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Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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Tips For Building Successful Incentive Schemes


Are you looking to develop a good incentive program to improve the productivity and most importantly to increase retention of your employees? Then you should start focusing on more factors while knowing what you want to achieve through this program.

Follow these tips and you will have a successful incentive program.

1. What’s Your Target?

Before starting this program, you should start with the end: what are you trying to achieve through this incentive plan? Of course, saying you want to increase sales or production, improve service or enhance staff skills is one of your goals, but you must be more specific.

Think of which goal is going to be focused in this plan and determine it by adding a number to it. For example, you will want to see an increase of 10% in sales. Once you’ve set the number, you can go beyond and think of the next step after you’ve reached the goal. This way you don’t have to end the program and you can go for a ‘stretched goal’. If you’re out of ideas, you can visit for detailed incentive schemes.  Don’t forget to set up a challenging but achievable target for your employees!

2. Engaging Employees is a Must

The incentive plan must always have everyone working towards the goal. The best results can be achieved if you let the employees take part in a reward program that they will design with you. There are a few subjects that you can discuss in a meeting with the entire staff:

1. Set up a panel and discuss the incentive plan.

2. Tell everyone they will all help in designing it.

3. Provide some beverage and food for the meeting to lighten everyone’s mood.

4. Ask for help in setting goals that are realistic and can be achieved by either individuals or teams.

5. Ask them what they would consider a grand prize for the individual or the team that won by reaching the goal.

If you have too many employees, just set up a meeting with branch managers, back office administration, service representatives and so on. At the end of the meeting ask them to collect the input from all over the groups of employees to ensure that everyone is aware of the reward program before you start the incentive plan.

3. Decide on the Start and the End Date of the Incentive Plan

You should set up a beginning date in an official and visible announcement, such as a video of the CEO or the president of the company to tell all the employees that the plan has started. You can share the video via email with your employees. Everyone must see a countdown towards reaching the goal.

With time the whole excitement will fade but you must surround the employee areas with several reminders of their goals – like a goal board or email updates on the plan – anything visual to keep them focused on reaching the grand prize.

4. Monitor the Progress

Have every branch gather the ‘tally’ on a weekly basis to see if you’re getting close to your goal. If everything is great, encourage your employees to keep it up and tell them they’re on their way to success. If not, sit down and discuss any issue.

5. The Team Wins – Everyone Wins

A team incentive plan is always more successful than the individual one. It is more powerful and gets better results. Team leaders are the focus here and they should be encouraged to lead their teams towards success.  

Going through an incentive program is not easy, but as long as you consider all these tips, you will see it will be a success. Make every employee feel appreciated and you’re halfway there!


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