How to Create an Incentive Plan That Actually Inspires Employees

Companies constantly need to deal with two employee issues: recruitment of talented individuals and making them stay with the company. In whatever industry the company is and no matter what position the individual is hired for, flexibility is usually sought after. More often than not, when employees feel that they don’t grow professionally and don’t gain something valuable, they start looking for other jobs.

To inspire employees more, companies need to be driven in making opportunities for their team to be at their best, while rewarding them for what they do. An incentive plan can be the most effective way to motivate employees. The problem with most incentive plans is that rewards and employee concerns are not considered. By putting an effort to create an effective plan, the employees’ needs will be addressed.

A well-prepared incentive plan can help boost the confidence of employees. It can also foster a positive culture in any company. Here are the tips that you can follow in creating an incentive plan that will actually inspire employees to work hard:

1. Speak with your employees.
Setting up individual talks with your employees will encourage them to verbalize their views about the company, which may make them feel more engaged. Ask them about the company’s culture and what their expectations are. Make sure to take note of all the things they say. Even little comments can go a long way. Also, highlight the things that employees will mention about the current incentive program.

You may also need to be more encouraging, open and relaxed for employees to be more honest. If the employee is hesitant to communicate openly, request him to just fill out a form to protect anonymity. You may also use surveys and focus groups to gather more information.

2. Re-assess your existing incentive program.
When starting a company, most employers set up an initial incentive plan for their employees. Usually, the initial incentive plans are used for long periods and eventually become outdated and inapplicable. Re-assessment will help employers re-align the company’s goals with their employees’.

To re-assess your existing plan, you may use the comments and suggestions that you gathered from the employees. Check which items are already on the plan, which ones are being implemented, and which ones need more improvement.

3. Design a customized incentive plan.
Designing an incentive plan will inspire employees to stay and work at their best. Goals should be realistic that employees can achieve. Once goals are set, it is important for you to stick with them. When there is frequent change in goals, employees might see it as a way for the employer to generate money by using incentives. This may, in turn, harbor negative ideas on employees, rather than enhance positive attitude.

An effective incentive plan should also be kept simple and easy to understand. It should be like joining a game that one can easily follow the rules to gain points. For example, the employee can calculate his bonus without using any complicated formulas.

While creating the incentive plan, it is also crucial to review and determine any loopholes. Make sure that all goals are aligned with the company’s mission, vision and values.

Best incentives are directly proportional to measurable actions. For example, if employees mention that they are having difficulty dealing with their personal matters, you may offer them flexible working hours or a time off for every task or project completed. Some of the effective employee incentives are:
• Flexible work schedule
• Perfect attendance award
• Recognition for work anniversaries
• In-house health program with gym membership
• Learning and career development programs

4. Re-launch the new incentive plan.
Once the incentive plan has been approved, you can now announce it to your employees. This will ensure that all employees in the company understand how it works. You may conduct a meeting to present the new plan and explain any changes from the existing one.

Once the new incentive plan has been launched, you may also set a specific timeframe to re-evaluate its effectiveness. Monitor behavior and performance changes in your employees. Take note of any costs that come along with new benefits or incentives to determine if the company can sustain the plan.
Company owners are the backbone of their organizations. However, they should also be able to develop a management system where talents turn into employees who are able to work effectively and stay long with the company. These employees are true workers towards any business success. Therefore, giving them something to be inspired with, like an effective incentive plan, will help make the business increase in value.