Inspiration for Motivation Features

December 2019

IRF Releases Industry Software Report

The Incentive Research Foundation announced the release of the “Incentive & Events Industry Software Report: 2020.” This qualitative review of software platforms provides an overview of how technology is being selected, customized and integrated into rewards and recognition programs.

November 2019

IRF Sees Rosy Industry Outlook in 2020

The Incentive Research Foundation’s “Industry Outlook for 2020: Merchandise, Gift Card and Event Gifting” reports high levels of economic net optimism during the Fall of 2019 and a positive outlook for 2020. The new study provides useful insights and benchmarks on non-cash reward types, average spend, and how incentive programs are being administered.

October 2019

Preliminary Findings Released for 2019 Incentive Travel Industry Index

The Incentive Research Foundation (IRF), Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE), and Financial and Insurance Conference Professionals (FICP), along with research partner Oxford Economics, announced the release of the second joint study of the global incentive travel industry. “Incentive Travel Industry Index” powered by SITE Index, IRF Outlook and FICP is the largest-ever survey undertaken into the incentive travel industry, achieving an unprecedented number of submissions from five categories of incentive travel professionals.

September 2019

Gartner: More U.S. Employees Intend to Stay Put

There is evidence that employees are beginning to feel less confident in the labor market, with more than 53% of U.S. workers indicating they intend to stay with their current employer in the second quarter of 2019—a 10% increase over the first quarter and the first time ever that a majority of the U.S. workforce has reported an intent to stay put.

August 2019

IRF Study Shows High Rates of Incentive Program Changes to Comply With Regulations

The Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) announced the release of its signature study, “2019 U.S. Federal Regulations and Non-Cash Awards.” This research into program owners’ understanding of U.S. regulatory and tax requirements reveals a high rate of change in incentive program design due to a perceived need to make accommodations to comply with regulations.

July 2019

Research Looks at Gig, External Workers

If you want your external, or gig, workers to do their best work, recognizing them and saying thank you may be a key. This, according to new research conducted by SHRM and SAP SuccessFactors. The research suggests that some common thinking about external workers, widely referred to as “gig workers,” simply doesn’t hold up.

June 2019

IRF Examines How Top-Performing Financial Services Handle Incentives & Rewards

The Incentive Research Foundation announced the release of “What Top Performing Financial Services Firms Do Differently for Incentives and Rewards,” the second release in its signature series, 2019 Top Performer Studies. The study identifies the non-cash rewards strategies and tactics used by top-performing financial services firms.

May 2019

IRF Study Reveals Reward & Recognition Strategies of Top Tech Companies

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.

April 2019

Big Box Retailers See Gift Card Growth

Big Box store gift cards are more popular than ever, according to recent research from National Gift Card. The findings from its annual gift card report detail redemption statistics for loyalty, rewards and incentive programs in 2018.

March 2019

Research Shows Loyalty Members Want More Redemption Opportunities

According to recent research, loyalty program members surveyed want more accessible redemption opportunities and prefer to redeem their points at least once a year. Furthermore, they want to redeem well before they hit the $100 mark in reward earnings and prefer a reward card over other reward options. These are among the findings of research commissioned by global financial technology company Blackhawk Network.

February 2019

IRF Announces 2019 Incentive Trends

The Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) announced the release of its signature study, “The IRF 2019 Trends Study.” The study highlights 10 key trends that will affect organizations, their products and services, and the workforce in 2019.

January 2019

Randstad US Identifies Work Trends to Watch

Randstad executives and other leaders from the human resources services industry recently shared key insights for employers facing complex challenges, from employees’ changing work preferences to the pressure to stay digitally relevant in a technology-saturated landscape.

December 2018

More Companies Gifting This Season

The annual corporate gift-giving report released by the Advertising Specialty Institute found that more companies than last year were planning to give corporate gifts this holiday season, with 42 percent rewarding employees (up from 40 percent in 2017) and 37 percent (up 5 percentage points) showing client appreciation.

