The nation's workforce is increasingly worried about job security — and employee motivation is lower than it has been in a while. Some incentive experts say that this is the best time to use nonsales incentives.
In a survey conducted in mid-December by Opinion Research Corp. for American ExpressServices, 50 percent of the respondents — 532 employed Americans — predicted a “questionable” economy in 2002, and 83 percent said they weren't making any New Year's resolutions related to their jobs. In other words, there's a pervasive feeling of uncertainty out there.
“People feel overworked because of the economic downturn,” says AEIS CEO Darryl Hutson. “They're skittish because they think they're going to be next [to be laid off].”
Another result — and one that Hutson says points to a renewed need for incentive awards: 68 percent said that if their company sponsored an incentive program, they would be “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to set and work toward job-related goals.
Steve Mura, manager of eventsfor the Sara Lee Corp., Chicago, has used debit card incentives successfully for the past couple of years. “We were doing a lot of trips, but the feedback from employees was that they wanted to have more choice. You can't go wrong letting them choose what they want, rather than you telling them what they'll get.
“With these incentives,” he adds, “we're also able to offer rewards ranging in value from $200 to thousands of dollars, so you wind up being able to motivate a larger number of employees, rather than having just a few employees go on a single incentive trip, for instance.”
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