by Alex Palmer | July 26, 2018

Motivating people. Cultivating an engaged workforce. Inspiring a team to meet and exceed its goals. These may all be worthy ends in themselves -- but that might not be enough to convince a client or company leader to invest in an incentive program. That requires the demonstration of the all-important three-letter acronym: ROI.

For this episode of the Incentive Podcast, we look at return on investment and the hard numbers of motivation: The numbers showing that for every dollar an organization spends on its rewards and recognition, it's getting far more in return -- in increased sales, higher productivity, or any number of other bottom-line benefits. 

We discuss how to accurately measure ROI and how the concept has evolved just in the last year or two; what metrics matter and how to be sure you're getting the most out of the data you already have. For these questions and more, we speak with two people who know quite a bit about crunching numbers for incentive programs: Melissa Van Dyke, president of the Incentive Research Foundation; and Paul Hebert, senior director, solutions architecture for Creative Group.

They bring up some surprising points about the art and science of ROI -- that intangible rewards are playing a greater role than ever in assessing a program's impact, that there is a difference between accuracy and precision, and why many incentive program owners might be focusing on the wrong numbers entirely. Listen here to find out why.

This podcast series is brought to you by Canon. Download the Canon Corporate Gifts & Incentives 2017 Spring Catalog at incentivemag.com/Canon2018.