Technology companies are subject to public criticism and scrutiny because of the industry’s widespread effect on people’s everyday lives. While some surveys find tech employees to be burnt out, many lists highlight the great benefits that make it desirable to work for the best tech companies.

We partnered with the Incentive Research Foundation to take a deep dive into how top-performing technology companies use non-monetary rewards and recognition compared to average-performing companies. As experts in rewards and recognition programs, we pulled out the most relevant and interesting findings to share with technology company leaders.

Leaders can use this information to see how they compare to other companies and focus on areas that will make a difference to their sales team, channel partners, employees, and ultimately their bottom line. The study looked at incentive and recognition programs overall and specifically focused on sales incentive programs, channel incentive programs, and employee recognition programs.

Overall, when it comes to non-monetary incentive and recognition programs, top-performing tech companies are more likely than average-performing companies to:

  • Use incentive and recognition programs as a recruitment tool
  • Look to outside partners for expertise
  • Say their incentive and recognition programs are a competitive advantage
  • Use a combination of points reward programs and incentive travel
  • Build emotional connections through group incentive travel

1. Incentive and Recognition Programs as a Recruitment Tool

Almost 60% of survey respondents of top-performing tech companies strongly agree their programs are effective recruitment tools, compared to just 25% of average-performing companies. Any forward-thinking organization can develop a recruitment and retention advantage through a strategically executed reward and recognition program. The news of job candidates not even showing up for interviews proves the job market is fierce with competition. Offering benefits like non-monetary rewards programs provides an intriguing appeal to job seekers.

2. Outside Expertise

53% of top performers, compared to just 28% of average performers indicated they look to outside partners for expertise for the best ways to recognize and incentivize participants. While you know your people best, partnering with an influencer can open your eyes to new ways of not just motivating, but inspiring them. Companies like Creative Group work with organizations in many industries, so we can offer best practices and fresh ideas. An unbiased third party can audit your current program to determine its effectiveness in order to drive it to its full potential.

3. Incentive and Recognition Programs as a Competitive Advantage

Executives at top-performing tech companies are strong supporters of reward and recognition programs as a competitive advantage – 86% compared to just 44% at average companies. The reason? In addition to being an effective recruitment tool, another benefit to reward and recognition programs is their place in retaining top talent. Creating a culture of brand loyalty among employees and channel partners directly leads to the success of an organization.

4. Combine Points Programs and Incentive Travel

Top-performing tech companies are more likely than average companies to use every type of non-monetary reward, particularly award points (25% more likely) and group incentive travel (2x more likely). The benefit of offering these rewards is their ability to get participants to ask “What’s in it for us?” rather than “What’s in it for me?” and to get them thinking about collective company goals. Plus, the further the rewards are removed from cash, the more social in nature they become. Participants are proud to show off merchandise or share in the experiences they’ve earned through work, whereas they are unlikely to want to share their bonus check.

5. Group Incentive Travel Builds Connections

Numerous surveys from the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) have focused on key program objectives and benefits of incentive travel. Among them are better relationships between employees and management, improved relationships among employees, and stronger employee loyalty. It’s no surprise that top-performing companies surveyed by the IRF put a strong emphasis on building emotional connections with group incentive travel programs. Almost one third said this is a top priority for their programs compared to just 10% of average-performing firms. And beyond the employee aspect, relationship building is just as paramount with channel partners and loyal customers.

To review the other responses from the study, click here.

Want to talk about your rewards and recognition program?