Incentive Rewards and the Power of Choice

Choice is a powerful word.  Every day we make dozens, if not hundreds of choices. What drives us to make these choices?

Dr. William Glasser popularized the Study of Choice Theory, which is an explanation of human behavior in an attempt to meet one or more of the five basic human needs.  Abraham Maslow is a pioneer in the field of human needs and has created a simple pyramid to describe them.  The hierarchy of needs is a roadmap of the requirements of all human beings, beginning with the most basic needs of food and sleep, and moving up to the advanced self-actualized needs that involve the desire to grow as a person and fulfill one’s own potential.

Firms today are constantly faced with tough choices to compete in a crowded marketplace. While great products, wide selections, superior customer service, or low prices may act as the fuel that keeps a company moving forward, employees are the drivers that are as indispensable to an organization as a skilled driver is to auto racing.

Motivating and rewarding employees is crucial for managers to retain their most valuable assets.  Choosing the right incentive rewards, however, can often be a challenging task, as cash bonuses are a quick and easy solution, but rate low in results delivered.

Making the choice to provide employees with non-cash incentives, such as travel programs and reward cards fulfills the highest region of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  Non-cash incentives satisfy the creative and spontaneous needs of employees that ordinary cash bonuses do not.  Using these incentive rewards will result in higher employee motivation, which is a priceless asset for any business.

For more information on the steps to creating a successful incentive program Click Here

Brandon Learish

Dollars and Sense: Understanding Employee Incentive Programs

There is a wealth of information and multitude of blog postings on the Internet that champion the successes and value of employee incentive programs, but very few, actually give the financial-minded decision maker any numbers to take away. I will not write another one of those articles that leaves you asking for proof. One Fortune 500 company’s incentive program yielded a return on investment of nearly $750,000. How’s that for numbers?

The Incentive Research Foundation (IRF), the leader in market research in the incentives industry, conducted a study to see if a Fortune 500 manufacturer and distributor could reach its goals of increasing sales and market share in their key territories.

Their goals:

  • Increase revenues by over 20%, from the previous year
  • Increase Value Added Reseller market share in all territories to a minimum of 30%
  • Increase net operating income by at least 10% of revenue


  • Increased revenues by 32% (exceeded goal by 12%)
  • Increased market share in 9 markets to a level over 30%
  • Increased net operating income by 19% (exceeded goal by 9%)

How did they do it? The employee recognition program selected incentive rewards based on demographic profiles of both the Master Reseller and Value Added Reseller audience. The reseller sought to strive “Top Gun” status to receive awards such as a flight in an F-16 Aircraft and an incentive travel reward that included an 8 day/7 night stay at exclusive Caribbean resort.

Properly designed employee incentive programs can yield amazing results in terms of dollars and cents. Employee incentive programs are the key to increasing employee motivation, loyalty, engagement, and ultimately productivity and sales. The bottom line doesn’t lie.

Total Return On Investment: $747,800

For more information, visit us at

Kristopher Hewkin

Strategic Marketing Manager, JNR Incorporated



The Importance of Measuring Sales Performance

“Reward employees and profits will follow” was the common belief for performance rewards and recognition programs designed during the millennium.  And then, the recession hit.  As budgets tightened and companies were pressured to demonstrate the ROI for sales incentives, managers have been challenged to come up with better sales performance measurement criteria.

“Over 60% of our client and vendor references have indicated that they do not have a sales performance measurement program in place, but intend to implement one within the next six to 12 months.  Of the 40% that say they do measure sales performance, many of them have limited measurement capabilities,” states

“In this ever-changing and highly competitive business environment, it is essential that any measurement program be able to determine internal performance improvement factors from external company and broader market and environmental factors,” the report continues.

SalesHQ has developed a report that will enable managers to create a business case for investments in employee motivation, sales incentives and recognition programs.  Measurement is essential and needs to be timed exactly as the employee engagement begins as marketing materials are rolled out. Trailing indicators, like performance against quota, are the most commonly used criteria, but companies need to become more sophisticated in the type of measurements they are using to include their ROI for sales training.

A sound sales performance measurement program must not only consider history but provide predictive, actionable metrics to management. Developing a forecasting ability that will indicate trends is important. “The measurement program must be comprehensive, accurate, objective and provide useful information to management,” according to SalesHQ.

Customer loyalty programs are perfect candidates for sales measurement and forecasting. Set goals and measure results. Adjust, re-set goals and measure results. As the sales incentive programs become more well-known within the target audience, add in more performance rewards and measure again.

As you develop your sales incentive programs, you will see exactly how essential the measurement aspect of the program is to the program’s overall success. The better the measurement and goal-setting, the more likely you will be to achieve your desired results.

