When I was growing up, I remember a friend who would mow the lawn of everybody in his neighborhood. As you can imagine, after a couple years’ worth of Saturdays doing this, he got to be pretty efficient at it. He knew just how to attack the depressions, conquer the raised mounds, navigate around the azaleas, and, so as not to damage the mower’s blades, he learned exactly how far his machine could overlap a driveway or sidewalk.
Always the ambitious one, this friend wanted a way to earn a few more bucks, and so, again dipping into his parents’ shed, he started offering additional hedge-trimming services at a modest price increase. Needless to say, by the time this friend had passed through puberty, he had earned more money than the rest of our group combined.
Fast forward about twenty years, and my friend with the entrepreneurial spirit is still finding ways to expand his services. Today, he has his own full-fledged landscaping business, offering everything from lawn care and floral arrangements to patio and wall construction. He’s certainly come a long way from his days of cutting grass using his parent’s lawnmower. More than just a “one-trick pony,” my friend’s company now provides a complete collection of landscaping services, and because of this full-service capability, his business is thriving now more than ever.
So, what does full-service mean in the context of performance incentive strategies? For starters, it means more than just award fulfillment. Much like my friend who started his business just by cutting grass, a company that offers redemption or fulfillment services can do the basic job asked of it, and fairly efficiently. To really improve the performance of a client’s workforce or customer base, however, requires a truly dynamic, multifaceted approach. This involves program planning and market research, administrative support, vendor funding initiatives, well-designed marketing communications, technology systems management, post-program analysis, and more. All this, in addition to reliable redemption and award fulfillment services, is what will ultimately transform a company’s performance improvement strategy. It will take more than just providing a single basic service; it will require insight, planning, and a wholesale understanding of where a business is and where it wants to go. To achieve all of that and have a finely tuned incentive strategy, you’ll need a full range of services at your disposal. Otherwise, you’ll just continue to shave a little off the top.
Want more? Stay tuned for an upcoming HMI white paper that will outline the ingredients of a full-service incentive strategy.