The Importance of Timely Rewards in the Banking Industry - Whistle

The Importance of Timely Rewards in the Banking Industry

Why Incentives Fail

In the fast-paced world of banking, time is a critical factor that often goes overlooked when it comes to rewards programs. Just like potty-training a puppy requires timely responses, rewarding employees in a timely manner is crucial for reinforcing positive behaviors and driving future success.

When employees are rewarded promptly, the impact of the reward is significantly greater than if it is delayed for days or weeks. Similar to how dogs have a short-term memory, humans also benefit from immediate rewards. Research has shown that when a reward is received immediately after a desired behavior, it acts as a “reinforcer,” making that behavior more likely to be repeated in the future.

However, many banks face challenges when it comes to timely rewards. Some organizations follow a monthly pay cycle, resulting in long delivery delays for rewards. Others use points-based systems, but it takes months for employees to accumulate enough points to redeem meaningful rewards. Some companies even wait until the end of the year to recognize employees, making it difficult for them to associate their past actions with the delayed rewards.

This disconnect between behavior and reward diminishes the effectiveness of the rewards program. While morale may be boosted initially, the long delay between the behavior and the reward fails to influence future behavior effectively. It’s essential to understand that the primary purpose of rewards is to drive positive actions and outcomes.

In nature, immediate feedback loops are crucial for survival and learning. For instance, when a child touches a hot stove, the immediate pain reinforces the lesson, ensuring they do not repeat the action in the future. Similarly, in the banking industry, timely feedback loops are vital for designing effective employee rewards programs.

Studies have shown that even a day’s delay between earning a reward and its delivery reduces the perceived value by approximately 5%. A two-week delay can decrease the value by 50%, and a 30-day delay practically nullifies the reward’s impact. Employees may still appreciate receiving the payment whenever it arrives, but the connection between their actions and the reward diminishes rapidly, thus losing its influence on future behavior.

Rewards value decay over time

To maximize the impact of employee rewards in the banking industry, consider implementing the following changes to your rewards strategy:

  1. Deliver rewards as quickly as possible, ideally immediately after the behavior that earned them. Partnering with a modern technology provider, such as Whistle Systems, can facilitate seamless and cost-free delivery of rewards.
  2. Make it easy for employees to enjoy their rewards. Instead of offering points or unwanted merchandise, consider delivering cash directly to their mobile devices. This empowers employees to choose rewards that hold personal significance.
  3. Reward employees frequently, even for small achievements. Providing rewards in the moment has a substantial impact on reinforcing positive behaviors and maintaining motivation.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Whistle can help you optimize your employee rewards strategy within your current budget and infrastructure, feel free to contact us or sign up for a free demo. Enhancing the effectiveness of your rewards program can drive long-term success in the dynamic banking industry.

Check out these other blog posts

Why incentives fail
Bank professionals prefer cash rewards

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