Why Incentive Programs Go Wrong and How to Fix Them

Why Incentive Programs Go Wrong and How to Fix Them

A Note From Strategic Incentives

Strategic Incentives believes strongly in the power of incentive programs to help companies achieve goals, motivate employees and reward outstanding behaviors. Our team of experts creates and facilitates effective incentive programs for clients by focusing on end results.

The unfortunate truth in incentives, though, is that some companies don’t understand the science and the process that goes into creating a solid performance improvement plan. They erroneously believe that employees are motivated by only one desire, and slap a program together without fully considering its consequences. When it fails, as poor incentive programs are likely to do, they say that incentives just don’t work and vow to never offer them again. If your company has ever been involved with an incentive program that has gone wrong, here are some suggestions on how to repair the damage it has done:

  • Unclear Goals: A workforce program must be very clear in its goals in order to be effective. How can management judge whether a program works if they don’t know what it is supposed to do? Vague goals are not helpful for anyone involved. Be very specific about what the program is supposed to accomplish and then track those results. Set concrete goals such as increase sales by “x” percent, reduce costs by “x” dollars, or reduce time lost to safety issues by “x” hours.
  • No Action Path to Success: Even when a company establishes an incentive program with clear goals, it can be unclear to the employees as to how to achieve those goals. Do you want them to cut prices to the bone to increase sales results, or to reduce quality in an effort to save money? Those would both be undesirable outcomes. To be effective, the sponsoring company needs to discern positive actions that will support the goal, and then provide the necessary education on how to perform those tasks.
  • Undesirable Incentives: Some incentive programs fail because they just don’t offer anything that is of interest to the employees. Complicated programs, or programs that require intense effort for something they could buy easily without all the work, can actually be un-motivational. If employees are expected to work harder, sell more, or reduce costs without a proper level of reward, the program is doomed from the start. Implement an employee motivation plan with desirable incentives, and they will be willing to work together to achieve the end results.

Strategic Incentives carefully researches and custom-designs rewards programs to achieve specific business objectives. We develop solutions molded to the client organization, increasing effectiveness and ease of implementation, with a focus on maximizing return on investment. Call 888-686-8116 for more information on creating an in-depth incentive plan which avoids many of these common mistakes.

About Strategic Incentives: Strategic Incentives is a leading nationwide provider of employee motivation programs. The company works with HR managers to implement sales incentive programs and safety incentives to retain employees, and loyalty programs to build customer relationships.  Visit the website at http://www.strategicincentives.com to download a complimentary PDF of “35 Ways to Use Incentive Programs.” “Like” the Facebook page to receive regular updates on sales incentives and promotional ideas. Call 888-686-8116 for more information on creating an in-depth performance improvement plan.

Strategic Incentives

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ERIC EDSON INTERVIEWED BY FILM COURAGE

Eric Edson’s Screenwriting Book Now Available in Chinese

What Is A Typical Career For A Working Screenwriter In Hollywood? by Professor Eric Edson

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 03, 2017, Los Angeles:  Eric Edson, author of The Story Solution, a how-to book on screenwriting and storytelling, was recently interviewed by Film Courage.

In his recent interview with Film Courage, Professor Eric Edson recalls the early days of his career and offers sage words of advice to new and aspiring screenwriters.  Eric recounts the sale of his first screenplay and how the reality of being a working screenwriter does not always meet lofty expectations.

Edson, Professor of Screenwriting and Director Emeritus of the MFA Program in Screenwriting at California State University, Northridge, describes how the sale of his first screenplay at the age of 24 changed his direction in life, and led him to enroll in the MFA program at the American Film Institute.

When asked by Film Courage whether he had expected to “capture lightning in a bottle” again in the years immediately following that first sale, he explained that his optimism was definitely tempered with realism. It would be another eight years before Edson sold his next screenplay. He warns that a career as a professional writer is not for the faint of heart, explaining that “you are going to get kicked in the teeth.” His advice is to “toughen your skin,” persevere, and above all else, “learn from everything.” He credits his own eventual success to making himself inevitable by “continuing to crank out original material.” By writing and rewriting and reading many books on screenwriting, he perfected his craft and created a drawer full of good scripts.

Edson cautions those entering the field to have realistic expectations. Much of the work screenwriters sell might not actually be filmed.  In order to achieve even a small amount of success you must be prepared to pay your dues. Overnight sensations are not what the industry is comprised of.  It takes hard work, dedication, the ability to accept defeat without being defeated, and a willingness to “buckle down for the long haul” to make a name and a living for yourself in screenwriting.

