In its most recent annual Trends Report, the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) made a bold statement about the post-pandemic workplace. In terms of overall budget and spend, the IRF noted “a bullish view of the non-cash incentive industry both in North America and Europe. Budgets […] increased in 2022, and are expected to rise even further in 2023.” Even more interesting, the IRF predicts that overall engagement-based incentive budgets will increase by some 44% in 2023. While it’s still too early to label either of those claims as fact, one thing we do know is that technology is playing an increasingly larger role in how companies design and implement incentives for their employees. Read on as we explore a few facets of technology’s influence on today’s engagement space.
Technology for benchmarking and goal tracking
If you’ve ever made a New Year’s Resolution, chances are you realize how hard it can be to stick to the goal. Goals attached to incentives are similar in that the ability to benchmark and monitor progress can help get someone to the finish line. Fortunately, technology has made it simple for the organizations to both dole out those incentives and track overall progress.
There are many different goal-setting and incentive-focused software solutions designed to hold employees accountable for reaching their goals—and ultimately obtaining their incentives. Best of all, the most robust of these solutions will allow you to get as granular as you’d like with the tasks needed to meet the goal. Not only does this level of detail help the employee achieve the incentive, but it helps the company find better organizational results.
Engagement and education through gamification
Employee engagement is critically important to any organization’s efforts to build and maintain a strong company culture. But gone are the days when “pizza Friday” and ping pong tables in the break room represented effective ways to keep people engaged. Today’s employee engagement tactics require more novel, tailored approaches, and that includes gamification.
Companies can deliver educational opportunities to employees through promotions that mimic gameplay. Gamified learning gives employees the chance to “level up” to a higher status in a program or earn badges that reflect newly unlocked competencies.
The motivation to level up through gamification is best explained when looking through the lens of adult learning theory. The adult learning theory concept is built around the belief that adults learn best when presented with a clear reason for learning. For consistent results, center adult education around clearly defined goals, purpose, and individual responsibilities. Whereas children learn externally with the direction of a parent or teacher, adults self-motivate toward successful completion of specific learning goals.
Basically, adults rarely want to learn or gain new skills based on recommendations alone. Instead, they want to do it for themselves. And gamified learning marries that inner drive and passion to learn with the excitement and fun of gaming.
FURTHER READING: The Psychological Importance of Recognition in the Workplace
All employees have their own preferences and habits, which is why personalization is a vital leadership best practice. But personalization, fueled by technology, is also a key aspect of an incentive program for employees, event attendees, and channel partners. This level of personalization is easily achievable through a customer relationship management (CRM) platform.
With the help of a CRM, the company can ensure they are delivering the right message at the right time to the right person. In particular, at EGR we offer unique, industry- and client-specific CRM options. For example, a window installer in Florida will hear about a special in storm windows prior to hurricane season, while an installer in Las Vegas will receive communications about the brand’s latest advancement in energy-efficient panes to keep out the sun’s glare. Such personalized messaging ensures that recipients only see messages that are relevant to their particular situations and needs.
EGR International uses tech to build relationships and deepen bonds
As the IRF and many other sources have predicted, the post-pandemic world remains volatile and challenging for business leaders. At the same time, consumers are showing greater loyalty to brands that appear to understand them. This dichotomy of circumstance means that companies will need a strong strategic partner to guide them through the design and development of their programs. For some of the world’s leading brands, EGR International is that strategic partner.
In working with one of the country’s most acclaimed manufacturers, a brand whose plumbing products have topped its respective industry for more than a century, we found new and innovative ways to help the company’s sales consultants exceed already high expectations.
EGR designed a program that grouped consultants into tiers based on sales revenue, allowing us and our client to craft custom messaging and program benefits for each consultant tier. In order to do that, we knew we needed to use emerging technology, developing a customized digital platform that addressed each consultant in an effective, engaging, and personalized way.
Through this platform, we were able to create a feeling of connection between consultants and company leadership, encourage ongoing learning and training that enhanced consultants’ approach to sales, and reward consultants for loyalty through incentives like gift cards, experiential travel, and college tuition reimbursement.
While those kinds of incentives were used to promote use of the platform, what consultants received was actually much more. Thanks to the program EGR designed and implemented, the company’s consultants had newfound access to content that enabled learning, partnership and trust.
As you can see, EGR offers brands a dynamic and creative approach to engaging their employees or channel partners, harnessing the power of incentive award programs to get the most out of each. Learn what we can do for you by contacting us today.