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Morale of the Story

Historically, incentive programs and meetings have been the early victims of economic downturns. In the current economy it has impacted the industry; there are reports of cancellations, delayed plans, and general cutbacks. With that as background, it is wise to restate the need for continued use of incentives and meetings, even if on a somewhat contained basis.

Some managers react to these situations by immediately cutting all “unnecessary” expenses without looking at overall consequences. “Unnecessary” becomes a very subjective evaluation. Others assess the value of each program before deciding the reasonable course of action.

There are now many studies that show a very definite relationship between motivation, the work environment, and bottom line profits. Satisfied workers produce at a higher, more efficient rate. The management dictum that employees are satisfied just to have a job in difficult times has long been refuted. Keeping employees and customers satisfied especially in difficult times is the basis of reaping healthy profits.

Keeping your employees engaged and giving them the feeling of being part of the team and appreciated will help them with the mental stress and will improve their outlook. An employee with a positive attitude is just as contagious in improving morale in the workplace as a disgruntled employee is in destroying morale.

In the book, “Contented Cows Give Better Milk”, the authors compared business results of companies considered employers of choice with a comparable group of Fortune 500 companies. (An employer of choice is a company that is primarily people-driven.) Although the Employers of Choice had about 1/3 of the revenue of the others at the start of the study, over a 10-year period (one that included a recession), they:

 Outperformed the latter about four to one in revenues;
 Increased net income 202% vs. 139%;
 Roughly doubled the net income of the latter group;
 Added 79,000 jobs while the latter LOST 61,000 jobs

The point: simply that a motivated, committed work force — one that continues to be recognized by incentive programs that reward excellent performance — continues to achieve growth while others stagnate.

Using these programs correctly is a competitive advantage, especially under difficult economic conditions. Measuring the success of incentive programs and meetings – whether return on investment (ROI) or return on objectives (ROO) or anything else – is the best way to show the value. Measurement as a tool for planners and business leaders is essential at all times. It addresses requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the need to demonstrate results to management, and, often, the justification for one’s job.

Both incentive suppliers and corporate planners say that they are increasingly asked for data related to measuring program results. ROI analysis also helps a company evaluate the impact of an incentive program across the entire operation, something that is crucial to avoiding long-term problems.

According to the MPI Foundation, “…ROI is THE single most important tool for a meeting professional. In today’s economy, with more and more meeting professionals answering to their Procurement office, the emphasis on ROI has never been more important.”

Employee incentive programs reward exceptional employees for reaching work goals, achieving milestones or simply doing a good job. These types of programs are designed to offer incentive and motivation in employees and increase the overall performance of the company. An incentive program is a great way to show employees that you value their input while at the same time boosting your business potential.

NOTE TO ALL READERS: This blog is making a transition to a new home here By next month the transition will be complete and this blog will no longer be at the WordPress address. Thanks for your continued attention and support!

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