Prescription for Performance


Some of the top performance improvement companies in the United States tackle a range of challenges that can keep a company and its employees from reaching their full potential. Business improves when employees and customers are recognized, rewarded, and engaged through effectively structured programs with defined goals and proven returns. The Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) provides education, resources and research to promote the use of incentive programs to the business community.

There is no single secret to motivating employees to sell, take care of customers, and generally sell. Companies have to proceed on a broad front, with motivational programs, realistic goal setting, training, coaching, communication and more. Managers are rarely skilled in all these approaches, so it may be a good idea for them to turn to specialists for help. The companies below provide solutions based on a client’s specific “people performance” challenge. Whereas many incentive-fulfillment companies focus solely on providing merchandise and travel incentives, these performance-improvement companies are committed to addressing a client’s overall performance issues.

They do this by:

  • Understanding your business before making recommendations
  • Developing programs to achieve specific results in a specific time, using whatever combination of strategies makes sense for the situation
  • Being able to organize a complete solution, integrating all of the elements in the most effective manner

Beyond that, each is distinguished by its experience with different types of audiences and programs. Some, for example, place greater stress on consumer loyalty strategies, while others focus on business-to-business solutions. At least one specializes in offering fully integrated consumer and employee loyalty services across an entire organization.

The leading full-service incentive and performance improvement companies have organized the Performance Improvement Council (PIC) as part of IMA. The council’s purpose is to support research on incentive use, develop incentive education and training, and help enlighten corporate America about the benefits of professionally structured incentive programs. Visit to access a list of these organizations.

Anderson Performance Improvement Company is the visionary leader in the performance improvement field. Together with its customers, its people plan and implement creative, innovative solutions that accelerate its customers’ progress into the future. Anderson Performance Improvement designs and implements behavior-based incentive and recognition programs that include analysis, measurement, communications, training, reinforcement and rewards. Contact: Louise Anderson, CPIM, 651-438-9825; landerson@andersonperformance. com; Headquarters: Hastings, MN

Carlton Group Limited’s corporate mission is to become the world’s leading provider of “On-Demand Recognition and Incentive Solutions.” Carlton Group is a full-service performance improvement company specializing in incentive and recognition, e-learning, promotion and sales force automation programs. They have revolutionized the incentive industry by introducing the world’s first “On-Demand Recognition & Incentive Solution,” Power2Motivate®. By continuously evolving the platform, this leading-edge method of delivering software through the Internet allows for low entry costs and rapid deployment, while providing the versatility to configure solutions to meet specific business requirements. Contact: Robert Purdy, 905-477-3791;; Headquarters: Ontario, Canada

Dittman Incentive Marketing is a creative quality leader in the field of incentives, motivation and performance improvement. The company was named by a leading publication as one of the five most innovative incentive companies in the United States. An award-winning company with a 24-year history, Dittman has a proven track record as a creator of original, oneof- a-kind motivation and education programs targeted at endusers, distribution customers, direct salespeople and non-sales employees, to achieve critical corporate goals. Contact: Jim Dittman, 732-745-0600;; Headquarters: New Brunswick, NJ

EGR International is a performance-improvement and meeting-management company serving Fortune 500 corporations and their performance-improvement, loyalty-management and meeting-management efforts. For more than 30 years, EGR has been recognized as one of the industry’s most innovative and creative companies, pioneering the use of leading-edge technology that provides tangible, real-time benefits to both its clientele and program participants. Contact: Ryan Bearbower, 212-949- 7330;; Headquarters: New York, NY

The Incentive Group provides loyalty-marketing programs that motivate employees, dealers and consumers to win mind share and market share. Their new web-based loyalty programs provide 24/7 access for enrollment, attainment claiming, point-balance checking, an exciting rewards catalog with sort features, reward ordering, and detail reports. Significant promotional and administrative cost savings are realized via the web. Contact: Doug Press, 914-948-0904;; Headquarters: White Plains, NY

ITAGroup is a performance marketing company dedicated to helping clients boost market share, increase sales and profitability, improve employee performance, and increase customer satisfaction through the application of custom-designed marketing programs. Their primary business purpose is to assist clients in becoming more successful by motivating people to action to improve performance and achieve measurable results. Contact: Beth Schelske, 515-326-3400;; Headquarters: Des Moines, IA

