative to derail. To avoid this scenario, the incentive program’s goals should be outlined so employees are sure of what is expected of them, what the rewards will be for accomplishing objectives, and the overall goals of the company.

Knowledge empowers people; in the case of incentive programs it allows the employee to be sure of what to shoot for. To earn an award, the employee might need to reach a specific sales or performance objective. Empowered with this knowledge, the employee will be focused, assured, and engaged.

Once the program has been in place for some time, the employees’ workplace performance should be compared to prior performances. This comparison or analysis will provide insights as to which features of the program are effective and which are not. The information reaped can be used to embrace the features that are most effective and revamp those that are found lacking.

It should be noted that some companies cannot afford elaborate rewards and incentive programs, but this should not be a deterrent; there are a number of incentives that are quite cost effective.

While a paid vacation reward is desirable, there are tangible in-house incentives that will foster employee motivation just as well. One example is a reserved parking spot that is right next to the company’s building or office; this can be a reward for that week’s top performing employee. The worker will certainly appreciate the award, and other employees will be paying attention as they look for a parking spot – added motivation.

To further motivate workers, announce an employee’s achievement and the related reward in the company’s newsletter and on its website. The company can recognize a number of employees and/or teams with one post, reach the entire workforce, and it’s cost-free.

Another non-expensive incentive option is to offer gift cards to local cafes, stores, and restaurants; the award recipient can use the cards during lunch or breaks. Employees appreciate receiving free perks.

Incentive programs are proven to enhance productivity, therefore company profits, but there are other advantages to these programs. The Society for Human Resource Management conducted a recent job satisfaction survey; the findings show 52 percent of workers feel that receiving rewards for accomplishments rates high in fostering job satisfaction.


About Nichole Gunn