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Business Motivation

Organizations need motivation more than ever. They need to motivate customers to opt-in to receive ongoing targeted marketing and other information, to buy, and to remain loyal. They need to inspire salespeople to sell, channel and vendor partners to work harder, and employees at all levels to deliver the promises made in marketing and sales communications. Managing these motivation processes across multiple audiences has become known as People Performance Management—an emerging business field that focuses on achieving financial success through a strategic approach to people throughout the organization.

People Performance Management provides the strategies and tools to help organizations maximize the commitment and engagement of customers, channel partners, vendors, and employees—even shareholders—in order to optimize sales, productivity, quality, and financial results. People Performance Management includes:

  • Strategic planning to determine how to best engage and mobilize the targeted audience in line with organizational objectives, opportunities, or challenges.
  • Incentive programs to engage and equip a target audience during a specified period.
  • Recognition programs to reward loyalty and performance and to reinforce organizational values.
  • Motivational events to inspire and engage and to align individual efforts with organizational goals.
  • Multi-touch communication to convey the right messages to the right people, whether in face-to-face motivational meetings or events or through printed materials, online communications, or promotional products.
  • Targeted training and education to equip people for success.
  • Technology to deploy and manage all of these processes on an integrated basis and to measure the results.

All of these strategies and tactics can include rewards and recognition, including branded merchandise, travel, gift certificates, promotional products, and other tools to get attention, engage people, and keep them moving in the right direction.

Despite the importance of motivation, many corporations fail to understand its role in achieving business objectives – despite the fact that there is considerable research to establish the link between having a motivated workforce and business success.

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A Return on Investment Many Businesses Ignore

Consider these compelling reasons to take a closer look at the role of motivation in your organization:

  • There is a direct link between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction, and between customer satisfaction and financial success, according to “Linking Organizational Characteristics to Employee Attitudes and Behavior,” a study by the Forum for People Performance Management and Measurement, Department of Integrated Marketing Communications at Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University.
  • The shareholder performance of organizations on Fortune magazine’s list of 100 best companies to work for outperformed the general S&P index by as much as 300 percent over a seven-year span according to the Great Place to Work Institute and the Russell Investment Group.
  • Knowledgeable and attentive employees account for 80 percent of the reasons that consumers feel satisfied, according to a PNC Bank Corp. survey.
  • Incentive programs can increase performance by up to 44 percent in teams and 25 percent in individuals, according to “Incentive, Motivation, & Workplace Performance,” a study by the International Society of Performance Improvement.
  • Fewer than one in four American workers is working at full potential; half of all workers do no more than directly asked; and 75 percent of employees say they could be more effective in their jobs, according to research by the Public Agenda Forum.
  • 70 percent of unhappy customers abandon vendors because of poor service, according to the Forum Corp.
  • A 5 percent increase in customer retention can increase lifetime profits from a customer by 75 percent, according to The Loyalty Effect (Harvard Business School Press), by Frederick Reichheld.
  • Some 65 percent of executives believe that incentive programs using travel and merchandise are more memorable than those using cash; 60 percent of executives believe that sources of merchandise and travel are more helpful in creating an incentive program than are sources of cash, and 57 percent of executives believe that bonus payments are often regarded by employees as something they are due, according to the most recent “Survey of Motivation and Incentive Applications” by the Incentive Federation.

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The Tactics of Motivation

According to extensive research, motivation includes a variety of tactics designed to address the issues of emotion, support, capability, and alignment that go into increasing performance through people. It’s not enough to have employees happy and engaged; they have to understand the specific actions that will lead to satisfied, profitable customers.

Think of a motivation campaign as an external or internal target marketing campaign with the goal of achieve specific, measurable results. In many cases, these programs are being integrated so that efforts to engage consumers or customers get supported with internal programs to make sure all facets of the manufacturing, distribution, and service operation satisfy customer needs.

For most organizations, it’s not enough to motivate customers to buy; the key to long-term improved performance is generating word-of-mouth business and referrals, which come only from satisfied customers.

Depending on an organization’s objectives and its audience, motivation tactics can include:

  • Strategic planning to determine the specific ways required to mobilize people.
  • Incentive programs to focus people’s efforts on specific goals and actions.
  • Recognition to promote organizational values.
  • Communication in the form of motivational events to foster alignment and generate energy; printed and electronic media to convey themes, ideas, and important reminders; and promotional products to reinforce the message and break through the clutter.
  • Training to make sure people have the ability to do what’s needed.

Almost all of these programs require the use of rewards and recognition to generate attention and to reinforce values without confusion with compensation or pricing issues.

What’s critical is that all organizational activities must be aligned toward the needs of the customer. What activities – if done more often – will make customers happy and refer colleagues to your business? The greatest challenge is getting organizations to work together across silos to achieve common goals.

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Applications

Incentive, reward, and recognition strategies apply to every type of audience that can affect organizational performance, including:

  • Consumers and business-to-business customers
  • Channel partners: retailers, agents, brokers, distributors, etc.
  • Sales employees
  • Employees: administrative, customer service, production, etc.
  • Vendors
  • Shareholders.

The most successful customer-driven organizations seek to achieve greater alignment between how they motivate and engage all of these groups, rather than letting each department function independently in a silo, often at odds with other departments.

This Web site is specifically organized to help organizations develop programs best designed for their target audiences.

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Types of Awards

Identifying rewards and recognition to foster loyalty, enthusiasm, generate buzz, and improve communication is an important part of a bigger puzzle involving a variety of key issues. Why do organizations use non-cash awards as opposed to cash in their incentive, reward and recognition programs? The answer is: To distinguish these campaigns from compensation and pricing issues, and so that the awards do not get lost in paychecks and discounts and therefore forgotten or taken for granted.

The Awards section of this Web site provides information on using the following types of awards:

  • Branded merchandise
  • Gift cards
  • Group travel
  • Individual travel
  • Promotional products
  • Cash
  • Recognition awards
  • Lunch with the boss.

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CA Short

EGR International Inc.

Marriott Bloomington-Normal

McBassi

Canon