February 21, 2011
I don't have to tell you how tough it has been the past several years for most businesses. The economy has wreaked havoc for virtually everyone across all industries and sectors. The incentive industry felt the impact as many companies cut budgets and pulled in the reins on many types of incentive programs offered.
According to a recent survey (December, 2010) developed by Incentive Magazine and the Incentive Research Foundation, however, it looks like the industry may have turned a corner. Their second annual Reader Forecast survey (http://goo.gl/npU7e) is an interesting read. One area I found particularly interesting was questioning the number of employee incentive programs one would run in 2011 as compared to 2010.
I was glad to see there were plans by some to increase employee sales recognition programs and non-sales recognition programs as opposed to 2010. I know this is generally speaking, but I think "employees" need a little extra pat on the back. I know I'm not the only one tired of hearing, "Hey, they should be glad they even have a job." It's starting to wear thin. Everyone I know does appreciate the fact that they have a job, but many of us have friends and family still struggling to find a job. Many employees are frontline, in direct communications with clients and prospective ones, either through sales, account management, technical support or customer service. As the economy continues to slowly rebound, employers need to think about how employee incentive programs can have an impact, not only on morale and productivity, but on sales and the bottom line.