How to Run a Successful Incentive Scheme

We review How to Run a Successful Incentive Scheme by John G Fisher, which puts the focus on the employee

Can’t put it down

How to run a successful incentive scheme by John G Fisher “It’s not often that you can’t put a book down, a situation even more unlikely when that book is about incentive schemes. But somehow John Fisher has created a book about incentive schemes that accomplishes exactly that feat.

Now in its third edition this book takes you through the whole process of understanding, designing, and selling into the business an incentive scheme.

Role of people in business

The logic is simple, businesses are in themselves incapable of making profits. The best they can hope for is to survive. Profits are created by the people who work in that business. The problem is summed up by the quote from William James with which Fisher starts chapter one.

‘Most people exert of 15% of their combined intelligence, skills and aptitudes in their employment’.

16 plus zone

The challenge for managers who want to create a profit is how to open the door in to the 16plus zone.

Fishers’ solution is to start at the beginning by explaining how to identify what will motivate your employees into the 16plus zone.

He then takes you through the process of designing the incentive scheme, calculating the budget, selling it to the board and then to the employees.

Along the way he explains the theories that underpin the practical steps he is advocating.

Each point is demonstrated using a plethora of case studies drawn from major companies around the world. As a customer you’ll be surprised by the generosity of some of these companies.

Cost or value?

It is not how much the incentive costs, Fisher explains, but the value the potential recipient perceives it offers them that is important.

Fisher covers incentives for suppliers, customers and employees, suggesting schemes that have been proven to work.

The one criticism of the book is that Fisher makes it all sound so simple; you wonder if it can ever go wrong. Well of it does, which Fisher uses real case studies to describe, together with how the hapless employer rescued the situation.

At a time when employees are becoming more aware of the value of the benefits and incentives offered by their employer this book provides a valuable insight in to how move employees into the 16plus zone and achieve a competitive advantage.

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