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IRF Outlines Top Motivation Trends in 2014

By Alex Palmer
February 11, 2014

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Evolving technology and an increasing competition for talent were a few of the motivation trends highlighted in a new report from the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF). The extensive report draws on a range of proprietary research, incentive industry publications, and interviews with members of the industry, to identify 10 trends likely to shape the industry in the year ahead.

The theme of new technology and how it was being used to enhance motivation efforts was a common theme among several of the trends. "The Economy And New Technologies Benefit Merchandise/Gift Card Programs" pointed out that the improving economy was leading to a greater investment in gift card and merchandise programs, with one-fifth of planners reporting that they anticipated boosting the use of gift cards in their programs or including experience-related products in the future. Overall, 42 percent of planners expected to increase their budgets in 2014 while just 9 percent anticipate decreasing them.

Another technology-related trend was "Big Data: Significantly Greater Expectations For Program Planners." With organizations able to gather ever-greater amounts of information about their employees' performances, it is of growing importance that this data be used effectively. This year, planners can expect to see an effort to incorporate additional data streams and an effort to provide a more comprehensive view of an employee’s performance.

Another theme that appeared in several of the trends was the issue of an increasingly competitive landscape for both employees and company leaders. "Poaching: The Battle For Talent Takes On A New Dimension" predicted a more aggressive effort by organizations to "poach" top employees from their competitors, and a greater focus on retention efforts for organizations trying to hold on to these workers.

Likewise, IRF cited "Leadership Squeeze: A Shrinking Pipeline Of Candidates Concerns Executives," pointing to numerous surveys in which executives expressed concern that a lack of qualified leaders had hindered company growth.

The full report can be viewed here, and the entire top ten is:

  • Results Matter: Engagement Sponsors Search For More Tangible Outcomes
  • Poaching: The Battle For Talent Takes On A New Dimension
  • Leadership Squeeze: A Shrinking Pipeline Of Candidates Concerns Executives
  • Digital Revolution: The Battle For Talent Takes On A New Dimension
  • Big Data: Significantly Greater Expectations For Program Planners
  • Quality Over Quantity: The Key For Incentive Travel In 2014
  • The Total Travel Experience: Top Trend
  • The Economy And New Technologies Benefit Merchandise/Gift Card Programs
  • The Role of Procurement Is Morphing
  • Selling Sales Incentives Has Become More Complex
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