IRF Releases Incentive Design For Crisis Recovery

October 1, 2020


The Incentive Research Foundation announces the release of Incentive Program Design for Crisis Recovery, a study of strategies and best practices for incentive program design. The new study offers insights into how organizations can use incentives to address the immediate challenges presented by the pandemic and how incentives can accelerate recovery.

“Employees who have been fortunate enough to retain their positions are working harder than ever for the same, or even less pay. A company that does not recognize and show that they value their employees right now faces the consequences when the economy swings back to some sort of normal growth,” said Sandi Daniel, FIRE Light Group, in an interviewee for the study.

Industry experts are quoted throughout the study, providing deep insights and practical knowledge. The study also includes complete interviews with 19 industry experts. Drawing on the IRF’s research, classic studies, current academic research, and interviews with industry professionals, Incentive Program Design for Crisis Recovery is presented as three short articles:

  • Timeless Principles of Effective Program Design provides an overview of the core building blocks of strategic incentive programs.
  • Seven Critical Questions outlines how to establish program objectives, determine what goals or behaviors will be rewarded, and select the types of rewards.
  • Eight Proven Practices offers practical advice from industry experts about design and rules structure elements that have consistently made their incentive programs effective.

“Especially during times of crisis, a well-designed incentive program can have a tremendous impact on employee performance,” said Stephanie Harris, president, IRF. “This study discusses all the elements that contribute to an incentive program that motivates employees and partners to work toward the company’s goals. Given the current pandemic, this study emphasizes the need for program design to be agile and adaptable to unexpected challenges and new goals.”

To read the three articles, download the full study, or read the expert interviews, please visit the Incentive Program Design for Crisis Recovery webpage.


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