Jennifer Vecchi

Jennifer Vecchi is the Manager of Individual Incentives and Recognition Programs at Atlas Travel in Milford, MA, where she is responsible for supporting her client’s recognition programs and sales contests.

Articles by Jennifer Vecchi

Talent Management, Training & Development

Turning a Micromanagement Problem Into Coaching Success

From istockphoto.com

You’ve no doubt have heard the term “micromanage” before. Most likely it conjures up negative connotations.

It’s no surprise that research has shown that micromanagers can destroy strategies, eliminate creative thinking, and turn employees into mindless “yes men” rather than valuable contributors.

We all know that relinquishing control can be tough, especially if you’ve given your blood, sweat and tears to creating or developing something.

The idea of handing over the reins to another person who may not deliver it the way you envisioned can be nerve-wracking. It’s easy to scrutinize every move they make in order to see the results you intended. Read more…

Culture

Remembering Core Values, or What I Learned From “Jerry Maguire”

jerrymaguire1

I’ve always found it difficult to pinpoint my core values because I believe that as humans, we are always changing and adapting to our environment.

Then, I happened to catch Jerry Maguire while flipping through television, right at the pivotal scene in which Jerry admits that he’s not happy with the state of his life or his job:

Two nights later in Miami at our corporate conference, a breakthrough. Breakdown? Breakthrough. It was the oddest, most unexpected thing. I began writing what they call a Mission Statement for my company. You know — a Mission Statement — a suggestion for the future. What started out as one page became 25. Suddenly I was my father’s son. I was remembering the simple pleasures of this job, how I ended up here out of law school, the way a stadium sounds when one of my players performs well on the field… And suddenly it was all pretty clear. The answer was fewer clients. Caring for them, caring for ourselves, and the games too. Starting our lives, really. Hey, I’ll be the first to admit it. What I was writing was somewhat ‘touchy feely.’ I didn’t care.” Read more…

Rewards & Recognition, Talent Management

Yes, Your Employees Should Enjoy Their Jobs (and How You Can Help)

123RF Stock Photo

It’s hard to imagine, but there are still managers who feel that happiness is not a requirement of the job.

Worse, some executives feel that employees should be grateful that they even have a job. I’ve actually heard managers assert that an employee who is happy with their job probably isn’t working hard.

This “old school” belief has thankfully been phasing out over the years as ROI tools have helped HR departments demonstrate how much it costs to lose an employee. Nowadays, employers believe that a happy workforce is a more productive workforce and are searching for ways to keep employees “engaged.” Read more…

Rewards & Recognition

It’s a New Year – Isn’t It Time for a New Rewards Program?

© Dawn Hudson - Fotolia.com

Whether your plan for it or not, the post-holiday lull is inevitable.

After a stream of holiday parties, short work weeks, and general end of year festivities comes to an end, the harsh reality that it’s time to get back to business begins. It’s natural for employees to become bored and unmotivated during this period but the good news is that most people are craving improvements in their life, and now is your chance to be part of their New Year’s resolutions.

Yes, now is the ideal time to get creative with your incentives program. That doesn’t have to mean creating sales contests or rewarding your top sellers to get results (although it can’t hurt). The truly innovative manager thinks not just outside the box, but all the way around the edges to find ways to motivate. Read more…

Rewards & Recognition

Choosing the Right Incentives For Your Corporate Culture

© freehandz - Fotolia.com

The air is getting cooler and storefronts are beginning to display Thanksgiving and Christmas decor … which means another year is almost over. The time has come to reflect on what worked for your company in 2012, and more importantly, what did not.

By now, organizations are scouring their sales figures and analyzing their low revenue streams while pushing for those last-minute deals to go through. It’s no surprise that in the midst of all this, most companies don’t take the time to look at how their sales incentives or employee recognition programs may have impacted company morale or their bottom line.

Why is this important? Ultimately, it’s your human resources that make your company operate. So if your recognition program (or lack of one) is negatively affecting your workforce’s outlook on the company, productivity levels are guaranteed to drop, thus impacting your bottom line. Read more…

Rewards & Recognition

Employee Incentives: Consistency & Constant Communication Is Crucial

Photo illustration by istockphoto.com

With all of the political messages being broadcast in the media during this presidential election season, it’s easy to see why delivering a clear and constant message is vitally important to proving your business case.

More importantly, it’s a great demonstration of how not having a clear and constant message can work against you, despite your best intentions.

Many companies have fallen into a “set-it-and-forget-it” attitude when it comes to their incentives program. It could stem from lack of human resources to see it through, or perhaps a corporate culture that justifies a down economy as a reason to cut back on rewards. Read more…

Rewards & Recognition

Why We Need to Get Real and Get Rid of “Employee of the Month” Awards

123RF Stock Photo

Is it too late for “Employee of the Month?”

The “Employee of the Month” concept has been in existence for decades as a way to reward employees for exceeding performance expectations.

The concept is simple – you wait until the end of the month to pick one employee who stood out the most, and then you reward that one person. You might give them special privileges, such as a dedicated parking space, decorated workspace, or their name on a plaque. You may even give them a physical trophy to display and a monetary reward. Then you do it all over again the following month.

That format may have worked for years, but with the advent of social media and a younger generation steering it, waiting a month to reward someone may be too late. Read more…

Rewards & Recognition

Rewarding the Process, Not Just the Results: 5 Overlooked Opportunities

© freehandz - Fotolia.com

When I first wrote about The People-First Approach: Rewarding the Process Rather Than the Results a month ago, it created a stir among some HR professionals and business leaders.

The implication was that I was only advocating incentives that rewarded the sales process, and by doing so, disagreed with the idea of rewarding the end results. This couldn’t be further from the truth. As a resource provider of incentive travel awards, I believe in rewarding every part of the process AND the end results!

I was merely trying to point out that many companies only focus on rewarding the end result and fail to recognize other accomplishments that occur during the sales process. And many of those accomplishments can lead to amazing changes in behavior while creating better working relationships among employees. Read more…

Rewards & Recognition

The People-First Approach: Rewarding the Process Rather Than the Results

123RF Stock Photo

It’s a typical scenario in business and in the world in general. You set a goal for something, such as a sales goal, and then you establish attractive rewards for reaching that goal.

Then, when someone attains that goal, you reward them as a way of saying thank you for the hard work. It all seems pretty straightforward, right? Well, some people, including behavioral scientists and economists, say that this way of thinking may not be getting the best results.

A couple of years ago an economist decided to do a study on rewards and incentives. He picked schools in big cities such as New York, Washington, D.C., Dallas and Chicago where he set up control groups and then varied the way rewards would be distributed to the students in the those cities. In fact, he gained a lot of criticism by offering to pay students for their achievements on tests. Read more…

Rewards & Recognition

Changing It Up: The Benefits of Playing Games With Your Rewards Program

Gamification

It’s still early in the new year, and that means it’s time to look back and decide what has and hasn’t been working at your company.

One of the things that you might consider looking at is your rewards and incentives program. How did it fare last year? Did employees participate? What awards and rewards did you hand out at the end of the year? Were employees excited about the program and were they talking about it for the rest of the year?

If the answers to those questions were “no,” or “I’m not sure,” then it might be time to re-evaluate your program.

Rewards and incentives programs that employees are not excited about are programs that are not effective. Rather than throwing out the entire program, a better approach is to look at how the program is being run – maybe you just need to change things up a little. Read more…