What incentives/rewards programs work best?
Chances are employees will be happiest with a program that provides them with a positive experience, suggests the findings from eight separate studies.
In other words, life-experiences — such as going on vacation or to a movie — tend to have longer-lasting positive effects on people than material items, like a new iPod.
Reason: While the iPod will probably make someone very happy initially, the person’s satisfaction with it will wane over time. On the other hand, peoples’ satisfaction with positive experiences tends to start out high and only increase.
Research into peoples’ buying habits sheds some light on why providing experiences is better than cash or merchandise.
- People are more likely to mull over material purchases (TVs, computers) than experiential ones (vacations, event tickets), always second-guessing whether they made the best purchase.
- People don’t compare experiences the way they do material items.
- People become more upset when they learn someone else got a better deal on a material purchase than an experiential one.
The lesson for benefits pros: Relate your rewards to an experience — even if you’re giving cash or merchandise.
Talk about what people can do with an item or cash.
Example: “Imagine kicking back with your friends and watching the big game on your new 48-inch flat-screen TV. What a great way to show off the benefits of all your hard work.”
Do you think this is something that’d work in your incentives/rewards program? Let us know in the Comments Box below.