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In Uncertain Times, Stay True to Your Incentive Program

Posted by Anne Marie on April 03, 2008

Talk of recession is growing and with that a looming suggestion that for consumers and businesses, now may be a good time to monitor spending. As industry veterans know, when corporate budgets get tightened, incentive programs are usually the first to get cut. Industry experts point out however, that it is during times of economic uncertainty that employees need incentives most.

Recently, I had a chance to speak with leadership speakers Bill Catlette and Richard Hadden, authors of Contented Cows. Catlette and Hadden agree that as long as your business is not on the brink of collapse, it's worthwhile to preserve employee reward programs.

Some may think that the fear of being out of work is enough to keep employees motivated during a recession, however, the authors warn that fear is a short term motivator that diverts attention from job tasks and customers, and eventually can turn into resentment and anger.

If a recession offers anything positive to businesses, it's an opportunity to cutlivate real loyalty. As proven by exceptional leaders in the past, companies that stand by their employees during tough times, find them to be fiercely loyal when things return to normal, often times better than normal.

For the full story on The Contented Cows authors and their views on incentives and leading through motivation, look for Incentive Interview in the May issue of Incentive magazine.


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Paul Jones

I agree with your comments and find the same thing happens in my area of work. Incentives are the best way to motivate employees. As my grandmother said, "you attract more flies with honey than with vinegar". Sure, I'm from the South, but the point rings true.


Anne Marie D. Lee

Thanks Paul. To your point, people place a lot of trust in empirical research and studies, but I think a lot of times statistics only prove what grandmothers have known for years!



Nice post you have here, employer should always treasure their loyal employee for a win win situation. They can both benefit anyway. Human resources is always on the top of priorities of every company since they are the one who brings in profit for the continous thriving of the any given company.

Keep em coming!

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