4 Questions to Ask When Choosing Incentives for Your Employee Referral Program

Encouraging your employees to engage with your referral program can be challenging. However, with the right incentives, you can see a dramatic spike in employee engagement. But each business is different, so how do you choose the right incentives for your employees? When choosing incentives for your employee referral program, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What Actions are You Rewarding? Before choosing incentives, you need to know what you’re incentivizing. Are you incentivizing all referrals or just referrals that lead to new-hires? It all depends on what’s the most important to your business. If you struggle with employee retention, you may want to only reward employees that refer a new-hire that stays for 90+ days. If you need to fill positions quickly, consider rewarding all new-hires.
  2. How Often do You Reward? Does the referring employee receive one reward or portions of a reward over time? For example, if a referral leads to a new-hire, the referring employee may receive a bonus. If the new-hire stays for a certain amount of time, the referring employee may receive an additional bonus.
  3. What Motivates Your Employees? Incentives are a way to motivate your employees to participate in your referral program, so make sure the incentive is actually something they want. One way to determine what motivates your employees is to simply ask. Another way is to examine your company culture and what your employees value. Do they value public recognition? Choosing their shifts? Extra PTO? Vouchers to certain activities? This will help you choose an incentive that properly motivates your employees.
  4. How will You Distribute Rewards? If you’re using salary bonuses to incentivize your employees, you can distribute the reward in their paychecks. However, if you’re using something else, consider making rewards public. For example, you could distribute rewards to employees during a company meeting, recognizing their success and encouraging others to participate. This will also help to make your referral program part of the company culture.

Incentives are an essential part of any employee referral program. Choosing the right ones can help bring your employee referral program to the next level. What incentives worked best for your business? What incentives fell flat? Let us know in the comments!

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