Incentives Increase as Employees Juggle More Work

In his recent Forbes article about the Incentives Industry, Peter Cohen bluntly reminds us that jobs are still running short, and that workers who are fortunate to be employed are under stress as they strive to maintain high productivity in a diminished work force.   It’s not a new story—we are all aware of how employees absorb additional responsibilities as their associates get laid off. Today’s workforce is functioning more efficiently than ever, working smarter and harder. The new standard of productivity is being set, and the pace will only increase as people’s capacity to accomplish more in less time grows.

But how long can this pace really last? How long until employees show up to work, but have lost their motivation and are just trying to get through the day? This level of detachment reduces productivity, reverses innovative thinking and creates apathy in the workplace.

In order to stimulate higher levels of performance per employee, companies are implementing employee incentive programs to increase employee morale and decrease employee turnover. Incentive programs keep employees motivated to work harder, while reducing the risk of “burning out.” Effective incentive platforms, such as Prepaid MasterCard® Reward Card programs, are growing in popularity as cost-effective methods for motivating and rewarding employees for their rise in efficiency.  Likewise, tried and true travel incentives use enticing destinations to not only motivate, but to build a sense of comradery and loyalty that reduces turnover.

Business incentives will need to continue evolving, leveraging technology and insight into human behavior, as they stay ahead of the curve and drive performance in what is already a very driven workforce.

For more information visit our website at

Alexa Frazee
Senior Registration Manager, JNR Incorporated

Employee Incentives: A Key to Improving Employee Happiness?

Jaquelyn Smith of Forbes gives us some food for thought on the most effective ways to increase “employee happiness” in a recent article entitled, “The Companies With The Biggest Jumps In Employee Happiness.” Smith outlines the 50 companies that have done the best job in making their employees more satisfied from 2011-2012 measured via a “Bliss Index” rating. Google is at the top of the list (no surprise) along with other corporate giants such as Coca Cola and McDonald’s, but the primary purpose was to investigate how these companies are achieving this goal. “First-rate employee incentives” appear to be one of the major keys.

Incentive programs are suggested to be one of the top factors in achieving greater happiness as personified by Google, who offers many out of the box incentives, such as free haircuts, on-site doctors and even death benefits. These incentives may be out of your budget, but smaller scale, noncash incentives, such as prepaid debit cards may be a strong option. These prepaid cards allow you to choose a specific retail spending outlet that matches your employees’ preferences, or a prepaid MasterCard® Reward Card to let them have the freedom to spend their dollars wherever they choose. Branded cards with your company logo also add a nice touch. Work-life balance was also a major factor, and there’s no better way to address this than to award a winners’ choice travel incentive program, if budget allows, where your winning employees can choose a romantic retreat or family getaway to meet their preference.

Want your company to top a similar list in 2013? It’s time to get creative with your employee incentives programs, or to get one in place if your business is lagging behind.

Kristopher Hewkin

Strategic Marketing Manager, JNR Incorporated

Hidden Gem in San Francisco


Brainstorming with one of our partner suppliers, we were asked to describe their brand (as we perceive it) in a few words. I sat staring blankly at my sheet of paper until eventually the word “mysterious” appeared at the tip of my pen. “Mysterious” can be interpreted as elite or exclusive, both very positive brand perceptions. But seeing as some things are too good to be hidden, I thought I would take the opportunity to shine some light on this mysterious yet fantastic property–the Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco.

Historic cable car rides, tours to the infamous Alcatraz and the 4200-foot long Gold Gate Bridge are just a few of the wonderful things we love so much about San Francisco. A vibrant city full of shopping and culture, and now the home to America’s Cup, are great reasons to host your next employee incentive program here. Sometimes, we forget the incentive destination treasures we have right in our own backyard. San Francisco appeals to the young and old alike, from galleries and museums to the Exploratorium and Ghirardelli Square. A personal favorite of mine is the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. It has become a lovely tradition for me to stand in line at the Blue Bottle Coffee Company before enjoying a sampling of various treats offered by the friendly vendors.

