According to the Globe and Mail there has been a significant increase in lay-offs, wage-freezes and bonus cuts due to the economic crisis. In addition, companies have scaled back on incentive programs, leaving employees feeling de-motivated and under-appreciated.
According to a survey conducted by OfficeTeam among 849 managers and employees, 33% of North American workers said they haven’t felt appreciated during the recession. As a matter of fact, this has turned into a global trend, as similar results have been revealed by a survey conducted by Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP in Great Britain.
"If recognition and rewards aren't an ingrained part of your culture, managers tend to view it as a distraction, says Daphne Woolf, managing partner of Toronto human resources consultancy. Recognizing and rewarding employees therefore takes dedication and time, and when done correctly, it can produce remarkable results.
The incentives industry is moving towards more customized programs. With less companies choosing a ‘one size fits all’ approach when designing an employee reward program. Companies opting for customized web-based programs that allow employees to choose their own rewards are seeing a significant improvement in morale and productivity.
The aforementioned study conducted by Pricewaterhouse Coopers revealed that in absence of pay raise 89% of employees would prefer a gift card while 80% would prefer a technology gift like a digital camera.