08 August 2007


Is your business lacking suitable employee incentives? Are you at risk of losing a high-achiever?

Research shows that a significant percentage of employee resignations result from a feeling of not being properly recognised or rewarded.

Whilst remuneration plays a big part toward employee satisfaction, general working conditions, leadership, team motivators, morale and workplace health and safety all contribute.

There are three areas within a traditional incentive program:


‘Incentive’ programs are designed around key performance drivers and are specifically targeted to spike sales. ‘Loyalty’ programs are just that – those that are allies are recognised for desired workplace behaviour and ‘reward’ programs raise the bar on key performance indicators (KPI’s). If you don’t already have KPI’s as part of your performance review this is a great way to ‘launch’ new company standards and expectations whilst recognising those that strive to achieve them.

The success of these programs is in the fulfilment. If an employee meets all the criteria to be rewarded and recognised then the prize should be distributed without haste. It is essential to either delegate this to a strong administrator or distribution person within your company or outsource.

Studies show that employees can be grouped into the following categories:

Allies: those that see themselves working with management for a common good – and want to be there!
Habituals: those who come to work as it suits their lifestyle and or financial needs.
Opportunists: those who are there for ‘what they can get’.
Deceivers: there to trick their employer about their performance and achievements in order to maintain stable employment and ‘fly under the radar’.

Your workplace needs a high percentile of allies, medium percentile of habituals and if your company is built on high bonus sales structures throwing some opportunists into the mix doesn’t hurt. What we don’t want is the deceiver. Deceivers will be highlighted when you put a recognition and performance program in place.

The keys to a successful incentive program are as follows:

Seek input from your leadership group on the types of incentives/rewards that will really work and motivate your staff.

Be transparent. A “bonus pool” based on profit will not work if you are unwilling to share the full financial results of the company. You need to avoid any perception that the targets can be manipulated.

Use stretch targets. If they are set at appropriate levels then the program will be self funding.

Make the KPI’s measurable! Staff need to know if they have met their goals and if not, why not.


Michael Fingland
Managing Director

M +61 407 226 968
T +61 7 3229 5750
F +61 7 3229 5765 Level 5, 247 Adelaide Street
Brisbane QLD 4000



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