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by Lisa A. Grimaldi | September 28, 2011

 The Incentive Research Foundation and the Incentive Federation have released a white paper that questions the widely held belief that cash awards are the most effective employee motivator. By looking at the findings of a number of industry studies, the researchers found that noncash awards "capture an employee's imagination better than cash -- thereby motivating them to increase performance." In a statement about the findings, Jeff Broudy, chairman of the IRF board of trustees, said, "Tangible awards capture employee attention; that attention yields better performance and drives several practical business outcomes. The old notion that cash is preferred by employees and is therefore always more impactful is not true. Businesses need to change with the times, and their awards strategies must as well." The paper, The State of Tangible Incentive Research: the Use of Tangible Incentives, is available here.