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Who Doesn’t Love Cash?

August 1, 2016

cashWe all love cash, don’t we? Cash is king. It’s the lube for our lives. We support ourselves with it and cover our primary human needs with it. We use it for shelter, we feed and clothe ourselves with it, we donate it, we save it, we spend it. We raise kids with it, we have fun with it, and we save for retirement with it. We need it. No argument here.
It also serves as the primary tender for our working contracts: I (the employee) will do some things for you, and in exchange for doing those things for you, you (the employer) will tender payment to me, typically in the form of cash. That’s our agreement with each other – it’s the result of fulfilling that contract – even if the fulfillment meets the requirements of the contract at a minimal level. For this agreement, cash is the appropriate, and desired, form of payment.
Cash, however, is not as meaningful as symbolic recognition when recognizing an employee’s efforts and contributions.
There was a great Seinfeld episode (Season 2, Episode 9 – am I dating myself?), where Jerry is trying to come up with a meaningful gift for Elaine’s birthday. View the clip:

After much deliberation, he arrives at his decision – $182 in cash. Based on Elaine’s flat reaction to the cash (Elaine to Jerry: “Who are you, my uncle?”), and her subsequent excited reaction to Kramer’s thoughtful gift (Elaine to Kramer: “The bench!!! You got me the bench!!!”), you’ll get the picture. A thoughtful, symbolic award will beat cash – every time.
When it comes to recognition, a cash award just doesn’t cut it. It’s impersonal. It doesn’t reflect the value you place on that employee’s contributions. For increased impact, employee recognition should be in the form of something tangible, meaningful, and symbolic. The award should be symbolic of the impact that employee has had on your organization, and serve as a reminder of the impact your organization has had on that employee.
Everybody loves cash. But tangible, symbolic employee recognition lasts longer.
It doesn’t take a big investment of time, effort, or money to recognize employee contributions in an effective and meaningful way. Terryberry can help any step of the way with developing, implementing, and managing your employee recognition program, service award program and providing meaningful and motivating awards. Learn how to get started today. 
Scott VanderLeek
Scott VanderLeek is the National Sales Manager for Terryberry, a global provider of employee recognition solutions. Other claims to fame include surviving a train crash and his budding career as a movie extra.


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