Over the last 20 years, the incentive, recognition and rewards (IRR) business has seen an explosion in reward innovation, starting of course with online programs, but also including a wide variety of different merchandise products, gift cards, e-vouchers, digital rewards, personal fittings and travel experiences. Despite such innovations, program design appears to have changed little over that time, odd in light of the myriad changes in our society and technologies.
Based on the new e-book, The Art and Science of Engaging Rewards, to be published soon by the Enterprise Engagement Alliance for the Rewards Recognition Network, and sponsored by Hinda Incentives, most organizations continue to design their consumer, distributor and employee incentive, recognition and reward programs with the same basic “do this, get that” approach that focuses solely on extrinsic or material motivation.
The research indicates that programs achieve the best results when they address all of the levers of engagement – communications, capability, emotion, feedback and measurement – in a formal program with clear measures, and when rewards are scientifically selected to distinguish them from pricing and compensation and personalized to the greatest extent possible to create a memorable, long-term experience.
Since the creation of the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence Foundation and the Incentive Federation, and significantly enhanced by the Incentive Research Foundation and other independent research groups, a surprising quantity of valuable research is now available to aid with program design, which means that organizations can achieve greater and more measurable results simply by making sure they realize that cash and carrots alone don’t address all of the key drivers that will engage people to behave or act in a certain way (and in a sustainable way) to achieve specific goals.
Today, the plethora of research and the emerging field of Behavioral Economics provides concrete, sensible insights that in most cases can be easily applied to current programs to provide a better return-on-investment with often little to no additional cost.
Over the next two months leading up to the Rewards & Recognition Expo and University, April 26-28, held in conjunction with Engagement World April 25-28 in Orlando, RRN will feature key findings from the e-book in the How-To section of our website so that attendees at the Expo can build a solid framework for what they’ll be learning in the Education Sessions and on the Expo floor.