Inspiring Tips

Who Would Want Cold Cash As A 
Performance Incentive?

The conventional wisdom holds that cash is the ultimate incentive for improved performance: "Give me the big bucks, and I'll not only work harder, but I'll turn over my first-born and any of his siblings within reach."

However, BI Performance Services argues thatto borrow a Gershwin song title"It Ain't Necessarily So." They say once people have satisfied their basic needs, the promise of more money might not do as much to encourage performance improvements as, say, travel and gifts.

One exampleGoodyear Tire & Rubber Co., debating how to boost sales on one of its high-end tire lines, assumed that cash was the magic wand. But a Goodyear marketing executive disagreed and suggested they run a test for six months. They split 900 company-owned stores into two groups, one offered a cash bonus of $8 per set of four tires sold.

The other was offered an equivalent value in "points" that could be accumulated and applied to the acquisition of merchandise offered by BI's 180-page catalog (of nearly 1,700 items).

The bottom line: The Goodyear stores using cash bonuses boosted sales of the expensive tire line by 22 percent, compared with the previous six months. But those stores offering merchandise and travel awards lifted their sales even moreby 32 percent over the earlier period.

Why? There's no solid evidence, but BI's research indicates that "the best way to change behavior is to somehow engage the emotions." And the best way to do that is with the visualization involved with working toward a specific merchandise or travel goal.


Email Training Systems, Inc., for copies of articles on how to set up your non-cash incentive plans and ideas for vendors like Amagifts.

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