November 2018

Market Leaders Address Challenges to Corporate Gifts, Rewards & Recognition

What are the biggest challenges facing the corporate gifts, rewards and recognition market now, and how will those challenges change over time? These questions and other issues were addressed in a recent meeting of industry thought leaders, under the banner of Special Markets Dialogues. During the meeting, 31 invited attendees representing brand merchandise manufacturers, national marketing companies, performance improvement companies, association professionals, gift card providers, promotional products distributors and suppliers and manufacturers’ representatives talked about the current state of the corporate gift, recognition, rewards, incentive and motivation marketplace.

October 2018

IRF Projects Increase in Data-Driven Decisions & Delivery of Personalized Rewards

The widespread ability to use artificial intelligence to more quickly identify top performers and deliver personalized rewards appears to be on the verge of reality. The IRF’s new study, “The Impact and Potential of Artificial Intelligence in Incentives, Rewards and Recognition,” examines the tools and techniques that professionals in the incentives, rewards and recognition industry are using and developing to incorporate artificial intelligence into their program design.

September 2018

Hinda Asks: How Does Reward Delivery Affect the Reward Experience?

Hinda Incentives released a final report on a study designed to learn how the reward delivery experience affects the perceptions of employees, customers and channel partners. The qualitative research, commissioned by Hinda and conducted by an independent group, sought to determine if the reward packaging of an item shipped to the home affected perceptions of the reward and the sponsoring organization.

August 2018

IRF Study Reveals Difficulties for Program Owners

A recent in-depth study by the Incentive Research Foundation revealed that, although 84 percent of businesses now use non-cash awards, the absence of industry-related college curriculum, no widely accepted standards and difficulty with specific Internet search terms means program owners are typically left to seek out a patchwork of internal networks and external partnerships to learn how to develop successful programs.

July 2018

IRF Listens to Voice of the Market

The value and benefits of non-cash rewards are widely known by executive teams, according to a new study of incentive program owners and end users from the Incentive Market Foundation. “Voice of the Market, Part 1: The Use of Non-Cash Rewards & Recognition” is a qualitative study of incentive program owners and end users based on a series of extensive interviews conducted by the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF). The study examines what makes up a successful incentive program according to the professionals who manage their company’s reward programs.

June 2018

IRF Study Looks at Corporate Program Owners of Incentive Programs

The Incentive Research Foundation released “Voice of the Market, Part 1: The Use of Non-Cash Rewards & Recognition,” a qualitative study of incentive program owners and end users. Based on a series of extensive interviews conducted by the IRF, the study details the elements of a successful incentive program according to the professionals who manage their company’s reward programs.

May 2018

Making the Most of Global Employee Recognition

Consistency, equality, relevancy, local sourcing and adherence to government regulations rank among the top challenges facing global businesses trying to build meaningful reward programs.

April 2018

Report Shows Gen Z, Millennials Changing Loyalty

A new report released in March revealed that loyalty programs have a higher influence on gen Z and millennial consumer spend than on boomers—66 percent vs. 58 percent. The Loyalty Report 2018, released by Bond Brand Loyalty, a global customer engagement agency, indicated that gen Z and millennial consumers are changing loyalty, and are open to behavior tracking, paid loyalty and deeper brand engagement through technology. But, younger consumers are less satisfied with their programs (30 percent) compared to their boomer parents (49 percent).

March 2018

Incentive Research Foundation Announces Top 10 Trends for 2018

The Incentive Research Foundation announced the release of its signature study, The IRF 2018 Trends Study. The study highlights 10 key trends that will affect organizations, their products and services, and the workforce in 2018. From market optimism to concerns about risk and safety, the study identifies key areas of change and their implications for workforce engagement, incentive travel and recognition.

February 2018

Experiment Assesses People's Preference for Rewards

A first-of-its-kind experiment by the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) revealed how people prefer to receive recognition and rewards. In December the IRF released "Reward Presentation and Attraction: A Biometric Experiment," a second report that details the findings from the IRF's first-of-a-kind biometric experiment that examines how people prefer to receive recognition and rewards.

January 2018

Bill Keeps Tax Exclusion for Incentives

The tax exclusion afforded incentives and corporate gifts in Section 274(j) of the IRS Code will be retained, thanks to the efforts and collaboration of incentive industry partners.

December 2017

IRF Examines Reward Presentation & Attraction

The Incentive Research Foundation released "Reward Presentation and Attraction: A Biometric Experiment," the second report detailing the findings from the IRF's first-of-a-kind biometric experiment. The study examines how people prefer to receive recognition and rewards, exploring different drivers of award presentation preferences and suggesting ways to determine effective approaches to make the presentation impactful on the recipient.

