Performance Management & Rewards

HRO World 2006: Looking Back, Looking Forward

HRO World’s chairman looks back at HRO World 2003-2005 and helps us look forward to 2006.

by Jay Whitehead

April 26 and 27 will represent either the last HRO World Conference in New York City of which I will be chairman, or not.

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New Research Shows Link Between Recognition and Retention

The vast majority of companies with formal retention plans were likely to keep turnover among mid-level managers to five percent or less, according to a report from the Aberdeen Group. The findings were derived from an online survey of 170 human resources professionals conducted by the Human Capital Institute.

The results point to a widespread movement to keep talent in a fragile marketplace. A large majority of HR pros participating in the study—85 percent—said hiring and keeping talent was a key issue for them. A thorough review of financial data performed by Aberdeen showed that the average cost of replacing staff—measured in terms of disruptions in customer service, production, and direct HR costs—was $13,295. Executives, naturally, commanded a higher premium, identified by Aberdeen as $80,515 per hire.

These and other key findings in the report will be the topics of discussion when Dr. Katherine Jones of Aberdeen hosts a Rideau-sponsored webinar on February 22 at 11:00 a.m. central time. Jones leads Aberdeen’s Human Capital Management practice. Find out more about the webinar by visiting 

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Boeing Signs Three-year Contract with Rideau

Montreal, Quebec-based Rideau Recognition Solutions will provide a comprehensive suite of employee recognition programs to Boeing’s 150,000-person global workforce under a new three-year deal. Additional terms of the agreement were not released.
            Rideau’s suite of recognition products include service awards that celebrate major milestones and other enticements that commemorate loyalty and achievement. Cash awards round out the suite and provide managers unprecedented choice in how and when to reward employees. Boeing will have access to all Rideau incentive management products.


NEW YORK, NY (January 3, 2006) – One year after its acquisition of, Michael C. Fina, a leading provider of worldwide corporate employee recognition programs, continues to solidify its leadership position in the UK, European and Middle Eastern markets.  The company, which acquired UK-based in December 2004, today announced the addition of two new clients to its growing roster and the renewal of services with two existing clients.
Airbus, the world’s largest commercial aircraft manufacturer, has appointed Michael C. Fina to develop and run its employee recognition program throughout Europe.  Based in Toulouse, France, the company employs approximately 40,000 people.
Additionally, the Valspar Corporation, a global leader in the paint and coatings industry, will implement Michael C. Fina’s corporate rewards program across five continents.  Valspar, based in Minneapolis, MN, has over 7,000 employees worldwide.
“The opportunity to work alongside Airbus and The Valspar Corporation, two companies with solid global reputations, is very exciting,” said George Fina, president of Michael C. Fina.  “We believe that Michael C. Fina’s multi-lingual, interactive approach and understanding of the needs of Global Recognition programs will enable Airbus and Valspar to increase employee satisfaction, loyalty and performance.”
Agilent and FedEx, with a combined 280,000 employees worldwide, each renewed their contracts with Michael C. Fina for three additional years.  Agilent supplies technologies, solutions and services to customers in more than 110 countries.  FedEx provides access to a growing global marketplace through a network of supply chain, transportation, business and related information services. Both companies recognize the importance of acknowledging their employees for their loyalty and hard work.
“We are delighted that Agilent and FedEx have renewed their contacts with us,” said Fina.  “We pride ourselves on retaining our clients by offering flexible solutions and gifts tailored to the personal needs of employees around the world.”

2005 marks Michael C. Fina’s 70th anniversary in providing corporations with gifts and awards.  As a family owned and operated business since 1935, Michael C. Fina offers cost-effective, state-of-the-art recognition solutions to multi-national corporations, with a strict focus on world-class customer service.

Michael C. Fina, headquartered in New York, is the fastest growing employee recognition company in North America.  Known for their exceptional quality products and services, many Fortune 500 companies rely on their programs.  Michael C. Fina’s dedication to perfecting the way employee recognition programs are implemented sets them apart from their competitors.  For more information about Michael C. Fina’s employee recognition programs call (800) 999.3462 or visit .


