The State of Human Capital  (Back to top)
McKinsey & Company (2012), October 2013
Today, more than ever before, human capital professionals everywhere are being tasked with seemingly daunting odds of how to keep the top talent that is with them to be engaged and stay, attract the new talent of tomorrow, all while keeping the belts of the budget-waistline tight.

One company, however, that is redefining the role employee engagement plays within the culture of an organization, just also happens to be the World's #1 most recognized brands - Apple. "In short, to work at Apple is not a job, it's a crusade. And some of the world's finest computer engineers flock to it."
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Get in the Game: Applying Gamification to On-the-Job Safety  (Back to top)
Occupational Health & Safety, October 2012
The basic principle of gamifi cation is that the engaging quality of game playing can be applied to commercial situations, particularly to situations where compensation is either not aff ordable, not appropriate, or both. The strategy can be as simple as earning points toward days off for watching a safety video or earning a prize for taking advanced training courses. Think about it. Everyone enjoys a good game.
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Dieting for Dollars (or Maybe a Movie Ticket)  (Back to top)
New York Times, May 12, 2012
Several engineers working for IBM have come up with a innovative idea of how applying incentive programs technology, along with a fun experience can influence healthy behavior in the real world. Their invention is a rewards program that makes the activity of "shedding pounds as geekily fun as playing Xbox, but with an added incentive: the opportunity to win prizes. The program by nature is rather simple: "participants are rewarded for eating well and discouraged from eating poorly".
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Loyalty Programs: Making Every Interaction Count  (Back to top)
There are just about as many definitions to the term 'Customer Loyalty' as there are to 'Customer Retention'. What strategy should you take in initiating the right loyalty program for your customers? With the infinite presence of the Internet and lines in the global market place getting closer together, consumers have 'become increasingly savvy' and 'marketers need to re-evaluate how they define and build customer loyalty'. In the beginning of 2012, Loyalty 360 conducted a survey of 129 executives, in an effort to take a 'closer look at the customer retention strategies companies are using...'
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The Relationship Between Employee Satisfaction and Hospital Patient Experiences  (Back to top)
This report, published in 2009, dives into the direct correlation between employee engagement versus positive / negative hospital patient satisfaction and experiences. While hospitals are primarily labeled in the Healthcare industry, it's important to realize how the lines cross over to the service based industry where the influence of customer satisfaction is critical.
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Incentive Plans Should Motivate Employees to Do the Right Thing  (Back to top)
To be most effective, incentive programs need to be designed the right way from the beginning. The program can become a useful tool in employee engagement, which facilitates "higher levels of performance from employees without increasing the fixed cost of base pay". If not implemented properly, incentive programs can work against the objectives, disengaging a workforce and "jeopardizing high-quality performance and adversely affect the company".
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Building a Safety Incentive Program Can Enhance a Strong Safety Culture  (Back to top)
Injured Workers Insurance Fund (
An incentive program can be implemented when, and only when, the proper safety program is put in place. "Developing an effective safety incentive program can strengthen the safety culture in any organization, by improving a poor safety record and/or maintaining an already good one". The key point to remember, however, is to create a fun and exciting environment about safety, which will emphasize correct behaviors, instill awareness, and drive motivation.
Read full PDF from Injured Workers Insurance Fund ...

Brighter Skies Ahead  (Back to top)
The Hay Group
With an uncertain workforce marketplace, employers need to stay cognizant of the effects of laying the groundwork for a higher employee engagement has on overall company stability. Fortune magazine, in collaboration with global management consulting firm, The Hay Group, revealed that "Fortune's Most Admired® Companies emerged from the recession with higher levels of engagement and retention with their peers.

The truth is "highly engaged and enabled workers create better business outputs, more loyal customers, and better financial performance during good times and bad."
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In Post-Recession World Recognition Boosts Recovery  (Back to top)
HR Magazine - September 2010
It should be as no surprise that in this post-recession environment, employees are being asked to do more with less. However, as Christine D'Angela writes in her article published in HR Magazine, that according to the 2008 State of Employee Engagement study, BlessingWhite found that "while 75% of employees trust their managers, only about two-thirds of managers satisfy their employees' needs for encouragement." The concept of managers recognizing their employees reinforces the notion that they are appreciated and valued.
Read full PDF from Incentive Marketing ...

