So, you’ve launched your incentive programme, staff are excited, management are on board, everyone wants to succeed and reap the benefits. Further down the line, how do you ensure that this remains to be the case?
Any new initiative can capture staff enthusiasm, but maintaining this momentum is a challenge that needs thought and planning. We’re all busy and it’s easy to get so absorbed in working tasks that benefits get forgotten about and the working day becomes a humdrum norm. Once you’ve invested in an incentive programme you need to tackle this complacency and ensure that it’s continually used and appreciated, so that you and your business can enjoy the positive impact it has on morale and your bottom line.
There are a number of useful tactics you can employ to keep incentive schemes top of mind. SPIF (Sales, Promotions, Incentive, Fun) days are a favourite for both staff and organisers, as they are enjoyable, energetic and have an immediate effect on results.
These days take over the sales floor, usually with a theme that involves decorations, themed refreshments, and challenges that get staff involved and active; offering on-the-spot prizes and rewards. It is also an ideal opportunity to educate the sales team on new launches or products that they need to learn about. This is how it has such a positive impact on sales and profits, not only because the team is energised and freshly enthused, but because they are fully informed and able to communicate this effectively to customers.
SPIF days are fantastic, and in between these there are plenty of other ways to keep your incentive scheme top of mind and communicate long term sales objectives.
An exemplary attitude to maintaining your programme is a ‘little and often’ approach that frequently reminds staff about the benefits on offer and how they can take advantage. The most straightforward route is keeping senior management informed and incentivised to communicate it to wider staff. Managers can have a beneficial effect on staff take-up if they endorse and engage with teams in an encouraging way.
From here, adopting a scalable programme that is easy to maintain will help to keep your incentives programme ticking along with constant buy in from staff.
If you set up a scheme that staff cannot relate to, the entire exercise will have been redundant. Obviously no approach will appeal to everyone, so make sure that your scheme is adaptable with varied routes to staff to enable them to choose their preferred way to interact with the programme. From this point of view it’s vital to know your workforce and be aware of what will appeal and motivate them.
A great example of this is ‘gamification’, which adds an element of fun and allows staff to participate and interact in relevant online games within the scheme and is likely to appeal to tech savvy staff members – seasoned users of the internet who enjoy gaming in leisure time too. Be sure not to neglect potential participants who might prefer a more traditional, structured and informative route to their rewards.
It’s so important to factor in the ongoing running of your incentives programme at the planning stage: If you only think about the launch and then discover that the programme has been forgotten, the investment could be wasted.
If you choose a tailored approach and spend time deciding on what will best suit your workforce and how to interact with them, you can simultaneously plan ahead and consider how best to keep them engaged on an ongoing basis. Plus, it’s quicker and easier to implement an ongoing plan of activity that can be maintained simply during the set-up stage. This is more effective than having to adopt a crisis strategy when the programme has fallen over. Trying to revive a scheme that staff appear to have rejected is harder than maintaining a new one from scratch.
Scratchcards and prepaid card promotions are a proven method of boosting performance and maintaining momentum within an incentive programme, as they provide instant, ongoing rewards. They can be used to reward individual performances, which in turn will encourage others to up their game.
Communication is key to engage with employees, be it online or offline (preferably both). If you want to maintain the buzz and keep your staff engaged with your incentive scheme, keep them regularly informed about it. Reminding staff via email, SMS and even offline print materials ensure they stay engaged, and keeping channels varied means participants don’t become immune to the message.
A stream of information forthcoming through management, filtered out across the business and executed through an integrated mix of mediums (from social media to printed documents) makes it far more engaging.
And while all this is going on, measure and analyse the activity that the promotion generates. This allows you to identify and target those individuals or areas of the business that are less inclined to take part. Ultimately, communication and monitoring will lead to a successful programme that staff want to be involved with and helps your business go from strength to strength.
If you are looking to create an incentive programme, please contact us for further information.