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Berkeley Payment Releases Incentive and Rewards Study


Berkeley Payment Solutions’ just-released 2015 Canadian Incentive and Rewards Trends Study shows that the number of Canadian businesses using rewards to motivate employees dropped to 61 per cent in 2015, down from 69 per cent in 2014. Berkeley attributes the decline to economic uncertainty in 2015.

The study, which is now in its sixth year, features research from 500 full-time Canadian employees and 1,125 human resources (HR) professionals from across the country. Key findings include:

  • 55 per cent of those surveyed say their employers doesn’t offer rewards to recognize their performance
  • “lack of recognition” is the main reason Canadian employees give for being unhappy at work. It  beats out “bad boss”; “dissatisfying pay”; “toxic corporate culture”; “long hours”; and a “killer commute.”
  • 60 per cent of Canadians say their employer’s rewards program does not motivate them to do a good job; with 70 per cent saying they have never received a reward from an employer in recognition of a job well done.
  • 66 per cent of Canadians who say their company’s employee incentive programs have declined over the past year cite the main reason as fewer rewards being offered
  • 89 per cent of Canadians appreciate when they get a reward for doing their job well; while less than one per cent say that workplace recognition is irrelevant to them

2015 Challenges for Corporate Employee Rewards Programs

The study shows that while Canadian organizations consider employee rewards integral to their business success, economic uncertainty along with program management and measurement are obstacles in implementing employee rewards programs in 2015.

  • 33 per cent of Canadian HR managers anticipate program cuts this year, even though 90 per cent agree employee engagement is a management priority for 2015, and 82 per cent say their corporate reward or incentive program is important to the success of their overall business
  • 52 per cent of those Canadian organizations that don’t have employee reward programs say it’s because they have no budget (up from 43 per cent in 2014), while others say programs are difficult to manage (16%) or hard to measure for program success (13.8%); 10 per cent haven’t even considered such programs.
  • the top three challenges are difficulty in measuring program success (23 per cent); shrinking budgets (10 per cent); and employee dissatisfaction with the program (8 per cent).
  • 54 per cent say they measure program success based on direct participant satisfaction and feedback
  • 70 per cent say choosing a reward or incentive that has mass appeal and can motivate employees across different generations is difficult
  • 44 per cent say the most difficult generation to pick an appropriate reward for is Millennials

This year’s edition of the study confirmed the “incentive gap” identified in the 2014 study. More than half (57 per cent) of Canadian organizations offer company-branded merchandise in 2015 (versus 55 per cent in 2014), despite ranking gift cards as the incentive to be most valued by the recipient. The study also showed that prepaid cards* are preferred by those polled two times more than store gift cards and 16 times more than company-branded merchandise.

*Berkeley Payment Solutions delivers MasterCard and Visa prepaid card programs for corporations, governments and financial institutions.