Various Incentive Programs

Steven Cesare, Ph.D.


One of my top two or three favorite words is “incentive.”  It compels me to action, focus, and growth.  It implies motivating people to achieve more than they are accustomed to producing.  It allows for a redefinition of one’s potential, lifestyle, and self-respect.  I love that word.

Wouldn’t you work harder for more money, status, time off, or any other valued reward?

That’s called incentive.  

With that context in mind, I have had innumerable phone calls, discussions, and meetings with a plethora of business owners over the past year or so, to develop creative incentive programs for their workforce as a means of remaining competitive with constantly increasing wage rates.  Accordingly, I thought it was now time to share some of those successful incentive programs with you.

  • A Florida business owner offers a 1% monthly commission to his Accounts Receivable Clerk for every dollar she collects, that is due past 60 days outstanding.  To be clear, if the Accounts Receivable Clerk collects $100,000 due past 60 days, she would receive a $1,000 bonus for that month.
  • A Pennsylvania business owner offers a .5% monthly commission to his Accounts Receivable Clerk for every dollar she collects, that is due within the first 30 days of billing.  Unlike the Florida business owner who is trying to reduce delinquent payments from his clients, the Pennsylvania business owner wants to reinforce collecting as much payment as early in the Accounts Receivable process as possible.
  • A Maryland business owner who has achieved remarkable success by providing a lucrative commission rate to his capitalistic Account Managers for meeting their monthly Enhancements sales goals, has expanded his Account Manager Incentive Program by offering them a bonus if they have face-to-face contact with every one of their clients on a bi-monthly basis.  The business owner’s premise is to implement a structure that forges increased contact and rapport between the client and the Account Manager in the hope that it will promote a personal relationship eventuating in increased job retention.
  • An Ohio business owner offers each field employee a monthly bonus of $100-$150 if the employee’s entire work crew does not have any unexcused absences during that month.  Thus, if any member on the crew misses one day of work in a month due to an unexcused absence, the entire crew is disqualified from receiving the monthly bonus.  Remember high school?  Peer pressure still works.
  • A California business owner offers $1,000 to each of his Field Supervisors if they complete the OSHA 10-hour certification during their first 90 days in position.  It should be noted the Field Supervisors at his company are required to attain their OSHA 10-hour certification within their first year of employment.
  • A Massachusetts business owner offers his Accounts Receivable Clerk a monthly bonus of $1,000 for each month she achieves her collection goal before the average collection timeline.  For example, in his company, the average time to collect $300,000 is 21 days.  Thus, the Accounts Receivable Clerk will receive a $1,000 bonus if she collects at least $300,000 in less than 21 days in any month.
  • A California business owner offers a bonus of $500-$1,000 to each field employee who completes the basic English as a Second Language (ESL) competency certification.  It should be noted that this business owner has contracted with an instructor to teach ESL to interested field employees, at the company office two afternoons each week.

You can see these business owners like the word “incentive” as well.

What “incentive” compels you to action, focus, and growth?

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Steve Cesare Ph.D.

has more than 25 years of Human Resources experience. Prior to joining The Harvest Group, Steve worked with Bemus Landscape, Jack in the Box, the County of San Diego, Citicorp, and NASA. Steve earned his Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Old Dominion University, and has authored 68 human resources journal articles. As a member of The Harvest Group, Steve’s areas of expertise include: staffing, legal compliance, wage and hour issues, training, and employee safety.  Read Steve's full bio.