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Photo Credit: SITE

A remote and hybrid workforce is here to stay

The Incentive Research Foundation is pleased to announce the release of its signature study, The IRF 2022 Trends Report. As we enter 2022, companies are navigating workforce challenges including continued uncertainty, more employees working remotely, and “The Great Resignation.” Given the importance of recruitment, retention, and engagement, incentive programs will be more important than ever.

The top trends for incentive, reward, and recognition programs in 2022 include:

Incentive Programs are Expanding Reach and Building Company Culture: As companies strive to retain and hire talent, incentive programs are expanding their reach to motivate the maximum number of employees and partners. Programs need to make participants feel connected to the company, with the focus on post-pandemic, culture-building company goals.

Incentive Travel Remains a Priority: Incentive program owners and participants are willing to navigate uncertainty, travel restrictions, testing, and shifting protocols for an incentive trip. The IRF’s June 2021 study reported group incentive travel awards are considered ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ motivating by 80% of survey respondents.

Motivating a Remote Workforce: With a remote workforce, fostering a feeling of connectedness is an important part of any incentive program. Well-designed programs will link employee decisions, behaviours, and actions to the firm’s pandemic recovery strategy and priorities.

“Pandemic-related challenges continue to impact the incentives industry into 2022. Dramatic hiring shifts are driving companies to examine how to be even more competitive in the job market, and a robust incentive program is an important part of a company’s full benefits package,” said IRF President Stephanie Harris. “The IRF 2022 Trends Report addresses how adaptation, flexibility, and communication will continue to be key as companies weigh their options about bringing employees together, whether it’s opening the office or travelling on an incentive trip.”

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Photo Credit: Incentive Research Foundation

New Dimensions of Personalization: Participants experience greater personalization in day-to-day shopping experiences, and they expect the same from their incentive programs. Individual preferences and comfort levels will need to be addressed for the remote workforce, employees returning to the office and incentive trip winners who may have not travelled for many months.

Workforce, Inventory, & Supply Chain Disruptions: Incentive programs have been impacted by factors such as compression of hotel inventory, availability of merchandise, price increases, and a reduced workforce. Incentive program owners are focused on setting expectations for program participants and company leadership

To view or download a copy of the full report, visit The IRF 2022 Trends Report webpage here or read below.

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