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There were 3 posts tagged: Incentives

Gamification Provides Mutual Benefits to Employer and Employees

May 23rd, 2018  •   0 Comments

If you watched the recent NBA Draft Lottery, the event had a decidedly Vegas feel. With each of the bottom 14 teams in the league assigned chances based upon reverse order of this year’s record, excitement was created by watching the ping pong balls spin in the lottery machine – and, knowing the odds of the #1 pick for each team, the audience was clearly invested in the process.

This, says Darrin Briggs, President and CEO of Snowfly Incentives, is gamification in action. Gamification has become a common tool in today’s workplace to increase employee productivity, engagement, and job satisfaction.

When you think about it, the principles of gamification are all around us, such as at the grocery store, fitness apps, and Facebook. Briggs defines gamification as “Taking activities in life or in business and adding gaming aspects to an otherwise somewhat mundane activity.” Gamification does not mean playing video games necessarily; but it does involve reinforcing behaviors that will then have a positive outcome for the business and individual.

By creating small, incremental positive behaviors, a cultural shift occurs that moves everyone in the right direction. When these behaviors are tied to business goals, the program is meaningful to staff members. While gamification has taken a foothold in the business world, not all programs are created equally. Briggs estimates that 80 percent of companies administer gamification manually, while 20 percent use some sort of automated program.

Snowfly Incentives is one of these automated programs, offering an employee recognition and incentive system that uses principles of psychology and behavior modification. The business was created in 1999 by Dr. Brooks Mitchell, a behavioral psychologist, who specializes in workplace environments. Computer analysis, and now AI (Artificial Intelligence), utilized by Snowfly quickly determines what’s working, so that changes can be made on the fly for the most effective program tailored to each company.

This is a culture shift in the workplace. As Briggs says “it’s not a manager’s job to motivate people. What you have to do is create an environment where people feel valued and are motivated by whatever motivates them.” Snowfly knows that employees are motivated by different things: for some, it’s money; others prefer time off, the chance to wear jeans at work, a close-up parking spot … the list goes on.

“Our job is to create an environment to motivate people naturally,” says Briggs. “This does not mean you’re playing video games all day. It’s an aspect of taking something that has to do with gaming, but put it into an environment where you don’t see it.”

The Snowfly system has an interface that users log into, with a dashboard displaying their performance of different metrics, leaderboards, and standards. Employees can then “level up” (i.e. work their way up) to earn greater rewards. And Snowfly’s real-time incentives provide immediate rewards – there’s no waiting until the end of the week, month, or quarter to be awarded. Briggs says “If you want to change a behavior, you have to reinforce that behavior as quickly as possible after it was performed.” This goes back to Psychology, and the research of B.F. Skinner and Pavlov.

Another thing that makes Snowfly probably the most unique to the gamification market: by employing Vegas-style principles such as slot-machine style games, an aspect of luck (or chance) increases the effectiveness of the program and the long-term engagement by employees. For various goals met, employees are rewarded with tokens for game play, which then brings possibly larger rewards. The anticipation of the potential reward is part of the fun, and creates buy-in from employees. For employers, the costs are fairly minimal; however, the perceived value, says Briggs, is as much as 40 percent higher than the actual cost.

Gamification creates an environment where both employees and employers find mutual success; a well-placed and administered program is a win-win for all. For more information about Snowfly Incentives, and what they can offer your organization, contact Darrin Briggs at dbriggs@snowfly.com or 1-877-766-9359. Check out their web site, here: Snowfly Incentives.

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Incentives in the Call Center Environment

June 26th, 2014  •   0 Comments

Angela Garfinkel's recent blog post about the 3 types of employee motivation programs for call center agents provided guidelines for programs that work – in both the short- and long-term. How and when to offer these programs is critical in their overall success toward meeting goals and enhancing productivity in call centers. Another key factor is what to offer for incentives. We gathered a list of ideas for incentives that have had success in various organizations. We would also love to hear about programs that your organizations have implemented that were proven to be beneficial. Please share your successes in our Comments section.

These ideas are listed in order of least to more expensive:
Choice to work on projects they prefer. When an agent has met goals and earned the incentive, giving them a choice in the work that they do helps agent feel in control, and promotes buy-in and interest.

Certificates referring to goal met. Certificates can then be posted in the agent's work space, or a community area, such as break room.

Employee of the Month Parking Spot. This is a particularly valuable incentive if your organization has a large parking lot, and a parking space close to the building would be desirable.

Shift bids. This is an easy one: give agents the chance to bid on a preferred shift time before other employees can bid.

Favorite candy or soda.

