Madison Performance Group

Performance Perspectives is an executive briefing dedicated to sharing new ideas, insight and "perspectives" governing the use of recognition as a strategic solution to a host of emerging business concerns.

Incentive planners are always looking for an advantage—a way to strengthen their business case and optimize outcomes. That’s an area in which we shine. In addition to leveraging proprietary incentive technology, Madison incorporates the science of behavioral economics to help our clients get more motivational value from their employee recognition and sales incentives programs.

Behavioral economics is not pop-psychology. It’s a discipline devoted to understanding why people do the things they do. Remember people are not calculating machines. They are both rational and emotional beings, and they are heavily influenced by the world around them. They rely on values, social networks, past experiences and their personal assessment of risk and reward when interpreting incentive offers.  Not surprisingly, when filtered through these lenses, behavioral economics can have a huge impact on your program’s success.

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Choice. The very word conjures up feelings of autonomy and independence. It connects us to a value we hold so dearly, freedom; or in this case, the freedom to choose.  But when does choice—or at least the act of choosing—become more of an imposition than anything else? When do too many choices create stress and anxiety instead of feelings of happiness and fulfillment?

If you are a provider of sales incentive and/or employee recognition programs and you rely on the appeal of non-cash rewards to inspire and motivate your workers, sales people and channel distributors you need to know the answer to that question. More specifically, you need to understand why oversaturated reward catalogues can actually have an adverse effect on your program’s effectiveness. This Performance Perspective will examine how certain emotional and behavioral triggers can be activated by too many choices and will outline how the consequences can affect participants.

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How do you get a greater impact from your employee recognition and sales incentive initiatives? By understanding the role behavioral economics can play in shaping the structure of each program element. This edition of Performance Perspectives will examine how the 5 pillars of reward programs; rule structures, communications, reward offerings, analytics and delivery platforms can all generate a stronger emotional response from employees and produce better business results for the organizations they serve.

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In my last Performance Perspective, I advised that a sales rep’s intellectual and emotional commitment was just as important and any other workers’ and that ignoring sale people in your engagement planning could have negative consequences to the business. I made the case that ignoring them can not only cost big dollars (in the form of lost revenue) but that it can harm your brand’s standing inside and outside the organization.

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The phrase “employee engagement” has captured the attention of businesses executives for some time now. Rightly so. Workers who are engaged are worth more to the companies that employ them. They drive better business results, are more productive, please customers more often and they tend to stay with their employers longer. That stability and loyalty cements company-to-customer relationships, secures organizational knowledge and provides a sustainable source for long-term leadership. Engagement’s byproducts produce growth year-over-year; and it’s what helps companies outperform rivals—existing or emerging—across every conceivable financial metric.

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