What if for today we take a different view of incentive programs. Instead of looking at them as an expense or an investment, what if you looked at incentives as an act of giving towards your employees? There is always going to be (and should be) accountability, metrics and ROI of your incentive and recognition programs. However, for right now, let's take a brief look beyond the numbers and data.
Employees that are well treated are more likely to stay around, agreed? Rewarding your workforce for good behaviors, meeting company goals and an overall "job well done" does a lot more for employee engagement in an organization than just "taking" all the time from employees. Sure you give them paychecks in return for their hard work but then again... so does every other company. How does that separate your organization from a competing one?
In his book Tribes, Seth Godin discusses how leaders who are generous ultimately see more success than those who are always looking out for themselves:
"Leaders who set out to give are more productive than leaders who seek to get. Even more surprising is the fact that the intent of the leaders matters. The tribes can sniff out why someone is asking for their attention. Looking out for number one is an attitude, and it's one that doesn't pay."
He goes on to describe leaders who sit in cubicles with their staff (aka Tony Hsieh of Zappos) or others who aren't in it for their own self glory but genuinely want to help those around them. As a result, people like Hseih have built successful companies - ones that their employees (or as Godin would call followers) remain fiercely loyal to.
Employee loyalty improves retention. Bottom line, better employee retention ultimately helps your bottom line.
How are you giving back to your employees?