Reward behaviors that lead to desired results and outcomes – not just bottom line results.
For example, take a quick-service restaurant franchise: if safety inspection scores are looking grim, business leaders may look for employee behaviors which can be changed or modified in order to improve safety inspection scores, like wearing gloves or storing meat at safe temperatures. In that case, paying employees for behaviors associated with improving safety inspection scores may prove more effective than asking employees to work harder to comply with safety standards. For example, create a safety training program based on quality standards and incentivize your employees for their efforts in completing courses and certifications–these are behaviors that are likely to improve safety scores simply based on employee exposure to best practices.
Rewards-based incentives work well for just about any industry:
One company created a program where employees earned credits that could be used to buy goods from a catalog. The amounts were based on how much money was saved for the organization. An impact of $5,001–$10,000 earned a $150 credit, for example. The program created $16 million in savings in three months.
Tie desired outcomes to specific, measurable behaviors and incentivize small actions.
Employees are more receptive to immediate rewards (like a $100 reward for completing a task) versus long-term incentives (like earning a college degree) because they know exactly what they did to earn the reward and exactly how to replicate it. Be specific with your organizational goals and tailor them to individuals or departments as objectives.
Instead of asking employees to blindly work toward large-scale change, identify and reward the behaviors and effort associated with achieving organizational goals. Then create even more incentive to cross the finish line: that is, reward those bottom line improvements. To create change in a work setting, start small, reward behaviors first, then reward results.