How to structure an incentive plan

Posted by Dan Kelly

Offering incentives to your staff is a great way to increase performance and morale in your business as you reward them for their hard work. Having a well-structured plan in place can help make an incentive rewards program easier to manage and more successful overall, especially if it’s your first time running one and you’re unsure what you should do.

To help you get to grips with your incentive reward program, this guide takes you through how a business should structure an incentive plan to make sure it runs smoothly and effectively, and meets your business goals.

The first step to structuring an incentive plan is figuring out what you want an incentive to do for your business. Simply rewarding your staff is definitely great for improving morale. But improving morale, while tying it into something that encourages a tangible improvement in staff performance, is sure to be more effective overall.

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Deciding on a reason or goal

To start off your incentive plan well, you should consider reviewing any statistics you have on recent sales performance, or positive reviews that your staff have recently received. Once you know what your current baseline is in terms of performance, you can set a target for staff to strive towards. For instance, earning whatever incentives you’ve decided to offer by achieving an even higher performance.

Be clear with your campaign

Clarity is always important when it comes to incentive rewards. So you should make sure your staff know four key points throughout an incentive reward program:

  • Why an incentive reward program has been put into place
  • What their goals or targets are
  • What is on offer as a reward
  • What they need to do to earn these rewards

You could make this simpler by using an incentive management platform to streamline the entire process. By doing this, staff will instantly be able to see what their goals are, how well they’re performing, and what sort of rewards they could be pushing towards if they perform well.

This would also have the added benefit of making their performance easy to track from a management perspective. This means that there’s little hassle involved, while still ensuring that your incentive reward program runs smoothly.

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Tiered incentives so no one misses out

An incentive reward program can be a fantastic way to really push your staff to new heights. This can especially be the case when you’re approaching key times of the year, such as Christmas or the heights of summer.

With that in mind, a well-structured incentive plan can help ensure that more staff feel rewarded. Rather than just provide one single reward, you can offer a variety of rewards that are different in value and scale. This way your staff should feel consistently encouraged and motivated to succeed throughout your incentive plan.

You should also keep in mind that an exotic reward like a team trip abroad, which really pulls out all the stops to succeed, can be an unforgettable experience for those who get to go. But it’s important not to forget your other staff members too.

It isn’t that you should offer such lavish rewards across the board to everyone in your business – sometimes, companies need to stick to a certain budget with an incentive reward program. Instead, think about creating different levels of rewards.

You could offer a holiday abroad as your top-tier reward for the best team, while offering a rewards for smaller local trips, like to an escape room or adventure park, for other teams who have performed well. Beyond that, you might offer tickets to the cinema for a recent big film release, bottles of champagne, or even gift cards for the local high street, to give staff a bit of personal choice.

Offering several rewards, but tiering how they’re awarded to your staff, brings big benefits to an incentive reward plan. Firstly, your staff are encouraged to engage in a little friendly rivalry and compete to push each other to greater success. And secondly, it makes sure that no one feels left out — you can still reward good performance, even if other workers don’t quite hit the top spot or perform the best in your business.

Helping your business with our rewards services

Making sure that your incentive plan is well-structured can help make your business’s incentive programme more successful overall. Tailoring a plan to your specific business needs and adding value through a range of rewards for different reasons, can be a fantastic way for your staff to benefit from your efforts.

Our MyRewards incentive management program can be a fantastic tool to help you plan and organise the perfect incentive rewards programme.

At CR Worldwide, we can quickly design, launch and optimise effective channel incentive programmes that drive increased sales for your business. Our channel incentive schemes are:

Easy to implement — Our turnkey MyRewards platform can be tailored to suit your requirements, meaning you can be ready to implement incentive schemes quickly.

Easy to use — Our platforms are made to be quick to launch and easy to understand, so your sales channel teams can meet their targets, view potential rewards, and chart their progress towards winning them.

Easy to manage — Our programmes offer real-time reporting in participation with ROI and budget management. This makes managing, organising, tracking performance and assessing the value of your incentive schemes simple.

We’d love to excite, engage and inspire your sales channel partners with our channel incentive schemes. To speak to a member of our award-winning team:

As a founding partner of CR Worldwide in 2002, Dan helped develop the company from a start-up business into the multi-million global brand it is today.