Studies conducted over the past decade reveal something interesting about employees: Most would rather receive tangible items than cash bonuses.
The Incentive Marketing Association asks business leaders every 2-3 years about their opinions concerning various types of motivational awards. In survey after survey, respondents say that cash is an “unemotional” award. Its value is concrete, and while it could be used to purchase a lifestyle award, it’s more likely that it will be used to pay bills or stashed in a checking or savings account, taking with it the memory of why it was given in the first place.
Some other interesting findings:
- Nearly three-quarters of respondents say that they can build a more exciting, memorable program around merchandise than around cash.
- Slightly more than half (53%) feel that employees tend to look at bonus payments as something they’re due as part of their standard compensation package.
- More than 80% of respondents agree that merchandise is remembered longer than cash.
The bottom line: If you want people to remember you, merchandise is the way to go. So the next time you’re putting together an awards/recognition program or incentive plan, use that cash for something that will make a more lasting impression.
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