An efficient employee referral program idea can turn into the best thing to happen to a business, or it can be an incredible source of failure. Most companies report that not only are employee referrals generating the best return on their recruiting investments but that their highest-quality of candidates come from employee referrals. One way to avoid creating bad employee referral program ideas is to understand those that have already systematically failed.
The Worst Employee Referral Program Ideas
Some employee referral program ideas just do not make good sense; others may appear to, while causing underlying and long-term damage to your company’s bottom line.
1. Do Not Exclude Individuals or Departments
Not only can it be a morale killer, it can just be patently unfair. Excluding your HR or accounting department for any reason that may seem justifiable, will only serve to cause dissention within your own ranks. If confidentiality or employee’s relationships to others will make a difference, hire an outsourced employee to manage this element of your employee marketing plan.
2. Do Not Overload on Feedback
While an employee should be notified when a referred employee fails in some way, it is not helpful nor health to harp on the bad feedback about that person. Instead, provide the referring employee with tips or tricks to help them judge future referrals by. Make sure your employee knows they still have good standing and to be more careful with future referrals without giving up on the idea entirely.
3. Do Not Pay Too Much or Too Little
Finding the perfect reward can be difficult. However, if the reward for the referral is too small, other employees are not likely to participate. If the rewards are too much, you might find yourself with a load of great employees that you cannot pay. While this element may require some frightening trial and error, it is vital to find the happy medium between these two options.
4. Do Not Extend Reward Payment Times
This can be one of the most serious mistakes companies make when it comes to employee referral programs that work. When the reward comes at such a great distance into the future, many employees will stop participating altogether. They may even lose some of their faith in the business. Even worse is supplying quicker rewards to certain departments while others wait for a long period of time. If you don’t expect your sales team to work for commission that is only paid out 90 days later, don’t expect your front line team to do the same.
5. Do Not Let Your Program Idle
While finding a system that works for your business can be a huge relief, setting it and eternally forgetting it is also a critical mistake. Employers should continually evaluate their program to be certain that the needs of everyone involved are being met. Constant advancements in social media behavior, technology and changes within a company are plenty of reasons to reevaluate your employee referral program regularly.
When complaints about your employee referral program begin to come in, it is time to reevaluate your campaign to fit the needs of every individual involved in your organization.
Christian Fea is CEO of Synertegic, Inc. A Joint Venture and Referral Marketing firm. He exemplifies how to profit from Joint Venture and Referral relationships by creating profit centers with minimal risk and maximum profitability.
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