by Leo Jakobson | April 17, 2018
The Incentive Research Foundation today announced the launch of The IRF Quarterly Academic Review, a journal focused exclusively on research about incentives, rewards, recognition, and motivation in the workplace. 

The first journal on this topic, the Review will explain key research in these fields and summarize it into relevant, actionable information for people creating, running, and approving incentive, recognition, and reward programs.

The journal is a product of the IRF's longstanding goal of bringing non-cash recognition and rewards programs into the academic world and, ultimately, into business curriculums. In 150 research studies over the past 25 years, the IRF has built a network of 50 university researchers around the world. The journal is supported by the IRF's partner, United Incentives.

When the IRF launched its Vision2020 blueprint for the future, it "made a commitment to focus on cultivating community and collaboration in the global incentive and recognition industry, to amplify the use of IRF research and education in all business disciplines, and to increase the incentive and recognition research both produced and used by academia and business," according to Melissa Van Dyke, president of the IRF. The Review is the "culmination of these efforts," she added.

The Review's first issue, which can be downloaded here, "explores the nuances of cash versus non-cash rewards and expands on traditional definitions of tangible non-cash rewards," according to the IRF. Each of the studies covered is summarized, and key findings, actionable takeaways, and question-and-answer interviews with the study's authors are presented. It will also provide research abstracts and book recommendations.

Among the key takeaways of the first issue are:

--Employees incentivized with gift cards produced significantly better results than those incentivized with cash.
--Employees who participated in but did not win incentive programs offering tangible rewards performed better in subsequent contests than those in cash programs.
--Potential participants are significantly influenced by information about non-cash benefits -- especially their cash value -- and job offers should include information about the monetary value of benefits, including rewards.
--Experiences can be imprinted into employees' memories by "making ordinary moments remarkable and magical."