May 01, 2002
Meetings & Conventions: Incentive News

Mike Hadlow Incentives boost the performance of teams by an average of 45 percent and increase the output of individuals by 25 percent, according to a recent study sponsored by the Society of Incentive & Travel Executives Foundation.

The study examined the effectiveness of motivation, incentives and performance improvement. According to Mike Hadlow, president of the SITE Foundation, findings were compiled by utilizing meta-analysis, a process whereby researchers summarize the results of a wide variety of earlier studies.

The research incorporated the findings of 45 studies conducted between 1962 and 2000, as well as a large sample survey of U.S. organizations that use incentives. It was conducted by a team of academics who specialize in the areas of motivation and performance, led by Harold Stolovitch, Ph.D., clinical professor of Human Performance at Work at the University of Southern California and emeritus professor at the Universite de Montreal.

Among key findings:
• Long-term incentives are more powerful than short-term ones. Research results showed a 44 percent gain for programs that run for more than a year, a 29 percent gain for programs one to six months in duration and 20 percent gains for weeklong programs.

• Ninety-two percent of workers surveyed said they achieved their goals because of incentives.

• Incentive programs that are structured with employee input work best; however, only 23 percent of incentive systems are selected with employee input.

• Peer pressure works: Team incentive programs deliver better results than individual incentives due to decreased “social loafing” of participants.

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