Archive for the 'ROI of Incentive programs' Category

I’ve been writing about the difference between Incentive programs and Recognition programs for years.  This post by Paul Hebert, a thought leader in the awards industry, tells it just like it is.  It’s not an either or situation, it’s one of how much you use of each that counts.

One salty old mariner I knew in my youth put it this way when I made the mistake of using boat and ship interchangeably…

“You can put a boat on a ship, but you can’t put a ship on a boat”

Makes sense to me, you see lots of boats on ships…lifeboats, tenders etc., but I’ve never seen a ship on a boat.

It’s the same for recognition programs and incentive programs.  You often see well-designed recognition efforts as a piece of an overall incentive program.  But rarely if ever do you see recognition program contain an incentive component.  It just doesn’t happen.  Pending your objectives you will use one or the other.  Unfortunately, that these two terms are used synonymously is one of the main problems within the award industry.

This issue has become so commonplace that frankly many sales folks and recognition companies do a client a disservice when they say recognition programs incentivize performance.  Sorry that’s just not true.  Splitting hairs?  I don’t think so.

I know that many of the stalwarts in the recognition industry would take offense to this.  They’ve published books on the subject to convince buyers that recognition programs are the motivating cure-all of all time.  But they don’t motivate improved performance.  They simply recognize the efforts of those (usually few) who perform well under a certain set of guidelines.  Recognition is after the fact; it’s a lagging indicator of performance within the company.  It does not motivate the employee to perform better by using research, training, communications, measurement, analysis, feedback, and awards with an ROI that ties it all together.  The folks selling recognition programs choke over the word analysis. They have never been able to find the proper measurements to do it right.  Never!

If you want to improve performance, implement well-designed incentive program, putting all the tools in place you need to make it work properly.  And one of those tools should be a great recognition component to recognize the best in your midst.

Related Article:

Incentives not the same as Recognition Programs.

All agree that employee recognition is a large part of employee engagement strategies.  However, it’s rare for companies to actually do any kind of analysis to prove that these programs can provide a solid return on investment for these program expenditures.

This blog post talks about new ROI calculator developed by Custom Design Marketing.  While I haven’t used the calculator as yet, I have seen several like it and this one looks to be better than most, and fairly simple to use.  You can download a copy of the calculator by signing up at the CDM website and then see the various calculators available.  They have them for various programs from sales, to safety, to employee recognition and several others.   

The calculators are not difficult to use, but you do have to have some fundamental information about you program available to you.  They work on facts and when proper data is input you will be able to see an overall ROI for the type of program you are running. 

Measurement and feedback help you retain and grow your program by providing your management with solid information that helps them understand what you are spending and what they get in return. 

There are stark differences between our main award deliverable, the Award of Choice, and their traditional awards, but having a good way to measure the success of your program is a critical part of award program planning.