Providing incentives for employees is more important than you think.
Let me ask you a question.
If your friend asked you to help them move, how apt would you be to want to help them? Now, if you’re a great friend, maybe you’d say yes with no questions asked – but internally, how much would you really want to help? Let’s be honest, no one likes moving.
Now, let’s say that this same friend offers you a nice dinner with drinks after helping them move. The incentive for you to assist them in moving makes the activity a bit more worth it for you. Sure, you are still doing a kind favor for your friend, but you won’t be as bummed about the un-fun, laborious task.
Well, the same goes for your employees at work. Although their job is not something you are asking them to volunteer for (they are getting paid), it still helps to create a little light at the end of the tunnel of the regular day-to-day tasks. And this is very important for employee turnover – Access Perks reports that according to most recent statistics, roughly $11 billion is lost due to employee turnover. Don’t you think that employee incentives will help restrict these losses?
Give me an example.
Does your business rely on setting appointments to make sales? If so, obviously your call handlers’ main priority is to try to book the appointment. Yet, it may be unclear that this is their number one task to focus on if your employees see themselves more as “order takers” or just a body there to answer the phone and the callers’ questions.
But if you create a contest for your call handlers to see who can have the highest appointment-setting conversion rate each month, and the winner gets some sort of prize—don’t you think they will try a heck of a lot harder to do their best to set more appointments?
The answer, clearly, is yes.
Incentive plans motivate your team and help them appreciate that they have control over booking a prospect into an appointment. In fact, it shows them that they truly are in control of and responsible for exceeding expectations in their job duties.
What’s the Deal with Incentivizing Employees?
Incentive plans motivate employees to do exactly what they are incentivized to do. As owners and managers, you must decide what you want your employees to accomplish. If you task employees with multiple duties, keep in mind that people will usually focus more on the tasks they are incentivized to do. If you want your team to increase the amount of booked estimates, they will focus on that more than other tasks or goals.
According to DCR Strategies Inc., while “90% of business leaders believe that an engagement strategy could positively impact their business, only 25% of them actually have a strategy in place.” This is surprising since it is also reported that having a valuable, structured incentive program in place can increase employee performance by as much as 44%. What would that mean for your business?
Let me repeat what I noted earlier; it is reported that about $11 billion is lost each year due to employee turnover. Without good engagement and good company culture in the day-to-day workplace, there is a great chance that you will experience a high turnover rate. But having a good incentive plan in place can help. Companies that implemented an official, planned-out incentive or engagement program found a 64% greater increase in employee engagement than companies without this plan in place.
What Makes an Incentive Plan “Good”?
A good incentive plan is considered to be fun, exciting and rewarding. Strong plans will keep your employees engaged and motivate them. The incentive plan should provide an opportunity to gain something, such as higher pay, cash bonuses, or other perks such as catered lunches or gift cards.
According to Strategic Incentives, over 65% of participants in their study strongly agreed that travel or merchandise awards are remembered longer than strictly cash payments. Think about what would motivate you, or what would excite your team. You’ll know if you’re successful because your call handlers will be excited and they will start to hit the goals that you set in place with your incentive programs. You know your team, so you should take the time to understand what they would strive for.
If you are stumped for incentive plans, here are some non-cash incentive ideas for you.
Hopefully, these statistics and tips have helped you see the light that it is worth allocating a portion of your yearly budget towards employee incentives – it should not be seen as an added expense. When incentives will make your employees happier, provide a better workspace, and help increase your revenue, why wouldn’t you have incentive plans in place? It’s truly a no-brainer.
Have other ideas for employee incentives? Drop us your thoughts below! We would love to share best practices.