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.

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Alexa Frazee
Senior Registration Manager, JNR Incorporated

A Peek into the Crystal Ball for 2013 Predictions!

As we head into the upcoming new year (yikes! 2013 already!), this is a time to consult our crystal ball to forecast what may be in store for the meetings, incentives and special events industries, with the hope of predicting a bright and prosperous year ahead.  After coming out of an economic slump and concluding a fiercely competitive election, corporations are looking forward to better times ahead, which will hopefully translate to better employee attitudes, greater employee motivation, stronger employee performance, and higher employee retention levels. One of the best ways to foster this positive upswing within your corporation is through a corporate meeting or event; or a corporate incentive program.  In a nutshell, a corporate meeting or event can bring participants together to a central location to share company goals and vision; to build enthusiasm and to foster esprit de corps.  A corporate incentive program can motivate employees to reach for greater goals, with attainable rewards, such as an incentive travel program or a Prepaid MasterCard® reward program.

If you are considering a corporate meeting or incentive travel program, but are not quite sure what your next steps would be, let me assist you by looking into my crystal ball and predicting three important and rising trends for 2013.

Prediction Number One:  The first thing I see is that meetings and incentive travel programs will be selecting more international and exotic destinations to reward their top achievers.  Whether that means designing a reward trip to Aruba, Tahiti or South Africa depends on your group profile, program objectives and available budget.  My advice:  Feel comfortable to “opening up your wings” and fly further this year to motivate your participants to strive for ambitious goals.  Employees have been holding back on frivolous vacation spending, but they are tired of having to settle for “stay-cations” (vacations near their home).  What could excite and motivate an employee more than an exotic, off-shore location for their incentive travel reward or corporate meeting.  Three exotic and exciting destinations that I see trending for 2013 and beyond are, (1)  Rio de Janeiro (hosting the World Cup in 2014 and Summer Olympics in 2016), (2) New Zealand (which will regain interest with the upcoming launch of The Hobbit movies that were filmed there, new upscale hotels opening soon, as well as all of the amazing Experiential Travel options that are available in this beautiful country and (3) the incredible destination of South Africa.

Prediction Number Two:  Technology and Social Media will continue to evolve and play large roles in meetings, as well as in travel incentive programs.  Destination Hotels & Resorts recently came out with their “State of Meetings” Survey ( and reported that “…half of meeting planners cited social media as an integral part of the planning process…” and they also “check TripAdvisory and online reviews before deciding on a hotel or resort.”  In addition, “More than 36% noted an increase in technology integration with meetings compared to that of a year ago.” JNR Incorporated is definitely ahead of this trend, as we are on the forefront of utilizing personalized mobile apps for both meetings and incentive programs; we are increasing business and client relationships through an increased Facebook presence, and utilizing social media engagement through creative contests.  We also employ strategic e-mail marketing campaigns that we carry through social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

Prediction Number Three:  Experiential travel that is good for the globe IS the future!  Corporate meeting attendees are no longer comfortable sitting in a bland ballroom, staring at a screen while being talked at.  Attendees want to interact with each other and with their environment, while experiencing something special that they can reflect on for years to come. They want to do this while “giving back”, that is by not depleting nature’s resources (aka by “going green”) and/or by giving back to the local host community through corporate social responsibility.  Once again, JNR is on the cutting edge of this “experiential giving-back” trend, offering such rewarding experiences as allowing meeting attendees to build boxes of pet supplies for pets who will be placed as companions for US veterans through a local “Pets for Vets” program. JNR clients have also built playgrounds in Hawaii, built skateboards for underprivileged children, and helped to improve schools in Mexico.  When you start to think about corporate social responsibility as a motivator and as a reward in itself, the possibilities are endless.

I only see great things ahead in my crystal ball!  2013 is going to be the perfect year to move forward with your corporate meeting or incentive strategy.  You can feel comfortable and confident getting the wheels turning to create customized programs that align with your company objectives.  Need a little help getting started?   Feel free to contact me personally at for some thought-starters!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Matt Kisser

 Director of Planning, JNR Incorporated

Keep Your Employees Happy with Incentives and Reward Programs


Being consulted about decisions and receiving recognition for your achievements are key factors in the success of any relationship, whether personal or business. Being a part of a team, working with good people, sharing ideas, deciding how to perform tasks, making good decisions, and solving problems together all affect performance and satisfaction and motivate people to do better.

When it comes to running a successful business, it takes a team of people to make it happen. You need honest, capable good leaders and a great team of reliable hardworking employees to achieve your business goals. It takes dedication, motivation and skillful work by everyone to ensure that the business runs efficiently and effectively. Employee loyalty and employee retention are critical factors for creating and sustaining a healthy business.

To keep employees happy, employers must treat them fairly, provide a good, safe work environment, offer opportunities for them to be involved, to excel and achieve, and let them know that you recognize and appreciate their individual efforts. To keep your business running productively and profitably, it’s critical to offer your employees opportunities for growth, development and achievement. The most cost-efficient and successful way to do this is to create employee engagement through business performance incentives that recognize and reward accomplishment.

It’s simple really: When you treat your employees with respect and collaborate with them on decisions that impact their work, they will care about you and your company. They will stay with you longer, be loyal to your mission and brand, and do their best every day to provide the best quality products and services. Confident, positive employees encourage others to feel the same way, which in turn yields customer, client, supplier, co-worker and C-suite executive and shareholder satisfaction.

When given clear, meaningful goals and well-defined tasks, resources and tools, employees take the initiative to achieve by using their better judgment, improving their performance, influencing decision making, ensuring positive results, and taking pride in their work and the organization.

Your organization will realize tangible results, such as improving employee retention and lowering overhead costs, as well as intangible results, such as creating a desirable work environment, by implementing quality incentive programs. These could include sales incentives, service incentives, safety incentives, wellness incentives, loyalty incentives, continuing education incentives, travel incentives, prepaid rewards card incentives—the possibilities are endless. No matter what type of employee incentive program you prefer, you are sure to see an increase in employee engagement and employee performance when you design a program that acknowledges and rewards specific objectives.

Employee incentive reward programs that are structured strategically, promoted, communicated, operated, awarded, fulfilled and measured correctly, will provide employee recognition that will impact everyone involved positively. Whether you design your own programs, or work with an incentive, recognition and reward partner like JNR, be sure that you are rewarding and recognizing employees effectively.

For more information on creating an employee incentive program, feel free to contact us at:

LuAnn Jalet
COO, JNR Incorporated