Did you catch Andrew McDermott's post, How to Create a Review Request Incentive Program?
If so, you'll know getting employees to request reviews, arguably an important 21st century duty for any customer-facing professional in your organization, is sometimes a challenge.
And you'll know creating an incentive program is one way to meet the challenge.
But choosing the right incentives? That's a little harder. What's going to keep your employees excited to keep appropriate review requests right at the forefront of their minds?
Only you can answer that, of course, but here are ten ideas to jump start your thinking process.
1. Company Swag
Coffee cups, water bottles, tee shirts, even jackets. Employees do enjoy swag when it's well-made, interesting, and fun to use.
Don't think you have to stick to a logo and nothing more. If there's a company slogan or in-joke your employees enjoy, you can incorporate that. You can also commemorate their achievements by adding, "Review Superstar 2019" or something similar.
Tip #1:Don’t be cheap. Cheap company swag isn’t worth fighting for, and may even be insulting. Reviews are a huge part of the way your company will promote itself and find new business. Employees who ask for them are growing your business and your bottom line. Honor that.
Tip #2:Steer clear of office supplies. No matter how much employees love their job, giving them pens, day planners or anything else that reminds them of their desks is a little akin to giving your Mom an ironing board for Christmas.
2. Lunch with the Founder/CEO/Department VP
Tip #1:If you’re going to do this, make sure your CEO, Founder, or whomever else treats this appointment with the same gravitas he or she would use to meet a new major investor or account. You’ll lose morale pretty fast if the bigwig ditches your review-seeking superstar.
Tip #2:Consider sending the top 3 review-seekers out to lunch at the same time. It’ll help more employees get face time with the big boss. It will also help those who are a little more intimidated by this reward by ensuring they don’t have to carry a conversation alone for an hour.
3. VIP Parking Spots
If parking is a pain in the rear at your office this is a great one to consider. Create a monthly "Review Request Superstar" parking place right next to the President's, Vice President's, and whomever else's you set aside.
Use signage to make sure other employees respect the parking spot, and maybe even hand out a tag to hang on the rearview mirror which says something like, "Review Superstar for the Month of: _____." That way nobody has to memorize whose car belongs in that spot that month.
Tip:Make sure the parking spot is treated with the exact same level of respect and enforcement as any other VIP parking spot.
4. Time Off
The lucky employee dances out the door and is gone, because he or she has just won a paid half-day off, or even a full paid day off.
Tip:Unless you absolutely cannot avoid it because of the nature of your business, do not, in any way, restrict when the employee can use this pass. Do not under any circumstances penalize the employee in any way for using the reward. Do either of these things and you’ll instantly lose credibility. Like airlines with the frequent flier miles you have to jump through 86,000,922 hoops to actually use.
5. The Gift of Time
This one's slightly different.
Pay for your employee to have a housekeeper for a day, or for a month's worth of grocery delivery. Or for a laundry pickup and delivery service. Or even for a pet-sitting service. Let someone else handle one of the thousands of little errands and problems they have to attend to when they're not working for you.
Tip:Let your employee choose the type of service, so he or she gets the help that’s most helpful.
6. We Are The Champions
For some ultra-competitive employees, winning is reward enough.
A trip to your local trophy store gets you a plaque. Add small name plates for each winner with the month and year on it, and place it right at the entrance to the employee section of your workplace.
You can also do this with leaderboards, recognition boards, goofy certificates, whatever.
Even employees who don't care much about winning probably do care about being recognized for their efforts.
Tip:Quieter, more conservative office? Go old fashioned. Handwrite a thank-you note on gorgeous stationery, place it in an envelope, and place it in your employee’s inbox.
7. Nap Vouchers
Have you ever lamented you don't get a naptime anymore, even if you hated it back when you were a kid?
Yeah. Me too.
Not ready to give your employees time off for whatever reason?
We're all sleep deprived, so set up a nap pod somewhere in your office and give review-seeking employees coupons to use for twenty minute, forty minute, or hour-long naps.
Chances are they'll be more productive when they get up, too.
Tip: #1If these are hourly employees do not require them to punch out. Pay them for the time. You can, of course, make the pods available for employees who want to use them over their official break times, too. The vouchers are for use when you need a nap outside of normal break hours.
Tip: #2Can’t afford one of those $8K “nap pods?” There are a zillion other ways to get this done. Don’t want to give out vouchers? The $39.99 “Nap Anywhere” device is a pretty nifty alternative. If you have a high-trust office with employees who genuinely want to produce, letting them use the thing whenever they want should produce no problems.
8. Employee Development
Nobody wants to be in a dead-end job, so make sure your top performers aren't in one. The employees who chase reviews the hardest have bought into your business. They've taken some ownership. That's a quality worth keeping.
So it benefits both you and them to award them with tickets to seminars, tuition for classes, or other resources that can help them reach the next level in their careers.
Tip:Each time an employee finishes one of these programs, seriously consider offering a promotion or a raise. Too many companies “rah rah” professional development but never really get to a point where all that education takes the employee anywhere at all within their company. If you make that mistake, employees won’t really care about this reward.
9. Subscription Services
It seems like there's a subscription service for everything these days. You can subscribe to get your razors, subscribe to get your food, subscribe to solve murders, subscribe to get clothes.
You can even get car subscriptions.
A one-month, three-month, and/or some kind of grand-prize one-year gift subscription to the service of your employee's choice could be an incredible reward. Many of them are very inexpensive.
10. LinkedIn Recommendations
Reviews for the review-seekers!
Look, like it or not, most people don't remain on their jobs for 20 years anymore. Yours might be the rare company who shows your people enough love and loyalty to keep them forever, but even if that's true, some of them are going to move across the country, change careers, go back to school, or whatever.
You can fight that reality or you can embrace it. Your employees got you reviews? Give them a glowing one. It's one of the best, easiest steps you can take to help them secure a good future, and it's really apropos.
Tip:This can really only be done once. It could be a really good “intro” award for reaching a small review-gathering milestone, allowing employees to reach other, bigger rewards as they gather more reviews. This is especially effective if you’re doing some sort of cumulative rewards program vs. a monthly contest or award of some kind.
Got other ideas?
Implemented other ideas?
Let us know in the comments below!