Immediacy of Rewards: Giving Out the Game Ball

By Alex Rogow, Director of Business Development

Coaching my sons in youth soccer over the past ten years has helped me recognize the many parallels between the field and the workplace. Perhaps the most relevant connection is in recognizing and rewarding positive behaviors. In my experience, it’s a quick lesson for a coach to learn – seize the moment or lose it. 

Forward thinkers in the incentive and recognition industry are developing the tools to deliver instant recognition. This recognition can be segmented by source: peer recognition, for example, like a pat-on-the-back from a teammate or managerial, like a high-five from coach. Though experts debate which is most effective, we should all strive to deliver the rewards as quickly and automatically as the roar of the crowd after a great play.

The speed of rewarding behavior off the field has accelerated dramatically over the past decade as programs made the shift from offline to online. Today, great companies like OC Tanner, Globoforce, YouEarnedIt and others are leading the pack, testing the boundaries of new online reward capabilities. Gamification strategies and platforms built on social-driven models, like Achievers, take the lessons learned from the soccer field to heart, celebrating the camaraderie of achievement. 

Immediacy of rewards has impacted all aspects of the industry, including offline award fulfillment. Most warehouse suppliers are now able to fulfill awards within 24 hours. Other innovators like Bridge2 Solutions offer programs with in-store pickup options for those too excited to wait. What has developed is a continuum that meets all the needs that this complex industry presents. The real winners are the employees, partners and customers who are instantly recognized and tangibly rewarded for their achievements and loyalty.

Regardless of your business, waiting to hand out the figurative game ball until the next practice is wasting opportunity – but so is ignoring the value and symbolism that the golden trophy that my boys covet all season long. Immediate rewards are amplified by the emotion of the moment, whether that’s the thrill of booting a game-winning goal or signing a profitable deal. There’s no doubt it’s time to leverage new online capabilities to speed up rewarding positive behavior and capitalize on the moment, but we all know the fundamentals and the traditions can never be replaced.

When are you giving out the game ball?

3 Responses to “Immediacy of Rewards: Giving Out the Game Ball”

  1. Scott Siewert

    Alex, Great article. We do live in a microwave society. When we embrace speed and choice into our awards model, participants smile!


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