To read the full SalesHQ article click here

For more information on the benefits of a strategic incentive solution visit our website at



Marilyn Froggatt

Vice President of Sales, JNR Incorporated

Travel Incentives Provide Great Motivation

If your company has an employee incentive reward program that offers them a chance to make home improvements, go on a shopping spree, or take a trip to a fabulous destination, what do you think your employees would choose?  While the choice might seem pretty straight-forward for some–many employees might want an updated kitchen or new clothes–the lure of discovering an exciting new travel destination might prove to be a stronger pull.

Why is travel an incentive reward that truly motivates employees?  Let’s think about what draws us to want to travel.  What motivates us to leave the comfort of our homes, to venture to a place where the culture is different, the foods are exotic, and the scenery is foreign?  Curiosity.  The thrill of adventure. The desire to try something new.  Making memories, especially while traveling with a loved one.  Bragging rights.  The stimulation we get from challenging our sense of self and going outside our comfort zone is exhilarating.  Granted, there may be some moments you would rather not relive, like the taste of that native dish that you couldn’t swallow or pronounce.  But even those reflections make for laughable memories and great stories.  Travel is an experience, and the rewards last long after the trip ends.  What an enduring gift to give an employee for a job well done!

Many people have a “Bucket List” of things they’d like to do, places they’d like to go before kicking the proverbial bucket.  Think about what your employees might have included on that list.  Buying a couch or new boots probably wouldn’t make the list, right?  But going on a trip, taking a risk, seeking out a new experience–these would probably be featured on a bucket list many times over.  A Bucket List reminds us that life is much more than just the day-to-day grind:  It’s a collection of exceptional experiences and unforgettable moments.

So when you offer your employees a travel incentive, think about what would be a nice addition to their Bucket List–maybe a photo safari adventure in South Africa, dinner on the Great Wall of China, or a luxurious retreat to an exotic paradise.  As a reward for their exceptional performance, allow your top achievers to get away from it all, step away from the ordinary, and experience the extraordinary.  At JNR Incorporated, we can deliver that experience.  If you can dream it, we can make it happen.  Let JNR help your employees fulfill their Bucket Lists!

Liz Hennessey- Brine

Senior Desktop Publisher, JNR Incorporated

Motivate Your Employees To Curb Office Colds

The flu and cold season is upon us, and if your company is anything like ours, you are probably having more people out of the office than usual.  Of course, this impacts employee productivity, so it’s important to make good office health a priority for your organization.   If your business has been hit by the Flu Fairy, here are some simple tips to keep her from marching from office to office at a minimum, according to Dr. Oz, my hero.

Dr. Oz has reported that, “nearly 45,000 saliva droplets are propelled from a typical sneeze.  Hitching a ride on the saliva are millions of viruses.”

“Viruses shoot into the air as far as a few feet away. They can survive for hours on paper including money…even days on door knobs and counter tops (copy machines and keyboards…you name it!).

Here’s your Master Plan to fight the flu:

  • Get your annual flu vaccine. Get your flu shot at your local pharmacy, doctor’s office or walk-in clinic.
  • Get your flu shot as soon as vaccines are available; this year’s shot includes the H1N1 strain.
  • Always, always wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.
  • Twist and wring warm soapy water around for at least 20 seconds. It’s longer than you think, so sing “Happy Birthday” twice to make sure.
  • Get your vitamin C. Try sweet red and green peppers, guava, kale and kiwi.
  • Avoid sharing phones, keyboards, or allowing your kids to swap toys.
  • When you sneeze or cough, do it in the crook of your elbow or into a tissue that’s immediately thrown away.
  • Don’t rub your eyes, mouth, or pick your nose. Germs enter through the mucous membranes.
  • Coat your nasal passages with petroleum jelly to create a barrier. This helps when you dry out, particularly during plane travel.

Finally, stay at home when you’re sick and do your friends a favor.”

At JNR, our employees receive complimentary flu shots as a part of our stay healthy mission.  Hand sanitizer stations are positioned at every major doorway, and sanitizing wipes are readily available for keeping common areas, phones, desks, and kitchen appliances free of contagious viruses and germs.  Company provided bathroom soaps include germicides.  Routinely, fresh fruit is provided to help employees boost their intake of vitamins.  Trash cans are emptied nightly to prevent germs from lingering.  Employees are encouraged to work from home rather than risk spreading colds to colleagues or clients.

What is your company doing to help keep colds and flu at bay?  Share your tips here to help others stay healthy and productive!

Adrienne VanScyoc
Executive Assistant to the President & CEO, JNR Incorporated