Money may make the world go round, but if you want your people to strive higher, rather than just round and round, try offering something other than money to motivate them. So says new research from the Forum for People Performance Management and Measurement.

The Forum, an organization affiliated with the department of Integrated Marketing Communications at the Medill School of Northwestern University, Evanston, Il., surveyed 235 managers to find out what they believe motivates employees most—not how people want to be motivated or what is most efficient for their organizations, but what works.

In a report titled “Awards Selection Study: Insights From Managers,” researchers looked at 12 motivational tactics and 10 organizational objectives and found that, overall, managers found noncash reward and recognition programs most effective.

Noncash programs are considered more effective for eight of the 10 organizational objectives, including reinforcing organizational values/culture; creating positive internal communications/buzz; improving teamwork; increasing customer satisfaction; motivating specific behaviors/tasks; and increasing retention/loyalty. Cash-based programs were seen as more effective for increasing sales and improving customer acquisition/referrals.

Recognition, gift certificates, and special events were cited as the most common noncash motivational tactics. Here are the 12 tactics studied, with percentage of the respondents who used the tactic noted: employee recognition (83.8%); gift certificates (65.5%); special events (63.4%); cash rewards (59.1%); merchandise incentives (57%); e-mail/print communications (50.6%); training programs (47.2%); work/life benefits (37.4%); variable pay (29.8%); group travel (21.7%); individual travel (21.3%); and sweepstakes (9.8%).