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Referrals can soar when tied to rewards

Want staff to refer great new candidates? Ensure the benefits of doing so are appealing and transparent.

One of the best ways to incentivize any positive activity within a business today is to build an incentive program around it. Professionals can be wary and may value leaders who put their figurative money where their mouth is. Employee reward programs can take many forms, with the incentives targeted to the types of workers within a business, and the triggers and causes for these positive reinforcements can be just as varied. Just as the structure of benefits is based on what employees will react to, the triggers should be tied up with the changes leaders most want to see among their teams.

Referrals and rewards
The best way to bring a new staff member aboard may be to gain referrals from existing team members. A recent 4Hoteliers piece reflected on the best way to structure the bonuses that trigger when employees pass along a great candidate. The source indicated that there should be such good incentives that encourage workers to participate more than once. If a professional knows many more qualified candidates, it would be great for him or her to reach out to all of them. To that end, a reward that can only be unlocked once is likely a mistake, as is one that disappoints and acts as a poor motivator to continue.

The news provider also mentioned that companies should ensure transparency. It's more motivational for an employee to seek a reward if he or she knows for certain what it's going to be. Ambiguity or secrecy always lend the possibility that the result might be a letdown. It's up to organizations and any third-party sources they collaborate with to ensure there is an understandable list of benefits and then follow through on giving them in a timely and honest manner. If they can do this, they may have little trouble earning referrals or any other adaptive new behavior they want.

Going custom
Of course, picking the right reward for a desired action may prove to be easier when it's out of leaders' hands. Times of India columnist Swatim Soni noted that sometimes, the best plans include a budget that is fixed but exact benefits that are not. This means employees can pick from a few options and suit their own notions of worth and recognition. The highly individualistic young workers entering the professional world today may be more willing to pitch in if the end bonus is of their own choosing. This could be symbolic or practical.

Looking for more inside information about reward programs? Check out our latest white paper.

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