Incentive - April 2009 - (Page 26)

STRATEGIES The Future of Incentives BY BOB VITAGLIANO AND TOM MCDONALD D arwin said it best: “It’s not the strongest of the species that survive, or the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.” Nowhere is this more pertinent than in the motivation profession, which is facing a ton of change indeed. Here’s a quick primer on the future of incentives. Years ago, the concept of carrots and sticks was an accepted method for motivational programs. What is taking its place? Nothing less than a major rethinking of the whole concept of motivation. The trajectory is moving from outside to inside. We now know that no one can motivate anyone to do anything—ever. Only individuals can motivate themselves. Motivation is an internal generator that only each person can turn on. Outsiders (aka managers) can create an environment where people want to motivate themselves. But they cannot do it for them, no matter what form of external motivation they use. This shift in thinking has a lot of consequences. Because motivation is an internal affair, the scope of our incentive efforts is changing also. No longer is it useful to target mostly salespeople. We will soon expect everyone to become a qualifier, abandoning forever the kinds of incentive contests that yield only a “Top Five Percent” of winners. To make this happen we will be working with all employees to develop personal ladders of achievement. When they meet these self-selected goals, besides the personal satisfaction they get for accomplishing something valuable, they will be able to choose from a smorgas- bord of recognitions and rewards that is limited only by our imagination. There is more. The growth of technology has already allowed more people to work outside their traditional office environment. These workers are used to operating on their own and using the Internet to gather decision-making information. They don’t need the amount of face time that was essential for their predecessors. Count them among the new breed of independent contractors. And employees today want to spend more (and better) time with their families too. Satisfying these developing needs requires an enlightened and sensitive management that provides very specialized programs with enough options to appeal to every individual. There are changes at the company level too. We will be seeing greater upward pressure on social responsibility and green programs. Participants will expect to see this approach develop in their companies and incentive programs. This movement to what some are calling “Spiritual Capitalism” will not be denied, especially given the stunning abuses in business behavior that have unfolded in the last several months. Due to these changes, incentive professionals will now have to become “Masters of Motivation,” understanding that people motivate themselves when they are given the opportunity to accomplish something meaningful and then get recognized and rewarded in different ways. Our industry is morphing into a profession of people experts, consulting with organizations on how to create environments where all their people give their best. This is the future we see. The only question you need to answer is: Are you ready to respond? To learn how to become leaders in this changing industry, read Part 2 of this article here: INCENTIVEMAG.COM/ FUTUREOFINCENTIVES Dr. Tom McDonald, a Ph.D. psychologist, is an internationally known speaker and facilitator on how to be successful in the new business world of the 21st century. He can be reached at 858-523-0883 or at Bob Vitagliano, CITE, began his career at SCM Corporation and later worked in DMCs and a fullservice incentive marketing company. He was CEO of Site from 1993 through 1999. He now heads a consultancy, V Associates. 26 | Incentive | April 2009 | http://www.INCENTIVEMAG.COM/futureofincentives http://www.INCENTIVEMAG.COM/futureofincentives

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Incentive - April 2009

Incentive - April 2009
Editor’s Note: Speak Out!
Cover Story: Penn Mutual Stands By Its Incentives
Defending Incentives
Primer: Merchandise 101
Employee Contracts Work
Gift Card Roundtable
Incentive Strategies
Endo Pharmaceuticals
Travel News: Where To Go
Caribbean: Idyllic Deals
Cruises: Value Ahoy!
Potentials: Here and Now
Cameras: Smart and Active
Merchandise IQ Survey
Incentive Merchandise Buyer’s Guide

Incentive - April 2009