Everyone likes to be rewarded for loyalty, but one scheme shouldn’t necessarily be rolled out for employees and clients alike. For one, the two are very different and they both have a very different relationship with your company. Customers want to be rewarded for being reliable and loyal, whereas staff prefer rewards to recognize their hard work and time invested within the company. This is where the two differ. Customers want rewarding for something they have already done, whereas employees prefer to work towards a goal. Customers want rewards, staff want incentives.

We have used our knowledge and experience to provide you with a comprehensive list of exactly how you should be rewarding and incentivising. There are two sets of advice here, as staff and customers are to be treated separately in order to maximize the potential of running a loyalty/incentive scheme. Incentive schemes are only worth running if they are successful in increasing loyalty, repeat purchases and/or hard work. Here we will focus on employee incentive schemes, our customer loyalty scheme focus will follow later this week.

Staff incentives are essential they make your employees feel valued and rewarded for the time invested in your company, increase staff retention and decrease staff turnover. When you compare the monetary cost of a reward scheme against the monetary cost of recruitment, a reward system works out to be a lot cheaper in the long term. You can also determine how much you want to spend on the rewards, you do not have this luxury with recruitment costs. 

Our first piece of advice is clarity, make sure any incentive scheme is clearly outlined; What is the reward and what exactly is required from your employee in order to receive the reward? This should include exact figures and time frames. There is nothing more de-motivating than a member of staff thinking they have reached their targets, only to find out at the end of the month that they didn’t hit their target in time.

This brings us to the next point – a reward tier system. Don’t just have one level of reward. To ensure positive reinforcement of the whole workforce, allow different levels of rewarding. This will encourage your staff to strive for the higher rewards, resulting in harder work but still allowing positive reinforcement to take place should the higher rewards not be achieved. 

Your employees will only be motivated by rewards if they think they are achievable. Small rewards that are easier to obtain are often much more influential than large rewards, as they appear to be within their  grasp.

The rewards must be desired by your staff, a reward scheme where you can receive a month’s supply of toilet roll isn’t going to motivate anyone. Remember this is a reward, the best advice is to treat it like a gift. Ask yourself, what would you want to receive as a gift? Flexibility is the key to this when you have a large workforce. 

The personal touch, which we understand can sometimes be quite difficult to achieve, is important. We are not suggesting you select a personal gift for each recipient, this is time consuming and impractical. One way we have found keeping this personal feeling surrounding a reward scheme, is for a senior member of staff to present the rewards publicly in work time. Rewards should be celebrated within the company and not given out quietly. To receive this praise in front of colleagues promotes a sense of pride and achievement. It also encourages other staff members to strive towards company goals.

Reward schemes should not be left to run themselves, do not just set one up and leave it. They require constant monitoring and updating. To leave a reward scheme without reviewing it is to potentially a waste of your time and money. Take a look and see if there are particular people being rewarded consistently. If this is the case then consider changing the goals in order to allow for other staff members the opportunity to receive a reward. Reward schemes need close monitoring and constant changing in order to maximize their motivational potential. Rewards that become expected and consistent can often lose their appeal, changing things up a bit ensures the scheme does not become stagnant and ineffective.  

Have you thought about rewarding the following qualities within your workforce?

  • Punctuality
  • Hitting targets
  • Reliability
  • Extra time
  • Initiative