November 2017

Industry Pros Discuss Current, Future Challenges to Corporate Gift & Recognition Market

A small group of industry thought leaders, under the banker of Special Markets Dialogues, met recently in Las Vegas at the Green Valley Ranch Resort for two days to network and discuss the corporate gift, recognition, rewards, incentive and motivation marketplace. The 34 invited attendees were comprised of brand merchandise manufacturers, solutions providers, association professionals, gift card providers, promotional products distributors and suppliers, and manufacturers' representatives.

October 2017

Meetings & Events Forecast Shows Increased Confidence in 2018

Fierce competition and a global mindset will lead the meetings and event industry into a prosperous new year, according to a new forecast from American Express Meetings & Events. The forecast shows the meetings & events industry can be optimistic about growth prospects next year, driven by increased competition in the supply chain for market share, as well as robust investments and a desire for consolidation of spend by buyers, says the 2018 Global Meetings and Events Forecast.

September 2017

Research Shows Technology Is Transforming How Companies, Employees Interact

Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP's digital destination for the human resources professional, has found in its latest "High Impact HR" research that new workplace technologies and changing workforce expectations are creating unprecedented opportunities for HR organizations to transform the way companies and their people interact.

August 2017

Growing Incentive Gift Card Market Provides Opportunities

Results of a new research study show the majority of U.S. businesses are increasingly using gift cards as a reward tool for multiple groups (channel, sales, employee and customer), and that investment in gift card rewards is both significant and growing.

July 2017

Survey: Performance & Service Awards Most Popular Forms of Recognition

The two most popular forms of employee recognition are Above & Beyond Performance and Service Awards, according to a new survey. Michael C. Fina Recognition, a leading rewards, recognition and incentives provider, announced the results recently from its third annual in-booth survey of more than 100 HR professionals at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) 2017 Annual Conference and Exposition in New Orleans. The survey respondents also reported that organizations should focus more on tying recognition into onboarding initiatives and on overall recognition program measurement.

June 2017

Survey: Employee Recognition Widespread

More than 50 percent of employers view their employee recognition programs as an investment in their workforce, according to a survey released by WorldatWork. The survey, "Trends in Employee Recognition," was designed to measure specific types of recognition programs and their impact on the workforce and was underwritten by ITA Group.

May 2017

Study: Financial Services Industry Needs to Focus on Engagement

The financial services industry is experiencing a stronger need to prioritize its focus on workplace culture to better attract and retain talent, according to a new survey commissioned by Kronos Inc. and conducted by Future Workplace.

April 2017

IRF Research Looks at Wellness in Meetings & Incentive Travel

A vast majority of corporate and incentive house planners are enthusiastic about wellness, according to a new study from the Incentive Research Foundation. The IRF’s newly released ‘Wellness in Meetings and Incentive Travel Study’ is an analysis is the integration of wellness into meetings and incentive travel programs. The study provides insights and benchmarks for how meeting planners are successfully incorporating wellness into the incentive travel and meetings programs.

March 2017

Few Global Companies Prepared to Build Organization of the Future

Driven by the ongoing digital revolution and demographic, political and social forces, almost 90 percent of HR and business leaders rate building the organization of the future as their highest priority. In its 2017 Global Human Capital Trends report, “Rewriting the Rules for the Digital Age,” Deloitte issues a call to action for companies to completely reconsider their organizational structure, talent and HR strategies to keep pace with digital disruption.

February 2017

What Are the Top Trends for Incentive Rewards, Recognition & Travel in 2017?

The Incentive Research Foundation announced the release of its highly anticipated 2017 Trends Study, which highlights 10 key trends that will affect organizations, their products and services, and the workforce in 2017. From growth areas to consolidation to globalization, the study identifies key areas of change and their implications to workforce engagement, incentive travel and recognition.

January 2017

Burnout: Study Reveals Big Workforce Challenge in 2017

The biggest threat to building an engaged workforce in 2017 is employee burnout. The newest study in the Employee Engagement Series conducted by Kronos Inc. and Future Workplace found that 95 percent of human resource leaders admit that employee burnout is sabotaging workforce retention, and with no obvious solution on the horizon.

