Employee incentive programs are highly effective methods of boosting employee morale and driving engagement. This leads to higher rates of retention and increases in productivity.
Worldwide, this is a $100 billion industry, with $46 billion being non-cash incentives.
The value of employee incentive programs
These programs work because they leverage human behavior. Employees who get rewarded regularly are more motivated to complete associated tasks. Organizations using employee incentive programs have a 79% success rate in achieving their established goals because of offering rewards to their employees.
Your organization needs to embed employee incentive programs into your everyday culture and move away from simply recognizing workers for years of service.
Incentive programs have been shown to increase employee performance by as much as 44% and can motivate up to 66%of employees to remain with their company. In professional careers, those employees satisfied with their benefits are more than twice as likely to also be satisfied with their work.
One of the top incentives employees in knowledge careers seek is the opportunity for continuing professional development. Those organizations that do not invest in this, are not seen to be valuing their employees.
Career professionals who are not continuing to learn and stay up to date in their profession will stagnate and become less employable in their career field. Employers who want to grow, and retain top talent, will help their employees with the opportunity to gain experience and progress.
There are many ways you can run a Professional Development Incentive.
Some organizations assign a specific amount each year for each employee to use towards the costs of undertaking some form of professional development that they source themselves. This could be attending a professional conference or completing specific training courses, etc.
However, too often most employees fail to take advantage of this
Because it is budgeted for, don’t make it difficult to be approved, though it should add value to the employee’s knowledge within their career, or the organization. To ensure the budget is used by most employees, including a professional development plan in their annual performance review.
Financial Support for Earning Certificates
An alternative to the training budget, or to run alongside it, is where the employee is financially rewarded for completing courses that are relevant to their career or the organization’s goals.
Again, if you have included this in your budget, it is money you expect to spend each year and each employee only gets rewarded up to their budgeted amount.
Make it easy for your employees by giving them access to training platforms like LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, Coursera, etc.
Targeted Internal Training
Supply courses you develop yourself on subjects relevant to your organization and all employees. Utilize the skills and knowledge of existing employees to run these courses
These could be on subjects like:
- Health and safety in the workplace
- Health and well-being
- How to develop a professional development plan
- Learn the basics of a language the organization regularly encounters
- How to remain motivated at work
- How our employee incentive program works
Professional Development is not only for those employees in ‘professional’ careers. Some of your best employees in the future may start as employees with few skills and education. However, they might be some of your most promising workers, and with the right guidance and opportunities to gain experience, they could move into leadership roles.
Corporate Business Solutions can help you with advice about how to develop a professional development plan that is a good fit for your organization.