Dubai/Abu Dhabi/Fujairah: Actions speak louder than words, or so the saying goes. But do we really believe it?

A recent study says words of praise give the same feeling as cash rewards, but how true is it? When you hear your boss praising you for a job well done, does it honestly give you the same gratification as receiving a pay rise at the end of the month?

In a recent Gulf News poll, 68 per cent said cash rewards were better than words of praise while the remaining 32 per cent said that praise and cash rewards are as good as each other.

City Talk took to the streets and asked residents whether they agree that words of praise give the same feeling as cash rewards, what would they rather have, and if they think that a cash reward works better than a praise.

Gazi Vakil, a sales executive from Pakistan, 24, said: "It depends on the person what they prefer the most, but I think that many would like having cash rewards. I would probably feel better if I received praise in public from my boss. Cash rewards work better because a person would then know that if they do a good job next time, there will be a reward waiting for them."

Famous Egyptian singer Ahmad Sherbini talks to Gulf News about his opinion.

"A combination of both cash reward and praise would be good, but for me as a person words motivate me more and make me feel that I want to perform better. Especially as a singer, when I hear that people enjoy my songs or album, it is more rewarding than money. I feel better when I have my fans around me," he said.

A Jordanian student Ali Hashem, 19, who also works as a part-time engineer, feels that a bit of both is rewarding.

"I would be a hypocrite if I would choose one over the other. If my boss rewards me with both money and encouraging words I would be a lot happier than if it was with only one."

Benny Cabral, a Filipino electrical engineer, 41, said: "Cash is better, and I would like to have cash instead of praise if I am doing a good job. I came to Dubai to earn money and send it back home to my family, so if I do a good job my family will benefit from the cash rewards as well."

Mashood Hassan, a medical administrator from Sri Lanka, said: "Praise makes me feel better. For me it's a matter of dignity. I value praise more than money because it shows signs of appreciation from the other person. Praise helps improve one's performance and boost one's self esteem, it lifts your spirit. Money is a temporary reward."

Reycelyn Regio, 27, a Filipina accountant, said: "For me, it is more important to have a cash reward because life is getting more expensive and cash would be a more practical incentive. Words of praise are also important, however, and employees need to hear such encouragement from their management if they are doing the right thing. If a company increases the pay of an individual then that alone is a significant show of their appreciation to his or her work, so it has an affect on two levels."

Mustafa Hamdi, 31, an Egyptian accountant, said: "I think at times it would be good to give words of praise and other times a cash incentive, whichever is more beneficial to an individual.

"With some individuals, one or the other could be more appropriate and a good manager will know how to bring the best out of his staff. To some people, money is the most important thing, so words of praise will not have the same affect and managers need to realise that."

Haseeb Khalid, a banker from Pakistan, 29, said: "Cash and praise cannot give the same feeling of rewards. It also depends how much a person trusts the judgement of his employer and whether he can rely on the words of praise.

"I would prefer a cash reward instead because it provides a better incentive to do a good job the next time around."

Mahmoud Abdul Rahman, 30, an Egyptian fast-food delivery man, said: "Life is difficult and is getting more expensive, so for most people, words alone are not quite enough.

"Mangers can use words for their own interest but an employee is interested in improving his life and words alone will not pay his bills. If I'm doing a good job and the management is happy then I would want more than just words.

"That is not to belittle the importance of positive feedback because to some people that is very important, but nothing motivates an employee more than the possibility of more financial reward."