Using goals to incentivise behaviour

Using goals to incentivise behaviour

Motivating people is essential to leading good teams. Often organisations implement metrics to clearly outline expectations and inspire people to succeed in hitting goals. While this is a good place to start, it’s very important to consider the goals and ensure they match the desired behaviour. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, goals must be carefully considered to ensure they match the desired outcome.

Goals are meant to incentivise behaviour. Metrics directly relate to an action taken, so it’s important that action is what will help achieve the larger desired outcome. Recruitment is challenging to set metrics to because you want to incentivise building quality relationships. Sounds subjective right? How do you track quality of an interaction? I use conversion rates to measure the quality of an interaction, i.e. after a recruitment conversation the individual successfully attends an event, converts to active volunteer.

Often the goals we set incentivise quantity not quality. Incentivising quantity results in “more” which many would interpret to be a successful step towards the desired outcome. But in many cases, and especially recruitment, measuring the quality of an interaction is more in line with the desired outcome.

This is an example for a volunteer recruitment program. The desired outcome is to recruit 30 more volunteers. There are many things one could track and incentivise, here are some of the initial things people think to track and why or why not that is the appropriate metric.

1. Number of volunteer recruitment calls

Logically, if you make more calls and talk to more people, you’ll recruit more volunteers. More exposure means more people, right?  False. One can make a high volume of calls without achieving anything. Just pumping through the dials is a waste of time.

2. Total number of volunteers recruited

While this is indeed the end goal, it doesn’t incentivise behaviour. It is the overlying intent and desired outcome but not the actual actions to achieve the goal.  

3. Number of converted interactions

This metric drives quality of interactions and gets close to measuring building relationships. What I mean by a converted interaction is an activity where the organiser successfully convinced a potential volunteer to get involved.

The third metric is the one I would use because it incentivises behaviour that leads to the desired outcome. It encourages organisers to have meaningful conversations and recruit people to action.

As always with goals, revisit the goals and outcomes regularly. These check ins should be designed to check in on goals and identify any outliers, and to see if the overall outcome is being met. If not, tweak them! I look at my metrics as dials on a dashboard, what happens if I dial this goal up or down? How does that affect overall behaviour and goals? This approach helps you design smarter and more efficient campaigns to achieve your organisations desired outcomes.

For further advice on how to build and engage the community for your organisation, please contact Campaign Capital.

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