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If there’s one thing that incentive programs have in common, it’s this: they all seek to motivate employees.

If you’re trying to motivate your employees to be more loyal to your business, increase sales in a given period of time, make fewer mistakes, be on time for appointments, or some other quantifiable behavior, an incentive program is a way to help you do it.

It exists for the very purpose of moving your business toward its specific goals.

Set targets, encourage workers to meet them, and reward them when they do. As a result, your business benefits and improves.

What Is an Incentive Program?

At its very heart, an incentive program is designed to encourage specific employee behavior.

This means, in order to motivate team members to close more deals, improve satisfaction ratings, complete more proposals, etc., the program rewards specific behaviors by giving employees things they want — like cash, gift cards, public honor, etc.

Incentive programs can work in any industry, but they are especially popular in industries with measurable performance goals like sales.

Why Do They Matter?

Nobody has to tell you that motivated employees are better employees.

When a person feels that his or her work matters in some way, productivity increases and, in many cases, so do company profits. This is the very principle upon which incentive programs are built.

By taking advantage of the reality that rewarding desired behavior helps inspire staff, incentive programs can be powerful tools for improving business results.

Benefits From Incentive Programs

Whether your industry is software sales or regional advertising, if you have been looking for a better way to incentivize specific behavior in the workplace, you’ll want to consider incentive programs.

Think about it: Are you interested in boosting morale or driving sales? Would you like to reduce turnover and all the costs that come from regularly replacing staff?

If so, here’s a look at the key benefits offered by incentive programs:

1. Increase productivity.

One of the best and most effective ways to boost business productivity is to make your team members feel valued.

When each individual knows that he or she is noticed, it’s a powerful motivator. Incentive programs help workers feel appreciated, which in turn increases productivity in the workplace.

2. Encourage collaboration.

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Any time a group of people works toward a common goal, it encourages a team mentality.

More than that, teamwork is good for business as it teaches workers to pool together their resources to achieve more.

Incentives that cater to the whole team — like parties, informal events, groupwide bonuses, etc. — are incentives that help everyone work together.

3. Create competition.

At the same time, incentive programs also capitalize on the natural desire within people to outshine one another in friendly competition.

Through public incentive programs that showcase who’s earning what, you can create the kind of office buzz that drives business goals. When a co-worker is achieving new heights — and the incentives that go with them — others are motivated to try, too.

4. Boost loyalty.

Because incentive programs do so well to make employees feel noticed and motivated, they can reduce turnover and create a better office culture.

Workers are challenged and motivated. Instead of feeling frustrated, then, employees are happy and loyal.

5. Communicate respect.

The bottom line is that programs are key for helping employees feel valued. When they know their work is being tracked and rewarded, they feel like they have a purpose in their work.

A good incentive program will not only benefit your employees, but it also will benefit your business.

You save money even as you hand out rewards because you have motivated, driven, productive and loyal workers on your staff. When implemented properly, an incentive program can also help lower sick days, minimize recruitment costs, drive higher results, and make your business function more efficiently.

When you consider all the perks of incentive programs, how can you afford not to consider them?

These motivational tools can do a lot for your business — both now and continuously into the future.

About The Author

This is a guest post by Julie Feece, Vice President North America – Marketing for RPG Card Services, a sales and marketing organization specializing in offering gift card program services to nationally recognized retailers for their B2B and B2C programs. She has held various leadership roles in the incentive gift card industry for over 17 years.