We recently held a live conversation in Minneapolis where Gina Drewek, One10 VP of Technology, Richelle Taylor, One10 VP Strategic Marketing, and Dave Zielinski, HR author and editor spoke about building your incentive and recognition strategy for growth.

We wanted to recap that conversation for those who could not attend as the panelists shared some useful nuggets of information as you think about your corporate goals for 2020.

Statistics from today’s workforce are troubling: 68 percent of the U.S. workforce is disengaged, it’s 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one, and only one in five salespeople actually meet or exceed their sales quotas. This data, and the trickle-down effects including negative productivity and loss of sales volume, is enough to keep HR managers and CEOs up at night.

But, there’s a relatively simple solution that can help. Implementing incentive and recognition programs has been proven to help employees feel satisfied and recognized for the contributions, which also enhances your company’s bottom line. However, they must be implemented successfully to be effective. Here are a few tips to building your incentive and recognition strategy:

Use technology to consolidate your program

The larger you are, the more internal team members and channel partners you have to manage. That means you have a greater probability of having disparate programs and data to organize your incentive and recognition program. Chances are, you are using traditional spreadsheets to manage the process.

Manual processes are prone to human error. When you rely on suboptimal processes, you get suboptimal results. But technology can help.

Technological solutions can help you organize and streamline your incentive and recognition program, placing all of the data into a consolidated portal for easy management, execution and data reporting. It’s easy for your teams or channel partners to access their incentive program, and it’s easy for you to measure the performance and results because the information is right at your fingertips. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Appeal to a variety of needs

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to recognition. What motivates one employee may not motivate another. Employees want choice and customization when it comes to their rewards options. Having a mix of rewards is important to appeal to all audiences. That way, you can match the person with the reward that motivates them the most.

It may come as a surprise, but your team may place a higher value on non-cash rewards, versus simply receiving cash as a reward. Experiential gifts like incentive travel have an enormous impact on our psyche. Effective incentive travel is built around a luxurious experience that couldn’t easily be recreated. This could include luxurious accommodations and experiences in over-the-top destinations. The goal with incentive travel is to create once-in-a-lifetime moments that create memories that will last a lifetime. Cash rewards can’t do this.

Communication is key

Quite simply, a secret program isn’t a successful program. If employees don’t know what they are tasked to do, they won’t be motivated. You must be transparent about your rewards and incentive program so you aren’t demotivational in the long run.

This means you must communicate to your program participants in a variety of ways at all phases of the incentive and recognition program. A multi-pronged approach to communication is key. Thankfully, there are a variety of ways in which participants can receive communication, from text messages, SMS and email. Gamification is a great way of keeping your participants engaged throughout the process.

Incentive and recognition programs are not a “build it and they will come” situation. A successful program goes beyond simply setting aside budget dollars to fund the program and relies on a leadership team that truly believes in the program. You must have buy-in from the top-down in order for the program to succeed.

Work with a professional

Sometimes a homegrown solution just won’t work when your bottom line is at stake. At One10, we pride ourselves on our proprietary technology – PerformX® incentive, recognition or channel programs that help build a high-performing team, and your business.

We know that informed, engaged teams are high-performing teams, and we specialize in helping you build top performers. Our PerformX® technology is the nucleus of your incentive and recognition program, allowing you to bring your disparate data, programs, budgets and reporting into one easy-to-use portal.

We used a ‘mobile-first’ design to create PerformX®, which means we designed with the smallest screen in mind. This is essential considering our reliance on using mobile phones for information at our fingertips, anytime, anywhere.

Incentive and recognition programs are a great way to improve the relationship between your brand and your participants. They have the power to establish, build and deepen relationships with your employees or channel partners to create a foundation of trust, alignment and commitment. But in order to accomplish all of this effectively, your incentive and recognition programs must be properly designed and executed.