Incentive programs are a popular option among successful finance sector executives. The Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) has shared the results of a recent survey revealing that executives at top-performing finance firms are 52 percent more likely than average-performing firms to regard their reward and recognition programs as a competitive advantage.

The survey of 123 financial firm respondents found that executives at top-performing financial services firms are 27 percent more likely than those at average-performing firms to believe that rewards and recognition are a critical tool in managing the performance of the company, and are 36 percent more likely to strongly agree that their reward and recognition programs are effective retention tools.

The IRF’s study also identified how top-performing finance firms approach their incentive programs. Although almost 60 percent of top-performing financial firms maintain multiple programs designed under a common theme, they are 59 percent more likely than average firms to have a single program across the company. They are also 20 percent more likely to design and manage programs with strong collaboration among multiple departments, and nearly twice as likely as average performers to centralize all noncash rewards activity and manage it top-down. The IRF also found that top-performing financial firms are 29 percent more likely to structure their programs with the goal of reaching each participant versus only recognizing the top-performing individuals in the organization.