These major shifts are having an impact on corporate incentives, according to the Incentive Research Foundation.
1. The Battle for Talent
Despite the unemployment figures, hiring events abound, companies are poaching A-players from their competitors, and the Baby Boomer generation is beginning to retire. The impact of the latter is unprecedented: An estimated 10,000 employees will turn 65 today and will continue to do so every day for the next 20 years. Companies will need new strategies for attracting the best talent, and will use incentive travel to recruit new workers and to retain talented employees.
2. Sophisticated Digital Consumers
Social networking and the proliferation of mobile devices have created an increasingly informed consumer, with access to everything from competitor pricing to product reviews. As online retail grows more personalized and the average customer more sophisticated, online incentive platforms will need to keep up. Future programs will track previous awards, suggest alternative awards based on personal preferences, connect to the winner’s social network, and be accessible on multiple mobile platforms. Virtual gift cards and gamification, two current trends in online awards, will continue to grow.
3. Big Data
Companies will expand their use of data beyond sales and program metrics to include social media metrics, mobile platform metrics, individual participant preferences, and demographic data. In addition to the data they receive from their internal technology, they will seek external data for a more comprehensive view of their programs.