As the U.S. continues to face a tight labor market,
a new study by the Incentive Research
Foundation reveals how incentive programs can positively affect a company's ability to attract and retain employees.
For the paper, titled Incentives in Today’s Decentralized Workforce:
Attract, Retain & Build Culture, the IRF surveyed 1,000 employees
and managers to learn their preferences about remote and hybrid work, reward
and recognition methods, and employee motivation. The research, which was detailed during the IRF Education Invitational event reveals employee
expectations, manager mindsets, and how good recognition and incentive program
design can enhance employee engagement.
"Incentives have an important role to play motivating direct
and indirect employees in the era of the Great Resignation, remote work and
labor shortages," noted IRF president Stephanie Harris. "The workforce has
fundamentally changed, and incentive program design needs to be adapted to
align with these new workforce realities."
Key findings and insights from the study include the following:
- Managers matter: One-to-one appreciation from a direct
manager is the most motivating form of recognition, according to respondents.
- Peer-to-peer programs work: Praise on a peer-to-peer
recognition platform can enhance engagement and address isolation many remote
Engagement and career paths are important: Employees want interesting work, growth
opportunities and autonomy.
Tangible rewards motivate: Employees want cash, gift
cards, gifts, points and individual travel.
Keep work culture in mind: Incentive program designers should partner
with human resources and senior leaders to combine incentives with workplace
environment changes that mitigate the disadvantages of working remotely.
The full report can be downloaded from the IRF website.