Madison Performance Group is a full-service performance improvement company. Their people, processes, tools and techniques are focused on the specific niche of web-based incentive companies. Madison is headquartered in New York City but global in reach. Madison’s programs motivate participants worldwide. Their dedicated team of professionals subscribes to innovation, but focuses on daily execution. Madison continues to help progressive companies do more with their incentive investment. Madison understands that in today’s increasingly complex marketplace, one thing is clear: People Performance always drives business results. Contact: Mike Ryan, 201-934-4269;; www.madisonpg. com Headquarters: New York, NY

Maritz, LLC is the world’s largest source of integrated performance-improvement, travel and marketing research services, specializing in helping to maximize the performance of people critical to clients’ success. The reward and recognition solutions of Maritz Incentives help companies achieve their business goals by maximizing the potential of their employees and channel partners. Assessment, design, communications, administration, analysis, project management and world-class award cards, merchandise and travel card fulfillment enable Maritz to tailor-make effective solutions for its clients. Contact: Jerry Klein, 636-827-1402;; Headquarters: Fenton, MO

Marketing Innovators International (MI), a fullservice performance improvement company, is a leader in the incentive industry. MI assists clients with customized program development and administration, creative design, program tracking/evaluation, meeting planning, incentive travel services, and customized information systems for performance management. Products include gift certificates from 300-plus national merchants, award vouchers, debit cards, and merchandise. Multimodal redemption via phone, fax, mail or online. Contact: Rick Blabolil, CPIM, 847-696-1111;; Headquarters: Rosemont, IL

MotivAction designs and executes strategic business solutions that increase sales productivity and enhance employee engagement. They are the most recognized and rewarded Performance Improvement Company in the industry based on achieving business results. MotivAction crafts and executes strategic sales and marketing programs that get more from your channel performance and customer retention investments. Their client-tailored programs drive relevant and personalized experiences that motivate desired action in your employees, partners and customers. Contact: Janet North, 763-412-3000;; Headquarters: Minneapolis, MN

Motivation Excellence offers complete incentive design, travel and merchandise awards, communications, administration (including web-based) and ROI-oriented financial rationale. Their innovative, consultative development and implementation focuses on exceeding client expectations. Contact: Gregory A. Lewis, president, 847-839-5555;; Headquarters: Schaumburg, IL

O.C. Tanner’s global strategic recognition and incentive programs align employees with corporate goals for long-term performance improvement. They are the winners of several prestigious business awards and have served the world’s most successful organizations for 80 years in 70 offices internationally. Their company philosophy in short is: “Appreciation is our discipline, our art, our muse, and our practice. We are in the business of inspiring the best in each other. We are specialists in appreciateology.” Contact: Michelle Smith, CPIM, 626- 796-5544;;

Spear One manages customized sales incentive programs, full-service meeting planning, and integrated promotions — including group travel, channel marketing, recognition/ sales kickoffs, road shows, conference training, registration/ product launches and campaigns. For more than 16 years, they’ve partnered with Fortune 1000 clients to tailor innovative incentive programs, effective meetings and clever promotions. Contact: Jeff Booher, 972-661-6070;;

USMotivation is one of the world’s leading people performance management companies. Working with organizations across all industries to motivate employees, customers and distributors, USMotivation’s programs increase bottom-line results, recognize and retain talent, improve productivity and quality, advance sales channel performance, build loyalty, promote corporate goals, and more. Our business units cover each major aspect of performance improvement, incentive applications and fulfillment, including incentive and award systems, meetings and events, powerful interactive solutions, compelling communications, and promotional products and services. Contact: Michael Ruege, 770-290-4790;; Headquarters: Atlanta, GA

The Performance Improvement Council (PIC), a professional organization of performance marketing executives, is collectively focused on helping companies optimize their investment in human capital through proven and innovative reward and recognition solutions. The PIC is a strategic industry within the Incentive Marketing Association (IMA). IMA is comprised of the companies that are leaders in the incentive industry. Contact IMA at 630-369-7780 or online at