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Employee Rewards: What do they really want?

Mar 19, 2014

Written by: BI WORLDWIDE India
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For all the good work offered to you by your sales teams, channel partners and employees, you would want to reward them accordingly.

For all the good work offered to you by your sales teams, channel partners and employees, you would want to reward them accordingly. Employee rewards don’t necessarily have to be grand gestures. One just needs to innovate ways to find out what the employees truly want. Not simply for the sake of rewarding, but you would rather give them something special or personal. Something that they really desire! For which, you ought to know what that would be.

Firstly, how would you know? By conducting an online or an email survey?

As noted through research by behavioural scientists, most often than not, many people have been found to lie when answering surveys. Not necessarily to cheat or steal, but only responding in a way to tell you what they perceive you want to hear – and this is called the social desirability bias. This bias comes in when people fear their answer is not according to the standard, against the norm or politically incorrect.

People also lie on surveys to avoid being taken as unhip, outdated, boring or out-of-touch. And some take it for granted and do it just to annoy, be difficult or to assert their independence. In short, they want to clutter your results.

As an option, one could even go through the past program redemption patterns to get a clearer picture. But today’s world is packed with rapidly changing consumer patterns. Something that was extremely desired just two years ago can be totally obsolete today, or in a few months or around the time when you would be presenting the rewards.

In addition, your top performers are more likely to have the money to possess the latest ‘in-trend’ product anyway and wouldn’t wait for months to get it from you.

So, the secret to it is.., just ask!

Consider asking your employees what they want in person, or in one-on-one conversation. It might just hit the right chord if you ask the right question. But why do people lie on surveys? Isn’t that asking too? That’s because, surveys are anonymous and one-way, leading to no interaction or responsibility. A personal conversation with a poignant question is to the point and interactive. Most people refrain from lying face to face, and even if they do, one can make out from their body language. So what is the right question to ask?

‘What award would you like?’ is definitely not the question to ask, because, the answer will be cash.

You may instead ask: “What is something you’d love to have, but could never justify buying for yourself?”

This question truly brings out what a person really desires, or wishes to have, but feels too selfish to spend their money on it. This is called justifiability bias by behavioural scientists. For some reason or the other, like that of availability of resources, to practicality, to frugality, to political correctness, there are some things people just won’t buy with their own money. But when presented it as a gift, they are deeply touched and even highly appreciate it.

Why not give it a try? You’ll never know unless you ask.

Contact BI WORLDWIDE™ to know more on how to get employees and sales teams increase productivity by offering rewards that people really want.


BI WORLDWIDE, is a global performance improvement company and has been in operation for over 60 years. Fusing Domain Expertise, Cutting Edge Technology, Rewards Fulfillment, and Campaign Execution Capabilities, BI WORLDWIDE provides end-to-end solutions to implement effective Employee Recognition, Channel Rewards and Customer Loyalty programs.

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