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Employee Incentive Ideas: 3 Best Practices to Drive the Right Behaviors

Jul 18, 2022
1 min read
Employee incentives are critical to driving performance. Learn how incentives motivate employees to help them succeed in their role.

Motivation is the main driver behind every successful employee. Motivated sellers know which prospects to target and how to structure deals to increase their commission pay. And it’s all thanks to their workplace incentives. For your sales team, motivation is driven by your incentive compensation plans. But regardless of whether an employee is in sales or not, incentives are key to driving behavior and revenue in any organization. 

Using Employee Incentives to Drive Top Performance

Employee incentives are a pay structure that motivates employees to reach specific goals. Like sales compensation plans, they work because they motivate employees and drive specific behaviors. It comes down to psychology. Your incentives reinforce and reward a specific behavior, which motivates employees to repeat it. 

We're avoiding the 'great resignation' by encouraging our people to be 'learn-it-alls'. Focusing on employee growth and creativity helps us keep the best talent. That's good for our customers and for our community. When people are happier, everyone wins.

Chris Cabrera, FOUNDER & CEO

​Here are best practices and employee incentive ideas that drive top performance.

1. Align Incentives with Organizational Goals

Successful employee incentives motivate and encourage the right behaviors because they are aligned with company goals. An easy way to integrate this into your planning is through the ABCs of incentive planning: 

  • A: Aligned with corporate objectives
  • B: Benchmarked against industry data
  • C: Constructed to drive the right behaviors

2. Tailor Employee Incentives to Individual Roles

Every person in your organization plays a different role in your business operations. The best employee incentives are focused on individual strengths and responsibilities. This motivates employees on a personal level and gives them the ability to succeed in their unique roles.

Personalized incentives for employees ensure that each individual has control over their own performance. It shows you and your employees how they each play a valuable part in the success of your company.

3. Utilize MBO Programs

The most popular employee incentive is a sales commission structure. For non-sales employees, management by objectives, or MBO programs, are highly effective at driving performance.

MBOs are goals set for each individual employee around their specific job responsibilities. These goals are rewarded with a bonus-type payment when the target is achieved in a specified amount of time. Using a combination of sales compensation and MBOs aligns your entire workforce around common goals. It shows how each employee is valued and contributes to the overall success of the company.

Learn more about employee incentive ideas and best practices plus how to improve performance in the guide, "Accelerate Your Sales Performance Management Journey."

  • Incentive Compensation
  • Sales Coaching and Motivation
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Xactly News Team

The Xactly News Team reports on the latest product, events and market trends taking place within Xactly and throughout the revenue intelligence industry.