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May 2019

IRF Study Reveals Reward & Recognition Strategies of Top Tech Companies

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A new IRF study shows that technology executives believe in the power of non-cash incentives and rewards. A recent survey revealed that executives at top-performing technology firms are twice as likely as those at average-performing firms to regard their reward and recognition programs as a competitive advantage.

"What Top Performing Technology Companies Do Differently for Incentives and Rewards" is the first 2019 release in the IRF's signature series, Top Performer Studies. The study identifies the non-cash rewards strategies and tactics used by top-performing technology companies. The study also provides benchmarks and best practices to help technology companies design effective non-cash rewards programs.

"'What Top Performing Technology Companies Do Differently for Incentives and Rewards' revealed a wealth of best practices for human capital investments specifically for the technology sector," said Melissa Van Dyke, IRF president. "To be considered a top performer for this study, companies met benchmarks in revenue, growth, customer ratings and employee ratings. Of the 118 technology companies reviewed, only 49 organizations made the cut."

The report summarizes findings from data collected across multiple technology firms and compares the results of top-performing technology firms to those of average-performing technology firms. The report first presents key overall findings, then drills down to results for sales reward programs, channel partner reward programs, and employee reward programs.

Insights include:

  • Executives at top-performing technology companies strongly agree that their reward and recognition programs are effective recruitment tools (33 percent more likely than average performers).
  • Top-performing technology companies are more likely to structure their programs with the goal of reaching each participant versus only recognizing the top performing participants (22 percent more likely).
  • Top performers are more likely to look to outside partners for expertise on the best ways to recognize and incent their program participants (25 percent more likely).
  • The average award value is $6,722 per person for their channel/dealer partner incentive trips for top-performing technology companies.
  • For employee reward and recognition programs, top-performing technology firms spend $124 more on their top incentive travel rewards than average-performing firms do.
  • Sales incentive programs at top-performing technology firms were more likely than those at average-performing firms to use financial metrics as program qualifiers (21 percent more likely).

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