Motivate Your Employees: How to Run a Successful Employee Incentive Program and Generate Higher ROI’s

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The Purpose of Running an Employee Incentive Program

Everyone hopes to hire the best employees, but sometimes even the best employee’s needs to be motivated. This is where an employee incentive program comes in.

The Benefits of an Employee Incentive Program

The importance of an Employee Incentive Program isn’t just for the employees, it benefits the employer too. Reports show that companies that have an Employee Incentive Program in place saw an average of a 22% gain in performance, 13% less employee turnover, and 37% – 58% higher profits.

What Types of Employee Incentive Programs Work Best

Studies show employees prefer a non-cash incentive over extra money in their paychecks (and let’s face it, if you were to give a cash incentive it would be very minimal and probably not big enough to promote the employee to work harder). The Toast reports that the Incentive Marketing Association found that 65% of employees preferred non-cash incentives.

Successful Employee Incentive Programs

Fast Food Restaurants CORE Food & Safety Audits

A Current GGB Use Case

I work closely with a fast food restaurant chain that although had their stores passing their CORE Food & Safety Audits, wanted to see their stores produce higher score ratings. In 2017 this fast food chain put their employee incentive program in place working closely with GGB. Any store that passed their CORE Food & Safety Audits, with a high 90’s score, received a “Thank you for a job well done” candy basket the following day from their franchise.

Since rolling out their employee incentive program they have seen a 49.7% increase in high 90’s scores passing audits.

Delta Use Case (Reported By:, infographic)

Delta launched a massive employee recognition program in 2007 and measured the results via a web-based platform with information from focus groups, surveys, and other feedback. The outcome? They reported a 564% return on investment from this recognition program.

Google invested more in employee perks and has seen employee satisfaction rise by 37% as a result. (Warwick, 2015)

These companies see the power of perks. Having an employee incentive program in place has a huge impact on their ROI.

The Cost of an Employee Incentive Program

The cost is actually cheaper than you think. The franchise that implemented the candy baskets employee incentive program spends $75.00 a basket per store (does not include shipping), which averages out to $2.50 per employee. As you can see, adding $2.50 to an employee’s paycheck would probably not motivate them, but sharing a basket filled with candy with their team, along with the recognition of a job well done, goes a long way (plus who doesn’t love food and candy).

What to keep in mind about Employee Incentive Programs

Rewards should be immediate. Do not allow too much time to pass in-between winning the reward and receiving the reward. The longer you wait to recognize your team with a reward, the less motivated they become.

It’s important to be clear and explain the conditions, expectations, and what the outcome results of the employee incentive program should be. If you do not promote the program, and you’re not excited about it and the impact it will have on your business as a whole, your employees will not be excited either. Employee incentive programs only fail when they are not implemented properly.

When companies spend 1% or more of payroll on recognition, 85% of these companies see a positive impact on engagement. (TerryBerry)

It WILL drive better results. 46% of senior managers view recognition programs as an investment rather than an expense.

Even when in a tough economy, research has consistently shown that companies that have higher employee engagement and performance, have a better outcome.

Bottom Line… Your ROI’s

By using perks that are simple and cost-effective (i.e. gift baskets), businesses will reap a higher return on investment (ROI) in the area of employee engagement, morale, recruitment, and retention. (Incentive Magazine, 2013).

Companies who incorporate employee perks, and build it into their corporate culture, are 44% more likely to have above average profits than those who do not have them.


Companies that have Employee Incentive Programs in Place Saw,

  • 50% Above Average Customer Loyalty (due to the effects of the employee’s performance)
  • 2x’s the annual net income
  • Increase in average sales
  • 33% more likely to have proactively innovating employees
  • 31% lower voluntary turnover

If you are ready to make a huge impact on your business, teams, scores and profits contact me today! Kasey Dunham, Food and Beverage Services Gift Specialist at

[email protected] (866) 842-1050 x265


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