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IRF Study: Strategic Programs Fare the Best

A recent Incentive Research Foundation survey of 177 solution providers and corporate practitioners, including CEOs, finds that only 34% of incentive and recognition programs continue to operate with minimal change. 
 
A recent pulse survey conducted by the highly regarded Incentive Research Foundation confirms what many would expect: only 34% of the programs have so far proceeded, and, those that have are more likely to be considered critical to the organization. About 12% of respondents say their programs are viewed as even more important because of the pandemic. 
 
The study authors report that the crisis is forcing organizations to shift “the focus to whatever is critical within the organization—growth-oriented objectives, safety-oriented objectives, health and well-being objectives and revenue retention…One respondent notes they are lowering the goal for revenue growth to reflect the shifting reality while keeping their participants motivated.”
 
Other key findings:
27% report their programs were placed on hold.
19% say the program has been cancelled.
19% indicate programs are being restructured. 
31% cite perception concerns from leadership for cancellation; budget is the stated reason by 15%, with the high percentage of “other” responses attributed by the study authors to travel blackouts.
56% of respondents report no budget changes for programs that are being maintained; with the remainder of those reporting budget cuts of under 20% or in line with other across-the-board cuts.
24% of program owners indicate decreased use of travel and nearly 11% say they have eliminated travel from their programs. Only 3% indicate they have added travel to their program.
Prepaid card/gift cards are seeing the largest increase, with 6% reporting they have added cards to their programs and nearly 20% noting increased use.
Points programs are being added to programs by 11%, with the same percentage indicating they have increased use within their programs.
Merchandise use is slightly more up than down, with 18% of respondents noting an increase in use or addition of merchandise to their programs, offset by 13.5% indicate they are decreasing use or eliminating.
Logoed merchandise shows a very small net decrease in use.
Paid days off and cash are seeing small increases of 6% and 11%, respectively.
 
The survey was completed by 177 respondents with 30% representing third party reward and recognition providers, 25% executive leadership, 14% HR professionals, 12% sales professionals and 4% administrative professionals. The remaining 15% included a variety of titles that manage reward and recognition programs.
 
 
 
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Education, Certifications, and Information to Activate
Brand Media and Enterprise Engagement 


A complete learning, certification, and information program and a course syllabus for educators.
 
Resources: The Brand Media Coalition, the only guide to the story-telling power of brands and where to source them for business, event, promotional gifting, and rewards and recognition. Enterprise Engagement Solution Provider Directory. The only directory of engagement solution providers covering all types of agencies and tactics as well as insights on how to select them.
 
Communities: The  Enterprise Engagement Alliance and Advocate and the  Brand Media Coalition free resource centers offering access to the latest research, news, and case studies; discounts, promotions, referrals, and commissions, when appropriate to third-party solution providers from participating coalition solution provider members.
 
Training and Certification
Enterprise Engagement Alliance Education: Certified Engagement Practitioner; Advanced Engaged Practitioner, and Certified Engagement Solution Provider learning and certification programs on how to implement Stakeholder Capitalism principles at the tactical level. 
 
International Center for Enterprise Engagement: The only training and certification program for ISO 30414 human capital reporting and ISO 10018 quality people management certification. 
 
A CEO's Guide to Engagement Across the Enterprise cover
The EEA offers a complimentary course syllabus for educators.
 
In Print: 
This is the definitive implementation guide to Stakeholder Capitalism, written specifically to provide CEOs and their leadership teams a concise overview of the framework, economics, and implementation process of a CEO-led strategic and systematic approach to achieving success through people.  (123 pages, $15.99)
 
The first and most comprehensive book on Enterprise Engagement and the new ISO 9001 and ISO 10018 quality people management standards. Includes 36 chapters detailing how to better integrate and align engagement efforts across the enterprise. (312 pages, $36.) 
 
Online:  
10-minute short course: click here for a 10-minute introduction to Enterprise Engagement and ISO standards from the Coggno.com learning platform.
 
Services: 
•  The Engagement Agency at EngagementAgency.net, offering: complete support services for employers, solution providers, and technology firms seeking to profit from formal engagement practices for themselves or their clients, including Brand and Capability audits for solution providers to make sure their products and services are up to date.
•  C-Suite Advisory Service—Education of boards, investors, and C-suite executives on the economics, framework, and implementation processes of Enterprise Engagement. 
•  Speakers Bureau—Select the right speaker on any aspect of engagement for your next event.
•  Mergers and Acquisitions. The Engagement Agency’s Mergers and Acquisition group is aware of multiple companies seeking to purchase firms in the engagement field. Contact Michael Mazer in confidence if your company is potentially for sale at 303-320-3777.
 
Enterprise Engagement Benchmark Tools: The Enterprise Engagement Alliance offers three tools to help organizations profit from Engagement. Click here to access the tools.
•  ROI of Engagement Calculator. Use this tool to determine the potential return-on-investment of an engagement strategy. 
•  EE Benchmark Indicator. Confidentially benchmark your organization’s Enterprise Engagement practices against organizations and best practices. 
•  Compare Your Company’s Level of Engagement. Quickly compare your organization’s level of engagement to those of others based on the same criteria as the EEA’s Engaged Company Stock Index.
•  Gauge Your Personal Level of Engagement. This survey, donated by Horsepower, enables individuals to gauge their own personal levels of engagement.
 
For more information, contact Bruce Bolger at Bolger@TheEEA.org, 914-591-7600, ext. 230.

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Brand Media Resources
Brand Resources
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