Media Contact
Danny Jovic
PFS Marketwyse on behalf of Michael C. Fina
973-812-8883 ext 249

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Resource Guide: Incentives Case Study

Strategic Employee Recognition

by Debbie Vorndran, Rich Siegenthaler

At Westfield Group–an Ohio-based insurance, banking, and related financial services company–we want our employees to feel not just comfortable at work, but like its the only place in the world where they should be. Considering some of the perks offered to employees–the use of two golf courses, gourmet meals, dry cleaning services, and an on-site fitness center–one would think that overall employee satisfaction would never be an issue at Westfield. That’s just not the case. 

A 2002 internal employee satisfaction survey indicated that many employees actually felt undervalued due to the lack of an effective recognition program. We had a program in place, but it ran so slowly that awards were often passed out months after the commendable act or achievement took place. In addition, employees–and even some managers, for that matter–did not exactly understand how the program related to the company’s core competencies. It was clear that a change was in order. We needed a program that ran more smoothly, that recognized employees more often and promptly, that clearly reinforced company values, and, most importantly, dismissed the feeling among employees that they are unappreciated and undervalued. 

We called upon recognition industry leader O.C. Tanner Company to mend our problems. They helped us understand that not just recognition, but strategic recognition is the way to motivate employees, reinforce company values, and garner real business results. On the surface, strategic recognition sounded like what we already had been trying to do. But it goes much deeper than just handing out awards in a timely manner. It means focusing recognition on the right behaviors, simple and measurable, in order to be completely beneficial. 

O.C. Tanner trainers helped identify and establish program goals and objectives, and the importance of those goals was emphasized to managers. With our new program, called Westfield Excellence, we were able to do away with the 300-plus-page spreadsheet that was used to track awards (ineffectively, in many cases). With online, cutting-edge tools, the program is fast, easy to use, and awards always show up on time. Westfield Excellence also encourages employees to nominate their co-workers for performing or adhering to one of the company competencies. But we didn’t leave that to chance. O.C. Tanner and Westfield trainers and experts have made sure all managers and employees understand what is important to our company, what the specific goals of the new recognition program are, and how to use the online system. 

And it’s working. One of the best indicators that Westfield Excellence is succeeding is the fact that employee turnover has decreased by 7.7 percent since the program’s introduction, an obvious, measurable benefit. Also, according to in-house surveys, 80 percent of employees now say they are satisfied at work, as opposed to 70 percent when we were running the old program. Employees in general are buying into the concept of the new program. More than 1,100 employees have been individually thanked and awarded by co-workers for their effort, showing that employees are enjoying the new culture of appreciation and are using the program to recognize each other–perhaps the most effective type of recognition. 

An important part of a successful recognition program is defining the company values and behaviors that are most valued, and recognizing employees for embodying those core competencies. Our CEO, Bob Joyce, calls this connecting the dots; and that seems to be happening as well. First-quarter results from Westfield Excellence showed that 64 percent of its awards were related to the core competency of customer focus, which is our most important goal. 

So employees are satisfied and they are recognizing each other and getting great awards. What does that mean for bottom-line business? Well, in a 2004 internal survey, 89 percent of employees agreed with the statement, “The work I do at Westfield is meaningful to me.” That’s already up five percent since 2002. Also, of all the employees that received recognition through the new program, 90 percent stated via the accompanying online survey tool they were extremely satisfied with all facets of the program. That is certainly translating into bottom-line benefits for our organization. 

We are seeing how recognition, when done strategically, is an HR investment that is sure to pay off.

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Workforce Performance: It’s not Polite to Eavesdrop, but Sometimes It’s Necessary

Getting the right ROI with employee recognition.

by Louise Anderson

Welcome to the office of Shannon White, the vice president of human resources. Shannon is meeting with David Moskowitz, the companys VP for sales. He wants to increase revenues right away and hes asking about incentive programs. Let’s listen in …

David: I’m under serious pressure to move my sales numbers up this quarter. I need incentives for my sales reps that will work quickly. And while were at it, I really need for the program to pay for itself. What can you do for me, Shannon?