Mandarin Oriental San Francisco is simply a delight. Tucked away on Sansome at Pine, it is within walking distance to the exciting Fisherman’s Wharf, the Embarcadero and vibrant Union Square. Hotel rooms are located between the 38th and 48th floors, so every room has an unobstructed view of the city’s iconic sights. My window had a direct view of the Transamerica building and waking up to it every morning, I would forget I was only a one-hour flight from home! Mandarin Oriental San Francisco has been in construction (scheduled for completion in October of this year) for a beautiful state-of-the-art spa. I was only able to perform a hard hat tour of this facility, but with the overwhelming reviews I’ve heard about Mandarin Oriental’s spas, you can count on my returning for this experience!

The features that have surpassed my expectations above all are the Mandarin Oriental (MO) staff members that I have come to know–each with unique personalities yet sharing the same MO hospitality that makes incentive travel award winners and guests feel pampered and appreciated. It’s no question that the magic of a well-established brand lies with its people. As those of us in the employee motivation niche know, great talent is hard to find, so when you do, incentive travel is an excellent reward for exceptional work. There are gems to be discovered very close to home, and Mandarin Oriental is one of those precious and mysterious jewels!

Jenny Chen
Travel Planning Manager, JNR Incorporated

How do you Reward your Employees?


Every company can benefit from a tactical incentive system for employees. How do you promote employee motivation, engagement, inspiration, performance, and appreciation? What are you compensating your employees for? What are the behaviors you want to reward?

The most effective incentive or reward programs use data to engage employees directly relating to your companies objectives. The first step is to identify your objectives, do you want to increase sales, motivate continued education, or inspire green living through a ride share program? Each organization has unique goals. Each type of goal requires a different form of reward or recognition.

Many businesses have found long-term rewards for key individuals to be extremely beneficial to their organization. What are long-term rewards? An Annual Partners Retreat in Kauai, an Award Ceremony for top sellers, or an exclusive Jacket for individuals recognized with innovative ideas.

Our experience has proven using incentive programs to motivate employee performance is a cost effective means for boosting sales, and driving your company’s success. We challenge you to review your current rewards system. Does it address the goals of your organization, recognition of your employees, and appreciation for specific actions?

JNR Incorporated specializes in creating innovative incentive programs—our services range from creating unique and memorable incentive travel programs, planning Musical Productions, to building one-of-a-kind websites and issuing Prepaid MasterCard® Reward Cards.

Give us a call at (949) 476-2788 to discuss the needs of your organization!



No matter how lucrative or compelling your corporate incentive program may be, you could be destined for disaster if you don’t employ a strategic promotional marketing plan to entice, engage and inspire your intended audience. Even the most exciting travel reward programs, employee incentives, or Prepaid Reward Card programs run the risk of failure if your message is not articulated clearly, thoroughly and often to those you wish to reach. An exciting and comprehensive promotional campaign is critical for incentive program success and should not be regarded as an ancillary consideration or an afterthought. A modest investment in the promotional campaign to properly launch and market your program can pay huge dividends by creating engagement and motivating performance. Don’t make the mistake of pinching pennies during this key impact period when the success of your program is on the line!

Most of us are familiar with the “Rule of 7”, referring to how many message impressions (at a minimum) it takes for a marketing message to impact its recipients. When promoting your corporate incentive program, frequency of messaging is just as important as content to sustain enthusiasm throughout the qualification period. Be sure to put fresh, meaningful and uplifting messaging in front of your participants at regular intervals. Just because your incentive reward program is at the top of your mind it is not necessarily at the top of your participants’ minds. “Touch” your audience often and creatively highlight program objectives, showcase program rewards, spotlight special features, spiffs or bonuses, provide suggestions for success, and inspire individual achievement. For more information about designing and implementing a successful promotional campaign for your incentive or Prepaid Reward Card program, feel free to contact me directly at

Maria Dales
Vice President, Marketing & Communications, JNR Incorporated