In reading Khim Kelly’s, Associate Professor of Accounting, from the University of Florida, and her team’s research on The Effects of Tangible Rewards versus Cash Rewards in Consecutive Sales Tournaments: A Field Experiment, I learned some fascinating insights.
It piqued my interest because it was a field study and not one of those in the university lab experiments. The setting was selling rugs in retail stores and incentivizing sales people with either cash or tangible rewards (gift cards from a choice of vendors) for achieving high-performance results over two consecutive sales campaigns, each of three months in length. The study was conducted in a Canadian retail store chain. The Incentive Research Federation has shown that companies are relying more heavily on tangible rewards these days over cash, as a reward vehicle with their various incentive and reward campaigns.
Does one work better than another? That is the question I was curious about. (more…)