Commitment and connection: Two elements your company can’t ignore

Commitment and connection: Two elements your company cant ignore

A successful sales incentive program consists of a number of vital elements including being clear to understand, relevant to participants, creative and interesting.

Stellar travel rewards to beautiful Pacific Island destinations such as Fiji and Tahiti aren't the only things that make an incentive program a success – it's also determined by the program strategy.

Yes the reward has pulling power – but a poorly executed incentive strategy can make something like an idyllic getaway not as appealing as it should be.

Complicated rules or terms and conditions can lead to less interest in the prize, as well as a program that appears too hard to achieve.

O.C. Tanner vice president of business development Michelle Smith said that while tactics vary by culture, goals and country, there are two universal fundamentals that are "essential to achieving success in any program anywhere in the world".

"Those two components are commitment and connection," Smith said in the Incentive Insights micro-conference presented by the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF).

Smith said that companies are wasting money and frustrating participants if they don't employ commitment and connection in their incentive programs.

Commitment involves the company running the initiative and the participants – whether they be channel partners, customers or employees – going "all in" with the program.

What this means is that the leadership team is adhering to the objectives and "leading by example" – and is prepared to take responsibility for the project.

Along with commitment, a connection also needs to be established, with the program's purpose being relevant to participants.

Smith said that participants want to relate to other people as well so it's ideal to create opportunities to "share achievements" with colleagues and "widen the circle of connection".

Essentially the program should establish why it has value to the participant, and detail clearly how they can reap the reward.