It’s no secret that 2020 and 2021 have provided a lot of disruption. As everyone
has adapted to COVID-19 protocols and anxiously awaits settling into that “new
normal” everyone talks about, here are some business trends to prepare for in
the coming year.
- Future events will be hybrid. At least for the immediate future, many companies and organizations are adopting hybrid events that are a mix of virtual and in-person. If you have not already invested in online technology, now would be the time.
- Engaging and partnering with non-profits. Consumers, as well as employees, are looking to support or join companies that give back in some way. Supporting charitable organizations that are aligned with the company’s mission and values will become increasingly important in marketing efforts.
- Remote teamwork provides new talent pools. The move to a remote workforce was growing slowly before the pandemic then moved quickly into warp speed. Employers found that employees were just as productive (or more!) and they appreciated the many benefits of working from home such as a lower cost of living, more time with family, and avoiding a commute. Employers who continue to leverage remote work have discovered a new talent pool of workers not bound by geography.
- Artificial Intelligence and Big Data will drive personalization. Now small businesses have the same resources as large corporations in terms of personalizing content for their employee, customer, and prospect audiences.
- Less is more. Content is still critical; simplicity and clarity will now be King. We’re receiving messaging and content from too many sources. Content must be meaningful, succinct, and delivered efficiently.
Trends predicted by the Incentive Research Foundation regarding incentive, reward, and recognition programs are similarly aligned:
- Companies are seeing an increase in individual rewards. This is aided by artificial intelligence and Big Data referenced above. Carefully curated reward choices are possible when companies partner with a firm experienced in creating effective incentive, reward, and recognition programs. Both team and individual rewards can make sense, depending on the goals and objectives. An experienced Incentive Professional is an important guide.
- Group events may be deferred but are still important. Some events may temporarily be virtual, or companies may be adopting the hybrid events mentioned above, but there is still strong interest in events. Some are moving back to in-person events with strict safety protocols in place now, while others are postponing the events – but they are planning to return to in-person events as soon as possible.
- There is focus on moving the “middle 60%”. Finally! Incentive Professionals know that in an effective employee reward, recognition, or performance improvement program, you need to expand the reach beyond the top performers. Typically, the top 20% will perform at high levels regardless of incentives because it’s in their DNA. The bottom 20% will likely not respond to any outside stimuli. It’s the middle 60% of employees that will respond to an effectively designed program and provide the biggest gain for the company.
- Personalization and choice impact the effectiveness of a reward. Rewards are only effective if the recipient values them. Choice is important – within reason. Unlimited choices can cause choice paralysis or choice overload. An experienced professional can guide you to the number and types of rewards that will appeal to your audience. Including representatives of the recipient audience in your reward selection process is also helpful in determining rewards that will have a meaningful impact.
If there is one thing the pandemic has reinforced, it’s that change is constant and inevitable. The more quickly business can adapt to changes, the more successful they’ll be.
Contact one of our Incentive Professionals today to ensure that you are prepared for these trends in the coming year!