Eric Edson’s The Story Solution provides screenwriting tips for those interested in screenplay writing. Seen as one of the best books on screenwriting and currently #1 in its category on China Amazon, Edson outlines 23 actions used to create three dimensional heroes. Visit the website at http://www.thestorysolution.com to learn about writing a movie script. “Like” the Facebook page to receive tips on scriptwriting.

follow this link for the 2nd interview

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12 Conversation Starters to Increase Employee Engagement

12 Conversation Starters to Increase Employee Engagement

A Note From Strategic Incentives

One goal of a dynamic, goal-oriented organization should be to have employees that are engaged, enthusiastic, and motivated. Strategic Incentives has plenty of solid incentive programs to help with the motivation end of things, but how do you create engagement with employees?

Unfortunately, most companies simply don’t have engagement high on their list of priorities. According to Gallup in fact, there is an engagement crisis. Although their research shows that companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147% in EPS, they also concluded that “a staggering 87% of employees worldwide are not engaged.”

So where can a business start to build engagement? Given the different demographic groups that supervisors and managers have to deal with – Baby Boomers, Millennials, and Generation Xers – gathering impressions and employee motivation keys can be complex. Try to get employees engaged by talking about their ideas, and by asking open-ended questions. Don’t form any judgments on the responses; just listen and take in the information. Try not to get defensive if you hear something negative; ask probing questions instead to find out more.

Here are 12 conversation starters that will help build employee engagement:

1. What is a quality you admire most with our company?
2. What is a quality we lack in as a company?
3. What can we do to make the workplace more enjoyable?
4. What could we do to improve our communications with employees and customers?
5. Are we doing anything that hurts our customer relationships?
6. What can we do to make our customer experience better?
7. Tell me what excites you most about your job here, and what parts of your job don’t you find fulfilling?
8. What can we do to assure projects are completed effectively and in a timely manner?”
9. What kind of rewards do you think would be most effective to motivate you and improve performance?
10. What types of  training or opportunities can we provide that will make you more effective at your job?
11. What skills do you have that could best contribute to the organization, but are being underutilized?
12. What attributes do you provide that will be beneficial to our brand?

An engagement conversation is best when it is conducted as a dialogue between two people who have the company’s best interests at heart. This is not the time to offer criticism or direction, but to gather insights and build enthusiasm.

Strategic Incentives carefully researches and custom-designs workforce programs to achieve specific business objectives. We develop solutions molded to the client organization, increasing effectiveness and ease of implementation, with a focus on maximizing return on investment.

Strategic Incentives

Improve Workplace Productivity With These Tips From Strategic Incentives

A Note From Strategic Incentives

Dear Readers,

Spring is in full bloom and Easter is right around the corner. As employees look ahead to vacations and summer fun, workplace productivity can diminish. Managers and supervisors want productivity to remain high throughout the year, but it can be hard to motivate personnel about work when outside activities are beckoning.

That’s why it is important to have a solid performance improvement plan in place. Having an employee motivation program keeps your workforce focused on the prize. A concerted approach to creating and implementing a workforce program can keep employees, supervisors, management, and customers happy.

Kick-start your employee motivation program and improve workplace productivity this spring with these tips below:

  • Discussion sessions: Have supervisors schedule regular team discussion sessions. These can be short and to the point, but the object is to take a break and think about things differently. Don’t focus on shortcomings or company regulations. Subjects should cover positive work topics such as what went well this week, ideas to try to make work flow more efficiently, or helpful customer insights.
  • Stave off boredom: Whether working in a cubicle from 9-5, or doing repetitive assembly line tasks all day, work can become drudgery. Variety is the spice of life, so find unique ways to inject a little fun into the day for a few minutes and the rest of the time will be more productive.
  • Recognize achievements and milestones: Take some time to recognize your team. Acknowledge members in your organization for their contributions and accomplishments. Doing so boosts pride and lets your workforce know their dedication is valued.
  • Inject something new: People like to be part of the bigger picture. Allow employees to cross-train, provide information about open positions, or rotate opportunities to shadow a supervisor for a shift to see how things look from the other side.

A strong change management plan coupled with an employee recognition program will increase productivity and keep the summer doldrums away.

Visit our web site at http://www.StrategicIncentives.com to download a complimentary copy of “35 Smart Ways to Use Incentive Programs.” Call 888-686-8116 now for more information on improving workplace productivity and take advantage of our special offer for April.

Happy Spring and Happy Easter from Strategic Incentives!

About Strategic Incentives: Strategic Incentives is a leading nationwide provider of employee motivation programs. The company works with HR managers to implement sales incentive programs and safety incentives to retain employees, and loyalty programs to build customer relationships.  Visit the website at http://www.strategicincentives.com to download a complimentary PDF of “35 Ways to Use Incentive Programs.” “Like” the Facebook page to receive regular updates on sales incentives and promotional ideas. Call 888-686-8116 for more information on creating an in-depth performance improvement plan.

