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Resource Center > System-Level Toolkit > System-Level Change Projects > Creating Non-Financial Incentives

Creating Non-Financial Incentives

Many states are beginning to look at performance-based contracting and pay-for-performance mechanisms. This is a complicated process and requires a large number of factors to be in place for successful implementation. Performance-based contracting is really a final step in the process, not the first. Given that, what tools do you have to motivate and engage providers to change the way they do business?

As a systems manager, you have many tools to motivate and engage providers in a continuous improvement process.

  • Being chosen to participate in a pilot program can be seen as a privilege in and of itself.
  • Providing recognition to project participants is another great motivator.
  • When people are able to share their success with each other in a learning session format, they receive recognition and positive reinforcement for work well done.
  • For states that send out newsletters or have a website, posting case studies and success stories helps recognize people’s achievements.
  • When you are working with staff other than the CEO, sending a note about how impressed you are with the staff working on projects and with the organizational progress accomplishes two aims. It provides the agency with the information it needs to recognize a staff person’s achievements and it congratulates the CEO for making good choices.
  • You can use events like annual conferences to recognize people’s efforts by asking them to present or by having a storyboard session at the conference where others outside of the pilot group will see the accomplishments. The providers in the state of Maine brought their story boards to a legislative day at the state house and shared stories about how they were making better use of tax payer dollars. They were able to share stories and had graphs and charts with data about 50 percent increases in service utilization and significant reductions in waiting times.
  • You could also host a reception especially for NIATx project participants at an event like a conference.

NIATx makes use of recognition awards whenever possible. For example, you may provide a certificate for greatest achievement in reduction of waiting times. In the ACTION Campaign, NIATx used the annual NIATx conference to recognize five states and the people in those states that had recruited the most members to the campaign.

With small amounts of money, you can waive fees for conference attendance or pay for attendance at national events like the NIATx Summit where people can learn more from people working on similar projects nationally and gain broader recognition for their efforts. Some states have used small monetary awards for staff parties or to provide funds for client incentives when they are part of a Change Project. While technically these are financial incentives, they are small and specific rewards whose value is in recognizing effort and achievement.

Examples of Incentives