Hinda Goes Global: Part II

Currently, only about 47 percent of American companies are operating incentive programs outside of the US, despite the rising interest in these programs from countries like Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, whose growing middle class populations are eager to participate in loyalty programs.

Recently, we introduced to you our newly launched global incentives program, infinitE℠ Global. We told you a bit about how the new program came about and the increasing need to provide incentive options on a global scale through distribution at the local level.  Now, we’d like to share with you a simple outline of the processes we have in place for providing incentive programs to a global market.

Two great features about infinitE Global are the flexibility to provide multiple types of incentive and recognition programs to different audiences in over 50 international markets and offering awards that are culturally and financially relevant to each participant.

As it stands, we are able to offer two methods for accessing infinitE Global – our Web Services Solution and our innergE® Solution. With Web Services, clients gain full access to infinitE Global through a three- to six-week implementation process, depending on specific client requirements.*

With our innergE Solution, clients gain full access to infinitE Global as well as all the tools on innergE, including digital. We will also provide our clients’ websites to them in their own language (for an extra fee and depending on translation requirements). With this option, implementation is estimated to be completed within eight to 12 weeks, depending on requirements and translation needs.*

All international vendors that Hinda works with are held to specific service level standards for prompt award delivery. With the exception of out-of-stock or discontinued items, infinitE Global products ship within two to four business days of order receipt.

The pool of international companies that would benefit from a recognition program is large and growing. Some of the multi-national marketplaces Hinda is able to serve include hotels, banks, car rental, software and energy companies. The fact that we can provide consolidated technology and seamless implementation in the user’s native language are added benefits to our clients and their participants.

We at Hinda are thrilled to be able to offer our unique technology and customer care services to a global marketplace. Stay tuned for the third installment of this blog series, where we’ll discuss marketing our new product to a wide and diverse audience.


*Contact Hinda for specific information and fees.

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Hinda Goes Global: Part I

“Our industry can no longer think globally only in terms of the places we send people and the products we carry. We must now think globally in terms of complete business opportunities…” This quote comes from the Incentive Research Foundation’s (IRF) 2012 survey “Incentive Industry Trends.” The results of this survey found that, by the year 2015, more than 50 percent of Brazilians, Indians and Chinese will be considered “middle income” consumers.

Furthermore, in January 2011, Google searches on “employee engagement” were 10 times higher in India than in the US, five times higher in Singapore and four times higher in South Africa. India is now ranked third in searches for “employee recognition” – just behind the US and Philippines, and is just behind the US in searches for “sales incentives.” This shows immense promise for incentives services overseas.

Here at Hinda, we’ve introduced infinitE℠ Global, our online awards assortment for the international market. Loyalty trends show that the growing middle class populations in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are eager for opportunities to participate in loyalty programs. However, at this juncture, only about 20 percent of foreign-owned businesses have their own programs. We see this as a great opportunity to start diving into some of these markets with infinitE Global.

The crux of our program is having the flexibility to provide multiple types of incentive and recognition programs to multiple audiences. We’re offering in-country global award solutions to more than 50 markets and providing awards that are culturally and financially relevant for each participant. Coinciding with this, we are offering technology and services that consolidate global programs and reduce the administrative burden on these global companies.

We have over 46,000 merchandise items and 1,300 different brands on offer in our global catalogs, including big names such as Gucci®, Nintendo®, Microsoft®, Wilson®, Apple®, Samsonite®, Black & Decker® and Dyson®. Stay tuned for our next post in this series, where we’ll discuss our customer service standards and processes, accessing infinitE Global and our plan for marketing our new product – besides this blog series, of course!

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How "Daily Deals for Businesses" Can Boost Engagement

As consumers, we're well aware of the massive eruption of daily deal sites on the Internet. Companies like Groupon, Living Social and Scoutmob offer discounts on everything from food, merchandise, services and activities. Now, daily deal sites are emerging that cater to a new crowd. Instead of offering deals to consumers, these new sites search for deals that cater to business markets.

