Online vs Offline Incentives Programs – Which is Best?

Posted by Jackie Dyal

Motivating your employees is paramount to your business’ success. And the benefits aren’t just for the staff; businesses generally see a 44% increase in productivity when a rewards program is set up. Picking the right program for your organization is obviously important and considering the existing processes you have in place, including online and offline functions, will help you on your way.

The Office-based Workforce

Having an entirely office-based workforce allows you to set up a long-term online approach with an inexpensive communication strategy.

Online rewards programs allow participants to build up points as they achieve predetermined goals in their day-to-day jobs. These points accumulate over a given period of time to be redeemed for prizes and awards.

Goals could be related to sales targets, peer to peer nominations, senior recognition or whatever is relevant to the job role in question. Programs that are run like this facilitates easy measurement of engagement, progress and redemption, plus it’s easy to report against the specific business objectives that have been set.

Using an online platform also allows for ongoing motivational strategies, such as leader boards to boost healthy competition. This approach allows users instant access and a snapshot view of their status, whether from a desktop or out and about on their mobile or tablet.  Communications are also easy to manage as they can be electronically delivered by email, text messages or simply posted on the platform, reducing any printing costs.

Irregular Internet Access

Even without internet access, it is possible to run an effective rewards program that reaches all staff, be they on the road or based on a factory floor.

One approach is to set up a central online platform, as most individuals can now obtain internet access on mobile devices. If some workers have literally no internet access at all, then the program can flex in line with this and printed materials can be used to communicate key messages around the workplace, making sure the incentive details are available to all. These could include posters, reward catalogs, and monthly statements of reward points.

Additional teasers could be posted around the shop floor to encourage staff to get involved and find out more, such as the distribution of scratch cards, floor walks, or mini event days.

External Incentives

Putting rewards into practice usually requires a ‘driver’ to ensure involvement and ongoing engagement. This might be an existing team member who is familiar with the target audience, for example a sales person who is in regular contact with them. Your driver can explain and remind about the rewards available and encourage participation. If the targeted employees are shown that the program is relevant to them and made to feel involved, then they are far more likely to engage with it and actively take part.

What to consider when implementing an incentive program:

  1. Lead times – How quickly can you get set up? What factors could cause delays? What is your target launch date?
  2. Audience – Who do you want to take part in the program? Where are they located? Are languages, locations or abilities important factors? What motivates each team? Do you need to feature a range of awards to appeal to different people?
  3. Communication – Who will be running your program within the organization? How will employees be kept up to date? How will updates be sent? How often? How will online and offline communications differ?
  4. Training – Will you need to schedule a workshop or launch event to get everyone on board? When should this be scheduled in line with the launch? Will additional technical training be required?
  5. Budget – Has your budget been allocated? Does it allow for all required elements? This will affect the level of rewards, activities and communications you can use.

There is a lot to consider when it comes to launching a rewards program and the different factors required for online and offline audiences. That’s why it makes sense to consult an expert who knows the market and won’t miss a trick. And we can be with you every step of the way, from inception to launch and beyond.  Contact us today to learn more.

Jackie joined CR Worldwide in 2010. During that time, she has worked as Campaign Manager, Project Manager, Head of Digital Projects, and Head of Digital Strategy (for HR and sales performance programs). She was promoted to Head of Partnerships in 2018.