Is Something Missing from your Mystery Shopping Program? Five Tips to Keep Rewards Fresh!

Is Something Missing from your Mystery Shopping Program? Five Tips to Keep Rewards Fresh!

It’s no surprise that organizations that align employee rewards with company goals are higher performing than those that do not.   When companies consider incentives for employees, some think outside the box and use a Google-like approach,  for example, rewarding employees with free haircuts and gourmet foods. Simple and meaningful options tied to mystery shopping results also motivate employees.   A little planning and creativity goes far, however many times managers struggle with ideas for employee recognition and on the spot rewards.

A little over a year ago, we posted some of our favorite employee incentive ideas for mystery shopping programs.  As our clients’ programs evolve and we bring on new clients in new industries, we brainstorm ways to reward employees creatively.  The key seems to be in reinventing the wheel:  Successful companies periodically revamp rewards for excellent mystery shop results. Here are five ways to freshen up your recognition program:

1.      Assess the level of involvement of your current program.  Do employees seem excited about the rewards? Do prizes such as rewards points or gift cards go unused? If so, it’s time to roll out new incentives.  Which shop types offer rewards for your employees? If you only offer rewards for onsite visit shops, consider spicing things up by creating a new incentive for great phone shop results. 

2.      Poll employees for preferences.  If you need a more concrete approach to learn employee opinions about your rewards, conduct a quick email poll or online survey.  Keep it short; three or four questions at most, and ask employees how well they like the current rewards.  If they say that they do not like the current gift card program for example, ask them what they would suggest as a replacement for the incentive.

3.      Keep up to date on staff interests.  What do employees enjoy outside of work?  What interests them and motivates them to work hard or play hard in their leisure time?  Use your knowledge of employees on a personal level to develop exciting ways to motivate them. For example, if you know that many employees discuss new movies with each other, offer movie tickets or movie cash as rewards.

4.      Use online prizes.  Are you stuck in the standard gift card or cash mode? This works well if employees value the incentives, however new ideas can bring new lift to your mystery shopping results, offering a wider appeal to your staff. One idea:  Consider a program that rewards the employees by sending e-prizes.  Outside companies provide these types of prizes faster – and with less inventory management headaches for you – than traditional gift card prizes.

5.      Offer a choice.No matter what may appeal to you most as a manager, never second guess what your staff prefers.  Use an employee poll to determine the top two prize choices, and then allow your associates to choose.

Has your company ever changed its mystery shopping rewards program?  We welcome the chance to hear about the results, so please add your comments!

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