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Time after time organisations embark on a journey to find the incentives that will help deliver improved performance, only to find that there’s little change that comes out of this exercise. Or, worst case scenario, that incentives actually have a negative impact on performance.

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No-nonsense incentive programmes

At QCG we work with clients to take a no-nonsense look at incentive programmes. We ensure that their purpose, design and governance supports the organisational goals and values.

We firmly believe that incentives still have a place in a well-designed reward strategy so long as the right thinking is behind them. Our approach considers all key aspects of short and long-term incentives to ensure that they deliver the desired results.


Our work covers

  • Alignment to business strategy, goals and values;
  • Desired purpose;
  • Links to performance management. The metrics that will align the performance of participants to desired business outcomes, the relative weight of each metric and the level at which these metrics will be measured (e.g. organisation, team, individual);
  • Eligibility criteria. Qualifying factors that determine which individuals/employee groups can and cannot participate in each of the different plans offered by the organisation;
  • Payment conditions. Frequency of measurement and payments, degree of discreet or cumulative impact, requirements that need to be met for payments to be triggered, approach to increase payments with higher levels of performance, caps on payments and deferrals/claw backs if applicable;
  • Pay-out levels. Balance of guaranteed pay and payments that participants in the plan are eligible to receive – expressed as a percentage of base salary – in line with pay mix expectations;
  • Key processes and governance. Confirmation of roles and responsibilities pertaining to the correct administration of the plan in areas including: verification of final results for each plan’s performance measures, confirmation of final pay-outs and changes to plan features; and
  • Communications.

Thinking of introducing or reviewing your bonus plan, financial recognition, all-employee awards or long-term incentives?

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