Complimentary team lunch. This can be a catered lunch on site, or if possible, meet the team at a restaurant and spend an hour or two eating and getting to know each other.

Money. We found an anecdote on the Internet about a manager who spent his incentive budget on currency in denominations of $1, $5, $20, and $50 bills. Employees would reach in the bag to select their reward. People who selected the $50 got cheers, and the ones who got $5 knew that there were still $50 bills left in the bag!

Company gear. Items such as clothing, mugs, or office supplies can be nice incentives.

Goody bags of useful tools for desk or home. Tape, mini staplers, Post-It notes are a few ideas.

One extra 15-minute break time the day they meet goal. This can provide a nice change of pace for a day.

Small tokens/prizes. Koosh balls, small photo albums, crossword puzzle books or a decorative item for the agent's workspace can be a nice reminder of accomplishment while agents are on calls.

Afternoon snack from a fully-equipped snack cart. How fun to have a cart roll past your desk at an appointed time and you get to choose any snack from the cart!

Gift certificates for massages, manicures, pedicures, movie passes. This idea works if your agents would value these types of gift certificates.

Gift cards to favorite stores or restaurants. Amounts can range from $5 (meeting a daily goal) up to $50.

Fun team activity. Bowling, miniature golfing, volunteering together on a Habitat for Humanity build, attending a hockey game or other sporting event, are just some activities that could build team morale.

Flexible hours, paid time off. This incentive involves your workforce management team, and would be more difficult to implement. For some agents, time is their most valuable resource; giving them some flexibility in their schedule, or an extra day off, could be a powerful motivator to reach goals.

This is not a comprehensive list of incentives, and we are always interested in hearing from you! Have you tried any of these incentives? Do you have a tried and true incentive that works well for your agents? Click on the orange Comments tab at the top of this post and please share your thoughts!

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B2B Telemarketing Motivational Ideas That Work

June 19th, 2014  •   0 Comments

Experts estimate the onboarding process of new call center agents can cost up to $10,000 per new hire. The recruiting process brings qualified call center agents to your organization; the training and mentoring processes integrate the agent into the organization's methods, procedures and beliefs; and strategic employee motivation programs can keep the agent feeling valued and appreciated. Call centers that overlook the human side of working will find the recruiting and training processes occurring more frequently than organizations that take the time to implement incentive programs. Great B2B Telemarketing employee motivation programs include 3 major components:

    1) Short-term: It is critical to provide specific, measurable and attainable goals to your B2B telemarketing call center agents on a daily basis. If the overall goal of the program is not attainable because a rep is newer or for reasons out of the call center rep's control, be sure to adjust your goals so that they are attainable by each person on the team. If you're afraid of the team shooting too low, set both a goal and a super goal. Super goal is usually about 25% higher than goal.

    Be sure you are clear and specific about your expectations for accomplishment for that day and provide updates throughout the calling shift regarding actual performance and what level of performance is needed to finish at goal for the shift.

    Periodically it works really well to provide a daily incentive to help boost performance over the top, particularly if you've had a couple of bad days in a row or have hit a plateau in performance. Be careful about overdoing daily incentives with your B2B telemarketing agents though because they will stop working if they are expected and not special.

    2) Long-term: In a call center, I consider long-term to be a monthly incentive/recognition program. A month may not seem like a long time, but when you consider the real-time changes that the B2B telemarketing call center agents are dealing with, a month can be a considerable amount of time. I recommend that there be two levels of incentive/recognition on a monthly basis. One recommendation is setting a team goal and then rewarding the team for achieving their goal and also reward individuals for their individual contributions. Don't just give a top prize to the best seller each month though because it will end up demotivating the people who continuously end up as #2 or #3 and you need the entire team to feel like they are contributing and being rewarded appropriately.

    3) Ad-hoc: What gets measured gets done. What gets rewarded and recognized gets done well. When you identify a specific area of opportunity with your B2B telemarketing agents (closing %, average order size, upsell %, etc.), a great way to get specific focus on improvement is through an ad-hoc incentive/recognition program focused on improvement in the focus area. I like the "Beat Your Best" contest where each B2B telemarketing rep is given an opportunity to earn recognition/incentives based on exceeding their best number(s) they have had within the past week, past month, etc. This gets people individually focused on improving and it will impact your team's performance overall.
By balancing the short-term, long-term and ad-hoc incentives and recognition programs, you will be rewarded with sustained levels of performance with your B2B telemarketing programs.


The author of this article, Angela Garfinkel, is the President and Founder of Quality Contact Solutions. Quality Contact Solutions offers B2B telemarketing solutions that achieve sales results.

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