Most manufacturers—about 80 percent, according to a National Association of Manufacturers survey—expect the coronavirus pandemic to have a financial impact on their business, yet data from the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) shows that top-performing companies in the sector still strongly support non-cash rewards programs to incentivize and support productivity.

In its report, “What Top Performing Manufacturing Companies Do Differently for Incentives and Rewards,” the IRF summarizes findings from data collected across multiple manufacturing firms and compares the results of top-performing manufacturing firms to those of their average performing counterparts. The report first presents key overall findings, then drills down to results for sales reward programs, channel partner reward programs and employee reward programs.

“Many portions of the manufacturing industry, such as automotive, were among the most challenged as a result of COVID-19. As the industry recovers, it will need effective strategies to achieve high levels of productivity among sales personnel, channel partners and employees,” says Stephanie Harris, IRF president. “‘What Top Performing Manufacturing Companies Do Differently for Incentives and Rewards’ explains how the effective use of incentive programs can help give manufacturing companies a competitive advantage.”

The report shows that executive support for reward and recognition programs as a competitive advantage is on the rise, particularly among top-performing companies, 98 percent of which say their executives are strong supporters of the approach. Program reach is also expanding, with the percentage of top-performing manufacturing companies that design programs with the dual goal of both reaching all participants, while also recognizing truly exceptional achievers, has nearly quadrupled within the past year, going from eight percent to 30 percent.

For more information and a whitepaper on the study, click here.