A Rewarding Experience

A Rewarding Experience

by Laura Bickle

The Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) held a 45-minute Zoom conversation entitled “New Approaches to Incentives, Rewards and Recognition During the Pandemic.”

After a brief introduction by IRF president Stephanie Harris and Stephen Cook, IRF board trustee and owner of Waterloo, Ont.-based Lorandus Meetings, attendees where divided into groups and sent to zoom rooms to discuss the topic. The format offered an opportunity for the exchange of ideas and perspectives from third-party planners, gift card providers, resorts and incentive houses.

While there were no designated moderators in the rooms, the groups were given number of conversation starters related to the theme to get the conversation going.

In the session Ignite attended, a moderator naturally emerged and we gleaned some interesting takeaways:

• Communication with all stakeholders is key in this new environment— don’t be afraid of over-communicating to clients and earners.

• Many programs are pivoting to merchandise and individual travel experiences, at least for the time being.

• When earners choose to defer a trip, continue to communicate with them through gifts and messages to build anticipation and reinforce their achievement.

• Clients still see value in incentive programs. Said one participant: “It’s not like the last recession where corporations walked away from reward and recognition programs.”

• Gift cards are being used heavily, with a trend toward the more practical, such as cash cards and food delivery services.

• Customization is key: The pandemic is effecting every individual and corporation differently.

• Earning rules have changed for many programs: the goals set before the pandemic are simply not realistic for many sectors.

other articles in this section

Presents of Mind: The Art of Virtual Gifting

A Rewarding Experience

Noteworthy: Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, Bermuda

Cards vs. Cash

Good Times

Value Validation

Trip Trends

Sailing Away

The More, The Merrier

Holiday Angst

Making the Connection

Make an Impact

Mutual Appreciation

Healthy Options for Incentive Trips

A Rewarding Experience

Cruising the Rhone River

Celebrating Employee Milestones

How Do they Do It

Eyes on the Prize

Healthy employees = Healthy company

Measuring ROI

Hawks Cay Resort, Duck Key, Florida

Good Sensations

How to Design an Effective Gift Card Incentive Program

Fogo Island Inn, Fogo Island, Newfoundland

The Case for including Spouses on Incentive Trips

Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya

On-site Gifting

Rim to River Hiking in the Grand Canyon

Sparkling Hill Resort, Vernon, BC

Creating incentive trips that appeal to everyone

The Brave New World of Gift Cards

Award Show Winners

Capella Marigot Bay Resort and Marina

Take me to the river

Click + Praise

The Science of Incentives

Incentive trips go family-style

Knock-their-socks-off gifts for hard-to-buy-for executives

Building a Better Program

Perfect Pampering

Indulge Me!

Customized Recognition Programs

Virtual gift cards, the new reality

Gift Cards that Give

Go with a Pro, in the Spa and on the Greens

Chartering private jets

Offsite Employee Engagement

Behaviour-based Recognition

Canadian tax implications for employee gifts

A Christmas Bonus with all the Fixin's!

Peer-to-peer recognition

Everyday Green Heroes

Recognizing Environmental Actions in the Workplace

Reward and Recognize Every Day!

New Year, New You!

Co-Branded Cards

Last-minute gifts and rewards

Double Pampering Hits the Spot!

Hidden Gems: Cobble Beach Resort

Gamification

Free and Fab Employee Rewards

Incentive Programs Used by the Pros

Think Local for Corporate Gifts

21st Century Gift Cards

Time for an Incentive Travel Update

Reward Best-Practices for the Holiday Season

Small Product, Big Impact

Spa Rewards, Done Right

Staying Motivated

Gift Giving Guidelines

The Pros and Cons of Gift Cards

Eco-Friendly Corporate Gift Ideas

Green Guides

Travel Rewards Strategy

Speaker Gifts that Shine with Gratitude

Tax Treatment of Incentive Travel