Four Easy Steps to Building a
Powerful Employee Incentive Program ©

by Ernest F. Oriente, The Coach

Want to build a successful incentive program for your company? Have you dreamt about finding ways to have more fun at work and still see BIG results?

At the heart of every employee incentive program is the ability to motivate and reward your team for excellent performance. In this article, I will show you four easy steps to build an incentive program that allows everyone to win!

Setting Objectives: For any type of employee incentive program, your employees must feel the goals are attainable and realistic. The incentive program should also fit into your company’s overall business strategy and should be easy to measure.

Targets such as revenue growth, cash flow, customer retention and profits, are just some of the ways to establish the objectives necessary for your company to succeed.

Lastly, the ideal program should allow each individual in your company to feel they have an opportunity to win.

Tip from the Coach: To build a powerful incentive program, plan a brainstorming session with a few of your key managers so they can share unique insight about ways to make the program a giant success. Listen to their input as they will lead you to the GOLD!

Developing a Strategy: Be certain your objectives are simple and well defined. Then, do everything possible to ensure that your company goals can be evaluated fairly and objectively. For example, new sales can be easily measured each month, and are easy to track.

Once you have outlined the goals to be measured, then build a specific schedule of how frequently you are going to report the progress of the program. For instance, if the incentive program is going to run for three months, then plan on announcing the rankings every two weeks, to keep top-of-mind awareness.

Lastly, clearly outline the rules of the program in writing and define the specific time period to be measured.

Tip from the Coach: When building your strategy, be certain to focus on win/win. Also, consider what will happen to morale if many participants don’t (or can’t) achieve the objectives.

Establishing Awards: Start by establishing your budget for this incentive program by defining the "projected" number of awards to be given.

Then, consider the "people profile" of your team to develop appropriate awards that will be memorable and the winners will take pride in receiving. This is another great topic to brainstorm with a few of your key managers. Given an open forum, they will tell you exactly what is important to them.

Tip from the Coach: Your employees will be most inspired if they feel the rewards are meaningful enough to justify their efforts. Some award ideas… a nice dinner with the President of your company, special training classes paid for by the company, a paid day off with cash for shopping, a special plaque to reward top performers, special recognition at your next company meeting, or a trip to a special destination.

Evaluating the Results: Bravo! Your incentive program is completed and now is the time to evaluate the results and to justify the success of the program.

Start by getting feedback from your team by surveying them and asking for their feedback. Ask them if the program made a difference in their performance and ask for any suggestions they have to improve future incentive programs.

Then, evaluate if the program helped your company achieve its goals and consider any improvements you would make for the next incentive program.

Tip from the Coach: When evaluating the success of your incentive program, look for any side benefits you didn’t expect, such as a new spirit of enthusiasm or increased team work.

So, consider these key points when planning an incentive program for your company. When done properly, a powerful incentive program will motivate your team, increase customer retention and allow your company to easily surpass its corporate objectives! The Coach says so!

Author’s note: Ernest F. Oriente, The Coach, founder of PowerHour®, a professional business coaching service delivering customized training, by telephone, in management, marketing and sales for property management companies, apartment locator/corporate housing services and publishing companies worldwide. We specialize in global distance learning by telephone, using our state-of-the-art conference call system for interactive and dynamic TeleForums. Twice-monthly TeleForums link 10 -100 executives/ professionals/ individuals who are geographically dispersed, in a time efficient and profitable format. PowerHour® is based in ski-town—Park City, Utah, at 435-615-8486, by E-mail or visit our TeleForum website: To receive a FREE property management success newsletter send an E-mail to: Recent PowerHour® articles have appeared in 1500+ business/trade publications and websites.

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