Dayton Daily News

Healthy economy aids Incenta Rewards

Washington Twp. company offers workforce solutions.

- By Holly Shively Staff Writer

Hard-to-find talent is keeping some local companies from taking on more business, but for the fastest-growing company in Dayton, low unemployme­nt is boosting revenue and bringing more clients.

Incenta Rewards in Washington Twp. saw revenues jump from $1.84 million in 2016 to $4.68 million in 2017, according to the company. The business helps other companies attract and retain employees through sales incentive, gift, health and wellness, recognitio­n and service programs.

“Our business is so much in demand these days because of the retention issues that companies are facing,” said Joe Jones, president of Incenta Rewards. “They are calling us to help solve some of the workforce engagement problems that they’re facing.”

Jones and his wife Carol, the company’s CEO, started Incenta Rewards in October of 2013 with their own funds. The pair took on their first client in 2014 and have grown to about 25 now.

“We do not have any bank loans. We 100 percent funded this venture. And we remain debt-free today because we have grown and been able to sustain the business without that,” Jones said. “And when you are debt-free, you’re not locked in; you can be selective on the types of projects and clients that you work with.”

The company’s six full-time employees and two part-time workers, along with a pool of about 50 contractor­s that help run events, set up various programs designed to help companies offer incentives outside of pay raises or health care benefits. Today’s employees do look at cash, but total compensati­on is growing in importance.

“Money is a big, important factor when it comes to jobs and changing jobs. But to me, that’s a symptom,” said Doug Barry, president of BarryStaff, which started using Incenta Rewards last year. “The money part of it comes into play when you open a door and give an employee a

reason to leave.”

Workers won’t want to leave if they feel appreciate­d and part of the team or overall mission, Barry said.

BarryStaff switched from an incentive rewards programs at a firm outside the region, and said the service and quality from the local company has really boosted BarryStaff’s program. Incenta Rewards helped set up a portal for Barry’s employees to pick a reward based on tenure during their anniversar­y each year.

A lot of companies are adding yearly service awards in the current economy. Previously, many would offer the rewards in five- and 10-year increments, Jones said.

Incenta Rewards is the fastest-growing company in Dayton, and Jones said he doesn’t expect that to slow down, especially since employers are increasing­ly struggling to find workers and turning away million-dol- lar contracts because they lack the workforce.

“We have to tell a better story of why we have great jobs right here in the Miami Valley, so that when our col- lege grads graduate, they’re not leaving for larger cities, the Chicago’s, the New Yorks, even Cincinnati and Colum- bus,” he said.

As the company grew over the past five years, it first invested in people to run the company, then it invested in equipment and technology to make it smoother. In 2017, Incenta Rewards invested in a new building at 72 E. Spring Valley Pike in Washington Twp. Now Jones wants to invest in people again.

“As we start working with new clients, that drives job opportunit­ies within our company,” he said.

The 2019 and 2020 growth goal is to build a brand in the Dayton area. To jump start the business, Incenta Rewards initially took some clients outside of the region, but now, the focus is on building up Dayton employers, Jones said.

“Being a Greater Dayton-based company, we want to help companies in our backyard,” he said.

 ?? HOLLY SHIVELY / STAFF ?? Business is booming for Incenta Rewards, which sets up loyalty and incentive programs to help businesses retain and attract employees.
HOLLY SHIVELY / STAFF Business is booming for Incenta Rewards, which sets up loyalty and incentive programs to help businesses retain and attract employees.

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