Shannon: I think I have just what you need, David. This is always a tough assignment, but Im sure our department can help.

David: Were going to have to throw a ton of cash at these people to get them to sell harder, and I know that money talks.

Shannon: In my experience cash sometimes works-but only for the short term. Cash incentives wont necessarily accomplish what youre trying to do here, plus there are some serious downsides to cash. By using cash, you may end up paying more and only getting a slight improvement or not even getting enough improvement to pay for the incentive. I know that accelerating your sales result is a priority, so let’s pick an incentive strategy that will get results now and pays for itself.

David: Yeah, its important that we get something back for this.

Shannon: You will. Let’s talk about Return on Investment …

If this conversation has not happened in your office, it most likely will. The reason is that sales leaders are relying heavily on their HR partners for help with incentives, and HR officers are now better equipped to meet these needs. Let’s look at some research.

A survey published this year by the Incentive Foundation shows that about three-quarters of companies are placing a greater emphasis on Return on Investment (ROI) when evaluating their incentive dollars invested in productivity programs. Three-quarters of respondents feel they can build a “more exciting and memorable” program around travel or merchandise than cash. It was reported that 60 percent of employees see cash as a part of their compensation package. David and Shannon clearly are not the only ones who are looking for a way to make their incentive programs more productive.

One of the leading-edge ways of accelerating sales and efficiencies immediately and also assuring a significant ROI is by rewarding changed behaviors. The following are important steps to follow when developing a work performance program:

Identify the behaviors of the top performers (those improving the fastest) in growth, customer satisfaction, and efficiency/profit. You want the middle group of performers in your company to do what the top performers are doing.

Focus on two behaviors, such as knowledge validation or knowledge sharing, and one improved results measurement.

Reward employees for good or excellent behavior change and for improved results. 

Remember that the goal of a performance acceleration program is to copy what is already working well in your organization. The following is an example of how it can work.

A leading telecommunications company needed a sales incentive program, designed to reward a specific group of employees with prizes they could win by scoring performance points in a three-month program. Its purpose was to change behavior. Workers whose behaviors changed-as measured by tests, surveys, observation, and sales-earned merchandise and travel rewards.

The company also wanted to increase product sales by 20 percent as a result of the incentive program. To help meet its goal, 90 percent of employees passed a knowledge validation quiz to increase knowledge of products and services by 275 call center workers. Participant response was much higher than anticipated: 98.5 percent of eligible sales reps participated in at least one aspect of the program, and 84 percent earned rewards. The company reported that overall customer satisfaction scores were up decidedly. They also announced a 32.1 percent increase in sales of targeted products for the three months of the program.

The program exceeded its stated objectives because of two important factors. First, it set out to change behaviors rather than to affect only short-term action. This was accomplished largely through education, supervisor coaching, and creating benefits for the company, which as demonstrated in the results above, are much more likely to be permanent. The second factor was that, in this case, the incentives and the number of choices of awards was specifically designed to appeal to the nature and economic level of the participants.

Remember, we were looking for ROI as well as performance improvement here. Imagine what kind of return David could claim for their company if sales increased 32 percent as a result of Shannon’s work.

Louise Anderson is president and CEO of Anderson Performance Improvement Company (, a company that is accelerating results through the science of performance. She is also the author of Cream of the Corp., a book of practical suggestions and ingenious ways companies can get people doing things that accelerate profits NOW, available on and

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The Lucky 13


by Denise Doig

September is back to school time, and HRO Today has updated its lesson plan. Last years incentives resource guide has expanded into this terms Lucky 13a list of top employee recognition and workplace performance outsourcing providers. With more underclassmen entering the arena, we decided to improve on our coverage.

