incentive program

The Planning of an Incentive Program

It's advisable for you to put your initial thoughts on paper as a broad outline, then fill in the specifics, once you have identified the major components of your next sales incentive or other type of reward program.

It is often easier to apply incentives where the results can be measured with reasonable accuracy, or statistically compared to some previous reward program result. To ensure the success of your incentive program, you must place most emphasis on:


  The achievability of the standards or targets you are encouraging participants to achieve.

     The reliability and/or availability of the system or people you use to record the results.

  If comparing current activities with the results from a previous period, you must be careful to check the earlier figures you use are reliable and directly comparable in concept and detail, and are seen as such by the contenders in your scheme.


    If you are use existing levels of activity as a starting point and are planning to use incentives to improve results in the future, you must be sure that the participants are given the time and the tools to have a realistic chance of success in meeting the new targets.


If you consider these aspects very carefully and if your proposed method of measurement does not readily satisfy all of them, or if you suspect participants may be able to find weaknesses (no matter how small) in your formula then you must start all over again, or, if the loopholes are only of a minor nature, prepare credible answers to those aspects which you feel may be challenged.

Once you have made your initial decisions about the type of incentive program, you can be more specific about the results you seek, and start outlining the major components of that program.

You will also have to consider who is going to be the target for improved results or performance.

You will now have to finalise your objectives and this cannot be done without:

·         Creating a very accurate profile of the people to be recipients of the program.

·         Deciding how to motivate or challenge them.

·         Choosing the most effective time (or times) to introduce the incentive program.

·         Deciding the duration that is most suitable to the objectives and capable of sustained support.


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The Planning of an Incentive Program.



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