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Developing Performance Incentives and Sustaining Engagement in a Volatile Environment
4 November 2010


Over the last three years the role of incentives has had greater public prominence than ever before.  The popular media now take a much stronger interest.  The traditional aims of incentives - to provide motivation, focus and variable cost - often seem to have been undermined.  Public attention is now on executive incentive plans as being "bonuses", although such plans are now an ingrained part of the reward programme for employees at all levels in commercial organisations.

In parrallel with this, the economic environment has of course been very difficult.  Many companies have seen demand for their products and services severely impacted by the recession.  While adjusting and trimming their organisations, they have needed to keep their employees engaged and focused.  Developing and operating incentive plans in such an environment has not been easy.

Our 2010 research project "Developing Performance Incentives and Sustaining Engagement in a Volatile Environment" considers these issues.

During this joint project between PARC and WorldatWork ( we interviewed some 25 organisations headquartered in Europe and the US to find out whether they made significant changes to their incentive plans during the recent financial crisis and recession.

Our report, published in November, includes a summary of the current thinking on how incentives influence motivation and engagement, the nature and type of changes being made to incentives, our overall findings concerning incentives and engagement, and the key issues and challenges arising from them.

Our research report meeting took place on Thursday 4th November 2010 at Trinity House, Tower Hill, London EC3N 4DH from 4.00 pm onwards.  This offered an opportunity to hear about what we found, how it differs from what we expected, and to debate the issues arising.  We sought input from relevant parties outside the HR and Reward community to provide a range a perspectives and to ensure a lively discussion.

The meeting was followed by a private dinner for members and our guests at Trinity House during which we continued our conversations and deliberations.

More information on the meeting content and structure and the dinner will follow shortly.  


Please let us know what you thought about the meeting, so we can continue to improve!

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