How Employee Experience is Beating Financial Incentives

Have you heard the phrase ‘cash is king’? Well, it doesn’t hold true anymore. There was a time when companies used to reward their employees with cash prizes when they hit a pre-set target. That trend has now taken a backseat, and cash incentives have been successfully replaced with luxury experiences and other non-cash incentives.

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Research has shown that when trying to motivate desired behaviour in a workplace, non-cash items such as a lavish trip, luxury hotel stay, merchandise, events tickets and other exclusive privileges work better than cash rewards.

Straight cash or a tangible reward?

Non-cash or experiential incentives have a trophy value. They’re a reminder to the employee about his/her performance. Cash awards don’t provide this satisfaction. A study, conducted by Aberdeen Group and distributed by the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) titled “Incentive Success: Best-In-Class Sales Management,” drew on the responses of 245 B2B sales professionals. Aberdeen found the industry average for organizations that consider non-cash rewards important was 45%, yet best-in-class companies responded at a rate of 63%.

While cash rewards are good incentives, employees feel more rewarded when they receive something they’ve always wanted. For example, say you’ve always wanted to stay in a 5-star hotel but never had the chance due to a cash crunch; your company gives you an incentive where you can spend a few days in a 5-star hotel with all expenses paid. Won’t that make you happier than getting an envelope full of cash? The same logic applies to other similar experience reward programmes.

63% of best-in-class companies use non-cash awards in their B2B loyalty programmes. The emotional response to a tangible reward is so high that the pull drives effective motivation in employees. Reward offerings have a lot to do with the success or failure of an incentive programme. You need to understand what type of experiences to include in your incentives programme to stimulate your employees to perform well.

Hard cash can’t offer the experience that an incentive travel program provides. When you provide incentive trips or other forms of incentives to your employees, you get a chance to not only reward them for their hard work, but also to engage with them. Outside the pressures of work, your team gets the opportunity to connect with each other to forge new and build on the existing relationships with their leaders and their peers.

These experiences score way over cash incentives

All-expense paid trip

Who doesn’t want to spend a few days in Goa without spending a penny? An all-expense paid trip is one of the best incentives to lure your employees into putting extra effort at work. There are so many exotic locations all over the world that your employees crave to visit but most of them can’t because it’s too expensive. But when they get an all-expense paid trip to one of these locations, you can be sure that they’ll achieve all the targets you want them to meet. Plus, the adrenaline at your workplace goes up several notches with everyone vying for the grand prize!

A luxury hotel stay on your star employee’s birthday

Luxury is a dream every employee aspires for. Everyone wants to lead a lavish lifestyle, even if it’s just for a day. A luxury hotel stay as an incentive will work wonders for your business. You can have your employees enjoy a lavish lifestyle for a few days in a luxury hotel and pamper themselves. Pick out an exotic location and send off your top player for a holiday on his/her birthday. Get staycation vouchers for a steal across India.

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Event tickets

So, the most happening band is in town and half of your staff wants to attend it. Use it to your advantage and get your work done at a faster pace. You just have to buy a few tickets for the ones who perform according to your needs. You’ll end up being the best boss ever!

Merchandise

A lot of people love personalised merchandise or branded merchandise. Imagine the look on the face of your employees when you gift them a watch they had all been talking about for so long. In return, they get you the business you’ve been eyeing for a long time. You get your work done, and they get free goodies!

Aren’t these incentives better than an envelope full of cash in every way? You just have to identify the interests of your staff, and soon, you’ll be on top of the business ladder by shelling out a few bucks on incentives for your employees. Think about it!

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