When setting up and implementing employee incentive programs for our clients, we at Snowfly always take into consideration the speed at which participants will be positively reinforced (i.e. receive some sort of recognition) when they achieve a targeted goal or demonstrate a desirable behavior.
We have always maintained that the closer to “immediate” this is, the more effective the incentive program will be.
I recently came across an interesting research study that further validates the importance we place on this. The study is titled “Motivation by Anticipation: Expecting Rapid Feedback Enhances Performance” and was conducted by Keri Kettle and Gerald Haubl of The University of Alberta. Essentially, this study shows that merely the anticipation of rapid feedback will improve performance. Thus, if you can can create and manage an employee incentive program that consistently delivers positive feedback in frequent intervals, you should realize quantifiable improvements in targeted areas.
There are a few articles online that refer to this study, including this and this. You can get the full text here.
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