HRO Today April 2019 - 45

Recognition
competitors. IRF's research offers additional evidence
that when executives combine economic incentives
with recognition and well-designed non-cash rewards,
they promote " corporate citizenship " behaviors.
These behaviors and attitudes create the sort of work
environment and culture that attracts and retains top
talent.
2. Predictive analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) are
on the rise. Artificial intelligence has already profoundly
changed aspects of human capital management,
particularly in the arenas of sourcing and hiring. In the
incentives field, predictive analytics and machine learning
are beginning to help program designers understand
who is drawn to which types of rewards, and how those
rewards should be shaped and presented to produce the
best outcomes on an individual basis. Reward program
designers should focus on how they can leverage AI and
machine learning in their work as soon as possible. In the
longer term, they should imagine the various ways these
technologies will disrupt the industry, and even notions of
workforce productivity in general.
3. The value of awards is increasing. Incentive travel
continues to be a popular award in top-performing
companies. Per person median spend in 2018 was
reported at $4,000, while per person average spend for
corporate buyers was $8,151 and $5,193 for agencies.
This wide range and notable difference between the
median and the average spend on incentives are the
result of a growing number of outliers who are spending
as much as $50,000 per person. The increase in spend is
a strong indicator that the C-suite continues to see the
effectiveness of incentive travel to motivate performance.
This is also reflected in growth in spend on day-to-day
rewards and recognition options. The average gift card
value is currently $100, with $25 and $50 denominations
also popular.
4. Transformational experiences are key. In 2019,
transformational travel will continue to push and extend
the experience economy even further. Transformational
travel proposes offering highly memorable, authentic
experiences while connecting people with a deeper
meaning that leads to personal growth. The concept of
transformational travel incorporates concepts of wellness,
sustainability, community, and personal fulfillment.
Travelers create memories and stories that last a lifetime,
are associated with the company that provided the trip,
and ideally tie into their corporate culture. For highend
travelers and attendees, this drive for connection,
More than
80%
of U.S. businesses now invest in
alternative awards.
fulfillment, and self-improvement may begin to trump
other areas of the experience.
5. Agility and strategic program design will be the new
normal. It will become increasingly imperative for
program managers to apply design thinking to their
process. The standard schedule and approaches of the
past will no longer meet the needs of a well-traveled
and experience-hungry generation. Designing for these
increasingly savvy award winners will press the bounds of
regular program planning, calling on HR to continuously
test new ideas and incorporate changes quickly. Agile
and interactive development techniques have long been
in the technology and product development realms, but
these concepts have since extended to HR elements as
well. As planners adapt and develop programs in an agile
environment, they will need to adopt a design-thinking
mentality with continuous changes and the overlapping
of ideas from many different domains.
Melissa Van Dyke is president of The Incentive Research Foundation.
The entire report can be found here: http://theirf.org/research/irf-2019trends-study/2617/.
APRIL
2019 | www.hrotoday.com
[45]
http://www.theirf.org/research/irf-2019 http://www.hrotoday.com

HRO Today April 2019

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HRO Today April 2019 - 2
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