How We Used Motivation Theory to Enhance an Automotive Incentive Program

When we first developed our own unique brand of motivation called Motivology®, we knew we were onto something big.

In a nutshell, Motivology is an intentional blending of motivators that fosters engagement. Period. And that’s important because a recent Gallup survey found that almost 70% of U.S. employees are disengaged.

Developing our motivation theory was like looking through a windshield and seeing a vast landscape of opportunity to maximize business impact and value for our clients and prospects.

One of the most impressive ways we applied motivation theory to incentive programs was with a program for a major automotive OEM (original equipment manufacturer).

Featured: What is Motivology all about? Learn more about our approach using motivation theory.

Client Challenges and Objectives

When our client approached us, they had concerns because their employees weren’t engaged at work, and that was leading to lagging numbers. Training certification rates and customer satisfaction scores were suffering as well.

Clearly, their current incentive program wasn’t doing the trick. It would take a solution with strategic knowledge of what really motivates people—that’s at the heart of Motivology.

Our client had a handful of aspiring objectives, including improving their J.D. Power Customer Service Index score, identifying efficiencies and streamlining operations.

To accomplish those objectives, we needed to take a custom-crafted approach that addressed their employee engagement issues.

Read our case study on how one major automotive OEM jumped five spots in national customer service satisfaction rankings.

Our Approach

We wanted to help our client boost their employees’ productivity. So, we took a look back—that means leveraging our 50+ years of industry experience to offer insight into what really moves people.

Assessment: Developing a seamless experience to integrate incentives, recognition programs and training opportunities requires a deep, close look.

Program Design: At the heart of the program is simplification. And it shows—after five years, we continue to streamline a platform for more than 900 dealerships around the country.

Communications: How do you keep your audience engaged and informed? Tell them everything they need to know.

Technology: One centralized web platform for various incentive, training and recognition programs. It couldn’t be easier.

Awards: The hottest rewards around, all in one central spot. And that offers the power of choice for participants, creating an incredible incentive.

Measurement and Analysis: Measuring progress—both large and small—helps create the best possible solutions.


With everyone engaged and ready to roll, the program has enjoyed stunning results for several years including:

  • 32 point increase in overall customer service index score
  • 28% increase in training certification
  • 74% of incentive program participants log in weekly

But don’t take our word for it. Here’s what participants had to say about this Motivology-infused program:

  •  “[It’s] a great program! I’m happy with the selection it has and the fun of watching my points stack up. [You continue] to astonish and please in all aspects.”

  • “…An excellent program… [You show] a commitment to rewarding dealership employees on performance both individually and as a team.”
  • “Wow, you guys rock. [This opportunity] is an awesome promotion and will keep us on track. Very cool incentive.”

Read more about this program in our case study.