How to Run Successful Employee Incentive Schemes in Tech Companies to Improve Attraction and Retention
When asked how recognition and rewards at work would impact their experience, 69% of employees said that they would work harder if their efforts were recognised. The solution to this? Employee incentive schemes.
Employee incentive schemes go beyond the traditional benefits system and offer a range of rewards for certain behaviours and achievements at work. As a tech business, these schemes can be a really valuable way for employers to attract new candidates for roles and retain existing ones for longer by offering unique value and opportunities as part of your scheme.
In this article, we explain what an employee incentive program can look like, how to create one successfully and how to use this to improve attraction and retention in a tech company.
What Is an Employee Incentive Program?
Employee incentive programs are a tool used to motivate positive behaviour and performance at work. They work by offering rewards to employees that meet certain criteria, such as:
- Reaching a deadline
- Hitting a target
- Making a sale
- Leading a project
- Passing an exam or assessment
- Staying in a role for several years
The things that might be rewarded through staff incentive schemes might also be less target-orientated, such as employees that embody particular values or demonstrate admirable behaviour and conduct at work.
The rewards involved in employee incentive programs differ a lot between companies. Some common examples of the incentives offered in these schemes include:
- Monetary bonuses
- Increased holiday
- Travel incentives
- Health and wellness memberships
- Company-wide recognition or awards
- Corporate event attendance
- Profit sharing
- Mentorship schemes
- Stock ownership
Incentive schemes for employees can be rolled out in different ways; employees might just have to meet and provide evidence for certain criteria to gain a reward, or senior members of the team might decide who gets rewarded. They’re an incredibly useful method of making staff feel recognised, demonstrating aspects of your company culture, and motivating employees to work harder and achieve certain goals.
What Makes a Successful Incentive Scheme for Employees?
If you’re developing an employee incentive scheme for your tech company, make sure to consider the following three things when it comes to ensuring success.
The most important factor that determines success in incentive programmes is whether you’re offering incentives that your staff are actually interested in. There’s no point in rolling out a scheme and trying to motivate your employees if none of them will be interested in the rewards that you offer.
If you want to know what kinds of incentives your employees will be motivated by, ask them. Conduct a survey asking how your employees feel about any current incentive schemes and whether there are other types of reward that they would find particularly valuable. You might be surprised at what your tech team suggests.
You should also consider the incentives that any competitors are offering their staff when it comes to assessing the value of your schemes. From a recruitment perspective, potential employees will view your incentive programs in a better light if you’re offering something better than other, similar businesses in your industry sector.
Along with ensuring the value of incentive schemes for employees, you also want to make sure that what you’re offering aligns with your company culture. The best incentive schemes are informed and shaped by organisational values, as this makes the recognition and rewards feel more genuine and is an effective way to help employees feel aligned with your overall mission and purpose.
One way that you can align your employee incentive ideas with company culture is to offer rewards for work or behaviour that embodies your business values. This can be done with recognition but also include prizes and more material rewards.
If employee wellness is a priority for your company then offering incentives that support this, such as a fund for fitness classes or holistic treatments, is a great way to use your scheme as a way to demonstrate your values. Or, if your tech business has a focus on giving back to charities and communities, you could offer an incentive where employees can choose the organisation that a percentage of profits go to.
Finally, if you want your staff incentive programs to be successful, make sure that you’ve created a scheme that offers equal opportunities to benefit from the rewards on offer. You should give your tech team something to work towards that requires effort, but you shouldn’t set up a scheme that is only going to benefit people that work in a certain way or have particular talents.
The best incentive schemes reward a range of different behaviours and achievements, which makes it easier to motivate an entire company instead of a select group of people that are driven by a certain kind of goal. This is also why it’s a good idea to offer a range of incentives instead of just one type, as different employees will prioritise different things.
How to Use Employee Incentive Schemes for Attraction
Attracting talented candidates in the tech industry is growing more and more challenging in today’s market. Not only are candidates in high demand from multiple competitors, but particularly talented candidates will have high standards when it comes to choosing a new employer, and won’t be afraid to turn down an offer.
When asked about the value of workplace incentives, one study found that 69% of employees would choose one job over another if they were offered a better benefits scheme. Candidate priorities are changing, and it’s no longer just about which roles offer the most money.
If you’re trying to improve candidate attraction for your tech business then staff incentive schemes can be a great way to do this. These schemes can be a valuable tool for getting a foot in the door with potential candidates and developing a reputation as a good employer, especially when you advertise them well.
Only 41% of workers feel that their workplace “effectively rewards employees for great work.”, which means that over half of employees feel that they could be better rewarded for the contributions they make at work. Therefore, having a desirable and successful staff incentive scheme gives you a real advantage over your competitors when it comes to recruitment.
