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In a recent article that’s appeared in Think Sales Magazine, we look at the psychology behind including loved ones sharing in the success of the incentives programme. Enjoy the read!

The psychology that informs effective incentives is well-understood by experienced incentive providers, and one crucial element, sometimes overlooked, is to consider how incentives can positively affect the lives of the family and close friends of programme participants.

Independent research provided by Ask Afrika gives us some rather astounding figures: when participants were asked whether rewards should include their families or just be restricted to themselves, only 21% of respondents felt that rewards should be aimed solely at the individual in question. This means that a whopping 79% of people want the rewards for their hard work to extend beyond themselves to the people close to them. In other words, the possibility of bettering someone else’s life can be more motivating than working for purely selfish ends.

Paying heed to this facet of human psychology may prove invaluable in the design and execution of a successful incentive. The impetus to give and share appears to be a deep-seated, and fulfilling, instinct.

Uwin Iwin has used inclusive programmes in the past, to great effect. We launched one such incentive in July 2015, and its success has led to its indefinite continuation. The incentive addresses channel partner sales, and rewards are not exclusively aimed at individuals, but also at their nominated partners. Appropriately, the programme is referred to as “Loved Ones”.

The reward mechanism for the incentive is relatively simple: participating channel sales personnel are issued with branded gift cards, as are their nominated loved ones. Although the main participant earns a greater share of rewards, rewards for sales are also given to their chosen partner. In a sense, the salesperson in question is therefore doubly motivated.

The programme uptake was incredible, and a myriad of loved ones was selected, from siblings to parents to children to spousal partners, and all benefitted from an outstanding professional performance. From motivations received on the programme website (i.e. participants’ explanations as to why they have nominated someone), we were given a unique insight into the lives of the individuals involved. Suddenly, names and figures on Spreadsheets became flesh and blood human beings, with aspirations and intense challenges. People often tried to come to the aid of those in financial difficulties.

One notable example included the wish of a mother to help her son perform in his hockey career: her son had been singled out as a player of a particular ability, but his equipment was lacking. Upon finding this motivation, the incentivising company was so moved that they went above and beyond the incentive and purchased the equipment needed to play at the provincial and national level. Needless to say, the mother was emphatic in her appreciation; and, as an extra, extreme brand loyalty developed amongst those who knew about the contribution.

In conclusion, the programme discussed is not only a continuing success but the spirit of inclusion it embodies answers the wants of the vast majority of its participants. This in-itself builds an enormously positive rapport between the company and its employees, which in turn ultimately benefits both. “Spreading the love”, as it were, is a definite win-win.