Strategic Incentives

Top 10 Reasons to Hire Strategic Incentives in 2017

Top 10 Reasons to Hire Strategic Incentives in 2017

Dear Friends,

Strategic Incentives believes motivating and maintaining staff are two of the most crucial elements to the long term success of a company.  That’s why we work with company managers to provide performance incentivesrecognition programs, and marketing campaigns. Here are the top 10 reasons to hire Strategic Incentives in 2017.

  1. Performance Incentives. We believe your workforce is your greatest asset. This is why we work on ways to better involve employees and expand your customer base. Call us today at 888-686-8116 for more information. We will work with you to find the program which best suits your needs.
  2. Recognition Programs. Employees like to feel valued. Recognizing and rewarding hard work and behaviors within your organization can set the foundation for employees to thrive and help you achieve your business objectives. Strategic Incentives offer recognition solutions specific to your company needs.
  3. Peer Recognition Programs. Empowering employees to recognize their peers quickly reinforces positive behaviors. Over time this creates a more connected workforce where employees genuinely care for one another. Fostering a positive workplace culture leads to a higher rate of performance improvement and more engaged employees.
  4. Spot Recognition Programs. In addition to peer recognition programs, Strategic Incentives will also help you determine when spot recognition programs work best. These types of programs give immediate appreciation right when it is deserved, not months later. Instant gratification proves to be a powerful indicator to improve employee morale and improve productivity.
  5. Promotional Marketing. We will develop an effective theme and detailed plan of action to give you the best marketing campaign. We oversee the success of your promotional plan from start to finish. At Strategic Incentives, we give a thorough evaluation of your audience and marketing objectives. You will work one-on-one with members of our team.
  6. Power of Pride.  When employees feel proud, they are more productive. Strategic Incentives offers  several unique programs to inspire a sense of pride in your employees.
  7. Web Enabled Programs. In-house web design and programming allow us to build traditional award plans and create state of the art marketing, tracking, and redemption award programs. Strategic Incentives can also help you develop a special award to recognize a particular job well done. We will not only help you search for that special award but also give you tips on how to present it.
  8. Employee Engagement Programs. Engaging employees is never easy. The key is to engage them in a “genuine” manner that helps them stay motivated for longer periods of time.  Employee engagement programs need not be complicated and expensive to get your employees “involved in a genuine way.”
  9. Customer Loyalty Programs. A company cannot be successful without satisfied customers. We will help you identify and record customer expectations and increase customer confidence. Most importantly we will retain customers by providing exceptional levels of service and help you implement customer loyalty programs. A Strategic Incentives Loyalty Program is a long-term, flexible marketing strategy that helps a company define, retain and grow its best customers by communicating, recognizing and rewarding them based on their purchasing behavior.
  10. Incentive Programs Outlined. Strategic Incentives will outline a plan with you. From establishing objectives to setting a budget we will help you customize a program for your company’s needs. Once you know your goal let Strategic Incentives outline the map for you to get there. We will help you determine the type of budget that best suits your company as well as how to get the most out of it.

For the latest news and specials offered by Strategic Incentives, sign up for our newsletter online. Our consultants look forward to guiding your organization on its path to growth and success.  For more information on Strategic Incentives’ unique motivational programs, call 888-686-8116 or visit our web site at http://StrategicIncentives.com

Q&A Hot Sheet

Q: How can Strategic Incentives help me find the best program for my business?
A: We will sit down with you and help you outline a strategy, establish a budget, and identify objectives, among other things. Each plan is tailored to your specific needs and business size.  Request a quote.

Q: How can I stay connected to what’s going on at Strategic Incentives?
A: It’s easy. Just visit our site and sign up for our newsletter. We’ll keep you up to date with our e-mail newsletters.

Q: Besides building incentive programs, what other services do you offer?
A: Strategic Incentives can also help with promotional marketing. Call us today at 888-686-8116 to find out what items can help with getting the word out about your business.

 

 

About Strategic Incentives: Strategic Incentives is a leading nationwide provider of employee motivation programs. The company works with HR managers to implement sales incentive programs and safety incentives to retain employees, and loyalty programs to build customer relationships.  Visit the website at http://www.strategicincentives.com to download a complimentary PDF of “35 Ways to Use Incentive Programs.” “Like” the Facebook page to receive regular updates on sales incentives and promotional ideas. Call 888-686-8116 for more information on creating an in-depth performance improvement plan.