Beyond Employee Engagement: Creating Enrichment  (Back to top)
Incentive Marketing Association
The Forum for People Performance Management and Measurement explores how, that out of the trenches of the current global business strategies, has emerged a 'new people-centered concept called 'Employee Enrichment' - a strategic approach that address both work and non-work factors in order to enhance employees' lives based on the expectation that the better a person's well-being, the better the person performs."
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Engaging Employees For Economic Recovery  (Back to top)
Incentive Marketing Association - 2010
The Recognition Council of the IMA estimates that "as much as 85 percent of a company's total assets are created by its investment in human capital". What top executives need to do now is quickly move past the economic losses of the last two years and start aggressively implementing programs, which "underscore the value of employee contributions by leveraging the power of recognition and rewards programs."
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Would You Like a Smile With That?  (Back to top)
August 6, 2011
New York Times' retail industry columnist, Stephanie Clifford, reports on how sandwich shop Pret a Manger, leverages employee engagement for increased customer satisfaction.

As a culture, Pret has established an 'out-of-the-box' environment where everything from hiring, to pay, to promotions, are based on qualities like cheerfulness. These qualities are measured by a variety of ways such as "mystery shoppers", or training milestones. Pret has also established a spot award initiative. "The top executives at Pret get 60 "Wow" cards, with scratch-off rewards like $10 or an iPhone, to hand out each to employees who strike them as particularly good."
Read full article at The New York Times ...

Symbolic Awards and Worker Performance  (Back to top)
June 2010
The Institute for the Study of Labor in Switzerland released a report in 2010, presenting evidence on the 'impact of status and social recognition on work performance'. 150 participating students were separated into two groups and instructed to perform 'work tasks' in a cubical environment. Only the first group of students were told they would be in competition for 'certificates of appreciation' as a function of their performance. At the end of the test, both groups completed their tasks, however, the group that was promised a reward at the end outperformed the other group by 12%.
Read full article at Institute for the Study of Labor ...

A Healthy Dose of Loyalty  (Back to top)
Wall Street Journal - June 21, 2011
Shirley S Wang, reporter for the Wall Street Journal explores the deeper psychological roots to human nature's learn toward loyalty. As explained by Ms. Wang, 'Even as society seems to make it increasingly difficult for people to remain loyalty to their jobs and relationships...a growing body of research indicates there are real benefits for people who commit for the long haul.

Further emphasizing this point, Dr. Katherine Shaw, an economics professor at Stanford Business School adds, "Employees who stay with a single employer longer...are more productive and creative than those who haven't been at the company as long."
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Fuel Prosperity with Strategic Recognition  (Back to top)
More than ever, employee engagement is becoming a top priority in many of today's top company's as they look to the future in keeping their top talent.

'A recent Manpower study showed that over 60 percent of workers plan to look for new jobs as soon as the economy provides opportunities.' Keeping your employees feeling appreciated, then, has become critical in combating a potential 'exodus through the recovery'.
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Rewards as a Driver of Green Consumer Engagement  (Back to top)
Companies, who are leading the charge for a greener living, are now looking to incentives solutions providers such as Online Rewards, to introduce the concept of rewards, to change consumer attitudes. As David Wigder, Senior Director of Marketing Strategy at OgilvyEarth comments, "Suddenly, consumers that did not make the environment a priority are willing to take action to earn rewards".

