Distributor firm Partners N Promotion (asi/350153) totals about $10 million in revenue annually. About 30% of that tally is produced through incentive programs for clients that range from an international tool company, national bank and major retailer, to customers in the automotive, transportation and engineering fields.
Here, Vicki Clayman, owner of Partners N Promotion, provides six strategies for executing successful employee incentive initiatives.
1. Immerse Yourself in Culture
“Being fully engaged in the client’s culture is absolutely imperative to forming an understanding of what the employer’s goals are in influencing employee behavior,” says Clayman.
2. Customize the Program
Use your thorough understanding of the client’s company and goals to customize a program that meets their objectives. This can include creative branding concepts, custom products and more. The key? Understanding in advance exactly what the goals are that they’re trying to accomplish. “We totally customize the program to the industry we are selling,” says Clayman.
3. Include the Client in Idea Generation
“When you’re creative and engage them in idea generating, they are more emotionally invested in the package you are about to sell them,” says Clayman. That makes clients more likely to be pleased with the program you deliver.
4. Create a Variety of Touchpoints
“The more times an employee is touched by recognition from the company, the bigger the impact and the better the chance of influencing behavior permanently,” says Clayman. In addition to tangible incentive rewards, “we suggest letters from the CEO, personal engagement from direct supervisors and recognition among peers.”
5. Tier the Program
“If employees get to experience their first recognition award sooner, they stay engaged and strive for the next tier,” says Clayman. “In contrast, if the employee feels the first tier is unattainable, they will be frustrated and may disengage.”
6. Excel at Service
Conceiving and selling an excellent program are the first steps. The next chapter is all about servicing the program, which includes ensuring that it runs smoothly, making sure people are getting their awards and gifts promptly, updating products as necessary and introducing new ideas to keep things fresh.