Editor's Desk - May/June 2013

It's Personal

Have you ever had one of those days where you show up, but you just can't get your wheels spinning? You sit at your desk staring at a to-do list that could occupy a small country's worth of people, wondering how you're ever going to get started (never mind get finished)? No amount of coffee seems to do the trick, and you start looking for ways to give yourself a kick in the pants, get a move on and start crossing off tasks?

What tricks and treats do you resort to in that situation? What motivates you? What gets you excited again when you're just not feeling it? And how do you pull yourself up by the bootstraps to get the job done when you just don't wanna?

The thing is, even the most motivated, top-performing individuals end up feeling lackadaisical sometimes (especially when the sun's shining and spring's offering up some of the first fine days of the year). And finding ways to motivate people, in spite of all arguments to the contrary, is part of the business of doing business. Some days, that even includes motivating yourself. So, what kinds of rewards do you offer to yourself and others to keep engagement high? What works?

That is a question we continually return to in these pages. We all know why we need to motivate and reward—why we need to inspire and recognize. It's the how that can get tricky.

Some companies rely on cash rewards alone, but studies repeatedly show this isn't the best approach. Others choose one method or another—many offer a smart mix of merchandise, gift cards and travel incentives.

The thing is, the most motivating rewards and incentives will be different for everyone. And that's why offering choice is key. Not too much choice (you don't want to overwhelm your audience so much that they turn away out of frustration), but just enough.

This month, we have plenty of ideas for you to add to your motivational mix. We start with digital cameras—long one of the top choices for incentive and reward programs of all kinds, due to their cross-generational, cross-demographic appeal. This month, we're covering some of the newest trends in cameras, including the ability to quickly and easily share photos via Wi-Fi, as well as longer zooms, rugged bodies that can handle any weather or water and more. Turn to page 16 to get the picture.

Of course, that's not all. We also take a look behind the scenes at gift card incentives, gathering the views of some of the markets leaders in our roundtable discussion, beginning on page 22. And, as always, we've also rounded up products for you to peruse, from the latest and greatest luggage and travel gear (on page 36), to handy tools for the desk and office (page 38), as well as all of the most innovative incentive and reward ideas from some of our greatest supporters (page 39).

Speaking of those supporters, don't forget to rely on them when it comes time to put your own program together. You can choose to go it alone, but you might find greater success if you partner with an industry leader who's well versed in putting together programs that work.

With the right partner by your side and the right tools to motivate, you're sure to reach every individual participating in your incentives and rewards with a highly motivational, incredibly inspirational choice that's sure to get (or keep) them out of the doldrums.

Be well,

Emily Tipping
Editorial Director,