It’s a known fact that every individual gets motivated when rewarded in some form or other. Businesses across the globe have used incentives to drive employees in order to achieve their objectives. Indian businesses are no different from others and have made use of incentive programmes to yield results. So, if it is evident and easy to do, have all the businesses succeeded in achieving their goals after implementing reward programmes?

The answer is NO, but why is that?

A business owner looks at a reward programme as an additional expenditure and the employee looks at it as an extra income. The owner views it as the collective budget spent on these rewards and ROI. But each employee views the reward programme from his/her point of view.

Factors like – How much am I getting? How much additional effort needs to be exerted in order to earn a reward? Are the targets reachable? Peer competition to achieve the top reward, the value of the reward itself and the trust for unbiased rewarding– matter for the employee. An incentive programme needs to be designed considering all these factors.

There are businesses that set periodical targets and pay-out rewards to top performers, but in this case, only a few employees who keep winning will get rewarded. A well-designed programme should aim to motivate all employees and not just the top.

Many times, the programme won’t succeed as the focus of the budget is mainly on the reward value and management fails to create a communication medium to connect with the audience. A misconception by some business owners in India is that they feel that employees will only look at the reward and put in all his/her efforts to achieve it. It needs to be considered that over the years, there has been a huge change in employee behaviour. They want a deeper connection with the company they work for and technology has helped them compare their job satisfaction with employees of other companies.

Another reason for a possible failure of reward programmes is because of a frequent disconnect between an organisation and its workforce. We have observed this with many MNCs in India who have a platform to reward the staff, but it is hardly active. Once in a while a few points are added to the employee’s account and are left idle for a significant amount of time. This On & Off attitude fails the whole purpose of motivation and the entire reward programme is termed is essentially termed a failure. However, this can all be avoided, with the clear objectives, the correct communication strategy as well as providing your team with a plethora of rewards that will suit all team members at each level, you will most certainly be off to a good start.

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