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  • 2017 Report on Trends for Incentives and Employee Recognition
  • This year we will see a lot of increase in the budget for incentives and a higher concentration on creating experiential and exceptional rewards for employees, as per the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF)’s “2016 Trends in Incentive Travel, Rewards, and Recognition” report. Drawing on its own internal analysis, intensive interviews, and input from many trade members, and additional coverage from trade publications, IRF isolated a few general trends like luxury gift cards and merchandise, authentic and unique experiences, integrating latest technologies, and so on.

    “This study reinforces that we live in a time of extraordinary personalization,” according to IRF President Melissa Van Dyke. “Every business needs to keep up with a fast pace and deliver on its brand promise if it wants to retain the best people — and keep them happy, productive, and motivated.”1

    Industry Insights Reviewed

    • 69% of employees who did not receive some kind of incentive or recognition for their performance, said “no” when they were asked if they feel motivated for their jobs in 2015. On the other hand 82% of employees said “yes” they feel motivated, who received recognition and rewards for their good performance.2
    • When the rewarded employees were asked about their experience 38% said they felt “valued” and 26% said motivated. Their productivity and performance were also better than the employees who didn’t receive some form of incentive.
    • 75% of employees in a survey reported that they will be more likely to do continue working with companies that offer holistic incentive programs like healthcare, latest technologies, paid parental leaves, recognition and appreciation for a job well done, and so on. An exceptional incentive program has the potential to guarantee that your employees stay productive and motivated.
    • A 5% increase in employee incentive budget will guarantee a lifetime of productive employees and huge return on investments.

    Programs that will motivate you to kick-start your incentive implementation:

    With NextBee’s team of experts on your side, you will be able to:

    • Define and optimize recognition awards, offers, rewards, and job promotions, which will match the interests of your employees; and lead your program to success.
    • Design a one stop mobile app to connect and communicate with all your employees to keep them motivated, engaged, and satisfied. 37% employees reported having a better job life, and increased engagement by introduction of mobile applications by the firms.
    • With our tools you can use social media to enhance your firm’s rewards program and also incorporate gamification, embrace new technologies that is expected to more important than ever for incentive strategy.
    • Automation also plays an important role in keeping employees satisfied and productive, by reducing paperwork by hands and moving towards an online automated process.

    Aims to fulfill in 2017

    • Design more mobile centric incentive and rewards programs’ strategies, as employees these days prefer using mobile devices.
    • Increasing employee productivity and satisfaction, creating a lasting motivation to serve, and creating more wellness programs to make your employees feel cared for.
    • Developing and integrating more unique rewards and recognition strategies is also crucial to keep employees engaged, motivated, and increasing their overall productivity.

    Challenges to overcome

    Key to the success of any arrangement will be guaranteeing that the quantum and any targets associated with the incentive programs strike the proper balance. The incentives themselves must be of a significant amount and size and with enough potential to help attract employees’ attention. Appropriately designed performance targets would additionally be of value considering that performances and rewards are properly linked through which shareholders can get returns from the incentive program too. Incentive programs can cause complications wherever these key problems are not properly evaluated. With appropriate structuring, however, they can give a real fastening for employees and ultimately help to generate larger overall equity value of equity for business owners.


    Research indicates that broad-based incentive plan can be possibly used as a method to encourage each employee’s level of productivity and performance.3 When incorporating an incentive strategy, several concerns are required to guarantee the success of the plan. However, it is important to notice that incentive plans cannot guarantee employee productivity by themselves. Additional to these plans, effective human resource practices are also necessary to build a healthy working environment. These comprises of determining the appropriate rewards, instituting comprehensive performance management systems, widespread and effective communication, as well as buy-in from top management to support the plan of compensation. Over the past decade and increasingly in the past year, variable pay has become the standard as corporations reward good performances and lower overhead prices. This trend is expected to continue within the coming years.





    1. “IRF 2016 Trends in Incentive Travel, Rewards, and Recognition.” IRF 2016 Trends in Incentive Travel, Rewards, and Recognition | Research | The Incentive Research Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2017.
    2. “The Rewards Report 2016.” The Rewards Report 2016 | Reward and Employee Benefits Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Feb. 2017.
    3. “Effective Employee Incentive Plans: Features and Implementation Processes.” Cornell HR Review RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2017.
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