Why merchandise rewards work better than cash
When choosing a recognition program for your organization, merchandise rewards are proven to be more motivational than cash, especially with newer employees. Studies show that recognition rewards programs offering non-cash awards lead to higher employee performance and engagement. Here are four reasons why:
1. Merchandise rewards get employees’ families involved in the motivational process.
When an employee announces to his family that he’s working towards winning an amazing item the whole family can benefit from, he’s likely to receive more support and motivation at home than he would with a cash reward. Family members are quick to get on-board with a recognition program that could potentially earn them a new product they all want. This helps employees stay motivated and committed to the program.
2. Merchandise rewards have Trophy Value.
Merchandise rewards are more memorable than cash because they create a long-term reminder of the employee’s accomplishment. Let’s face it, most people end up spending a cash reward on bills or practical items they need. A year from now, an employee who receives a cash reward probably won’t even remember how it was spent. In contrast, a merchandise reward (e.g. TV, computer, etc.) has far more “trophy value” because a year from now, the employee still has a tangible reminder of the achievement.
3. Merchandise rewards are perceived as gifts, rather than compensation.
It’s often hard to motivate employees with a cash reward because cash is generally perceived more as compensation than a one-time recognition award. As mentioned earlier, cash rewards are usually spent on bills, necessities or deposited into savings. A recognition program based on cash incentives can backfire because employees may expect to receive the extra cash again the following year. This happens because they consider the cash award to be part of their overall compensation package, rather than its intended purposes as an achievement award.
4. Merchandise rewards allow employees to indulge in luxury items.
Non-cash rewards allow employees to feel good about choosing exciting luxury items they normally couldn’t justify buying for themselves. When cash is used to reward employees for their achievements, they often feel too guilty to spend it on something they really want because there are always bills to pay and mouths to feed. Merchandise rewards take the guilt out of the equation. Employees have no choice but to enjoy picking out a luxury item they wouldn’t otherwise purchase.
Merchandise recognition programs provide employees with the opportunity to celebrate their achievements by indulging in something they truly desire. The right rewards program is a win-win for both the employer and employee.