As an industry, we need to do a better job of more readily supporting program managers on the front lines running these programs.
WASHINGTON (PRWEB) July 25, 2018
While over 80% of businesses now have some type of non-cash rewards and recognition program, there are glaring gaps in the use of education resources and benchmarking data by owners and managers of these programs. A recent study by the Incentive Research Foundation revealed that with the absence of industry-related college curriculum, widely-accepted standards, and specific internet search terms, program managers are typically left to seek out a patchwork of internal networks and external partnerships to learn how to develop successful programs.
Voice of the Market, Part 2: Engaging Program Owners in the Incentives Marketplace is a qualitative study of how incentive program managers, program owners and end-users learn about and engage in the incentives industry. Interviews with incentives and recognition professionals revealed that a lack of awareness of industry resources is the primary barrier to accessing valuable information and expertise.
“Once program managers engage with individuals and organizations specialized in incentives and recognition, they place a high value on the education and networking resources they receive,” said Melissa Van Dyke, IRF President. “Voice of the Market, Part 2 tells us loud and clear that as an industry, we need to do a better job of more readily supporting program managers on the front lines running these programs.”
The IRF research team interviewed fifty program managers representing a wide range of non-cash rewards programs. These end-users spent anywhere from $25,000 to millions of dollars annually on programs that included one or more of the following types of rewards: travel, award points, merchandise, gift cards, and branded items. There was a broad range of program complexity, industry awareness, vendor reliance, and experience managing incentives.
Incentives and recognition professionals reported a lack of industry awareness from the beginning of their involvement in the incentives and recognition field. They described a happenstance introduction to the field and the challenge of finding resources to learn their profession and support their programs. None of the respondents had taken coursework or certification prior to working on programs for several years, so learning was done on the job from internal and external partners. Additional insights from incentive program owners include:
- Incentive and recognition program design and management is not universally included in standard business school curricula
- A career in incentive and recognition program management is not broadly visible or relevant to most people entering the workforce
- Resources are hard to find on the internet, since new program managers do not know what industry-specific search terms to use
- Networking is a critical and valued source of learning for program managers
The report concludes with an industry call to action to raise awareness and seek engagement. Information and expertise are the initial opportunities for the industry to engage, with potential longer-term opportunities to partner more significantly on execution and fulfillment.
"This report highlights again why the IRF is committed to bringing more curriculum to universities, establishing standards, expanding our benchmarking work and growing peer-to-peer program owner communities," Van Dyke said.
Voice of the Market, Part 2: Engaging Program Owners in the Incentives Marketplace was supported by IRF Research Advocacy Partner, The Creative Group.
To view or download a copy of Voice of the Market, Part 2: Engaging Program Owners in the Incentives Marketplace please visit http://theirf.org/research/irf-signature-study---voice-of-the-market-part-2-engaging-program-owners-in-the-incentives-marketplace/2519/.
To view or download a copy of the companion study, Voice of the Market, Part 1: The Use of Non-Cash Rewards & Recognition please visit: http://theirf.org/research/irf-signature-study---voice-of-the-market-part-1-the-use-of-non-cash-rewards-recognition/2492/
About the IRF:
The Incentive Research Foundation (TheIRF.org) funds and promotes research to advance the science and enhance the awareness and appropriate application of motivation and incentives in business and industry globally. The goal is to increase the understanding, effective use, and resultant benefits of incentives to businesses that currently use incentives and others interested in improved performance.