The research was poorly constructed with pre-directed selections (bonus, time off, department lunch, tickets to events) that were very specific but no broad option such as “recognition program”. From such a narrow selection of unrewarding rewards, no wonder CFOs primarily chose “Bonus” as most rewarding.
As another comment on the research pointed out, “bonus” itself is ill defined as some would consider non-cash (tangible) rewards to be bonuses as well.
Interestingly, the same organization released a survey a year ago that found:
"68% of CFOs said they are implementing strategies to boost the moods of their teams. The survey found that the most common way businesses are attempting to raise workplace morale is through increased and improved communication (37%); while 15% are enhanced employee recognition programs.”Clearly this was a much more properly structured study. Our own research found that nearly all respondents (CFOs and HR managers) agreed that HR and Finance need to be on the same page, only 58 percent of respondents say this is the case in their organization. Even though best practice suggests that Finance is the business unit that should require ROI, few survey respondents (36 percent) indicated that Finance was taking a leading role in HR processes, programs and technologies.
My caution to you, be careful how you read research.