Managers have the opportunity every day to provide little incentives for employees. Thanking people for their extra effort, asking how they spent their weekend, etc, helps show that you, the supervisor, care and have interest in the individual. While these words don’t cost any money, they do go a long way in helping employees gain a positive sense of the work place.
But, if you’re an employer looking to create an incentive program that is successful and builds trust with employees, specific reward and recognition activities should be established. One of the most important features of a rewards program is that it must be transparent. Problems can arise with employees if recognition:
- Is not carefully outlined with employees
- Appears to only recognize favored employees
- Seems arbitrary
If this happens in your company, you risk demoralizing or alienating employees.
In order to use incentives successfully, we suggest employers:
- Make sure that all employees understand the company’s objectives in offering incentives
- Clearly outline and communicate the criteria for obtaining the incentives
- Provide examples of how others have successfully met the criteria so employees understand clearly what they need to do
- Give employees a timeline for accomplishing the expectations
- Reward every employee who achieves the expectations
- Explain to the employees who meet the expectations exactly why their efforts made them eligible to receive the incentive
- In addition to providing the incentive, write a letter to employees to thanks them for their contributions
- Announce recipients of incentives to other employees, personally thanking each for his/her efforts
Incentives can help employers reinforce the kinds of actions and contributions that will help the business succeed. Used correctly, incentives help build employee
Awarded appropriately, an employer can’t go wrong with incentives for performance and recognition.