Feature Article - January/February 2012

Motivation Overseas

Technology, Global Awareness Essential for Successful Global Incentive Programs

By Deborah Vence

The power of global incentive programs is far-reaching. They give companies the chance to motivate and reward employees for their hard work and dedication. They can be the difference between an employee's permanent status and voluntary departure.

To be successful, though, a global incentive program should include features that are customized to meet the recipient's interests and align with a company's mission and goals; as well as recognize the importance of cultural knowledge, which is essential to capitalize on recognition and rewards programs. This, according to a report, "Reward, recognition programs bring opportunities, challenges to companies operating in China," released in October by the Global Incentive Council, a strategic industry group of the Incentive Marketing Association. The report looks at the dynamic economic market and cultural changes that are taking place in China, and how it affects reward and recognition practices.

To take a closer look at global incentives as well as cultural issues involving such programs, Premium Incentive Products magazine invited a group of incentive industry professionals to share their thoughts on how best to manage such programs. The experts are: Marlene Johnson, a relationship manager with Chicago-based Hinda Incentives, an incentive company that specializes in sales award and employee recognition programs; Peter W. Hart, president and CEO of Rideau Recognition Solutions, a company that specializes in recognition and reward solutions with offices in New York and Montreal, Quebec, Canada; and Derek Irvine, vice president of client strategy and consulting services for Globoforce, a Southborough, Mass.-based firm that specializes in strategic employee recognition reward solutions.