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How to Maximize Your Incentive Pay Plan’s ROI Through Employee Engagement

One of the key steps in maximizing the ROI on your incentive plan is to measure the level of engagement and equip employees to become more engaged. Without engagement, an incentive plan does not realize it’s full potential for stimulating improvement. Normally engagement is measured with an employee survey. While there are several commercial instruments available, many organizations prefer to customize their own.

If you want your employees to be engaged in the business, a good approach is to develop a “partner” profile. You can start by defining the critical attitudes, behaviors, skills, and understanding an employee needs in order to think and act like a business partner. These elements can then be used in a survey to identify how closely the employee population conforms to the ideal partner profile.maximize employee ROI

A company moving toward a partner oriented, high performance culture may want to sort the survey into essential business categories. For example, a survey may consist of Cultural, Business, and Finance categories. The questions in each category should focus on the types of attitudes, behaviors and understanding necessary for success in that category.

Questions under the Cultural category may deal with how well the employees understand the processes that enable them to participate and become involved, or how effective they think these processes are or how actively they participate in these processes. Other questions may focus on issues such as: Is there a team mentality? To what degree is there group and individual problem solving? Is there open and accessible communications? To what extent does respect exist in the workplace? How empowered the employees perceive themselves to be. Is there trust that permits risk-taking? To what extent are all employees involved in the goal setting and decision making?

Under the Business category questions may explore how well the employees understand the business strategy and their role in achieving specific goals. How well do they understand the industry and the company’s position in it? To what degree are they aware of the competitive pressures, economic influences, and other big picture issues?

Under the Financial category questions may probe how well the employees understand how the company makes a profit and generates cash. Do they understand how their contribution affects revenue and profit? How often do they receive financial information? To what degree do they understand it? Do they participate in the collection of this data? Do they participate in goal setting as it relates to the data? How much performance feedback do they receive? How often?

The survey results should compare your employee population to the profile of a mature partnership culture. The differences will be obvious and they highlight opportunities for development and education which, in turn, will affect performance and the outcomes of any incentive plan.

If you would like support developing good content for your culture survey, contact the Employee Engagement Institute.


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