In May 2010, we conducted a survey on Canadian corporate incentive trends. We surveyed companies of all sizes across various sectors, and asked them their thoughts on corporate incentive programs. What we found was that today's executives view the development and implementation of corporate incentive programs as very important, and they're allocating budgets to reflect this.

Our survey respondents noted many reasons for implementing incentive programs, including to increase sales (78%), motivate employees (61%), increase customer loyalty (57%), increase brand awareness (51%), support a product launch or promotion (50%), and retain employees (32%).

Yet for today's executives, incentive programs are not only about attracting, retaining and driving desired results from employees, customers, and partners, they are about improving business performance, more broadly, across their organization. And they want to accomplish this in a way that's cost-effective, flexible, and meaningful to recipients.

Specifically, we surveyed a number of executives who were in a position to directly gage the business advantages of their incentive programs. Our survey showed that these executives clearly recognize the role well-designed incentive programs play in improving business performance. In fact, an overwhelming majority (86%) felt that they gained a competitive edge over the competition because of the incentive programs they offered.

It's extremely positive to find that such a high percentage of Canadian executives appreciate the broader business objectives of designing and implementing strategic incentive programs; whoever the program recipients may be.

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