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Pitfalls in Boomer Retention

Posted by Leo Jakobson on April 29, 2008

There’s an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) that anyone who’s considering how to retain boomers—a hot topic in human resources these days, with the coming retirement brain drain looming—should read. The article, “Pitfalls of Working Past Retirement Age,” looks at issues like the effect on pensions and social security.

Especially when dealing with corporate pensions, it seems someone who decides to work a reduced schedule for reduced pay with a longtime employer could potentially take a serious and permanent pension hit.

Continue reading "Pitfalls in Boomer Retention" »

Where Are We?

Posted by Stacy Straczynski on April 28, 2008

Clavadista_9_copy Do you recognize this destination? (Click photo to enlarge)

E-mail jennifer.juergens@nielsen.com with your answer, and be entered into a drawing for a $100 Marriott travel card.

Last month’s picture featured Jennifer Juergens crossing the Sabi River at Tinga Game Reserve in South Africa. Check back at The Daily Perk for the announcement of this month’s winner.

Get Some Western Flair

Posted by Stacy Straczynski on April 15, 2008

The other week I visited The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo. to experience the 5th Annual Weekend of Jazz, hosted by Earl Klugh at The Broadmoor. But what I got was a lot more than the chance to rock out to some awesome musical performances.

My trip began as all my trips seem to—with flight delays and connection near-misses. My delayed flight to Denver landed with 15 minutes to spare for my next take-off. Luckily, my regular cardio sessions at the gym paid off and I was able to run the 20-plus gates to catch the flight (I was quite impressed with myself). Once we landed in Colorado Springs, my breath was taken away by the scenic view from the terminal window—the snow-covered mountains sprawled on forever.

Cimg2532After a quick 20-minute drive, my car pulled up to the front of The Broadmoor and I was immediately received by several hotel attendants: one opened the car door, another took my luggage, another opened the hotel door…Talk about service! But what really caught my attention was the way all of them smiled and sincerely said “Hello” despite having to stand outside in the cold, damp snow. I later learned that this standard of service was the core mission of The Broadmoor, which all employees are trained and expected to live up to. And they are succesful in that goal--Everywhere I went during my stay, a staff memeber would always greet me upon passing.

Continue reading "Get Some Western Flair" »

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.

Three Cheers

Posted by Leo Jakobson on April 03, 2008

There are things worse than standing up in front of a group of people and speaking, but as far as I’m concerned, most of them involve bleeding.

Perhaps I exaggerate, but handing out Incentive’s 14th annual Sales Excellence Awards at the IMRA Marketing Conference in San Diego Tuesday night was a little more enjoyable than usual, and not because I was in San Diego (it was cold).

It was because I got to say a very public thank you to someone who has made my life, and if you’re in the incentive industry in any way, probably your life, a lot easier. And despite the fact that we had six Waterford crystal vases onstage for a ceremony with only five awards— and the fact that she was the one who set those awards out—she had no idea it was coming.

The sixth one went to Kate Marie, who formally became the executive director of IMRA at the show, removing the “IT” after her title that stood for “in training.” Anyone who has dealt with IMA, or with IMRA, or any of the other IMA special interest groups, knows that Kate is a phenomenon and we’re all lucky to have her.

As a journalist with 15 years of experience, I’ve dealt with many, many people who do roughly what Kate does for thousands of groups, corporations and government agencies, and I say unequivocally she’s one of the best.

Three Cheers

Posted by Leo Jakobson on April 03, 2008

There are things worse than standing up in front of a group of people and speaking, but as far as I’m concerned, most of them involve bleeding.

Perhaps I exaggerate, but handing out Incentive’s 14th annual Sales Excellence Awards at the IMRA Marketing Conference in San Diego Tuesday night was a little more enjoyable than usual, and not because I was in San Diego (it was cold).

It was because I got to say a very public thank you to someone who has made my life, and if you’re in the incentive industry in any way, probably your life, a lot easier. And despite the fact that we had six Waterford crystal vases onstage for a ceremony with only five awards— and the fact that she was the one who set those awards out—she had no idea it was coming.

The sixth one went to Kate Marie, who formally became the executive director of IMRA at the show, removing the “IT” after her title that stood for “in training.” Anyone who has dealt with IMA, or with IMRA, or any of the other IMA special interest groups, knows that Kate is a phenomenon and we’re all lucky to have her.

As a journalist with 15 years of experience, I’ve dealt with many, many people who do roughly what Kate does for thousands of groups, corporations and government agencies, and I say unequivocally she’s one of the best.

Talking About Talk

Posted by Alex Palmer on April 03, 2008

At this year's IMRA conference, getting the word out about incentives was a recurring theme. It could be because this was my first time at the conference that translating the message of incentives for the uninitiated stood out for me. But even so, it seemed to be on the minds of many. During Sunday's "Orientation to the Industry", IMRA's outgoing President, Gary Slavonic said simply "If the CEO doesn't know why I'm there, I'm out of there." That notion got a response from the audience, some of who were new to their positions and were learning to define their role, sometimes in contrast to retail suppliers or other areas of merchandise sales.

A similar note was sounded by Rick Blabolil, president of Marketing Innovators International during the "State of the Industry" roundtable. Talking about reaching out to new customers, he urged suppliers and reps to speak in the clients' terms, not the industry's. Attendees might know what you mean in talking about "SKUs" or can tell the difference between a "jobber" and a "distributor" (I'm still unclear on the distinction), but using such jargon might just alienate industry outsiders.

So industry members must distinguish ourselves as different from other types of merchandise suppliers, but in terms that are not too different.

And all the talk about talk is being put into action. IMRA's incoming President, Joe Gabler announced on the conference's final day that an Education Committee and a Technology and Publications Committee had been created to spread the word about the use and benefits of incentive merchandise both within the industry and to all those outsiders still unsure what incentives are all about.