Dave Peer Talks to Premium Incentive Products about the Future of the IMA

“As we approach the end of the year, the IMA maintains its quest to inspire – through annual events such as the Motivation Show – and looks to 2013 and beyond with optimism, continuing its position as a promoter of the incentive industry,” says Deborah L. Vence, Associate Editor of Premium Incentive Products (PIP) magazine, at the beginning of her article “IMA Roundtable: Education and Partnerships are Vital for Incentive Industry Growth.”

Vence’s article in the November/December 2012 issue surveys top industry experts who are also IMA board members about what the IMA has to offer, and Hinda president Dave Peer – who is also the president of the IMA – weighed in.

According to her article, Vence states that, “…the Incentive Marketing Association [is] an organization that’s become known to many for imparting value to its members by offering education, research and networking opportunities, all while presenting resourceful ways to acknowledge employees, sales professionals, channel partners and customers.” And there’s no sign of this changing or slowing down in the coming year.

“A big benefit is the opportunity to exchange information with people who are experienced and who are facing the same challenges as you,” Peer says. “[There’s a] great deal of trust, so even competitors can get together and discuss things in a way that is mutually beneficial… One of the most important benefits is the annual IMA summit, which will be held in Denver in 2013. The Summit has emerged as one of the premier events in our industry where top talent is able to get together, attend workshops, exchange information and educate one another.”

Peer also says that that the IMA and its members are vital when it comes to lobbying the benefits of properly designed and managed reward programs with legislators in Washington, DC. The industry came under fire earlier this year with the GSA scandal, and the IMA and its members have taken pains in the aftermath to return the industry to a positive light and to stress the key initiatives of the IMA, which Peer says include ensuring the financial strength of the association, continuing to improve member benefits and communication and collaboration with industry trade groups to further generate awareness of the business.

“I’m confident about the future of our industry,” he says. “We’re seeing significant recovery from the Great Recession, and companies have recognized the need to engage and retain employees. There is also fierce competition in consumer loyalty… The IMA will remain the primary resource and advocate for all facets of the incentive industry but will adapt to change as the market does. The IMA services as the primary industry resource for education, research, advocacy and networking, and the association will evolve and continue to serve in this important role.”

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An Incentive to Re-Vamp Your Incentive Program

How well is your incentive program working? Is it working? How can you tell? These are questions that are addressed in Rick Dandes’ article “Problem-Solving: What to Do When Your Incentive Program Isn’t Working” in the January/February issue of Premium Incentive Products. In the article, Dandes talks to Hinda relationship manager Kate Henehan about what to do when your incentive program doesn’t work and the importance of keeping track of your program to make sure it’s on target and doing what it’s supposed to, essentially.

When talking about problems within a given program, Henehan says, “One of the most important [things] is lack of management support. Executives need to be promoting and reminding their participant base about the importance of the program, how it aligns to the company goals and, ultimately, to individual rewards and recognition.” She adds that these programs lend themselves to excitement and promotion at the outset, and then gradually start to lose steam. If the program is truly aligned with company goals, it’s up to management to keep employees engaged and reminded of the importance of these programs.

The article points to a few warning signs to look for within a program that isn’t doing what it’s supposed to. First, if few people participate, that’s an indication that the program isn’t working. Also, if the awards being offered don’t motivate people, there’s another clue that something is amiss. Third, if you’re having trouble discerning whether or not your program is even successful, you’ve got your answer right there: it’s not. Luckily, the article outlines several strategies for designing effective incentive programs and for winning back the employees whose engagement might have gotten lost along the way.

“Programs can fail for a lot of reasons, but a well-designed program tied to a company’s goals and objectives, with ways to measure results, can deliver excellent results and ROI,” Henehan says. “Ongoing measurement, modifying the program to meet changing corporate goals and strategies, tracking performance, measuring results and keeping all channels of communication open are key. It’s important to stay fluid today – things change much more rapidly than in the past, and you have to be able to change with them.”

Get the whole scoop here.

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