Does $money$ motivate as a bonus, gift, or incentive?

Do you remember all those birthdays you had when you were younger? You would hold that birthday card envelope in your hands and when you realized it was thicker than the others, you knew what was inside… CA$H! Can you recall who gave those cash gifts to you? Sure, you can guess that Grandma gave you a few bills every year but do you actually remember everyone who gave a cash gift? More importantly, can you recall what you did with the cash? Chances are you likely can’t remember how and where you spent that birthday money. So where’s the long term lasting memory of that gift?

Owners and Managers may use money or gift cards as a bonus, a gift, or incentive to reach a goal. Employees will likely say that, above all else, they want cash in these circumstances too. Christmas is coming and many of us are looking forward to that bonus! Ask me if I want a cash bonus… Absolutely! I have bills to pay and I feel like I’m getting pinched by the cost of living so, yes, I really want money as a bonus. But is that truly what will motivate me?

Does money actually motivate or incentivize us? Dan Ariely, Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University, says no. In Ariely’s book, Payoff, he says, “Too many managers believe people are motivated by money.” He conducted an experiment in a semiconductor factory and demonstrated that while a bonus resulted in a spike in worker productivity in the short term, over time it then declined below what it was before the bonus was offered.

Is money an effective incentive or motivator? Based on Ariely’s research, no. Then what makes the best bonus, gift, or incentive? Gratitude and compliments are better motivators, according to Ariely. “Acknowledgment is a kind of human magic.” In other words, show and tell people thanks. Giving thanks is more effective than money and has lasting impact.

This is where a branded gift can help. You can select the right branded gift by giving careful thought towards it and working with a consultant who can give you ideas. If selected right, that gift will remain with that person for years. The person will see the gift, see you branding, and they can remember exactly why the gift was given and who gave it to them. Simply put, it builds goodwill by being a continual reminder of appreciation.

If you’re giving a branded gift to your employees, think of the appreciation you show and think of the endearing positive attitude your employees will have towards your organization. You give them a branded gift to say thank you for a good year, as an achievement thank you for reaching that goal, or simply as a way to leave a lasting impact on them. A branded gift is something they will see in their home or work environment to remind them of who it came from and what it meant. Seeing the company brand on a gift is a perpetual “thank you” reinforcement that Ariely refers to.

When your company is considering gifts for staff, reconsider giving a cash gift. As much as employees may say they want it, research shows they really want to be shown thanks and gratitude. Put some thought and effort into your gifts by creating a cool branded gift that your staff will love.

Our thank you gifts to customers – Customized swell water bottles with our branding printed on

This company gave t-shirts to their staff who volunteered in a charitable program. When staff wear a piece of company branded clothing, they look alike and it builds that team feeling.

This organization gives a branded coffee mug as a thank you gift as an introduction to their community

Your author’s favouriet winter jacket. Bradned of course!

#gifting #christmas # SWAG #branding #marketing #promotionalproducts #surrey #vancouver  #staff