It’s estimated that UK adults make around 35,000 choices per day[1]. Whilst we obviously do a lot of these unconsciously such as deciding to brush your teeth in the morning, at least 100 of these take up some of our conscious time.

That’s at least an hour and 40 minutes of daily debating. That time rises even further when we are part of a group decision making process, with differing opinions and each person wanting a bit of air time to make their voice heard.

Instructions welcome

Sometimes we just want someone to make the choices for us – what we have to do, where we have to be, what we’re going to eat.

It is emerging that too much choice is actually bad for our stress levels and, therefore, our mental health. Flying in the face of what we’ve been told for decades, research shows that excessive choice levels cause decision paralysis, regret, rising expectations, feeling of incompetence and failure to commit[2].


“If we’re rational, [social scientists] tell us, added options can only make us better off as a society. This view is logically compelling, but empirically it isn’t true.” Barry Schwartz, author of ‘The Paradox of Choice’


This is as relevant to recognition rewards as it is to any other choice an individual may have to make. Offering hundreds of possible rewards, via a points redemption platform for example, may actually lead to less employees ever cashing in their reward and, in turn, a lower appreciation of the recognition programme in its entirety – a quick route to demotivation. This phenomenon can be seen in instances such as the interrogation of a mutual-fund company which found that for every 10 mutual funds the employer offered, rate of participation went down 2% – even though by not participating, employees were passing up as much as $5,000 a year from the employer who would happily match their contribution.

Leading the (right) way

The ‘Society for Incentive Travel Excellence’ (SITE) has conducted research into why using travel as an incentive tool delivers results.

87.5% of participants of incentive travel said the experience made them feel more appreciated, whilst 80% of participants said it increased their feeling of loyalty towards the company[3]. In addition, 71% of respondents believed their reward let them experience something unique that they could not do on their own.

Why not take control for your audience, and make the decision about whether to organise a private tasting at a leading champagne house, or a hands-on apple strudel masterclass at a culinary house in Vienna would be much more suitable.

With the evidence provided its surely the way to go!


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