There’s no question that incentive and recognition programs work.  Research repeatedly bears this out.  But what’s the secret to making them take off? This post will reveal the 5 things top-performing companies do differently to make their programs work.

1. Faith in the model.

Prior to launching an incentive and recognition strategy, the first of the 5 things top-performing companies do differently is to have faith. When everyone’s on board and apprised of the promise of incentive programs, that faith drives success.  It’s an intangible, but it’s informed by data about well-crafted programs.  It’s crucial that leadership believes in program power and effectiveness.  For top-performers, that faith extends to the executive tier, with 93% of leaders at these high-performing companies sharing it.

2. Outsourcing.

Knowing that a winning incentive and recognition strategy isn’t about throwing things at the wall to see what sticks, top-performing companies engage external partners to craft and implement their programs for optimal impact. Without outsourced support, incentive programs can take on the feel of a raffle – random and haphazard.  But with an incentive expert like ITG at your disposal, you have a capacity-building powerhouse of incentive and recognition knowledge working as an extension of your human resources.

3. Investments vs. expenditures.

A mindset that looks at incentive and recognition outflow as expenditures is missing the point.  For top-performers, reward programs are viewed as investments, known to yield massive returns.  Savvy leadership understands that what goes into reward programs comes back more than tenfold.

4. They know that growth is people.

Understanding that growth is about your people is critical to fashioning and deploying effective incentive and recognition programs.  Choosing incremental growth that’s sustainable and realistic is the watchword and one of the most compelling of the 5 things top-performing companies do differently to use rewards effectively.  They know that all growth is dependent on the people they have in place.  Rewarding and recognizing them takes pride of place, over growth.

5. Accessibility is key.

Top-performing companies know that making incentive and recognition programs accessible to everyone on staff is key to their success.  Everyone wants to throw a little something extra at top performers, but all your employees represent key knowledge and resources that matter.  If that weren’t the case, why would they even be there? And it’s the right approach.  56% of top-performing companies recognized every employee as part of their programs, vs. only 28% of Average Joe operations.  That’s a huge and rather compelling number. Incentive and recognition strategy:  5 things top-performing companies do differently is an instructive look at what puts some companies ahead of others in the realm of employee rewards.  As you can see, thinking outside the box of conventional wisdom pays off. With faith in the program as the foundation, leadership which believes in rewards as drivers of growth and results stick with their strategic approaches.  They go the extra mile to keep them working.  As with everything else in business, that’s often what makes the difference. Contact ITG to learn more.

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