In the Wall Street Journal article linked below, Senator Elizabeth Warren chooses to refer to the incentives offered to agents for selling certain types of annuities as “Kickbacks”. Really?! Is that what she meant to say because at an initial glance it seemed awfully irresponsible and uniformed to me? Wanting to make sure I did not misunderstand her, I thought I would look up the word Kickback to see if its connotation to me was way off. It wasn’t. Varying definitions of “kickback” use words like “bribery, coercion, illegal, collusion, secret, and dishonest”.
The question is easy but the answer is a bit complicated. Having been associated with the recognition and incentives industry for over 25 years, I have seen paradigm shifts, economic downturns/upturns and human behavior studies which have impacted the type of awards companies have chosen to reward their employees over the years.