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by Alex Palmer | December 12, 2012
Incentive and recognition planners have the opportunity to get a deeper understanding of the industry with the launch of a new educational program from the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF). Titled the Professional Development Series, the program offers extensive insight about how planners can develop programs, offer a business case for incentives, and streamline the program with a company’s broader business objectives.

The series is scheduled to debut at the 2013 Rewards & Recognition Expo, in conjunction with the Recognition Professionals International Annual Conference, to be held April 28-30 at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. The first program, entitled “Building Better Business Results through Incentives and Recognition,” combines on-site education in New Orleans with five one-hour webinars throughout 2013, as well as discussion boards online.

“With the shift in marketing dollars toward strategies designed to engage key audiences on a one-to-one basis, the incentive and recognition industry has a unique opportunity,” says Melissa Van Dyke, IRF president. 

The program outlines the decision process in five main areas of program development and execution:

-  Business case development;
-  Communications planning and execution;
-  Award funding and selection;
-  Technology and diagnostics; and
-  Overlap with other strategic agendas within the organization (including operations, marketing, etc.)
 
The IRF expects that each program will highlight the steps involved in designing a program, including the latest research, technology, and communications strategies.  Speakers will include Van Dyke, as well as Rodger D. Stotz, CRO of the IRF; and Mike Ryan, senior vice president of Madison Performance Group. Participation in the IRF Professional Development Series program will apply toward the Enterprise Engagement Alliance certification program.

“This series provides a fresh look at traditional thinking regarding motivation programs and offers new rationale from today’s most credible business sources, including Harvard Business Review, Towers-Watson and others,” says Van Dyke.