The desire to be recognised and appreciated regularly is a fundamental human need so the size and sector of your business shouldn’t be a consideration, and the benefits of employee recognition are well documented in many studies. The first step is to identify your objectives. As with most other tasks in business, you need to be aware of what the long-term goals of your incentive scheme are.
Talk to your staff about the programme mechanics – this will enable you to set up an incentive scheme that will encourage them to be enthusiastic about its inception and results. This is especially important now that the millennial generation is entering adulthood, the influence of this demographic of 16 to 29 year olds has to be considered and addressed. At 80 million strong in the U.S. alone, millennial employees have plenty of leverage to shift the course of future events and have a very different mindset from earlier generations. This process will also help you to find out what incentives your employees value most.
Make sure the incentive consists of a combination of monetary and non monetary awards. An emerging trend is the increased use of corporate social media platforms where achievements are recognised and shared via live feeds to the entire organisation. In this way corporate values come to life as recognitions can be clearly linked to behaviours and celebrated in real-time regardless of the country or location of the employee.
Reward budgets should be calculated on the assumption that as a minimum, 50% of the work force is recognised or rewarded at least once every year. Remember recognition doesn’t always have to involve monetary-based rewards. As employee and performance levels improve, this figure should rise to between 70 and 80%.
All incentive schemes need a clear start and end date so that participants know how long they have to achieve their goals – these timelines need to be communicated prior to the scheme’s beginning. The length of the scheme is dependent on the objectives that were initially defined, but to get the best results incentive schemes that relate to changes in behaviour require a sustained campaign.
In a global context, providing a good selection of local and culturally meaningful rewards for the recipient to choose from is essential, and gift cards can be a perfect solution. They bridge the gap between knowing what your employee wants and does not want. Essentially, you would be empowering your employees to choose their own rewards, which is very powerful and ultimately, your employees are much more likely to remember what they received as a result of their good performance.
Managing a global reward or incentive programme can be a real challenge, specifically with regard to the cost and logistics of fulfilling rewards around the world. Often the biggest difficulty when planning international incentive campaign is choosing rewards that are not only desirable but able to transcend any cultural and demographic differences. Luckily there are plenty of organisations such as Ovation Incentives that have a fantastic range of gift cards with global reach. Digital gift cards are particular well suitable for international programmes as costly postage fees and the possibility of lost post is eliminated altogether. The trend here indicates that digital gift cards will continue grow and be more widely available globally.
Ensure that any gift cards offered are denominated in the local currency to maximise the impact of the rewards e.g. recipients in France should receive rewards denominated in Euros and recipients and Denmark should receive rewards in Danish Kroner. The same reward value in one country may also have a completely different value in another, so take this into account. Equity between the different countries involved in the scheme is essential. Finally, ensure that full customer support and aftercare services are available internationally, as considerations here relate to differences in time zones and languages.