Well-designed ERPs can produce some amazing results. On the flip side, failing to maximize the motivators that drive employees to make high-quality referrals can diminish those results.
One of the most obvious, and effective ways to incentivize your employees to participate is to offer a structured reward system, be it financial or otherwise.
With a reward program in place, employees know that their efforts aren’t in vain. They are more likely continue to contribute over time. How do you know the best reward amount to offer?
In order to be as effective as possible, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind.
Limits and Variations
There is no real magic payment amount that will translate in success across the board in all situations. Experiment and track what works and what fails to motivate and encourage referral activity.
One of the most cost effective ways to do this is to start low and work to higher payouts. It is difficult to cut reward amounts after the fact without employees noticing. You could offer a small payout (perhaps just $100-$300) upon the first instance and increase with each consecutive referral. If you start low but increase with frequency you could really foster an atmosphere that creates willing employees who refer time and time again.
You also may want to consider a higher reward for select, high profile position. An opening that might be hard to fill, or one that requires a more highly qualified professional could offer a higher reward upon the successful referral of a specialized candidate.
Your employees will compare your firm’s rewards to those of other companies. You certainly don’t have to match every amount or incentive, but you need to remain comparable and competitive.
In some cases, a cash reward may not be the best motivator. Studies time and time again have shown that happy employees bring in the most referrals and their happiness may not be simply driven by cash.
A few additional options to consider include:
- A donation made to a charity of their choice; in their name
Some employees are concerned with the appearance of making a referral for self-enrichment. In those instances, you could benefit by offering to donate part or all of a referral bonus to a charity of their choosing. Employees who are excited about helping others will be motivated by this altruistic option.
- Offer a prize drawing, or gift cards
If funds are tighter, offering raffle tickets for a big-ticket item could motivate employees to send rockstar talent your way. By giving them the opportunity to win something they might not otherwise have access to, they may increase their activity, to gain extra chances at the prize.
Gift cards are also a great way to reward employees with something they will truly use and enjoy. Cards given from popular stores or chains in increments that will allow for actual use (think award increments of $100+) will only further drive ERP participation.
- Public recognition
Recognition goes a long way. When your employees are acknowledged for their efforts and given praise publicly amongst their peers, other previous non-participating employees may begin to jump on board, seeing the praise and value their efforts would have.
- Make referrals part of performance metrics
A sure-fire way to ensure employee participation in an ERP is to make participation a part of a job description. If employees are evaluated on their willingness to make a referral, just like any other aspect of their job, of course they will participate.
Properly incentivizing your employees when they make a qualified referral will ensure their continued participation. Knowing what to award also makes sense to your bottom line.