FMP’s Senior VP, Carolyn Kurowksi, weighs in for Landscape Management’s “Incentive Insight” article

October 11, 2017 in
By FMP Staff

Recently, Landscape Management interviewed FMP Consulting’s Senior Vice President, Carolyn Kurowski. Ms. Kurowksi is an employee engagement expert and shares her expertise with public and private sector organizations. Below is an excerpt from the article, written by Dillon Stewart, displaying Ms. Kurowski’s thoughts.

Incentive Insight

August 25, 2017 –  By Dillon Stewart

Profits and employee engagement can soar when you reward your employees.

The landscape industry’s employee woes typically center around recruiting and retention, but many experts say business owners should really be concerned about engagement. According to a study from Gallup, companies with highly engaged employees outperform those without by up to 147 percent in earnings per share.

Meanwhile, this same study found that just 13 percent of the workforce is truly engaged at work.

Incentive programs are one way to cultivate engagement. Carolyn Kurowski is the senior vice president for FMP Consulting, a management consulting firm that, among other things, helps organizations implement effective incentive programs.

“As an organization, you want your employees to work harder for you, to take more ownership and to be more proactive,” she says. “Employee incentive programs are a great way to build that engagement and work towards those goals.”

That said, a poorly structured employee incentive program is going to fail, waste time, cost money and diminish trust in the systems and processes that leadership puts in place going forward.

Successful programs typically share four primary characteristics: They are simple, meaningful, timely and public.

First, simplicity is essential. Programs fail when companies take on too much, too fast, says Kurowski.

Complicated programs are difficult for employees to comprehend and difficult for managers to control. The program should be easy to sustain because the goal is longevity. It’s only over time that executives will see the fruits of their labor.

“It’s important to think about what you can afford, what you’re going to be willing to do on an ongoing basis and what you’re willing to commit to,” says Kurowski.

It’s also important for the program to matter to your workforce. Monetary compensation is common in employee incentive programs, but Kurowski says a gift card or an employee-of-the-month parking spot can go a long way for a program in its early stages.

“People get caught up thinking it has to be a big dollar value,” she says. “The key is making sure it communicates what they do is important.”

The reward also should be closely tied to the desired behavior, so Kurowski emphasizes timeliness. She too often sees well-intentioned executives lose track of their incentive program for months at a time and then try to play catch up by handing out a bunch of checks or gift cards all at once. This huge gap of time between the behavior that’s being rewarded and the reward diminishes the program’s effect.

If your reward system uses gift cards, for example, be sure to have the gift cards on hand so employees can receive their rewards the week or even the day they earned them. This approach helps reinforce the desired behavior and keeps you up-to-date with your program.

Finally, great employee incentive programs are public, Kurowski says. Some programs even can become self-policing when teamwork is involved or when the score is kept publicly.

“Public acknowledgement of what a person has done and why it’s valued creates a community sense,” Kurowski says. “Employees will be able to see what the company really values and everyone can feel excited and positive about it. It’s much more effective than a pat on the back behind closed doors.”

Some companies honor employees who earn incentives or receive positive feedback from customers on their websites or through social media posts. This concept not only makes employees feel revered, but it also works as a content marketing strategy.

“It serves as a dual purpose because potential customers are hearing positive feedback about employees, sometimes even from other customers,” she says.

To view the entire article from its original source, please click here:

Contact FMP to learn more about how we can help you and your organization with employee engagement.