Decentralized workforce focus of new IRF report

i By May 27, 2022 No Comments

Today’s decentralized workforce is the focus of the latest Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) research report.

Released this week, The Role of Incentives in Today’s Decentralized Workforce: Attract, Retain & Build Culture explores the use of incentives as a business strategy to help organizations attract, retain, and build culture across in-office and remote workers.

“Incentives have an important role to play motivating direct and indirect employees in the era of the Great Resignation, remote work, and labor shortages,” commented Stephanie Harris, president, IRF. “The workforce has fundamentally changed, and incentive program design needs to be adapted to align with these new workforce realities.”

The IRF conducted a survey of 1,000 employees and managers to learn preferences about remote and hybrid work, reward and recognition methods, and employee motivation. The Role of Incentives in Today’s Decentralized Workforce reports on employee expectations, manager mindset, and how good recognition and incentive program design can enhance employee engagement.

Key findings and insights reported in The Role of Incentives in Today’s Decentralized Workforce include:

  • Strong preference for remote work: 82% of employees and 84% of managers prefer either more or the same amount of time working remotely than they are currently given.
  • Challenges of remote work: Most managers and employees reported concerns about isolation, communication barriers, and reduced exchange of ideas and information.
  • Managers matter: One-to-one appreciation from a direct manager is the most motivating form of recognition according to our respondents.
  • Peer-to-Peer Programs: Praise on a peer-to-peer recognition platform can enhance engagement and address isolation.
  • Intangible reward preferences: Employees want interesting work, growth opportunities and autonomy.
  • Tangible reward preferences: Employees want cash, gift cards, gifts, points, and individual travel.
  • Culture shifts: Incentive program designers should partner with human resources and senior leaders to combine incentives with workplace environment changes that eliminate the disadvantages of working remotely.

The IRF will release a companion report, Decentralized Workforce: Fundamental Drivers & Engagement in the New Workplace, in August 2022.

To view or download a copy of the full report, visit The Role of Incentives in Today’s Decentralized Workforce: Attract, Retain & Build Culture webpage.