What An Incentive Program Can Do For Your Business 62

What An Incentive Program Can Do For Your Business

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.

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. Y

ou 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.

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Becoming Your Own Boss: Tips on Getting a Business Off The Ground 7

How Writing a Blog Can Help You Live the Life You Dream About

Becoming your own boss is a complicated process, and not everyone does it the same way.

I got lucky. I was still working when I got my business off the ground, so I had a source of income while I was working the kinks out of my business. I did most of my work for the new business when I got home or on the weekends. I asked for a change in job responsibilities at the office so that I didn’t have as much on my plate.

This all gave me a chance to start earning money without going into debt. When it was feasible, I stopped working my regular job and transitioned into working for myself full time. It took about a year and a half.

Establish clear boundaries.

 

Sometimes people don’t take you seriously when you tell them that you work for yourself. They think you are always available to chat or have lunch.

I had a number of friends that would call me at all hours, assuming I was available because they wanted to talk. Granted, it was nice to have that freedom at first. But, I soon realized that if I was going to be successful, I couldn’t let those kinds of distractions interrupt my workday.

Save before you start working for yourself full time.

I was in pretty good shape when I made the transition, but looking back, a few more months with a paycheck would have been wonderful.

When you start your own business, money can be very tight. You never know what you are going to make month to month.

I had one customer that initially made up most of my revenue. That customer only paid on a quarterly basis, which meant that times were tough in between payments.

I had to spend money to build the business, which meant there wasn’t a lot left over. If I didn’t get a payment right on time, it was very difficult to deal with.

There were times when I had to ask for a loan from family members simply to pay my bills.

Reach out and build a support network.

4 Tips to Track Your Remote Employees' Progress Without Demoralizing Them

It can be really difficult to adjust at first. You have great days and you have terrible days. You meet goals some months, while other months you are left wondering where you went wrong.

If you make a mistake, you alone are responsible for it and your business and reputation can suffer. It is easy to feel depressed at times. You may even start to feel like you can’t handle running a business and that you made a big mistake when you left your office job.

Remember that you are not alone. All entrepreneurs have these moments, which is why it is so important to connect with others in the field.

Take time for yourself.

I had a honeymoon period of about half a year. It was really exciting to see the business get bigger. Each milestone that I met was a reason to celebrate.

However, heading into the second year, it was more difficult. I was tired. Things weren’t as exciting because they weren’t new anymore. And then, year three came along. I was done with working such long hours.

I was done with having no time off. Burnout is certainly an issue in this business, so you have to figure out how to balance your personal and your professional needs.

It took me a long time to get where I am today. I had to do a lot of research. I had to educate myself on business. I had to find an SEO expert. I had to figure out who my main competitors were and keep an eye on them. I also had to stay current with what was happening in the field so that I didn’t fall behind.

No matter how hard I worked, it seemed like I could never get caught up. Running a business is a big responsibility.

If you are interested in starting your own business, you want to set yourself up for success. Try to cut back on your living expenses. Make sure you have substantial savings. Set up an area in your home where you can work, free from distractions.

If you are married, get your spouse on board. He or she can help pay bills while you are getting your business off the ground.

Your business is only as good as you are.

Make sure you have a support system of other business professionals. These people can help you acknowledge your weaknesses, encourage you to keep moving forward and advise you on common mistakes.

You can try and go it alone, but it will be very difficult for you. As with anything else in life, your support network has a lot to do with your success. You are probably strongly invested in your business; after all, it is something that you created. Make sure you have people that you trust to help you along the way.

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Grace Lee has been practicing in the field of digital marketing for several years now. She has already brought numerous sites in search engines’ first pages in search results. In her spare time, she loves listening to podcasts about Google algorithm updates and other matters related to SEO.