December 2016

Survey Looks at Holiday Gift Practices

More employers planned to throw holiday parties for their employees this year, according to a recent survey from CareerBuilder.

November 2016

Culture & Communication Are Critical for Sales Compensation Policies

The economic environment is driving sales compensation plans toward higher payouts for overachievers, as well as increasing the role of incentives in the pay mix, according to a new study.

October 2016

Despite Tech Revolution, Younger Workers Want In-Person Collaboration

Despite popular belief, 41 percent of generation Z says corporate offices are their workplace preference, according to a global study released by Future Workplace, an HR executive network and research firm dedicated to the future of learning and working, and Randstad US, one of the largest HR services and staffing companies in the United States.

September 2016

Report: Small Biz Uses Merchandise to Motivate

A new survey of small businesses reveals high levels of success with merchandise incentive programs. Small businesses believe that merchandise incentives, including apparel, food and beverage, and electronics, improve morale, are an effective motivator and are more memorable than cash rewards.

August 2016

Workers Want Insight on How They Affect Bottom Line

We know that one of the keys to engagement is workers understanding their impact on the success of the organization. That’s why it should come as no surprise that a majority of workers want more information about how they contribute to the company’s bottom line.

July 2016

Incentives Market Reaches $90 Billion Annually

A new Incentive Marketplace Estimate Research Study released by the Incentive Federation confirms that the non-cash incentives market grew a remarkable 17 percent since the last market estimate study in 2013. With 84 percent of U.S. businesses spending $90 billion annually on award points, gift cards, trips and travel, and merchandise, the study also found that overall the businesses spend $14.4 billion annually on incentive travel and $75.6 billion on award points, merchandise and gift cards to reward sales staff, employees, channel partners and customers.

June 2016

Report Reveals Proven Ways to Create a More Human Workplace

Organizations can achieve higher levels of engagement, productivity and retention by focusing on creating a more human, caring workplace, according to a new research report published by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) Foundation, the charity affiliate of the association devoted to human resource management, and sponsored by Globoforce, a provider of social recognition solutions.

May 2016

Employers Falling Short in Recognizing Millennials

A new study from Aon Hewitt and O.C. Tanner revealed that many employers are missing the mark when it comes to recognizing and rewarding millennial employees.

April 2016

SHRM Survey: Employee Job Satisfaction Hits 10-Year High

More U.S. workers are satisfied with their jobs than at any time since 2005, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. In its annual Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Survey, Click here to read more.

March 2016

Which Generation Is Most Engaged? Survey Says: Gen X

An executive survey released by the Futurestep division of Korn Ferry, a global people and organizational advisory firm, reveals the heads-down, get-the-job-done attitudes and priorities of generation X employees (born between 1965 and 1980).

February 2016

IRF Spotlights Top Motivation Trends for 2016

The Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) has released its "2016 Trends in Incentive Travel, Rewards and Recognition" report, revealing that businesses will emphasize unique, upscale and individualized experiences in motivation programs this year.

January 2016

Bersin by Deloitte Looks at Growing Challenges in Engagement, Productivity

Organizations will be challenged to design a more engaging and productive workplace if they want to attract and retain employees in the new always-on, hyper-connected world of work, according to predictions for 2016 from Bersin by Deloitte.

December 2015

SHRM Says Fewer Are Hosting Holiday Parties for Employees This Year

While a majority of organizations will toast their employees with a holiday or end-of-year party, a growing number of employers are saying no to a party. However, nearly one-quarter will give non-performance-related gifts to employees this year.

October 2015

New IMA Study Examines Award Preferences, Dispels Myths

Companies looking to reward and motivate their employees with incentive awards need to focus on the total reward experience, and it frequently doesn't include cash, according to a new study commissioned by the Incentive Marketing Association.

August 2015

IMA Recognizes Five Firms with Circle of Excellence Awards for Successful Incentives

Five companies, each facing challenges to engage and motivate their employees and sales teams, creatively used incentive campaigns to achieve successful results, winning the Incentive Marketing Association's (IMA) 2015 Circle of Excellence Awards, presented at the association's 16th annual Executive Summit in Nashville.

