For stage performers, it is the standing ovation. For sports personalities, it is fans asking for autographs. For workplace heroes, it is often an all-expense-paid foregn trip or a swish new car.This article talks about how you can still sustain employee motivation despite your MICE strategy being on hold.
In our own unique ways, we are all addicted to the ‘pat on the back’. To incentives.
Perfectly natural, of course. After all, while they say that excellence is its own reward, the Incentive Theory of Human Behavior - which first surfaced in the 1940’s - insists that ‘inner forces’ (be it drive, arousal or instinct) are often not enough. At any rate, supplementing them with external motivators can strongly influence action, re-engineer impact, and alter business destiny.
Not surprisingly, according to research, top performing organizations are much more prone to incentivizing their channel partners and sales force (as well as prioritize designing a structured rewards program) as compared to businesses that are lower in the pecking order.
The rise of the MICE (or Events) industry – where top performers are pampered with luxury vacations and lavish stays - is another case that argues strongly in favour of the effectiveness of workplace incentives.
Three ways to use rewards to tackle your suspended MICE strategy
There are three ways that incentives (in the form of rewards and incentives) extract the best out of your extended teams and networks.
1. Rewards for Reinforcement
which is essentially a multiplier kind of concept. The theory here says that people who have ‘tasted blood’ once (that is, have achieved success and been suitably compensated as a result) tend to put in more effort and involvement the next time around. This changes behaviour sharply and creates a self-improving loop that generates more and more output from the same level of input. In other words, a ‘dream investment’ that keeps appreciating.
2. Rewards for Behavior Potential
Now that you are all kicked about activating a Reinforcement Loop and rebooting partner behavior in the direction of your business goals, the question you must answer is – how do you activate this transformation? How can you get your channels and partners to buy into the idea and participate in the process? This is, by and large, a function of three influences.
How desirable or attractive is the reward or incentive?
How aligned is it to the wish-list of the participant (in other words, is it matched to mood and psyche)?
How achievable (level of difficulty or ease of accomplishment) is achieving the goal?
If the benchmark for the reward is too high, people may lose interest and opt out. An effective rewards strategy will always take the extra pain to integrate these 3 parameters intuitively into its incentive design.
3. Rewards for Goal Gradient Effect
You must have come across sms and notifications from your favourite grocery store or airline saying that you are just one more purchase away from winning a bumper prize or entering the next higher privilege club. Championed by Clark Hull in 1932 and validated by a Columbia University Study, the Goal Gradient Theory says that the closer we approach our target, the more impatient we become to reach it.
In other words, your gig force, sales channels and distribution partners would have – whether you noticed it or not – subconsciously raised their game and upped their momentum towards the end of the cycle, pipping their posts that much faster with a ‘last minute burst’.
Goal Gradient Effect also translates into a stronger tendency to re-engage after the current checkbox has been ticked – building loyalty.
What are your duties here as the ‘boss’, HR or program implementer therefore? How do you respond to this heightened sense of anticipation? Simply by making sure that the climax follows quickly (as promised), and that the proverbial ‘pot of gold’ changes wallets with minimum time lag. Incentive delayed, after all, is incentive denied.
THE ‘BRAVO!’ INDUSTRY DOESN’T HAVE A RECESSION.
Rewards don’t vanish in the new reality – they merely shift avatar. After all, you will always have to incentivize performance to get the best out of your manpower, networks and alliances. This is particularly true for tough phases when individuals must somehow find extra stimulation in the job and apply themselves with far greater focus and commitment than during ‘peace time’. In the current crisis – which may not be as temporary as we think and usher long-term adjustments to the way we work – we are therefore witnessing a transformation in the incentive space.
Bosses are getting innovative and imaginative when it comes to keeping channel morale up and extracting best work to ensure business continuity and re-imagine growth templates. On cue, rewards are adapting to the new reality by changing their shape and form. To start with, they are going digital.
Vacations, conferences, exhibitions, meetings and off-sites may be off the menu at the moment, but the spirit of cheerleading is alive and kicking. Explore never-before ways and ideas to say “Well Done!” and reward your rockstars with xoxoday PLUM, the gold standard when it comes to adding speed, choice and convenience to your rewards and incentives programs.
PLUM lets you tick the Big 3 when it comes to your rewards:
Desirability (gifts and prizes that feature on the top of everyone’s wish-lists)
Customization (match the incentive to the magnitude of the occasion and the personality and preferences of the receiver) and
Speed (don’t break the tempo - reward performers instantly to keep spirits at ‘winning level’).
Here’s a quick look at how Xoxoday PLUM is revolutionizing and raising the incentive game for businesses and their human capital:
Perks and Dicounts Make daily essentials and special indulgences – be it groceries, utilities, dining, gadgets, learning, wellness, wearables or entertainment - a delightful and profitable experience. Come aboard our discovery platform that features an awesome range of choices and super discounts, all made possible with our tie-ups with brands and suppliers globally.
Branded Currency Explore a comprehensive range of gift vouchers and gift cards carefully hand-picked from over 2000 popular global brands covering niches and interest areas like e-commerce, utilities, recharges, groceries, books, gadgets, fashion, entertainment, cash cards & pre-paid cards and much more that are redeemable in any country.
Bespoke Catalog Automate and save time by pre-designing a customized catalog for your company (complete with your organization’s logo, look and personality) by seamlessly mapping gift cards to teams, workflows and KPI’s - effectively placing your rewards program on self-running loops.
There’s more. Xoxoday PLUM is easy to implement – it easily integrates with your current technologies and systems like CRM, HRMS, PRM, Surveys and more. And apart from breezy customizability and deep personalizabile, its omni-channel nature makes it compatible with any delivery medium your systems are comfortable with, such as On-Screen, SMS, Email, Whatsapp, QR Codes, Notifications and several others.
Finally, PLUM’s data-rich reports and analytics bring you never-before visibility and insights into every aspect of your incentive ecosystem (usage patterns, spending patterns, ROI) so that you can keep optimizing and improving it.
90% of large enterprises employ technology of some kind to implement their rewards and incentives programs. Join the gang with Xoxoday PLUM.
At Xoxoday, we deeply understand the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and engagement drivers of people, be it an employee, supplier, contract staff, gig, or consumer. We bring simplicity and continuity to a complex everyday problem.