Rewarding Right

Posted on: 15th May 2015

So you’ve made the decision and you want to reward your staff for their hard work? You know you want to make them feel good about their job and motivate them to grow into bigger and better ambassadors for your brand. Good start! Next you have to decide what you’re going to reward them for. You know the result you want from your staff, but how do you decide which variables you’re going to measure to allow you to reward them for the right actions? 

What are the right actions?

You want to make sure you’re rewarding your staff for behaviours that progress your business but that aren’t their normal expected day-to-day activities. For example, if you have a problem with sickness within your business, it might not be a good idea to begin incentivising your staff for coming into work. This is the kind of issue that needs to be dealt with at base level, since you don’t want to start giving points for people simply turning up to work - especially when you’re running the risk of genuinely sick people dragging themselves to work for the sake of earning the last few points they need for that iPad. Rewarding in this way would just be a sticking plaster solution for a bigger issue.

When deciding what you want to reward your staff for, you want to decide the end goal. You want your staff to go above and beyond with their customer service? Reward them for that. Good customer service is part and parcel of their job, but by rewarding for excellent service - the desire for that kind of recognition spreads. All of a sudden everyone wants to get that reward, and before you know it your staff have raised the bar of what is standard good service. Rewarding for things like loyal service, good feedback, to say thank you for doing overtime - those are the things that give your staff the warm and fuzzies. And when they pick their reward and start using it they’ll remember how they earned it with fondness.

Just starting out with your reward programme? 

Recent research has also shown that starting your scheme off with a registration bonus can be a great kick-start. Referred to as ‘artificial advancement’ you not only allow your scheme users to begin using the system straight away by registering their reward bonus (they’ll now be familiar with using the programme) but they’ll already be well on their way to being able to redeem a fabulous reward. This was proven in a recent experiment at a hand car wash, where stamp cards were used. Two types of card were handed out, one with 8 sections to fill before you received a free car wash, and the other with 10 sections to fill out, but with two already stamped. Both types of card required 8 car washes to receive their freebie reward. Nearly double the amount of completed cards came from the group who received the 10 section cards. The simple fact that these loyal customers weren’t starting from scratch was enough to spur them on from the beginning. Starting your staff off with a small thank you in the form of a registration bonus is a win win for you and your staff. They get to learn the system they’ll be using and receive reward points, and you get immediate engagement and long term usage because they know what they’re doing from the get go.

Making sure you’re rewarding your staff for the right reasons with an eye to the end goals you want to see is a no brainer, but people get it wrong all the time. Knowing the difference between fixing a problem behaviour that shouldn’t exist anyway, and rewarding to improve the output from your staff is really important and can be the difference between the success or failure of your reward programme. So choose wisely, and you’ll be reaping the rewards of your scheme whilst your staff is earning theirs.


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