June 2015

Employee Recognition Programs Continue Upward Trend to Achieve Organizational Goals

Recognition programs can be the key to motivating employees and driving organizational results, according to a survey, "Trends in Employee Recognition," by WorldatWork and underwritten by ITA Group.

April 2015

IRF Study Looks at Incentive Trends

A new study from the Incentive Research Foundation, "10 Trends for Merchandise and Gift Card Programs in 2015," notes that retaining top performers and preparing them to take over the reins during the next decade is a top priority for most organizations. A crucial part of that process will involve merchandise and gift cards programs that inspire and connect with these future leaders, keeping them happy, productive and engaged.

February 2015

Bersin by Deloitte Offers Predictions for HR in 2015

Employers will be challenged to re-engineer the workplace, rethink jobs and reshape the way to attract, engage and manage people if they are to drive business performance amidst a growing global economy in 2015. Those are among the top new predictions for the year ahead from Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP.

December 2014

Loyalty Reward Points to Go to Holiday Gifts

Six out of 10 American shoppers intend to use points they've earned through customer loyalty programs to save money on holiday gift buying this year, according to research from Colloquy.

October 2014

IRF Fall 2014 Pulse Study Indicates Positive Trends

According to the Fall 2014 Pulse Study from the Incentive Research Foundation, trends continue to stabilize compared with previous survey periods, with overall trends nearing those reported in 2008.

August 2014

Study: Business Buyers Boost Gift Card Marketplace

The B2B gift card market—encompassing employee and sales incentives, together with customer loyalty programs—continues to grow in size and popularity, reflecting ever-wider enthusiasm by recipients, according to the Incentive Gift Card Council (IGCC).

June 2014

BlessingWhite Research Reveals Career Perspectives

If one of your goals is ensuring employees are engaged and motivated, it's important to understand their perspective on their careers. BlessingWhite recently announced the release of a 2014 research report on Career, which captures the current perspectives—from both employees and employers—on the topic of career.

April 2014

Incentives Could Improve Patient Care

As the Affordable Care Act (ACA) becomes reality for millions of Americans, a paper from the Performance Improvement Council (PIC) of the Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) concludes that "one of the most effective ways to improve the quality of patient care is to invest in helping healthcare employees feel more engaged in their work" so they have a better chance to realize their goal of "helping patients and saving lives."

February 2014

Campaign Emphasizes Power of Meeting & Event Industry

As workers become ever more connected to 24/7 technology, are businesses forgetting the value of face-to-face meetings and interpersonal connection? Leaders from across the meetings and events industry recently unveiled a new national campaign to showcase the substantial value derived from business meetings, conferences, conventions, incentive travel, trade shows and exhibitions. The campaign, "Meetings Mean Business," will create an information and advocacy platform that highlights the industry's pivotal role in creating jobs, generating economic value and driving business success.

December 2013

Recognition Council Highlights New Workforce Realities

A white paper issued by the Incentive Marketing Association's Recognition Council, titled "The Recognition Revolution," underscores the importance of taking bold new moves to recognize and motivate a workforce that is increasingly becoming a largely virtual "workforce community" comprised of core employees, strategic partners, outsourced functions and independent workers, rather than a mainly homogenous group of bona fide employees.

October 2013

Incentives for Employees, Customers See Dramatic Growth

A new study conducted by the Incentive Federation confirms that the non-cash incentives market is thriving, with 74 percent of U.S. businesses spending $76.9 billion annually on incentive travel, merchandise and gift cards.

August 2013

IMA Recognizes Five Firms for Successful Incentives

Five companies, each facing challenges to engage and motivate employees and sales teams, creatively used incentive campaigns to achieve successful results, winning the Incentive Marketing Association's 2013 Circle of Excellence Awards, presented in July at the association's 13th Annual Executive Summit in Denver.

June 2013

Survey Shows Americans Have More Room for Loyalty

Maritz Loyalty Marketing unveiled the results of a comprehensive study into U.S. consumer loyalty programs, including what American consumers consider to be the highest-rated programs. The survey also shows that Americans have plenty of room for more loyalty programs.

April 2013

Turnover Problems? Consider Work-Life Balance

For the third year in a row, the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association's regular examination of health clubs' financial performance has shown improved performance, according to the IHRSA Index.