Market Share was recently featured in a Fast Company article. As a new type of daily deal site, they offer things like team-building activities, flower delivery and even in-office massages. While it's only available in New York right now, they have plans to open in more cities by the end of the year.

This new type of spontaneous reward offering allows employers a convenient, hassle-free way to reward, engage and motivate employees. Without having to research, employers are able to purchase great experiences, products and merchandise for their employees.

While these type of rewards shouldn't replace an incentive program, they can be beneficial as a spontaneous addition. What do you all think? Are they a good idea? Will they rise in popularity?

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When to Recognize

While browsing through World at Work's most recent Trends in Employee Recognition report, I was intrigued by one particular statistic. Of companies with recognition programs, 90% offer some sort of Years of Service recognition, making it the most common program.

Years of Service programs can be controversial in nature. While employees should be rewarded for reaching milestone anniversaries within an organization, managers must be careful that these don't become their default recognition program. These programs reward presence and not behaviors, actions and achievements. In order to motivate employees, it's best to reward success and results.

The good news is that other types of recognition programs are on the rise. In the table below, you can see which programs are the most popular. It's clear to see that organizations are continuing to leverage newer programs that can have a more direct impact on business results such as above-and-beyond performance, peer-to-peer and suggestion/idea programs, as well as programs to motivate specific behaviors. In particular, programs designed to motivate specific behaviors were implemented by 25% of organizations with incentive programs in 2008. Now, 34% of organizations are implementing these programs. That's a 9% increase in three years.

Do you think programs designed to directly impact business will continue to rise? Will employers ever get rid of Years of Service recognition? Personally, I think it's best to have several different recognition programs in place. Do you agree?

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Diversify Your Incentive Plan

Any good financial advisor will tell you that diversifying your portfolio is the best way to maximize your return. The same can be said with employee incentives. Hiring managers and HR professionals need more than one way to recognize and reward employees for a job well done. In addition to base salary and insurance benefits, employees seek incentives and perks when choosing where their loyalties lie.

Jobacle.com recently published an article on their blog outlining the eight best employee incentive programs. They, like us, believe that a diversified approach is best to maintain and recruit top talent. Their list is featured below. (See article for detailed descriptions).

  1. Flexible hours and/or telecommuting
  2. Health and wellness programs
  3. Points programs
  4. Separate group and individual incentives
  5. PTO, paid holidays and relaxation
  6. Production-based bonuses
  7. Social and networking events
  8. Tuition reimbursement and learning opportunity

Employees are not all motivated by the same factors. Thus, by utilizing a diversified set of incentives, more employees are motivated. Do you agree? What would you add to this list? Would you remove any items?

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Unselfish Leadership

What if for today we take a different view of incentive programs. Instead of looking at them as an expense or an investment, what if you looked at incentives as an act of giving towards your employees? There is always going to be (and should be) accountability, metrics and ROI of your incentive and recognition programs. However, for right now, let's take a brief look beyond the numbers and data.

Employees that are well treated are more likely to stay around, agreed? Rewarding your workforce for good behaviors, meeting company goals and an overall "job well done" does a lot more for employee engagement in an organization than just "taking" all the time from employees. Sure you give them paychecks in return for their hard work but then again... so does every other company. How does that separate your organization from a competing one?

In his book Tribes, Seth Godin discusses how leaders who are generous ultimately see more success than those who are always looking out for themselves:

"Leaders who set out to give are more productive than leaders who seek to get. Even more surprising is the fact that the intent of the leaders matters. The tribes can sniff out why someone is asking for their attention. Looking out for number one is an attitude, and it's one that doesn't pay."

He goes on to describe leaders who sit in cubicles with their staff (aka Tony Hsieh of Zappos) or others who aren't in it for their own self glory but genuinely want to help those around them. As a result, people like Hseih have built successful companies - ones that their employees (or as Godin would call followers) remain fiercely loyal to.

Employee loyalty improves retention. Bottom line, better employee retention ultimately helps your bottom line. 

How are you giving back to your employees?


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