Are incentive schemes worth your money?


Are incentive schemes worth your money? - 2020 - Wattsnext Group

“I want to implement an incentive scheme so my underperforming employees start hitting their targets.”

You want to do what!?” I cried in despair!

I absolutely see the merit in employee incentive (or bonus schemes) because when done right, for the right roles and the right people, there are a lot of business and individual benefits that can ensue.

But one of the most outrageous things I’ve heard is implementing a scheme to reward people for actually just doing what you’re paying them to do through their salary.

There are a few components to consider. If employees aren’t performing, you need to look at how clear their expectations are. Is there an opportunity to provide more structure and clarity around what success looks like in their role and how that’s connected to the strategy of the business?

I think there’s more to it than that. Businesses need to look at the overall employee experience they’re creating – beyond just coming to work to do your job (or in some cases not!).

What I mean by this is looking at a number of other intrinsic measures and motivators:

  • Are you clear on your business goals, and what is in place to make sure your team are as connected to achieving these as you are?
  • What culture has been created? One where employees work cohesively and have ownership and accountability for the role they play in the business? Or is there a mentality of entitlement and self-interest?
  • What development opportunities can you offer your team and what access do they have to true leaders and mentors?

Sure, incentive schemes certainly have their place in many organisations – but before you go paying people above their salary to show up to work and do their job, consider other motivators and benefits, which can drive engagement, increase your team’s performance and ultimately your business’ success.



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Wattsnext Group is a compilation of ideas and expertise from the entire team, past and present with a few added gems from guest authors from time to time. With this collaborative approach, you'll get a broader perspective and high-level of expertise across the HR landscape


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