Financial Data
Updated 26 Feb 2020


The truth: Companies evaluate the efficacy of the incentive industry

To be at the cutting edge of incentive programme design and execution, you must keep a close eye on the incentive industry, thereby ensuring that you can offer the very best in incentive solutions to your employees. 


David Sand, 20 January 2017  Share  0 comments  Print


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We have recently embarked on a research project and would like to highlight interesting findings uncovered by Ask Afrika, our research partner. The question we look at this time round is: ‘Do companies actually find incentives useful?’

Recognising value

The following figures give a good picture of how employers see the value of incentives to their respective organisations: 

  • 74% of respondents recognise that there is a need for incentive programmes, citing that: “it motivates employees; helps employees feel valued; helps employees reach goals; assists with employee retention, and; helps with financial burdens.” 
  • One respondent noted that whereas the market for incentives was considerable, “a lot of companies are not getting [incentives] right,” despite having a programme in place.
  • Another opinion indicated that incentive programmes may be better designed and executed by companies in other countries. 
  • Respondents further acknowledged that small and struggling companies should implement an incentive programme, even if it is informal and the rewards offered are smaller.

Related: Grow your company in ‘emerging’ Africa by offering incentives 

Rating of effectiveness of incentive programme

Employees -incentive -programme

In terms of the various areas where a good incentive programme plays a pivotal role, HR personnel were asked to give feedback concerning the effectiveness of incentives in achieving programme objectives. Below are the figures that correlate to each objective: 

  • Employee motivation: 77%
  • Employee performance: 79%
  • Employee engagement: 73%
  • Employee satisfaction: 72%
  • Employee retention: 64%

The above results are extremely encouraging, and prove beyond a reasonable doubt that having an effective, well-designed and well-executed incentive programme in place impacts very positively upon the business. Whereas we have offered many stats over the years with regards to the highly favourable returns on investment of incentives, the above figures speak for themselves in no uncertain terms. 

So far, we’ve looked at incentives from the companies’ perspectives, but for a brief moment we should look to incentive programme participants to gain some insight into their individual experiences of how programmes influence them. 

Employee perceptions of incentive programmes

  • I feel proud when I get an incentive: 82%
  • Job satisfaction motivates me: 85%
  • An incentive programme motivates me to work harder: 81%
  • I will go the extra mile in my job for an incentive: 78%
  • The incentive programme is very important to me and my family: 77%
  • I would apply at a company where no incentive programmes are offered to employees: 59%
  • Incentive programmes make me stay loyal to my company: 63% 

Related: The science of successful incentives uptake

Again, the responses from programme participants reflect that they appreciate the incentive programme and find it motivational. Little more needs to be said about this. 

Economically, it is uncontroversial to state that times are tough, and with a limited 1.7% GDP growth forecast for 2017 we’re still very much in the woods.

Cost-cutting will be the phrase on the lips of many a CEO or manager this year, but be prudent when applying this to incentives. As the above research indicates, incentives are extremely powerful in providing motivation, increasing revenues and retaining valuable and experienced staff members. Moreover, as is also evidenced above, employees and channel partners value incentive programmes and reducing them could well create dissatisfaction within your company.

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About the author


David Sand

David Sand – CEO and founder of UWIN IWIN (Pty) Ltd -1994, with offices in South Africa, Kenya, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, India and Brazil. 2013 Global President of Site Global, the professional association for leaders in the motivational events and incentive industry. Regarded as a pioneer in the field on online incentive point banking and online loyalty, recognition and reward fulfilment. David is also the founder of the Youth Employment Index a non-profit company that addresses youth employment issues in Africa.

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