How to harness bonuses and incentives to work for your business

Getting the most of your employees and ensuring productivity is as high as possible can help you make the most of the resources you have. There are different ways to go about this, including development plans for colleagues and incentives for promotion.

And for generations, business have utilised bonus schemes as a means of getting employees to produce their best. But it isn’t as simple as arbitrarily throwing cash around once a year – it has to be measurable and considered.

Understanding bonus culture

These days more than ever, the word ‘bonus’ is used to entice people in a range of sectors, including the world of work, politics, sport and entertainment. It’s a model that’s established in our consciousness and something we’re all likely to encounter in our day-to-day lives.

In sport, players’ wages often have bonus incentives built-in, and it isn’t rare for a football player to sign a contract that includes a bonus payment for goals scored. At Manchester United, Wayne Rooney’s contract included payment perks linked to his loyalty to the club over a number of years.

Bonuses are also utilised to incentivise customers to engage with a product. In the holiday-making industry, hotels and airlines offer bonuses to customers making a booking, including the potential to earn free accommodation and flights as a reward for repeat custom.

In the world of gaming, bonuses are regularly offered to new players, especially in gambling, where you even have websites that let players see all the bonuses available to them at a glance. Some websites allow you to review all of the available services, while others go into even great depth and focus on a particular game, such is the demand for bonus offers.

For example, websites like BonusFinder UK focus on spins games and even provide information like minimum deposit, a review of the service and information about how the game works. It’s another mechanism that brings the average person in direct contact with the bonus incentive.

With all those examples considered, it’s no surprise that many of the world’s biggest businesses offer bonus schemes to their employees. But how do you get your bonus strategy right, so that it makes financial sense for your company and brings the best out of the people that work for you?

The right structure

It’s important that the bonus scheme you implement in your workplace is tied to aspects of the business. This could include a combination of the business’s overall performance and, naturally, the performance of each individual staff member.

Pegging the potential for bonuses to the overall performance of the business will encourage your staff members to take a broader interest in its fortunes. It will also nurture a sense of unity, albeit that’s built on the notion that if the business does well, then the bonuses are likely to be healthier.

It’s also important to be transparent about how bonuses are calculated – and they should be tied to a deeper infrastructure. You should also set a maximum bonus level and explain to your staff what they must do to attain one of the higher figures.

A robust performance plan that you can break down into points will support this format and help take the awkwardness out of the conversation when the bonus figure is revealed. But for this to work, your performance plan should be in place all year round and not just come into effect during so-called ‘bonus periods’.

By working hard to promote staff buy-in, pulling together a year-round performance plan, being transparent and tying figures to the business’s measurables, you can utilise the bonuses model to get the best out of your people.

Marketme

Marketme

Marketme is a leading small business to small business news, marketing advice and product review website. Supporting business across the UK with sponsored article submissions and promotions to a community of over 50,000 on Twitter.

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