Rewards & Recognition

Lisa Weidinger

The SHIFT in the reward & recognition industry

March of 2020 was definitely a month that we will never forget! In the span of two weeks, all of the plans made for our clients were altered drastically as the world began to face the adjustments to our daily lives and alterations to travel and in-person meetings with COVID-19. The meetings and events industry changed as we knew it. We have since made it our task to discover innovative solutions for our clients who still want and need to reward & recognize their top talent.

While it may seem like rewards & recognition programs have been put on hold, in fact they are needed now more than ever! With a large portion of the workforce working remotely for the past several months, the need to connect, collaborate, and feel appreciated is ever present and crucial for companies to keep their talent engaged.

We’ve taken a deeper dive into understanding how things have shifted in recent months and what we can expect to see going forward.

Incentive Travel has changed, let’s embrace all that Canada has to offer!

We are true believers that the best human interactions happen in person. There’s just something priceless about sharing an amazing experience with a group, providing connection and memories to last a lifetime. Incentive travel programs have historically been utilized to provide that WOW reward for a job well done to the elite sales professionals and employees in a variety of industries. While we would love to see our clients and their reward recipients travel across the globe right now, we know that Canada is not only a safe and practical choice, but a beautiful one! From the East Coast to the West Coast and in between, Canada has beauty beyond words and engagement opportunity abounds. Many Canadians have travelled elsewhere in the world but haven’t yet explored our beautiful Canadian backyard. Let’s take this opportunity to plan local, regional and cross country events and travel!

Part of enjoying an experience is feeling that your basic needs are being addressed, and safety is key. Gathering your associates to recognize and reward them, means getting creative and working with a company that knows how to keep you and your guests inspired and engaged but also safe and confident. Considering a more regional experience? Head to our ‘Let’s Go Local’ page to learn more about how you can have an outstanding experience in your area.

Digital Gifting – the new cash bonus replacement!

While digital incentives has been on the rise for some time now, companies like Rybbon are seeing significant growth in digital gift cards. We joined the IRF (Incentive Research Foundation’s) recent Gift Card Panel to learn more about the trends they’re seeing in the digital gifting industry. The consensus: more companies are turning to digital gifting to keep their employees and communities feeling connected, engaged, and appreciated.

Options range from custom branded gift boxes to Visa gift cards and everything in between. In fact, in a recent survey done by the IRF, “nearly 42% of respondents who have postponed their incentive travel award trip are using alternative means to recognize or celebrate their award winners in the interim.” (IRF study- IRF Pulse Survey: COVID-19’s Impact on the Incentive Travel Industry (July 2020)

Expanding the R&R Field into New Realms!

We have all needed to tap into our creative sides a little more often lately. The rewards & recognition segment is no different, especially when it comes to all things digital. While traditionally we’ve seen rewards programs used to recognize the achievements of top sales associates, the pandemic has created new opportunities for companies looking to participate. Lunch and learns now include Uber Eats or Skip the Dishes gift cards to give participants the feeling of connecting over a meal, front line workers are being provided with small tokens of appreciation via digital gift cards for treats on shift or meals for their loved ones, and webinar hosts are sending Starbucks cards to attendees to enjoy a coffee while they watch. It all orbits around the need to connect via experience and creating a comfortable environment for our attendees.

We know international travel will make a comeback, and when it does, we will appreciate it even more than we always have. In the meantime, reward & recognition cannot be forgotten.

Now is the time to show employees, customers, and your community that they are valued.


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