Sibling Rivalry

Posted by Alex Palmer on February 19, 2008

Sibling_rivalryThis American Life had a segment a few weeks ago about a mother fed up with the fighting between her two daughters: 12-year-old Kennedy and 5-year-old Zadie. Zadie pesters Kennedy for attention, which the older sister finds annoying, and what begins as quick snaps at each other turns into all-out bickering, leading Lisa, their mom, to intervene.

The way Lisa went about fixing this tension which plenty of families deal with offers some pointers about employee motivation and incentives. Seeking to encourage a more harmonious relationship between the two, Lisa begins a "behavior modification experiment" using monetary incentives. She pays Kennedy $100 over a month to play with her sister an hour every day. Lisa convinces Kennedy that it's an experiment on her sister: they're seeing if she can get Zadie to get less worked up when her overtures for attention are ignored. In fact, Lisa explains, it's an experiment on both girls.

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The Biggest Incentive Program Ever

Posted by Leo Jakobson on January 31, 2008

In this industry, we like to say 'cash doesn't work,' and for a variety of reasons, among them the concern that an employee given a check for doing a great job will sign it over to his or her gas utility, thereby gutting the trophy value of the award.

Of course, if you’re reading this blog, you already know that. But it bears repeating as congress put the finishing touches on what will likely be the largest single short-term incentive program ever launched. A few minutes ago, the U.S. Senate’s leadership announced they would pass the same economic stimulus bill passed last week by the House, giving married households a check of $1,200 or more (if they have children) in what at its core a $170 billion program designed to incentivize spooked consumers to start spending money on consumer goods again.

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Thursday Rewards: Good Apples

Posted by Alex Palmer on September 06, 2007

The iPod family just got a few new members. In a flurry of announcements made yesterday, Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled three new versions of the world's most popular digital music player, and three items sure to become popular incentive rewards this season:

-The iPod design as we know it has been rebranded as the "iPod classic", though this sixth generation of iPods comes with more storage (up to 160GB) and comes preloaded with a variety of iPod games.

-The third generation iPod nano, with a larger screen and video capability.

-Perhaps most exciting for incentive planners: the "iPod touch" was announced. This is essentially an iPhone without the phone, featuring the flashy and user-friendly touchscreen, as well as Wi-Fi capability and a 3.5-inch widescreen.

All three are sure to be hot reward items with their high perceived value, practicality and style. Though the winner who just ordered her first iPod last week might be disappointed to learn that it is now an antique in the world of Apple.

Thursday's Rewards Links (on Tuesday)

Posted by Shayna Jacobs on June 12, 2007
  • A New York Times technology feature highlights the latest in headphones and earbuds and shows that consumers and incentive providers have an opportunity to explore enhanced listening products, rather than those that come pre-packaged with iPods or MP3 players. In the "Here & Now section of May's Potentials, you'll find a review of Bose's in-ear headphones and some reasons why alternatives to the standard may make your incentive program sound even better. Prices listed in the Times feature range from $25 to $150, these gifts will be the talk of the office.
  • John Collard The chairman of Strategic Managment Partners Inc., writes of the value of having an ace personality in managment, and insists that friendly and supportive leadership can make all the difference and even lead to a "complete turnaround." Test his theory: Try rewarding your employees with spontaneous, out-of-the-ordinary gestures.

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