How Can You Tell if Your Rewards Initiatives Are Effective?


This is an excerpt from our new ebook collaboration with BambooHR, “Your Total Rewards Questions: Answered.” The ebook is based on a panel discussion in which industry thought leaders offered their insights and tips on the biggest, most frequent concerns around total rewards. Get the full publication here.

Beyond having a high company performance level, here are some ways to tell if what you’re doing for rewards is working:

No One’s Talking About Them …

Think of how most restaurant or apartment reviews work: People tend to say nothing when they’re satisfied, but craft a lengthy public criticism when they’re not. It can be the same way with your rewards program, which is why it’s important to track how often it’s coming up. If it’s not much or going down, you’re probably on the right track.

How can you tell if your rewards program is working? Hearing nothing might be a good sign.Click To Tweet

… Or Everyone’s Talking About Them

But! If you’re doing some of the identity-based stuff, or are otherwise just knocking it out of the park with rewards, there’s probably some talk. Your employees may be posting, but you may also be getting some media coverage. Also take a look at your offer acceptance rate, and your referrals: Are they good and/or going up? These are good signs!

You’re Getting the “Cognitive Surplus” Time

In Clay Shirky’s book Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age, he describes the time outside of work, when you’re free to think about anything, as your “cognitive surplus.” When you’ve got really engaged employees — when your rewards are working — they’re filling some of that cognitive surplus with thoughts about work. They’re thinking about their projects even when they’re not on the clock. Not that we want people constantly thinking about work; but recall a time when you were really engaged in a project: You probably thought about it some after hours. And that’s because you cared.

When your employees care like that? You’re doing it right.

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You Just Know

There are plenty of things to track and measure, and you should absolutely be doing that — but you don’t have to wait for the data to roll in to know how you’re doing. You’ll know. If your rewards program is effective, you’ll feel better energy, see more collaboration … The intangibles will be there, and you’ll know you’re on the right path.

Curious to know what recommendations the panel had for other common questions about total rewards? Grab the ebook today!

Tell Us What You Think

What’s the most successful rewards initiative you’ve ever rolled out? We want to hear from you. Tell us your story in the comments.

Image: Steven Lelham/Unsplash

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