The In-Between

June 2, 2016
For most incentive and recognition programs you hear about the before (the objective) and the after (the result). Rarely do we hear about the middle. So how do you get from the before to the after? What inspires employees to reach their goals? Of course the rewards (travel, merchandise, event tickets), but before they even reach that level have you ever thought about the in-between: the communication pieces created to bring a program to life?  A beautifully designed website promotes the next travel destination, enticing employees to reach their sales numbers. Custom-designed flyers show the possible Fitbit or TAG Heuer watch that could be yours should you earn enough points. And by keeping the design in line with brand guidelines, the company and the goal are linked to the reward. When driving a program, we try to involve everyone from the employees to their significant others, including their families. By sending captivating postcards, brochures, and flyers to their homes with breathtaking photos of Europe or the Caribbean, or that big HD-TV they always wanted in their living room, we connect participants' aspirations to the program. Think about it. If you never got a flyer or brochure in the mail to keep you focused, would you be as motivated? Frequency is key. Instead of just one communication piece, imagine receiving one every month to remind you of what you could achieve. For example, one client wanted to ensure their sales contest was top-of-mind. During the three-month contest period, employees received a personalized mailing that included a letter and brochure. The scenic photos combined with just the right words reminded them that they could be hitting the slopes in Aspen, or jumping in the car with a group of friends to cheer on their favorite football team. Every two weeks an ePostcard was delivered to their inbox, reminding them that they could see the city lights in New York City, or relax on a beach with drink in hand, gazing into the crystal clear water - all thanks to their success in the program. Another travel incentive client wanted to reach their employees online as well as at home. A custom-designed promotional website was created. It showcased enticing images of the destination and resort, as well as stunning photos of the activities that awaited them. During the contest period, employees could go back to the website at any time for inspiration and motivation. A few months after the website launched, it was followed by a postcard mailed directly to employees at home, underscoring the value of the achievement and the award to the whole family. Program participants should be inspired, to visualize what could possibly be theirs. The anticipation of the reward is an important part of the experience. Take any recognition or incentive program and think about what stood out the most to you. You enjoy the rewards, of course, but you remember what inspired you, and the connection you made with the communication pieces. They bring it to life! Whatever your desire, the communication pieces in a contest or program help get you there.

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