Meetings & Conventions: Incentive News
IN THE WAKE OF CUTS, MOTIVATION A HIGH PRIORITY
Incentives Back at Lucent
Lucent's headquarters in Murray Hill, N.J.
fter shying away from travel programs for the
past two years, Lucent Technologies, the Murray Hill, N.J.-based
technology firm, has reinstated a formal sales incentive. The move
comes at a challenging time for the company, which is grappling
with an enduring market slump, questions about its accounting
practices and massive layoffs, including the latest wave of 10,000
cuts announced in October.
According to global sales recognition manager Cindy Gardner, the
decision to plan an incentive trip was intended to boost the morale
of the remaining staff.
“In the past couple of years, winners got an award plaque, and
we put the program at bay,” Gardner said. But now, “We’re bringing
it back. Even in the toughest times, you’ve got to take care of
your top performers.”
The resources necessary to fund the program gave some executives
pause, Gardner said, but Lucent’s higher-ups decided it would cost
more in the long run if dispirited employees left for greener
pastures, so they gave Gardner the green light to create an
incentive event, albeit on a more spartan scale than the firm had
done in the past.
The four-day trip is set for March 2003 in a domestic resort
that had not been revealed to participants as of press time. It
will be one day shorter and less lavish than prior programs.
“It’s still our top two percent [of winners], but of a much
smaller whole,” Gardner explained. Some high-end touches used in
past programs, like headline entertainers and expensive room gifts,
will be eschewed to keep the budget in line.
• MARTHA COOKE
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