* TRENDS Cash Is No Longer King, Says New Survey According to a new study, the old saying, "Money isn't everything," couldn't be more on target.
The most recently completed portion of a major research effort conducted by the Incentive Federation and underwritten by the SITE Foundation found that nearly 75 percent of the 4,000 executives surveyed consider travel and merchandise to be more memorable than cash. More than half said that cash awards and bonuses are viewed by employees as part of their total remuneration package--not as incentives.
The survey also found that companies view travel and merchandise as the most cost-effective incentive awards. The average per-person cost of a travel award for sales personnel among those companies surveyed is $1,981; for nonsales personnel, that figure drops to $1,070.
For Memphis-based Conwood Co., the manufacturer of Levi Garrett and Kodiak brands of smokeless tobacco, merchandise programs are even less costly and just as effective. The company runs incentive programs periodically for its route salespeople. The rewards? Golf shirts, clocks, briefcases, and other merchandise, often emblazoned with the logo from a particular promotion. "We have found that our people view their cash bonuses and commissions as part of their pay, but also that they respond well to merchandise awards--no matter what the perceived value is," says Terry Williams, national sales manager.