Online Rewards provides clients with the ability to engage their target audience through exciting rewards, thus positively changing consumer attitudes and behaviors.
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Gift Cards Could Get The Cold Shoulder This Year  (Back to top)
It appears this year's consumer trend for the Holidays is swinging back to traditional gifts of tangible merchandise and leaving the concept of gift cards to fend for themselves.
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The Importance Integrating Incentives Into Health & Wellness Programs  (Back to top)
In 2007, Hewitt Associates reported that 48% (up from 38% in 2006) of the major U.S. employers surveyed indicated that they currently offer, or plan to offer rewards to their employees who actively participate in wellness or other health-related programs.
One significant factor in the dramatic increase of employers offering incentives into their wellness programs is the ever-rising cost of health care in America. Incentivizing employees to lead healthier lifestyles and achieving wellness goals have become a highlighted line item in companies' strategy, culture, and bottom line.
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Today's Employee Market Place  (Back to top)
In today's economy, many companies have been forced into a survival mentality, trimming resources in an effort to creating a leaner and more efficient organization. The adverse by-product of resource reduction, results in employees being asked to do more, faster and with less job security. The paradox, however, is that a company's most valuable asset is their human capital. Top executives and managers must walk a fine line between strategies of efficiency versus the perils of a paranoid and disengaged workforce resulting in de-motivation and higher turnover rates.
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The Trouble with Cold Hard Cash  (Back to top)
MIT Technology Review, August 5, 2009
Offering tangible rewards, such as an iPod or a romantic weekend getaway for two, has a significantly wider emotional appeal and a greater efficacy on the reinforcement of positive behavior than offering just cash incentives. In a study conducted by Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company on their various retail districts, those who received tangible rewards increased sales by 46% more than those who were offered only monetary incentives.
Read full article at MIT ...

Lollipop Loyalty  (Back to top)
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Magazine, June 2008
According to research firm Colloquy, the average American household belongs to 12 different loyalty programs, but only actively uses fewer than 6. In the past decade, consumers have been inundated with an exponential amount of plastic loyalty cards that prominently hang from their key chains, but seem to have no meaning, no direction, no purpose, and ultimately becoming ubiquitous and useless. It is important to stay ahead of the curve and create new and innovative solutions, such as leveraging technology, to remain in front of competition and be pervasive in the marketplace.
Read full article at CRM Magazine ...

Cash vs. Non-Cash Rewards  (Back to top)
HR Magazine, 2003
Offering cash as a means of incentivizing only reinforces positive behavior for the short-term. In order for positive behavior to be repeated, it is necessary to reinforce with a reward that the recipient more directly connects with, such as non-cash tangible rewards. "Cash is not always king when it comes to incenting and rewarding employees".
Read full article at HR Magazine ...

Taxation of Employee Achievement Awards  (Back to top)
Incentive Performance Center
When implementing an employee incentive program (such as a safety rewards, service awards, or employee recognition rewards program), companies must pay careful attention to the potential tax implications that may be required to follow. While the IRS offers very little guidance pertaining to the laws regarding employee incentive programs, the following article clarifies some of the complexity of the tax ramifications in order to abide by compliancy requirements.
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10 Reasons Why Gift Cards are More Compelling than Cash  (Back to top)
Simply put, offering tangible rewards, such as gift cards for corporate employee incentives are more effective than cash. A study conducted by the Incentive Federation concluded that approximately three out of four executives who participated in the study "agreed that they could build a more exciting and memorable program using merchandise and gift cards than they could with cash". In addition, four out of five respondents believe that merchandise and gift cards are remembered longer than cash awards. Listed are 10 reasons why gift cards are better than cash.
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Customer Rewards and Company Success  (Back to top)
As the economy continues its downward turn, companies are looking for alternative ways to retain customers and employees alike. Read more ...

Rewards Programs, Workforce Wellbeing, and Company Success  (Back to top)
In order to ensure the greatest chance for a company's success in a changing world and a changing economy, employers must look at alternative methods to ensure employee happiness and increase productivity. Read more ...

Employee Incentives  (Back to top)
Companies have long recognized the importance of a happy workforce - employee wellbeing is as integral a part of a company's success as the product or service it sells. Read more ...

Fundamentals to Incentive Program Implementation  (Back to top)
There is little that can boost a customer's or employee's morale better than recognition for loyalty or a job well done. Are you a company looking to reward your employees and/or customers with something more than a simple thank you? Read more ...

Idea Submission Rewards Programs  (Back to top)
Today companies are increasingly turning to employee recognition and incentive programs to help increase productivity and retain workforce numbers. Read more ...