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Ceridian Forms Agreement With Rideau To Deliver Employee Reward And Recognition Programs

Ceridian will be first HR outsourcing company to offer comprehensive employee recognition programs

 (MINNEAPOLIS) – Sept. 1, 2005 – Ceridian (, a leader in managed human resource management outsourcing solutions that maximize the value of people, today announced that it has formed an exclusive agreement with Rideau Recognition Solutions to deliver reward and retention programs to its clients

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Case Study: A Healthy Recgnition Program

How one company found success with IncentOne.

by HROT Staff

A major national managed healthcare service provider was in need of aprogram to recognize employees who were located in various locationsthroughout the United States. The rewards  program was for jobperformance achievements and employee length of service. The Fortune200 company required an easy to administer, Web-based program thatwould enable all participating supervisors to instantly deliver awardsand acknowledgements from their desktops to mailboxes with minimumcomplexity and overhead.  

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Case Study: Barton Beers Takes St. Pauli Girl Online

Barton beers incentive program goes online with help from all star incentive marketing.

by HROT Staff

Barton Beers is the number one independent beer importer in the United States and the number two U.S. importer of German beer, the award-winning St. Pauli Girl. In 2000, St. Pauli Girl was recognized as a “Comeback Brand” by Impact Databank. Barton Beers works very closely with its salespeople, suppliers, and nationwide network of approximately 630 distributors. Doing so has helped them achieve a record of brand development success that is unprecedented in their highly competitive industry.

In fact, the growing success of St. Pauli Girl Beer is due in part to Bartons commitment to rewarding the distributor salespeople that sell this product line. Since acquiring the once failing brand in 1992, Barton Beer has used sales- force incentive programs as a key element in their promotional plans.

All Star Incentive Marketing has run the St. Pauli Girl “Girls of Summer” incentive program for nine years. Previous to the 2003 online version, the solution was a “call-in” offline program. When a distributor salesperson gained a new St. Pauli Girl beer placement, they would call and record it on an answering machine. A Barton employee was designated to log these new placement calls. Salespeople were awarded points according to the number of new placements they made. With these points, salespeople redeemed rewards from a catalog.

The new online St. Pauli Girl Girls of Summer incentive program, streamlined the award allocation and redemption processes. Jim Goldie, vice president of the Eastern Division of Barton Beers, noted, “The timesaving benefit of the new incentive program alone has made the transition to an online version worthwhile.”

The new online edition of the program still targets the salespeople at key beer distributors. A total of 33 distributors were targeted to take place in the program and 88 percent participated. Each distributor has between 10 and 30 salespeople, for a total of approximately 600 participants.

The incentive program was communicated via e-mail and through direct contact between key Barton Beers’ personnel and the distributor sales manager. The details of the program were then communicated by the distributor sales manager to the salespeople.

Online participation was higher than previous offline involvement by a factor of nearly two to one. Weekly e-mails from the division office helped promote the program. Also, e-mails and phone calls from the respective regional managers were used to support the divisions communication. To facilitate measuring and tracking the program’s progress and success, distributors completed a tracking form.

The goal of the online program was to increase distribution of St. Pauli Girl beer packages by 4,000 new placements by providing incentives to key volume distributors in the Eastern Division. The challenge of the program was to increase secondary packages, to increase in-store presence and full-line sales.

Salespeople accumulated one to four award points per placement depending on the type of placement and number of facings. At the end of the program, points were totaled and participants were given an award code to access one of seven award levels. The more points a participant had, the higher the award level they were designated. In addition, the top two salespeople who earned the most total points were awarded a bonus Panasonic 32″ TV for their salesrooms.

The transition of the St. Pauli Girl program from a printed catalog to an online format was extremely successful, exceeding the programs goals with approximately 400 award winners and more than 4,000 new St. Pauli Girl Beer placements.  

Goldie noted, “The type of products that All Star offers as awards is one key to this programs success. At each level, the brand name products are memorable and motivating.”   

All Star Incentive Marketing and Barton Beer Inc. are already planning for the next online edition of the Girls of Summer incentive program. Heidi Chatfield, marketing communications manager at All Star, commented, The online solution process enables us to evaluate programs in action, making it easier for all involved to adjust an existing program and prepare for the next. This type of proactive analysis is a major benefit to all involved.

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