Incenting Employees: Three Best Practices From Our Clients

Perhaps the most important thing brands can do to keep employees engaged is effectively incentivize them. Incentives give employees something to strive for and provide tangible acknowledgment of their great work.

Our clients often ask us how other companies incent their employees to deliver exceptional customer experiences. Practices range widely and tend to group into three major categories. Let’s take a look at those categories and why they are used:

 

  1. Appreciation through badges, certificates, pins, etc. That “badge of honor” really matters to the front line. A certificate acknowledging superior performance, signed by an executive, makes an indelible mark on employees. They are proud to be recognized and execs can reinforce the importance of serving customers. I’ve personally seen a pride wall where a petro-convenience retailer had every 100% shop certificate up on a wall. I’ve seen employees wearing their “employee of the quarter” pins or displaying their “WOW” certificates for exceptional service. Indeed, virtually every research firm confirms the importance of employee recognition in driving retention and engagement.
     
  2. In the moment recognition for delivering exceptional service or complying with brand standards. In one program we deliver, employees receive a “Golden Ticket” for upselling beverage products at restaurants. That golden ticket is a gift card delivered immediately and directly to the employee. Not only is that reward value to the employee, but it’s also valuable for both the restaurant brand and the beverage vendor. Both see an uptick in sales.
     
  3. Bonus compensation tied to results. We have a number of clients that tie compensation to CX results—but it takes many different forms. Some clients emphasize the performance of the front lines. In one case, consistent delivery on 100% shop scores results in a bonus added to each monthly paycheck for front-line employees. For others, delivery on core CX metrics is tied to management MBO’s that go all the way up to the CEO. As with any compensation, you’ll want to check that you have a solid metric, that every location knows how to move the needle on that metric, and that you are recognizing improvement towards goals as well as overall results.

 

Recognition and incentives are critical to your team. Perhaps the most important thing brands can do to keep employees engaged is effectively incentivize them. Incentives give employees something to strive for and provide tangible acknowledgment of their great work.

Investing in the employee experience (EX) is foundational to business success. Sustaining the customer experience, improving products, and building a strong brand all require the help of your employees.

For an organization to master employee experience they have to understand the needs, expectations, and fears of the employee.

Download our employee experience checklist designed to help you gain a deeper understanding of how employees feel and improve your employee experience strategy.

 

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