IMA Summit DenverAt a recent IMA Executive Summit, an entire session was dedicated to “Building Better Results through Recognition – A Research-Based Approach.” This session highlighted the increasingly important role that nonfinancial recognition methods will play in developing and sustaining the human capital that is and will continue to be critical to success in the economy. And as important as this point is on its own merits, the more impressive take-away is that it is supported by independent research by academics and noted consultancies and is not just the product of industry promotion.

One particularly interesting observation that emerged from the session involved a commentary from the McKinsey Quarterly, entitled Motivating people: Getting beyond money. This commentary was written in November 2009, when the effects of the recent recession were being felt throughout the economy. It discussed how managers at that time were turning of necessity to nonfinancial motivators, largely because financial resources for cash compensation were very limited. While that development in a downturn may not be particularly noteworthy, what was interesting was the broad consensus among the session presenter and attendees that nonfinancial motivators, and recognition initiatives in particular, have grown in importance since then, especially for certain employee demographics (e.g. Millennials), even though economic conditions have improved.

To learn more about the reasons behind these trends, visit The Incentive Research Foundation at Or simply Contact Us and we will be happy to discuss it with you.

At Quality Incentive Company, Rob is responsible for leading the company’s business development efforts in both the employee recognition and sales/channel arenas. He has more than 10 years of experience in the recognition and incentive industry, having served as president and CEO of Atlanta-based Loyaltyworks before joining QIC in 2011.

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