Do You Know When to Run an Incentive Program?

 

Incentive Decision Tree

Click Here for Larger Version of Incentive Decision Tree

Most people think they know. My experience is that most people are wrong.

But here I am to save the day.

Below are the most important questions you need to answer before deciding whether to run an incentive program and deciding how to structure it.

Use this EVERY time you think you need an incentive program. (The image on the right is a more detailed decision process for those who like the detail)

Make sure you go through ALL the steps…

  1. Identify your goal, end results, success metric (how you will know it worked.)

  2. Identify the critical BEHAVIORS that drive that outcome.

  3. Ask yourself if it is a training issue, a communication issue or a process issue.

  4. If the answer to each of those is “No” … then maybe it is an incentive and influence issue.

99.9% of people skip steps #2 and #3. They set a goal… dangle a carrot… then sit back and hope.

You need to ensure your audience knows what you expect (communication and validation.)

You need to be sure your audience has the skills to hit the goal (training and learning.)

You need to be sure your audience has the tools to achieve the goal (process.)

Most people want to be good at their job. Most people want to succeed. Most people like to see progress. Therefore, it is rarely an ongoing motivation issue. Check the other reasons goals aren’t being hit before simply adding more “incentive” to the mix.

And once you’ve eliminated the other reasons the fun (and complexity) really starts when you begin designing the best way to change the behaviors (not outcomes) you identified.

Truthfully – that’s the really hard part so give me a ring… I’m good with that stuff.


 

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