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How to create an engagement program employees will love

Getting caught up in the mire of research and opinions about whether or not rewards work can drive one to drink—or something stronger! It’s especially true if you have a large workforce and are getting pressure from the top to produce results. What kind of behavior changes are you looking to achieve in your workplace? What measurements are you using that confirm certain behaviors are improving?

We know what doesn’t work. Compliance is not engagement. Fear isn’t respect. Intimidation creates costly turnover. Cooperation isn’t always collaboration. Throwing only cash or rewards at your workforce will produce only temporary changes in attitude and behavior.

The Pavlov approach to changing employee behavior gets a one-time response at best. Once the reward runs out, your employees will often revert to their old ways. Losing weight, showing up on time, quitting smoking, practicing safety, contributing ideas, saving money, or improving sales are all goals that need more than a pat on the back or a new TV. You can spend a lot of money—only to get a temporary result.

So do rewards work?

The answer will depend on how your programs are designed and implemented. What you want is the best use of your organization’s resources for long-term positive and productive performance. Here’s a hint—sincere and deserved recognition is the foundation.   

Topics: retaining your valued employees Communication Employee Engagement Safety Employee Retention Employee Recognition Sales Performance Peer to peer recognition tangible reward Attendance Employee Incentive Programs

Why marketing needs employee engagement

When examining notable Chief Marketing Officers like Marissa Riccardi, Michael Lazerow, Eileen Zicchino, Simon Clift, Pamela Kaufman, Terri Graham, and so many others, a common understanding is shared. Employee engagement dramatically affects the success of building your brand.

“When it comes to clients, it’s all about trust,” notes CMO Eileen Zicchino. “When we look at our brand attributes, it’s about character, intelligence, and strength. Our employees help us put the client first. Our workforce works very closely with them which, in turn, builds our brand. It must be about relationships and trust even if it means we have to turn away business.”

The promise your brand makes to customers is powerfully delivered through the behaviors of your workforce. They are your brand ambassadors. With every move, they represent your brand and they are what differentiates you in the marketplace. All the advertising dollars in the world can proclaim how great your products are or how customer-focused your company is but it’s not enough. How your receptionist answers the phone, how accessible your customer service hotline is, and how well you serve the interests of your clients is what ultimately wins and retains customers.

Properly identifying what makes your brand valuable while helping employees to live and breathe your brand promises will result in superlative employee and customer experiences. That’s what you want.

The focus then becomes how best to collaborate with your employees to match brand values with your customer requirements. What are your strengths? What are you excellent at? What is innovative about you? Are you delivering on your promises? Does your workforce enthusiastically advocate for your brand’s message?

Topics: Employee Engagement Employee Recognition employee training Results Suggestion Programs Employee Incentive Programs Social Engagment Tools Employee ideas Chief Marketing Officer CMO marketing

CFOs Finding some security during times of uncertainty.

There is a lot we can learn by observing behavior and human nature. Depending on our level of apprehension or fear about the future, we decide what initiatives to cut and what to save. Having the responsibility of being your organization's financial captain, the pressure is on you to always have the right answers. I don't speak as one myself but as someone who has worked with CFO's in the hospital and manufacturing industries. I have observed, first hand, the knee jerk reaction by some CFOs to cut back when the economic news looks bleak. They instantly focus on streamlining rather than growth. No criticism on this. You must look realistically at your organization's state of financial affairs. Some CFO's have confided that when the economic landscape doesn't look so great, they consider a roll of the dice before choosing a path on an issue. During these uncertain times, its natural to be somewhat tentative about where and in whom to invest company resources. No doubt every organization has its unique challenges and workplace culture. The factors that go into a CFO's dollar allocation decisions are numerous. The good news is that more and more financial leaders are turning to their employees as a valuable resource. Investing in this valuable asset can boost value and profits. Lets take a look at today's economy and how investing in your workforce can offer big returns.

Topics: CFO performance improvement solutions Retention Rewards and Recognition Employee Incentive Programs

FAQ#2 What is the best employee, incentive, engagement strategy?

Once you and your incentive planners have narrowed down the performance criteria areas you want to improve on, its time to strategize the implementation of your program.
Step 1: Recognize and reward your incentive planning team for having already identified the areas that need improvement, setting your incentive goals and establishing the gauges to measure your progress.

Next, why not announce a breakfast, lunch or dinner meeting with your planning team. At this meeting review all the ideas you have so far.  Begin talks on your strategy. How do we go about implementing our performance improvement program?

Underlining your strategy discussions should be some truths to keep in mind about you and the individuals you are engaging and motivating toward improved performance. As humans we all value our ability to make our own choices. We generally make those choices based on our feelings about things and not always based on logic. This shouldn’t represent a bad or good thing but a fact of the human condition. Why do we do what we do? What causes us to help someone out, or work at a particular place, or even get out of bed on a rainy Monday morning, go to work and do an awesome job that day? What motivates us is at the heart of our actions.
Yes, there are a plethora of things that work together to help us form the choices we make. Some are so ingrained that they no longer feel like choices. We roll out of bed without seriously considering the alternative of staying there. We skip breakfast because we're not hungry, or because the clock tells us that we are already running late. Perhaps unconscious choices but choices non-the less.

Topics: Communication Loyalty Employee Engagement Employee Recognition Sales Performance Performance Employee Incentive Programs

Success stories from the employee engagement, motivation archives!

Amazing how many wonderful success stories there are that illustrate the importance and effectiveness of employee engagement and recognition. Showing tangible appreciation can be a low cost or no cost initiative. Yet even today, many managers still do not understand the potential power they have in their hands that will improve performance in their workplace. Sadly, many business leaders still choose to remain blind to this fundamental principle of human behavior.

Topics: Loyalty Employee Retention Sales Performance wellness programs Performance employee training Employee Incentive Programs incentive program

"Implement employee incentives? Are you kidding? In this economy?"

Topics: incentive programs Rewards Safety Incentives Service Employee Rewards Programs Incentive Service Anniversary Online Incentive Program(s) On the Spot Recognition Years of Service Point Based Programs Suggestion Recognize Perfect Attendance Employee Incentives Service Awards Communication Incentives Loyalty Employee Engagement Loyalty Programs Safety Employee Retention Sales Incentives awards Employee Recognition Sales Performance Performance Sales Recognition Reward Retention Attendance Rewards and Recognition Suggestion Programs Employee Incentive Programs

FAQ#1 "How can I best set goals for my employee incentive program?"

Q. What are the best ways to set goals for my incentive program?
A. It's NOT a guessing game!
Your first step is to understand is that sincere recognition, regular engagement and motivation are the best ingredients in creating a more positive behavior from staff members and employees. Its more than just compensation. This, in turn, will impact your organization's performance.

Topics: retaining your valued employees Service Awards Employee Retention Sales Performance wellness programs Recognition Employee Incentive Programs

Service Awards-Baby Boomers to “Connected” Gen-C-The differences!

Topics: incentive programs Service Service Anniversary Service Awards Sales Rewards and Recognition Employee Incentive Programs