Recently, my friends over at the Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) published a whitepaper on tangible vs. cash rewards. This paper was put together with help from the Incentive & Engagement Solutions Providers (IESP). This is a group of trusted incentive experts who seek to help other business professionals achieve results through engagement and incentive solutions.
This whitepaper discusses a topic near and dear to my heart and is part of a long debate within the incentive industry. The question: what’s better for rewarding, cash, or non-cash (tangible rewards like merchandise, experiences, travel)?
This piece brings a few arguments to the table that stand out in this debate.
- Our preferences for rewards can sometimes be disconnected from what really motivates us.
- While motivation is mysterious, a great formula for it is a combination of the luxurious and hedonic.
- Recognition, or the social reinforcement of receiving an award, should always be a consideration.