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How to Set Up an Incentive Program

A program that rewards staffers for new ideas can boost your business, but it's important to make it as transparent as possible

I belong to a business group that manages different businesses related to the construction and tourism sectors. Lately we've wanted to reward anyone who comes up with a new idea or business that we as a group decide to carry out. How can we structure some kind of monetary or other consideration for our innovative and creative members? —V.M., Tacoma, Wash.

Rewarding creativity is imperative, yet often businesses and organizations overlook this fact and suffer accordingly. Taking the extra time and effort to dream up a novel venture or research an alternative process is real work. Usually creative individuals who come up with new ideas do some or all of the work on their own time, under their own initiative.