How a Reward Points Program Reinforces the Right Behaviors

by: Nichole Gunn July 20, 2018

Are you considering a recognition points program for your business? From local Ma and Pa outfits to multinational corporations, turning a profit requires happy and productive workers. A staff member who shows up for work on time and focuses on meeting goals and expectations is far more likely to contribute to a company’s overall success, and that’s where creating a strong incentive or reward points program comes into play.

Creating incentives is an excellent driver. Those incentives mean every worker has something more to strive for than just an hourly wage or fixed monthly salary. Work becomes more than just a grind for those who can earn a little extra. It's easy to do this by following a smartly outlined recognition points program because it makes gains measurable.

A great deal of research goes into understanding motivational programs, and the statistics are quite promising.

Reward Points Programs Are Cost Effective

According to a 2016 Gallup study, employee recognition programs are an inexpensive way to increase employee productivity and positive behavior.

The Gallup research reveals that recognition programs are an excellent strategy to attract talent and keep key employees on your team. On the other hand, failing to make employees feel appreciated can negatively impact a company.

A news report by Gallup explains that only about 33 percent of American workers believe they received significant acknowledgment from peers or supervisors for workplace accomplishments. Also, workers widely agreed that excellence seems routinely ignored. Those that feel underappreciated are more likely to resign and find work elsewhere.

On the other hand, the Gallup analysis concludes that when workers get positive feedback for completing tasks at a high level, it increases the chances they will continue to be productive and put in a strong effort. The Gallup study points to a link between praise, worker self-image and positive behavior.

Employees who took part in the study revealed that some of the more meaningful recognition comes from personal sources:

● 28 percent from CEOs or company leaders
● 24 percent from managers
● 10 percent from customers
● 9 percent from peers
● 17 percent from other sources

A points recognition program would fall under the heading of “recognition from all sides” in the Gallup study, as long as it is transparent. This tends to be a top motivator for employees across the board.

The Right Points Program Can Ramp Up Performance

Corporate leaders routinely look to Forbes magazine for new ideas about how to improve their companies. Forbes, like Gallup, has a lot to say about employee recognition.

The internationally-recognized business magazine conducted a 2012 study into employee recognition and published its findings in an article called “New Research Unlocks the Secret of Employee Recognition." The results are eye-opening.

Forbes says that companies poured upwards of $46 billion into recognition programs. That equaled up to 2 percent of many company payrolls. Incentives included everything from gold watches to plaques.

But about 87 percent of organizations focused on longevity. The longer someone stayed with the company, the greater the token benefit. These outdated ways to inspire company loyalty rarely work. Forbes found no direct connection between positive behavior and the tenure programs.

The research did pinpoint ways recognition programs can have a positive impact on your company. Consider these options to make for happier employees and a more productive workplace:

● Recognize people based on specific results and behaviors
● Implement peer to peer recognition - not top down
● Share recognition stories
● Tie recognition to your own company values or goals
● Make recognition easy and frequent

The last item is particularly important for points programs. Points programs make rewards simple and accessible to all employees. In some cases, the “points” or actual “dollars” get moved around online and shared among peers. When done with transparency, these programs ramp up employee morale in a fantastic way.

The Psychology of a Recognition Points Program

Anyone who took psychology 101 in college may recall Maslow's Theory of Human Motivation, more commonly known as the “hierarchy of needs.” After basic food and shelter, people require belonging, esteem, and self-actualization.

It’s no stretch to point out that employee recognition programs provide a sense of belonging for all engaged in them. Earning points will undoubtedly increase every team member’s self-esteem. Cashing in those points is a clear act of self-actualization.

From a psychological perspective, a recognition points program will reinforce productive employee behavior. The result will be a harmonious and productive workplace.

If you want to take your company to the next level by implementing employee incentive programs, Incentive Solutions is an industry leader. Our company has facilitated more than $200 million in incentive programs since 2000. Contact our team online today for a consultation or to get started with a recognition points program for your business.

About Nichole Gunn

Nichole Gunn is the VP of Marketing at Incentive Solutions, an Atlanta-based incentive company that delivers advanced, agile B2B customer loyalty and channel sales incentives programs.