Some good news around incentives

We are all fed up of this virus. It’s made us lose or miss loved ones, had us thinking jogging bottoms are appropriate workwear and disrupted everything.
If you have been hard at work, supporting furloughed employees, empowering employees and also trying to get business back to where it was in February, then you may want some good news.
Short of being able to develop a vaccine (I got an E in biology so I will leave it to the pros) I can tell you that leaning on rewards and incentives through the pandemic has been shown to bear fruit.
Here’s the backstory.

Employee Engagement is up or static since lockdown

A survey of 264 HR professionals conducted over a 24-hour period to April 30th found that:

• One in three (32.2%) thought employee engagement was now higher than it was before the pandemic;
• Half (49.2%) thought there had been no change; and
• Fewer than one in five (18.6%) thought employee engagement had fallen.

The findings come as HR practitioners begin to report that less of their time is now spent purely on work driven by their organisation’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, and as the wide range of initiatives put in place by employers begin to bear fruit.

Just one in five HR professionals (20.8%) now say that all or almost all of their work is driven by the crisis – less than half the number (42.8%) saying this was the case in XpertHR’s first survey in this series on April 2nd, and down from one in three (32.2%) on 16 April.

This reflects the end of the scramble facing many employers to furlough staff, send others home to work and make extensive arrangements to improve health and safety when the lockdown was first announced.

Employees and Employers are on the same page with rewards

When it comes to creating rewards and incentives there is often some uhming and ageing about what’s going to work, how to launch, when to launch – and the pandemic just put a big ‘do it now flag’ down. So we did. A recent Blackhawk Network survey also shows that employees and employers are on the same page. When employees surveyed were asked how they wanted their employers to engage them when they worked remotely, the number one choice was to receive rewards and incentives—not online chats, virtual luncheons or video conference meetings. Nearly two thirds of employees surveyed felt it was important to receive rewards from their employer, and respond they did.  The team at  surveyed almost 500 managing directors, founders/co-founders and business owners on the subject of corporate gifting, following a 81.62% surge in the number of corporate gifts being purchased on the site since just before the UK went into lockdown on 20 March 20.
The average order size taken by the team has varied greatly, from smaller SMEs ordering five units, to global companies gifting up to 164 of their UK based staff.Whilst just one in six admitted that they’d made the decision to send gifts to employees following the initial disruption to daily life (16%), a further third (34%) admitted that they were considering doing so in the coming weeks following the government’s announcement of a lockdown extension.Almost three quarters of gifts had been purchased for employees having to work from home (73%), whilst a fifth were for staff considered essential workers, and still attending their place of work (20%). 7% were for furloughed members of the team.

Affiliates and partnerships are still seeing success

Whilst marketing had a brief moment of being flushed down the toilet, with executives ripping their marketing plans and budgets in half and sacking their freelancers (thanks guys!) there have been some winners. Whilst affiliate marketing hasn’t escaped unscathed, with high profile brands like Macy’s suspending their affiliate programmes, Awin one of the leading affiliate networks is running more than 95% of its retailer campaigns as normal, global commissions in April are running 25% higher than the same period in 2019 as consumers turn to ecommerce, and sales in certain verticals such as beauty and homeware doubling at certain times, offering a positive story for publishers of all varieties.

In fact digital services are experiencing unprecedented demand. Despite UK retail suffering a general 5% slump in March, The Office for National Statistics said 22% of all sales were driven by ecommerce, the highest it’s ever been and a figure that could hit one in four pounds spent online in April.

Incentives with channel partners and affiliates play a huge part in this, so there’s still gas left in the tank and a huge appetite to be rewarded for going the extra mile.

In summary, it’s not all great news but these little gems are heartening and show that when it comes to incentives, there is plenty to be done, life is not over and we are still standing!

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