Start Small, Then Build
The other night after dinner and karate lessons, I was sitting at the table with my daughter and supervising the homework, when she suddenly stopped in the middle of multiplying double-digit numbers with double-digit numbers. She put her pencil down and said, "You know, Mom, just a few years ago, I was still learning that two plus two is four."
It's the kind of knowledge that becomes so commonplace you don't even have to think about it anymore, but the fact is that for the most part, every bit of skill and knowledge we acquire is a process of building small step by small step over time. It was gratifying to see her realize that. We talked about how this is true for math, but also for everything else. We brought it around to karate, where she recently gained a new belt, testing alongside a woman who is on her final step to earning her black belt, as well as kids who have yet to achieve the level my girl's at. We talked about biking and how at the beginning of this season, my furthest ride ever was only 15 miles and how now at the end of the season, I've gotten to 45 miles a handful of times.
How does it apply here, in the world of incentives and rewards? Well, for one thing, motivating and engaging employees, partners and customers is a complex undertaking. Taking things one small step by one small step is the only way to get there. Sometimes you can find ways to get your foot in the water before really tackling motivation and engagement.
One of the best ways to simplify and smooth the process is to find the right partners to help you as you get your program off the ground. In this issue, we take a closeup look at the Incentive Marketing Association, this industry's home for professionals who know all the ins and outs of designing incentives and award programs, using merchandise, gift cards, travel and experiences to inspire and reward people. You can find out what's happening behind the scenes at IMA here. We talked to the leaders there about the latest goals and happenings for the association, but more importantly, we also talked to them about how these professionals can help you.
It pays to have knowledgeable, experienced professionals in your corner, whether you're just getting started or building on your successes.