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IRF Incentive Reward Recognition TrendsThe Incentive Research Foundation recently released their 2017 Trends Study, which was developed through collaboration by the IRF’s Board of Trustees and advisors.  The study lists 10 important trends for incentive travel, reward, and recognition programs in 2017.  Below are some of those findings along with my observations and comments.

The Increasing Demand for Non-Cash Rewards and Recognition:

There has been a dramatic shift in companies utilizing non-cash rewards from 26% in 1996 to 84% in 2016.  Several reasons for this change are cited in the study including an indication that there is a positive correlation between employee engagement and stock price increases for the sponsor company.  One way to help increase employee engagement in a measurable and sustainable way is to launch an employee recognition program where the employees earn recognition in the form of points for achieving those behaviors that benefit the company’s bottom line.

Individualized Experiences and the Importance of Emotion:

There has been a shift over time from commodity-based wealth to experiential-based wealth.  There will always need to be a balance in the reward offering between physical and emotional awards, but it is important to address both to motivate all employees.  At QIC, we have been practicing this methodology for many years.  We continue to improve our merchandise selection, but we also allow participants to choose their own experiences whether they be custom-made golf clubs, a family trip of a lifetime or front-row tickets to their favorite performer, all the participant needs to do is submit a request and our concierge team will take care of the rest!

Evolving Design of Reward and Recognition Programs

Less than two decades ago, The Incentive Federation recognized four different types of incentive and recognition programs.  Safety, service, sales and quality.  Today, there are 9 different types of sales incentive programs alone.  One fact stood out to me in this section of the study.  81% of businesses now use more than one type of non-cash reward to recognize their employees, channel partners, sales team and customers.  At QIC, our clients can utilize their own branded currency to award all of these groups and in most cases can do this utilizing one platform which greatly reduces the administrative burden on the client.

Please contact the QIC Business Development Team if you would like to discuss further.

Mike has more than 15 years of experience designing and implementing incentive and recognition programs. He specializes in employee recognition and multi-step channel sales incentive programs. When not tending to his clients’ needs, Mike can be found wetting a line on a local waterway or traversing a hiking trail with his wife Michelle.

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