Wellbeing & Benefits

A new survey of companies in the UK reveals that a majority offer non-cash rewards and recognition to employees (81%), salespeople (72%), distributors/channel partners (57%), and customers (63%).

The online study, jointly sponsored by the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) and the Intellective Group, examined the rewards and recognition practices of 100 UK-based organisations.

It considered employee and sales programmes, influence, spend, rewards, anticipated changes and other key indicators. Results were weighted to reflect companies’ annual revenue size.

Overall, the survey found that companies leverage non-cash employee and sales reward and recognition programmes to promote desired behaviours — and reported growth and increased investments relative to these programmes.

The majority currently offer group and individual incentive travel, while half offer merchandise and many offer prepaid and digital rewards.

Most companies work with incentive industry suppliers in some capacity; however, many respondents are unaware of industry associations that provide thought leadership.

The survey revealed that 49% of companies integrate their incentive campaigns with customer management systems (CMS), as well as employ social media (39%), corporate social responsibility (CSR) (33%), and gaming (21%) as enhancements.

“The good news is that corporate stakeholders in the UK believe in rewards and recognition as effective engagement, retention and recruitment tools,” says IRF president Melissa Van Dyke. “We hope to be able to reach out to the nearly half of rewards and recognition programme buyers who we found are unaware there are industry associations specifically for incentive-related data and information—to help them understand the breadth of research available.”

Other findings from the report included:

 The most popular objectives of rewards and recognition campaigns in the UK are improving productivity (49%), improving morale (39%) and promoting innovation (35%)

 Nearly 60% of companies offer incentive travel awards, and 52% offer merchandise awards

 In the coming year, the vast majority (79%) of UK companies will choose European destinations for their incentive travel programmes. North America ranked second with 31%, and the Middle East and Asia were tied for third at 17%

 Just over 50% of UK companies offer merchandise awards, and 48% have per-person budgets of £999 or less.

 The majority (85%) of UK companies work with incentive industry suppliers in some capacity.

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