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Survey Says Non-Cash Incentives are the Answer

Posted, by Deborah Merkin
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We’ve all received cash bonuses. It’s the biggest staple of employee rewards and incentives, but should it be? The Incentive Marketing Association and the Incentive Research Foundation have partnered once again to take a closer look at the rewards and incentives that make the biggest impact in your programs. Their Participant Survey, surveying 452 employees with 80 in-depth questions, helped prove a point that GiftCard Partners has emphasized for a long time: that cash is NOT king when it comes to employee reward programs. The Participant Survey showed incredible statistics about employees’ propensity to choose non-cash incentives when presented with a choice. A few key findings included:

  • 65% of employees in a small reward scenario take non-cash incentives
  • 80% of employees in a large reward scenario take non-cash incentives
  • 40% of the total award experience is based on presentation while 60% is the actual award

Employees focus on professional development The study went on to explain that the biggest motivation opportunity within reward programs is professional development. This is particularly interesting and important because of the consistency with which employees answered this question. Whether they were millennials or boomers, men or women, everyone placed a high value on professional development. One-third of respondents valued professional development as their optimal total rewards experience.

Getting flexible with your reward options The second major industry myth the
Participant Survey debunked was the notion that not only do employers need to tailor their employee rewards away from cash incentives but they also need to find some magical mix of non-cash incentives and rewards. Combining different kinds of rewards, like gift cards, professional development, additional time off or executive access is a great way for employers to offer their employees something they will value.

However, there is no set formula for this combination. Every employee is different. Of those responding, 99% said they would prefer a unique scenario for their preferred total award experience. The lesson to learn here? Create options and flexibility but allow employees to take their unique mix and make it a reality. How will you create that total reward experience mix in 2016?

Topics: Gift Card Incentives & Rewards, Employee Incentives & Rewards

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