Improved productivity, increased sales, reduced accident rates and decreased hiring/training costs are all great benefits of successful employee incentive programs, but without tracking the actual before and after results, how can a manager actually prove what the reward program is accomplishing? Regardless of the type of employee award program an organization implements, the results and impact of the program need to be tracked on a continual basis. When setting up an incentive program, I will ask new clients to decide how frequently they would like to receive automated status reports. I like to send this to a person regularly to keep them informed on the results of the employee award program.
Tracking and reporting on incentive program results can range from collecting feedback from employees to viewing detailed reports featuring information on orders and user activity. These reports can also document a range of tangible results while employee feedback can help to provide information on the intangible results of the program. Reporting is an important aspect of an employee award program as management should be able to show that the budget invested in a reward program is not only worth it, but also that it is impacting the organization in multiple positive ways, both measurable and immeasurable.
In general, reports should detail specific metrics that are developed around the goals of the program. A sales incentive program should track beginning sales and month-to-month sales over the previous year(s’) information in an effort to show the tangible impact of implementing the incentive program. In addition, reports on redemption rates and the gifts that people have selected may help a company to decide what is popular among employees can be especially useful when updating and re-evaluating the incentive program.
By allowing employee feedback online or in the workplace, employee morale and other intangible results can be calculated as well. Encouraging employees to complete surveys in order to collect information about employee attitudes can provide valuable insight and help program administrators to improve the incentive program based on this feedback. The author of Employee Evaluation blog adds in a recent article, “If they [employees] have a sense that they are part of the decision making process they are more likely to respond to the incentives.”
I advise clients with long term programs to conduct/review reports, but as a rule of thumb they should be produced at the very least quarterly. Reporting can be transmitted via email, can be available online or mailed out. Chad Simon, author of "Using an Incentive Program to Motivate Employees," also explains that employers miss the opportunity to take corrective action throughout the year when evaluating the program less than on a quarterly basis.
Reporting the results of an employee award program is vital to showing its return on investment (ROI). With this information in hand and in mind, companies can continually improve both the incentive program and the organization as a whole in return.