Planning an employee incentive program can be a daunting task, especially if your company has never put a program in place before. Without a set plan, you can easily end up spending an overwhelming amount of time researching and making quick decisions that may never fall into place. If you're unsure where to start or are beginning a program from scratch, follow our timeline below to help you stay on track to setting up a successful program!
Where to Start: Planning an Employee Incentive Program
Start here: 1 Year Before
To begin, it's best to determine who will be helping you on this journey. Get together a team of individuals who will have the time to spend and are willing to help tackle this project with you. You should
10 Months Before
Start to consider which employees will be eligible to participate in your new employee incentive program. Will it be available to the entire company, specific locations, or maybe just a single department that needs some extra encouragement? For example, we often see programs targeted towards helping sales teams meet their monthly goals or production workers who need extra incentive to stay safe.
Once you've figured out who will be participating, do some research on the type of awards and incentives that will be most effective in helping to push your employees to meet your goals. Set a budget and stick to it. Always keep this in mind when considering the many different incentive options available to you.
6 Months Before
Now that you know exactly what you are looking for in an employee incentive program, begin researching the many program providers available to you. You'll find an abundance of options to choose from. Make sure to request samples, demos, pricing, testimonials, referrals (preferably within your industry) and any other helpful information you can think of to assist you in your comparison of providers. Be sure to contact any and all referrals you receive, and make sure what each provider has to offer will truly work for you and your program needs.
This is also an important time to begin an initial list of specific goals you want to award for. Decide on metrics you will measure to determine the success of your program. The program providers you are speaking with will be interested in these details. It will help them in suggesting the perfect program platform for you and your company.
3 Months Before
Now is the time to choose your incentive program provider! Once you've made your selection, begin consultation right away in order to leave yourself with plenty of time for the setup of your program. Share any and all details of your program vision with your new provider. Also be prepared to give them specific details such as your company branding guidelines, a list of employee names and details, program goals with award values, and the metrics you intend to report on.
1 Month Before
Once your incentive program provider has had time to set up your program, ask if you may preview the platform before it goes live. Make sure to test all of the ins and outs of every aspect of the program. Ask your provider to test any email functionality by sending some test emails to your inbox. Be clear in the communication between you and your provider to ensure any requests and final adjustments can be made in an efficient and timely manner.
Next, get ready to promote the upcoming launch of the program to your employees. This will help to build excitement and anticipation throughout the company. Ask your provider if they can supply you with marketing materials, such as flyers and posters, to assist in the promotion of your new program.
2 Weeks Before
Spread the word. Prepare employees for the launch of your program as much as possible to ensure that your launch goes off without a hitch! Be detailed in explaining how the program will all work, how employees can achieve awards, and who they can contact with questions.
In addition to prepping employees, make sure to train managers and program administrators on how to use the program. Be clear when explaining what is expected of them to keep the program running. Give managers a brief preview of how to access the program platform and explain any capabilities they have for awarding employees.
Now is also the time to do one final program check to make sure all data is correct. Having correct employee contact information in your program, such as email addresses, is crucial to a successful launch!
2 Days Before
Keep communication open with your incentive program provider and check-in one final time to be sure that everything is ready to go!
CONGRATULATIONS! You did it. Now pat yourself on the back and join in the excitement of your program's launch!
After you've announced the program and your platform is now live to all employees, be sure to monitor the initial progress on launch day and the days after. Check employee log-in rates, review program and feature interaction, and gauge the general buzz around the office. You'll also want to be sure you and your team are available to answer any employee questions as they arise.
Post Launch - 1 Month After
A successful program must be continuously monitored to make sure activity and engagement remain consistent. Run reporting through your employee incentive program's administrative platform to keep an eye on your set metrics. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, report it back to your incentive program provider. They will be more than willing to help you troubleshoot any problems that may arise or brainstorm ideas to make your program even better.
Don't stop here! Repeat this step at least once a month to make sure you stay on track.
Post Launch - 6 Months After
Take the time every six months to review the effectiveness of your set goals. Are employees achieving these goals at a rate you anticipated? Are they too hard or too easy to achieve? It is also important to be sure you are pacing well with your budget. Don't be afraid to make changes to keep your program running smoothly.
Finally, schedule some time to consult with your provider. Ask them for feedback and input on how they see their other clients program's performing. Keeping your incentive program provider in the loop will always help to continue your program on the right path!