Once again I see a discussion on what are the “best” awards to use in a recognition and reward program. This is the Jason of motivation questions. Just when you think you’ve answered it… it gets asked again and again.
I’ve been involved in the incentive and reward industry for more years than I care to brag about but I can say without any reservation the question of “what award to use” has been asked and answered at least each and every week of each and every year I’ve been in the biz. It makes me wonder if people are still figuring out how to use google or they can’t find a good book on what drives people to do the things they do. It’s like we hear the answer and we don’t like it so we ask the question again hoping for a different answer.
Insanity. The definition.
As surely as summer follows spring another question on what award is best has surfaced on LinkedIn. This one is a little cooler because it uses the polling feature within the site but the results are no different than what I’ve seen in the past.
Except it doesn’t Studies have shown – over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over and over, (I can do this all day) and over – that it is one of the least effective motivational awards for incentive programs.
It can work – don’t get me wrong – it just isn’t the “best” option.
“Whoa Paul – what are you talking about? I like cash. A lot. Therefore, you are wrong.”
Yeah… and I like Moose Tracks ice cream (a little too much.) Therefore, you must like Moose Track ice cream. And… fact is even though I say it I really like it, it isn’t very good for me in the long run – or you for that matter.
The research is abundant and clear (I’ve beaten this issue like a rented mule so I’m not gonna do it any more – just google it ) awards that create a social connection, that heighten a person’s “experience” with the award and are somewhat removed from money – ARE BETTER. #Fact.
I know – you don’t like the answer. But you’re wrong.
Unless of course because I like Linkin Park you like Linkin Park (who are we kidding – no one likes Linkin Park.)
Below is a pieced-together graphic of the results from the LinkedIn poll for your review.
Notice that cash is #2 but the group in total like the “experience” angle – and they should – it is a very powerful influencer.
I’ll let you soak in the graphic and ask you to comment on what you think it shows. Me? It shows we have a long way to go as managers when it comes to understanding what truly drives behaviors and what we really care about.
If you still need to ask about which reward to use maybe you should take this quote to heart:
“If my answers frighten you then you should cease asking scary questions.”
Some sort of bonus point award if you know the movie this is from – hit me in the comments.
Originally posted on on Incentive Intelligence