Offering employees incentives can be a great motivator—if you do it the right way. Follow these rules:
Recognize people of all levels from all departments. Don’t limit incentive programs to sales teams.
Make it enjoyable. Goals should be attainable, participation should be easy and employees should know exactly what to do to “win.” If you set the bar too high, people won’t feel it’s worth their time.
Provide convenient access. Offer employees a variety of choices so that they find something that excites them. Additionally, provide them different ways to receive and redeem incentives, so that it doesn’t feel like a hassle.
Deliver them quickly. If employees hit a goal, but must wait weeks or months to receive their reward, it will lose its meaning. If possible, make them instantly retrievable upon hitting a goal. If not, deliver them within a week.
—Adapted from “4 Ways Employee Incentives Can Drive Engagement and Retention,” Jason Mauser, Entrepreneur, www.entrepreneur.com.