Companies run incentive programs that use non-cash awards for very specific reasons.
Most of those reasons, if not all, participants will argue with. They will argue because their objective and the company’s objective, are very different.
Companies don’t run these programs to be nice. They run them to get results.
And when the science and research provide ample evidence that goal and behavior-based, non-cash, non-fungible branded currency (typically points), non-compensation based, reward programs designed by professionals generate substantially more return on the program investment, you run those kinds of programs.
That’s what smart, responsible companies do.
They don’t run a program because the participants say they want cash. Heck, everyone wants cash. It’s easy, fast and they will tell you they can buy the same award they can get with the non-cash points. (Note: they don’t.)
You know what? My kids want ice cream for breakfast every day, but I don’t give it to them. I give them a balanced breakfast with a little bit of sweet now and then. That’s responsible parenting.
Companies run programs to achieve a goal. And that goal isn’t to be nice. That’s responsible marketing.
But – sure – go ahead. Ignore ALL the evidence that shows using cash is a bad idea. You’ll spend more and get lower results.
But, please. Go for it. Your competition will love you for it.
By the way… Check out the podcast, ebook and webinar on designing better programs. Or let your competition do that. Your call.