Incentives play big part in motivation during recession

Incentive schemes remain important to employers for motivating employees during the recession.

According to Grass Roots’ Corporate faith in the power of incentives report, almost two-thirds (61%) of employers agree or strongly agree that, in times of economic uncertainty, there is a greater need to motivate staff with incentives.

The report, which surveyed more than 800 organisations, revealed that 91% of employers agree or strongly agree that incentives are a good way of gaining a competitive advantage in their industry, while three-quarters (75%) believe that they are good for morale.

Sales performance was cited as the biggest driver for offering incentives to staff, with half of respondents using them to increase sales and 14% using them to thank employees for their work. A total of 64% said incentives drive a positive return on investment in their organisation.

Employers also indicated that their future incentive offerings would be tactical rather than strategic. Almost two-thirds (62%) said they agreed or strongly agreed that their organisation would introduce incentives to drive performance on a tactical basis in response to market conditions, but only 40% said their organisation had a strategic plan in place for using incentives in 2009.

Incentive programme ownership varies from business to business, with 22% of respondents saying it was under the sales team’s remit, followed by HR (21%), marketing (19%), and operations (12%).