Introducing a reward and recognition platform into your organisation is an exciting time – a smart step towards better employee experiences and improved engagement.
There are goals you want to achieve and processes you'd like to implement to encourage uptake and commitment. Over time, your programme will evolve to include more activities for your employees to get involved in. At the start, however, you'll want peace of mind that the solution you've chosen will support your ambitions and align with your brand and the company culture you aim to create.
With over twelve years of experience under our belt, we're able to help our clients set up and manage successful employee engagement programmes. The initial steps in the building process allow us to understand the dynamics of an organisation and make meaningful and timely adjustments to ensure that, when the platform and all its features are fully implemented, we're on track to achieving great results.
To help you launch your own successful reward and recognition programme, we've summarised the seven essential steps you can't afford to skip.
Step 1: Define success
The motivation behind your reward programme's design should be to help you create the business you envision in your mission statement. What pain points and problems are you trying to solve, and what does success look like for your organisation? In the planning stages of your new reward and recognition platform, you should check that the solution it provides helps your employees align with your brand values.
If engagement in your organisation is affected by poor communication, then success will be reflected in improved collaboration and feedback between employees and management. Perhaps you'd like to reduce costs attributed to lagging productivity? Maybe you recognise the need for a more up-skilled, empowered, and inspired team?
Setting out clear and achievable goals for your reward and recognition programme will enable you to measure its effectiveness and tweak where necessary. Your dedicated Incentivesmart Client Success Manager will be able to work closely with you to review the programme statistics and ensure the results are on track to achieve your quarterly and annual goals.
Step 2: Identify behaviours
Now that you've determined what success looks like, it's time to figure out which behaviours are going to support the outcomes you're after. With the Incentivesmart platform, you can select from a wide range of modules that offer different ways of awarding points.
Employees can collect points for displaying the types of behaviours you wish to encourage and use them towards a reward of their choice. You can promote these behaviours by enabling peer nominations or employee referrals; for a more gamified approach, why not ask employees to take part in value-related quizzes? There are varied approaches to motivating and bringing out the best in your people; you simply have to start by pinpointing what those desired behaviours are.
Step 3: Understand your audience
Individuals are motivated by different factors; some are driven by particular rewards, while others may enjoy the competitive side of earning points.
Incentivesmart can help you build and promote a flexible reward catalogue that's specifically designed to appeal to your audience. The rewards can be both inspirational and aspirational. The leaderboard feature in the platform helps to ensure that we're positively driving the competition among teams and departments. Individuals can pick their favourite rewards and receive notifications to see how close they are to reaching their target.
Understanding what excites your employees can help you to develop your programme alongside existing commission models or KPIs they're trying to achieve. Eventually, your reward and recognition platform may replace your commission model entirely as it proves to be more successful in motivating the desired outcomes you hope to achieve from your people.
Step 4: Plan your reward criteria
Many businesses that already have a reward programme in place often stick to the traditional list of achievements or merits such as milestones, length of service, or annual performance. While these are worthy reasons to offer recognition, the rewards may seem inaccessible or mundane to some employees. It's important to formulate a plan based on the kind of behaviours you want to drive, the level of engagement that will require, and the time frame you would like people to achieve their targets in.
If your organisation is large enough to have various categories of employees, you should keep in mind that each will be stimulated by different motivational factors. If you want to encourage better working relationships and collaboration between employees, the nominations module in the Incentivesmart platform can help colleagues give peer-to-peer recognition. These nominations can be linked to your brand values too, to consistently reinforce them in a positive way, and encourage employees to live your values. If specific teams or departments are driven by hitting targets, then carve out the KPIs that can help them earn points or reach for the rewards they want.
Step 5: Launching the programme
Whether you've previously had a reward and recognition programme in place or this is your first venture into improving employee engagement, you'll need a plan to onboard employees onto the new platform.
Create helpful and digestible resources that offer information and step-by-step support. Most companies are familiar with the difficulty of encouraging adoption when it comes to new technology. Making this process engaging and consistent will help everyone to feel confident and keen to use all the new features. A great idea is to create a welcome pack that covers all the key induction steps, the available features and what employees can do to get the most out of their programme.
An initial “welcome bonus” of points can be a great way to demonstrate your commitment to the programme and drive engagement from the start. When users can see they’ll be able to get real value from the programme, and they can see points already there waiting for them, they’ll be keen to earn more.
The Incentivesmart team is here to offer support and advice at every turn, helping employees to embrace the platform and quickly start achieving goal-driven results. Be sure to check that the programme provider you've selected offers the level of support you anticipate your employees will need or, at the very least, has shareable resources and how-to guides.
A reward programme often doubles up as an information hub for the business, and it's a good idea to introduce it as such as it will encourage employees to log in and start engaging with company updates, news, and messages from leaders – an essential part of early adoption.
Step 6: Consistent marketing communications
To get real ROI from your engagement programme, you have to regularly update the content and frequently communicate with participants. If all the excitement around the launch fades out after a couple of months, employees will feel disappointed and gradually disengage with the programme.
The Incentivesmart model encourages monthly emails to keep users engaged and promotional launches throughout the year to maintain interest. Users can feel the excitement of clocking up points by receiving email notifications and track their progress through the platform to see how close they are to obtaining the coveted reward. Don’t forget to include seasonal promotions to your reward strategy. Add some extra sparkle to festive occasions or encourage your team to look forward to summer holidays with promotions centered around special upcoming events that will help keep them engaged all year round.
Step 7: Review
After successfully launching an engagement programme, regular reviews are all part of the process. Continuously aligning progress with your initial goals will keep your programme effective and focussed. In the beginning stages, you'll be focusing on the figures around sign-up and interest in the programme.
The Incentivesmart platform has robust reporting and analytics tools, enabling you to pull out data from the programme and compare it to your KPIs. You can also use the platform to publish incentivised quizzes or surveys to get feedback from employees and get a better idea of how your programme is performing.
Careful planning before implementing your reward and recognition platform is crucial to ensuring that you've chosen the best-suited technology for your business and are able to prove this to stakeholders with measurable results. If the launch has been successful, you should start to see high uptake and encouraging engagement after approximately six months.
At Incentivesmart, we always advocate for transparency and alignment between our offering and the clients we serve. We invite and encourage potential partners to experience a free demonstration of our technology and ask as many questions as they need. This process of getting to know one another ensures that we're not only the right fit but that our customers feel reassured and confident in their investment.
So, if you're ready to try your free demo of the Incentivesmart platform, start here.