by Lisa A. Grimaldi | October 03, 2011

The Incentive Research Foundation and the Incentive Federation have released findings of their study on current practices for reward and recognition programs. The study of 170 program administrators looked at organizations' basis for selecting certain types of rewards, the value of awards by type, how award values are determined and the evaluation of awards' return on objective. IRF president Melissa Van Dyke said the overall findings indicate that, independent of the industry involved -- finance/insurance, manufacturing, technology, medical -- respondents generally rely on classic incentive programs, which most often are aimed at internal employees and people within distribution or sales channels. "Among other things, we found that, while award types were widely dispersed, prepaid gift cards were used by 65 percent of all firms, with 26 percent using them exclusively," Van Dyke noted. "When we drill down further, gift cards are preferred as an easy way to provide spot-award, self-selected items to recipients using smaller reward budgets. Conversely, travel is overwhelmingly used for larger budgets [$500,000 or more] and for behavior tied to overall, annualized goal attainment." An executive summary of the findings can be found here.