How Incentive Programs Strengthen Partnerships and Retain Employees

For most businesses, increasing profits and strengthening channel partner relationships is a top priority. Companies in every industry are trying to stay ahead of their competition and expand their business. At the very core of their business success are their employees and the employees of their channel partners. Understanding what it takes to retain employees and continue to bring value to channel partnerships is crucial to the success of many businesses. One overlooked strategy is using an incentive program to excite and motivate employees to stay engaged with their work and motivated to help the company reach its goals. It’s also an excellent strategy for fostering relationships with channel partners.


Cultivate Organizational Growth

Companies needing to strengthen their retention strategy and improve their workplace culture can benefit from an employee incentive program. Having the most success are companies that use non-cash incentives to motivate employees to be engaged and consistent with their work.

A study by the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF), debunks the common myth that incentive program participants only like cash when given a choice of reward. Their study found that 80 percent of incentive program participants prefer non-cash awards.

There is more and more evidence to support that non-cash incentive programs are effective in boosting employee engagement, preventing employee turnover, and helping companies to improve their overall bottom line. With an employee incentive program, companies may reaffirm their company’s culture and improve employee performance after implementing an employee incentive program. When people associate the rewards or incentives they receive as a positive memory, they exhibit more loyalty to the workplace. Loyal employees stay with the company and turnover becomes less damaging to the bottom line.

Learn how companies in the top financial industry companies use incentive programs to reduce employee turnover in our free whitepaper, "Finance Employee Engagement is Declining: How Top Finance Industry Companies find Success in a Struggling Talent Market."




Improve Brand Awareness

Why invest in these programs so heavily? The answer is simple. Non-cash incentive programs work incredibly well in direct sales and channel environments influencing eligible participants to change behaviors.

An experiment cited by IRF found that people who received tangible rewards thought of them more frequently than those incentivized with cash, leading to better performance. But how do non-cash incentives work to motivate channel partner sales?

Non-cash programs drive and reinforce behaviors. A company wanting to strengthen its brand awareness amongst channel partners could utilize an incentive program to encourage channel sales employees to keep the company’s brand at the forefront of their mind when recommending products and services to their customers. Similar to an employee incentive program, the channel partners receive awards based on their performance and the number of sales made.

When a company markets through channel partners, a non-cash program helps set the sponsor apart from other similar product suppliers. Channel programs work by incentivizing sales representatives through a points-based system that would allow them to earn rewards for recommending specific products and services. Programs can be used to help channel partners set and reach specific sales goals for a brand. Channel incentive programs bring a gamified element to the sales process and challenge sales representatives to exceed previously reached points totals or sales goals.


Implementing a Program

Implementing a sales or channel incentive program can have a positive effect on a company’s bottom line. When employees receive rewards for their efforts, they build a connection with the workplace and begin to set and reach goals that propel everyone to success. Feeling appreciated and recognized for their work and achievements ensures they stay engaged and motivated to complete their work tasks. Incentive programs encourage employees and channel partners to reach beyond expectations and achieve higher and higher sales goals each time.

Incentive programs are proven to work as motivational tools for employees in any industry. Not only do they drive employees to be more productive, but they also help to improve employee retention and create healthy workplace cultures.

Getting started with a program is simple when you work with an incentive program provider. Program designers and implementation specialists can help companies create a program that is specific to their needs and goals. Program suppliers can also help launch and maintain the program providing support, customer service, and incentive reward order fulfillment.

When Cash Incentives Aren't Enough