It always amazes me that more companies and CEO’s don’t fully understand the importance of motivating and engaging employees. Many see it as a cost they can little afford, especially in these tough economic times, preferring instead to funnel dollars into advertising and marketing. What they are failing to take advantage of is a low cost way to not only attract and retain top employees and sales teams, but leverage those individual’s collective strength in word of mouth promotion.
As Sherrie Scott, Demand Media, states in her article for The Huston Chronical, rewards and incentives benefit both the employee and the employer in a variety of ways. By boosting morale and increasing loyalty, rewards and incentive programs ensure the company is seen in a positive light by not just their immediate employees, but their families, friends, neighbours and the community at large. After all, good news travels fast, and those companies who “get it”, and implement effect, on-going programs reap the benefits over the long and short term.
But the key is to create truly engaging programs and many HR personnel just don’t have the expertise, knowledge and/or resources to do this effectively. This is why programs that are quick out of the gate, often fail a few months down the line. The in-house people who’ve been assigned responsibility for the programs already have a full work load, and when push comes to shove, the programs die a slow, painful death.
Canada Human Resources Centre’s article on employee engagement and statistics supports this by stating that “60% of employees are not engaged, and 15% are actively disengaged at work and only 25% are actively engaged.” Likewise in the U.S., Bersin & Associates states that “only 35 percent of HR practitioners thought that their engagement efforts led to positive business outcomes. Quite tragically, only 19 percent of employees are highly engaged according to solution providers DDI.”
Enter the professional Rewards and Incentive company. They are the ones with the resources, software programs, effective awards, and expertise to know how to strategize, create, implement and sustain the program(s) over the long haul. Again, the fear of cost comes into question, and when dealing with the big R & I houses, this can be significant enough to deter some companies from moving forward. Smaller, boutique companies can offer the same programs and products, but due to carrying less overhead, costs are kept at a manageable level.
When taken into context, it isn’t a question of whether or not a company or organization can afford to implement a strategic, dynamic rewards and incentive program, but can they afford not to?