Dr. Trent Kaufman of The Cicero Group, one of the world’s premier market research firms, shares findings from his research into whether cash or a physical, tangible award make employees feel most valued and appreciated. The answer may surprise you.
What we found is it matters how you ask employees. As consumers, of course, folks would rather have cash than choose among a set of awards. But as employees, what we found was that cash didn’t make them feel as appreciated as award items. So cash, they work for and they get in terms of a bonus and a paycheck and a salary. Award items are different. They get to take them home and show their family. They get to talk about this recognition that they received at work and cash didn’t offer that same experience. So when asked — to be clear, when asked, employees, “Which makes you feel more appreciated; a cash award or a physical, tangible item award?” The majority chose the physical item. That made them feel more appreciated than cash.
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