Here are some of the best ways you can improve candidate attraction with incentives at work.
Offer Unique Benefits
As we touched upon earlier, incentive programmes will be viewed as much more valuable if they’re offering something that job candidates can’t get anywhere else. If you want to increase your candidate attraction with your incentive program then you need to think outside the box when it comes to deciding how you might motivate and reward your employees.
When interviewed about what persuades them to accept a role, 8 in 10 employees agreed that benefits were a very important factor in their decision. If you’re advertising benefits through an incentive scheme that are unlike anything else on the market, these employees are going to be even more motivated to apply for a job with your tech company.
You need to keep the value of your incentives in mind as well as think about originality, but if you can find the sweet spot between value and individuality then you’ll be onto a winner. Speaking to current employees about what they’d have liked to see is a great way to generate ideas, as it involves looking at conventional benefits and then putting your own spin on them.
Include Incentives in Your EVP
EVP stands for employer value proposition, which is the experience you offer potential employees as an employer and includes what makes your tech company such a good place to work. Working on developing a strong EVP and including your incentive scheme in this is a major benefit to candidate attraction, as it presents potential employees with a compelling argument for joining your company.
Research has found that companies with a well-executed employer value proposition increase the commitment of new hires by up to 29%. Another study also found that well-crafted EVPs can improve the quality of a new hire by up to 50%.
When you’re creating job adverts, careers pages and other recruitment material, make sure to feature your incentive scheme and the benefits that it offers. One of the best ways to frame this is to focus on the outcome from employees instead of the scheme itself, such as promoting increased employee wellness and happiness instead of a mental or physical wellbeing budget.
Share Employee Recognition
If you’re looking to improve candidate attraction, you can also use an employee incentive scheme to give you content to share across your tech company’s channels and catch the attention of potential applicants. If part of your staff incentive program is to recognise and celebrate employees that have done particularly good work or reached a goal, consider sharing these achievements externally as well as internally.
Not only does this give your employer brand a much more ‘human’ element but it also demonstrates that your employee incentive scheme isn’t just a tool to attract candidates but something that your tech company actively upholds. Potential candidates will see the kinds of rewards or appreciation they could get whilst working for you, which is a great way to catch their attention and get them to start considering you as an employer.
How to Use Employee Incentive Schemes for Retention
Once you’ve attracted the perfect candidates for your tech company, offered them a role and then onboarded them, the recruitment challenges don’t stop there. You then need to retain these employees so that they stay with your company for a long time, which not only creates more internal stability but also saves you a lot of money in rehiring and retraining costs.
One survey found that 75% of employees said that they were more likely to stay with their employer because of a good benefits program, so incentive schemes are a proven way to increase retention and keep talented employees around for longer. The elements of success that we talked about earlier are particularly important here, as you need a scheme that employees are going to value enough that they’ll want to stay and reap the benefits.
Here are two of the best approaches to improving retention with incentives at work.
Organise Trips and Experiences
If you really want to motivate your employee to stay with your tech company, you’re going to need an incentive program that has some particularly valuable benefits. A great idea for this is offering incentive travel or experiences that allow employees to visit somewhere or try something new, paid for by the business, either on their own or as part of a trip with colleagues.
Incentive travel, like the corporate trips we offer at Barcelona Inside and Out, is a great way to reward employees that have worked hard, or can be used as a team-building tool where employees get to interact outside of a workplace setting. Experiences like day trips, arts and crafts classes and outdoor adventure activities can also be great for bringing a team closer together, or you could offer employees a voucher to book an experience themselves.
Provide Skills-Based Rewards
Another way to improve retention in your tech company is to include skills-based rewards in your staff incentive programs. This provides employees with opportunities to upskill and develop in their role the longer they stay with the business, often through companies offering to pay for training courses or career development opportunities and events.
A survey found that 74% of UK employees felt that they were not reaching their full potential at work due to a lack of training as part of their job. That’s almost three-quarters of workers who want their employer to provide them with opportunities to grow their skill set, so you can be sure that your employees will find this incentive very valuable and want to make the most of it.
Understanding how to run successful employee incentive schemes can take time, but the best way to ensure you’re motivating and engaging your employees is to ask them what kinds of rewards they want. You likely won’t be able to grant all of these requests, but it will ensure you’re not offering incentives that nobody is inspired by and can help to better retain and attract employees by giving them what they want from a tech employer.
If you want to include incentive travel experiences as part of your employee incentive program, Barcelona Inside and Out offers a range of corporate travel experiences perfect for tech teams, no matter the size of the group or the itinerary you had in mind. To start planning your trip, get in touch to find out more about our services.