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Why "Cash is Not King" When It Comes to Engagement

When asked what they want from their employers to feel more appreciated, most employees respond “more money.” But the overwhelming data suggests that “cash is not king” when it comes to employee engagement. Instead, non-cash motivations, such as ownership of projects, attention from leadership, and employee connections, have a far greater impact on long-term retention. While some companies are currently providing monetary stipends to employees during the remote-work era, others recognize that true impact comes from engaging their workforce through meaningful non-cash incentives.


Why avoid cash rewards? A tangible gift can remind employees of the fact they are appreciated each time they look at it, whereas people often spend bonuses on basic necessities like a mortgage or groceries (out of sight and out of mind). Another benefit of non-cash incentives is workplace buzz--i.e. people are less likely to discuss how much money they receive, but they are inclined to share about an engaging experience or meaningful gift.


Read more about how gifts and other non-cash incentives have a greater long-term impact here from Harvard Business Professor Ashley Whilans and check out HomployeeHub's impactful non-cash gift ideas here.