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News Analysis: R&R Field Moving Rapidly to New Level of Science

The entry of Deloitte into the Total Rewards field, a new academic journal from the IRF, new ISO 10018 standards, the first university-based curriculum that includes rewards and recognition, and new companies and services focusing on program design, return-on-investment and behavioral science signal a new level of industry professionalism and expertise. 
Evidence continues to mount that the business world increasingly respects the benefits of (and the science behind) the use of effectively designed reward programs, and the industry is stepping up to meet the opportunity. This new focus on program science and the rewards experience create new opportunities and demands for traditional solution-providers of rewards and recognition. Here are just a few recent examples of how the industry’s story is changing:. 
Major consultants are focusing on the field. Deloitte Consulting LLP recently released the High-Impact Rewards study, which it describes as a “new study area that focuses on employee total rewards.” The study asserts that “as employees and candidates become increasingly mobile and assertive, they are driving organizations to expand their definition of ‘rewards’ beyond traditional compensation and benefits programs. The most mature, high-performing rewards organizations have embraced this sweeping change with agile, comprehensive programs that align with broader business goals. Rewards programs should include elements that go beyond compensation and benefits – it’s about things like well-being, learning and development opportunities, and taking a more holistic look at the relationship between employee and employer. By viewing employees as rewards ‘customers,’ organizations should define, develop, adapt and deliver total rewards offerings in ways that employees love.”
IRF launches academic journal. The Incentive Research Foundation has launched a new IRF Quarterly Academic Review. According to Allan Schweyer, IRF’s Chief Academic Director, “the carefully selected and condensed papers are relevant to the field of human performance, motivation, engagement, rewards and recognition. We’ve pulled these new and exciting research findings from the academic researchers in our ever-expanding network of professors conducting motivational research worldwide. We’ve also interviewed the authors to capture the most relevant and actionable findings from their work to give you practical insights you can use right now.” 
ISO standards now include rewards and recognition. New ISO (International Organization for Standardization) Annex SL management guidelines now required in 16 ISO standards (including ISO 9001 Quality and ISO 45001 Safety standards) specifically include rewards and recognition. See: RRN: Why ISO Matters to the Rewards and Recognition Business.
Rewards and recognition now part of an academic curriculum. The Enterprise Engagement curriculum will be presented in a symposium for the first time at the Academy of Management’s Annual Meeting this August. The world’s largest gathering of business professors includes courses on loyalty, sales, channel partner, and employee engagement; rewards and recognition; motivational events; incentive travel; and more. 
New ROI measurement product available. A new Enterprise Engagement Software as a Service (SaaS) platform known as EEPM (Enterprise Engagement Performance Management) is now available for consultants, practitioners and companies that are struggling with how to demonstrate a true bottom line return-on-investment (ROI) for their engagement programs in Quality Management, Sales, Human Resources and Marketing. Enterprise Engagement Performance Management (EEPM) ROI Pro is designed to enable companies to design effective engagement programs to achieve almost any type of goal. 
More solution-providers focus on science. 
  • BI Worldwide touts an Academic Advisory Board to assist clients with research and best practices.
  • Maritz launches PeopleScience, an online forum “dedicated to advancing the conversation about applied behavioral science within business and industry.
  • Two industry veterans, Chris Galloway and Jerry Klein, have launched Animategp to focus almost exclusively on program design and return-on-investment rather than on rewards, and are paid based on professional service fees rather than markups. 
  • Lipic's Engagement, a St. Louis, engagement firm, has announced it intends to be one of the first companies in the field with an ISO 10018 certification. 
  • Peerless Performance, a new engagement company founded by Tina Weede in Atlanta, comes to market with a unique engagement diagnostics tool to granularly monitor the emotional state and aspirations of an organization's workforce.
All these developments promise to change the very nature of the conversation in the field of rewards and recognition and will require an entirely new level of expertise and ability to demonstrate it. To learn more about the science of Rewards & Recognition and how it will affect the field, attend the Rewards & Recognition Expo, May 8-9 in Galveston, TX. 
Click here for information and to register. 
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