Show your employees appreciation and let them know that they are valued.”


The number one reason people leave their job has nothing to do with the money they earn. For many, it boils down simply to the fact that they feel unappreciated and under-valued.

I know many professionals, even with top tier performance that feel like ‘they just can’t do enough’, even though they receive a regular bonus. How is this possible?

Call it what you will; incentive program, rewards and recognition, employee engagement, awards and incentives, premiums – the objectives are all the same. That is to encourage (and reward) specific behavior and attitudes that will further the company’s goals.

When it comes to incentivizing employees to work harder, produce more and be happy while they do it comes down to one thing. Adequately motivating them to act in a particular way. What can be so hard about that?

“Adequately motivating them” aptly identifies the difficulty in setting up an incentive structure. This means that decision makers must decide what incentives will be offered to employees and managers in hopes of encouraging them to act a certain way that is beneficial to the organization. This alone may explain why only 27% of companies have a formal program in place.

One solution is to provide a program with enough choice that it appeals to everyone.

A points-based program where participants collect and redeem points for rewards is one approach. For example;

  • Gift Cards – like major credit card Visa/MC, Amazon or Star Bucks.
  • Branded merchandise – high quality name brand jackets, polos, luggage, electronics, jewelery or watches.
  • Why not sprinkle in non-monetary rewards – like flexible work hours, educational training, day off etc.

*73% of respondents agree that merchandise provided a more memorable program as opposed to cash rewards.

But there are several other factors that contribute to the how and why many well-intentioned programs fall off the rails.

A program like this, has many moving parts if it is going to be a success. Creating, managing and communicating the program will require commitment and buy in from the highest level in the organization.

Often thrust into the hands of the HR department to solve, more is needed. Don’t get me wrong, HR is a good place to start and they are typically the driving the force, however without intense buy in from the very top it, the program will not reach its full potential.

Speaking from my own experience, I have worked for many organization’s over the years. Some did a really good job of recognizing employee contribution and those that well….missed the mark completely.

In fact, I am living testimony that a high paying job alone is not reason to stay. I am one of the above statistics.

Proforma SI can guide you through every step of developing and managing a successful incentive program. We have outlined some discussion questions to get you started and you can download it now.