Incentive Programs Pay Off

March 18, 2002 ( - A corporate incentive program can be just what the doctor ordered to boost employee performance and attitude, and make it easier to hire and keep quality workers.

Those were the conclusions of a new study sponsored by the SITE Foundation, an industry group that researches workplace incentives.

Survey Says

Survey findings include:

  • incentive programs aimed at individuals increased performance 27%, while those designed for teams prompted a hefty 45% performance hike
  • virtually every respondent – 92% — said they achieved their goals because of incentives. In addition, 57% of corporations surveyed reported that objectives were met or surpassed
  • incentives with employee input work best; however, only a quarter of incentive systems are selected with employee input
  • long-term incentives are more powerful than short term (44% gain for programs beyond a year versus a 20% gain for programs less than one month).

The study also introduces a model that can be used by employers in implementing an incentive system. The Performance Improvement by Incentives (PIBI) model provides guidance on design and implementation, and allows decision makers to troubleshoot and correct incentive systems.

The study, Incentives, Motivation and Workplace Performance: Research and Best Practices, was funded by the SITE Foundation and sponsored by the International Society of Performance Improvement.