Incentive to Honor Top Programs With 2021 Motivation Masters Awards

Submissions are being accepted now for the annual contest that celebrates outstanding reward programs.

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T-Mobile's outstanding incentive program was last year's winner of the Grand Motivation Master award. Photo Credit:Ryan Brien

Profiles of the winners
Head here to read our full profiles on the companies who won this year's awards.

The past 14 months have been the most challenging ever for the incentive industry: Programs were cancelled or postponed, the economy wreaked havoc on sales contests, and as unemployment rose, many formal recognition and motivation strategies were set aside.

One silver lining of these unstable times was the incredible ability of incentive organizers to pivot quickly, to remain flexible during this rocky period, and to let their creativity shine in designing incentive, recognition and motivation programs in tune with the times. 

Incentive will honor the best of these programs with our 2021 Motivation Masters Awards. Submissions are now being accepted for programs held between January 2020 through June 30, 2021. The award categories are sales, channel sales, recognition and loyalty, as well as a Grand Motivation Master award that celebrates outstanding overall achievement.

The winners will be selected by Northstar Meetings Group's editorial team, who will review the applications and any supplementary materials; entries are judged on creative program design, innovative motivation strategies and powerful results. Following are highlights of the 2020 Motivation Masters' award-winning programs.

Grand Motivation Master

Augeo Marketing (formerly MotivAction) and T-Mobile
T-Mobile’s Winners Circle 2019 celebrated front-line customer care and sales employees with a remarkable trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico. The destination — still recovering from Hurricane Maria — was changed from another city, just 10 months before it took place. The decision proved to be a remarkable one, with adventurous outings, star-studded entertainment and CSR activities. The motivational effectiveness was due not only to how it made attendees feel recognized; it also gave them a chance to connect with T-Mobile’s leadership and support a destination with strong ties to many of the participants.

Sales Category Winner

Bishop-McCann and Verizon
The President’s Club Program at Verizon invited sales associates to "Reach the Beach" with a reward trip to Miami. With a clever marketing campaign, memorable activities and a "Price Is Right"-style merchandise reward giveaway, the program proved to be Verizon’s most popular in the past decade, with a demonstrable impact on sales.

Recognition Category Winner

HALO Recognition and Penn State Health
The manager-led, points-based PAWS UP! program consolidated under one umbrella numerous recognition initiatives that targeted more than 15,000 employees. Producing a high level of engagement across the organization, PAWS UP! was particularly effective in connecting with the employees Penn State Health was most concerned with reaching: those with direct responsibility for patient care.

Channel Category Winner

Carnival Cruise Line and Incentive Solutions
Designed to both reward and train Carnival’s travel-agent partners, Loyalty Rocks! leveraged a new web-based platform to supercharge its existing incentive program. Using targeted communication (including podcasts and webcasts) and a simplified interface point structure, the program attracted 31,000 agents to participate, with a significant increase in engagement.

Loyalty Category Winner

CR Worldwide and BetVictor
Aimed at boosting employee retention, the BetVictor Values You program used multiple forms of recognition — thank you ecards, length-of-service rewards, peer-to-peer accolades and even birthday greetings — to engage workers from every angle. Themed around the company’s sponsorship of sporting brands such as Liverpool FC and Real Madrid, it resulted in significant engagement and reduced employee departures by almost 50 percent.

Full profiles of the winning programs will be rolled out on NorthstarMeetingsGroup.com and featured in the Spring 2020 issue of Incentive. Winners also will be lauded at an awards luncheon on Tuesday, April 21, as part of Incentive Live, Northstar Meetings Group's incentive, loyalty and motivation event taking place at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Arizona on April 19–21.

As part of its robust education program, the hosted-buyer event will also include a Meet the Masters panel in which representatives from the winning organizations — both incentive companies and their clients — will share the highlights, challenges and secrets behind their award-winning programs.