Early work by Kahneman and Tversky (1973) studied what was called an availability bias. Their research showed that when people estimate the likelihood of an occurrence they use a short-cut (heuristic), using how easy instances of an event are to recall as a proxy for likelihood. In this research they also showed that vivid items and events were more available, that is, likely to be stored in and retrieved from memory, than more pallid items and events.
In “Recognizing Good Attendance: A Longitudinal, Quasi-Experimental Field Study” (Markham, Scott & McKee 2002) the authors documented how personal recognition and the use of premiums reduced absenteeism among four cut-and-sew garment factories in each of four quarters measured. Reductions ranged from 29% to 52% each quarter for reward recipients, with reductions not found in control groups.
- For employees that already participate in company-driven incentive programs, participants say the programs have made them:
- While incentive programs are often tailored to the needs of individual organizations, there are common elements and best practices that contribute to success.
- Incentive program participants’ top three recommendations for improving their companies’ incentive programs were: