There are 5 key components to every successful employee incentive or recognition program. The most common mistakes marketers make are to cut out steps, short cut the process within a step or under-fund the campaign. Follow these steps and your brands will thrive.
- STRATEGIC PLANNING
Avoid focusing solely on the award. Incentive and recognition programs should address specific objectives with specific strategies and tactics that generate measurable results. State your goals in the clearest terms possible.
- UNDERSTANDING YOUR AUDIENCE
Who are you targeting, how can they impact the goal and what are their demographics, circumstances, motivations, capabilities and buy-in? You can’t change performance in people without first understanding them.
- FACT-FINDING & INVOLVEMENT
What currently stands in the way of achieving the goals? Market conditions, training levels, management problems? What actions, if eliminated, or repeated more often or more effectively, will yield the desired results? Programs have to address these obstacles or they’re likely to fail no matter how desirable the awards.
- PROGRAM STRUCTURE
What are the specific goals? What do people have to do? How will they be measured? How will the improved performance be measured? Know this up front and stay the course to success.
- COMMUNICATION & TRAINING
What has to be communicated in order to achieve the goals? How and when will the message be communicated? And what will be the message?
Michelle M. Smith is vice president, business development, O.C. Tanner Co., and president of the Incentive Marketing Association.
For more on premiums and incentives, go to www.promomagazine.com/incentives/