Archive for March, 2012

4 Ways to Improving Employee Satisfaction Through Engagement

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

A recent research study conducted by TNS Employee Insights shows that engaging employees at work through programs like incentive rewards and loyalty programs, can improve the overall functionality and performance of a company by 20% points. MolsonCoors found that engaged employees were five times less likely than non-engaged employees to have a safety incident and seven times less likely to have a lost-time safety incident.

Using these types of programs by giving small incentives such as a small denomination gift card, or larger gifts for bigger workplace milestones makes employees feel noticed. Employees who are engaged at work feel as though they have a meaningful voice within the organization, and recognize effective leadership more readily. They feel as though they are being noticed, invested in, and guided professionally. Employees who feel engaged are also more productive, which leads to greater company revenues and 87% reduction in likelihood of employee departure. Here are four ways to invest in employee engagement and increase performance.

1.    Link employee engagement to business objectives and measures of effectiveness. The more substantial the direct connection the more clearly employees can view their role.
2.    Invest in employee programs specifically designed to increase engagement by supporting business objectives.
3.    Establish a system of measuring engagement and the effectiveness of these programs. Getting employee feedback about the programs is the best way to gauge their success.
4.    Make adjustments based on the discernible results. Maintaining flexibility in employee engagement programming is key to a positive outcome for both employees and the employer.


For more information on engaging your employees to improve your company’s performance check out this PR Web Article in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Gift Cards, Perfect Workplace Social Incentive

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Although the roots of the term “social incentives” goes back to the positive feelings humans gain when interacting with friends and peers; the term and concept has been leveraged in the workplace with great success. Historically, social incentives include the positive feedback one receives from peers, and even the presence of friends can be considered a social incentive.

In the workplace, it has been proven that the presence of friends affects worker’s attitude, behavior and their levels of productivity. Employers can help forge new friendships and relationships in the workplace by formalizing social incentives as part of their ongoing motivation, recognition and rewards programs.

Employers would thereby use the concept of social incentives as a way to encourage teams of coworkers to work together for common goals. Teams, cross-functional teams or randomly assembled  groups can join forces in a health and wellness program to collectively improve a workplace health and wellbeing outcomes, while driving individuals’ positive behaviors, keeping participants engaged and ultimately, drive results.

Where’s the proof? In the article Increase Participation with Social Incentives, by Wellsource; it is reported that a rate of 64% participation was garnered for individuals on a team, versus 44% participation for those in the same program, with the same incentive, but without being part of a team.

Now add a carrot like gift cards for successful participation, reaching milestones, and continued engagement and you are employing a well-rounded idea to keep your programs fresh. Why gift cards? Rewarding with a gift card like The Cheesecake Factory or Subway and the teams can dine together or get healthy take-out together to further develop the Comradery created by your program.

Are you encouraging teams to work together for common goals and individual productivity?

Source: Wellsource: Increase Participation with Social Incentives

5 Qualities of a Remarkable Boss

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Great bosses lead to happy, content, motivated employees. When employees feel like their boss is investing in them they are much more likely to invest more of themselves into their work, which reflects positively on the business, and the office environment. Here are 5 qualities of a remarkable boss, and how it can help your business and employee productivity.

1. Develop every employee: Provide the training, mentoring and opportunities to allow your employees to develop and grow in their roles. Implementing goal oriented incentive programs that provide rewards such as gift cards, or extra time off is a great way to provide growth opportunities while providing added incentive for employees and staying within the employer’s budget.

2. Deal with problems immediately: Ignoring problems can kill team morale. Addressing problems and changing processes internally in a timely manner can be difficult and time consuming but it maintains a positive, focused atmosphere in the office, free of politics and distractions.

3. Rescue your worst employee: Work with the “weak link” on your team to try to rehabilitate their image to the rest of the team by stepping up the coaching and mentoring you provide.

4. Serve others, not yourself: Putting yourself second to your employees and acting selflessly goes a long way in your role as the supervisor. It instills greater confidence in employees and reinforces their support system within the organization which will directly increase their productivity and motivation.

5. Always remember where you came from: Spend time with your employees when presented the opportunity. Spending small moments with employees provides a unique opportunity to inspire, reassure, motivate, and even give someone hope for their professional future. The higher your station in the company the greater your responsibility is to spend time with more junior employees.


For more information on becoming a great boss and how to inspire your employees check out the Inc. article.

It’s Time to Reward Loyal Employees

Monday, March 26th, 2012

A recent article calls NOW the time to reward employees, but they state, “If the economy gets better and job prospects improve, you may need to offer more incentives to keep your best employees”. It’s indisputable that as the economy revives, so will job opportunities to your employees and your competitors will be vicious when it comes to recruiting the best your company has to offer.

Showing your staffers how much they matter is critical to TOP employee retention. GCP’s comments about how gift cards meet the 3 views of this article follow each Inc.

  • “Make rewards personalized and meaningful”: You can include a personal note with gift cards to The Cheesecake Factory; their co-workers and families all benefit.
  • “Whenever possible, win over the family”: Gift cards can be used by your employee or their family and can be used WITH the family. Speedway gas cards help their family summer road-trips, Subway gift cards keep the family moving and eating healthy.
  • “Be unpredictable”: Gift cards are bought in bulk so they are on hand for spot rewards and on an irregular basis if this helps you from being too predictable, “…you don’t want them to go above and beyond just because they think there’s a reward in it for them.”, says Inc.

Check out the details of the Inc.’s: Now’s a Good Time to Reward Employees

Deep Dive into Gamification for Employee Motivation and Rewards

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

If you are immersed in the world of employee motivation, recognition and rewards; you’ve been hearing a lot about gamification: a business tool to integrate key techniques and mechanics into the workplace via “games”. Simply put, integrating interactive games as a tool within training or incentive programs improves employee engagement, motivation and productivity.

GCP’s gift cards are well engrained in such programs as game points can be accumulated to select a really useful “prize”, like lunches at SUBWAY, Health and Beauty items at CVS/pharmacy, high quality, trend forward, and professional fashions from The Limited…GCP’s gift cards are carefully selected for B2B programs like employee rewards.

GCP’s recent blogs lead to gobs of the evidence that gamification should be looked at seriously within incentive programs, Incentive Experts Point to Gamification as Top Incentive Trend, Snowfly’s 16 Key Findings for Success white paper, IRF’s 12 Trends in Rewards and Recognition for 2012, Gamification Keeps Employees Engaged and Brand Image Strong…but this blog offers you a deep dive into the mechanics of gamification, data on participation levels, performance and reward successes, and what you can expect long term.

Take a deep dive into gamification with “Snowfly’s Gamification in the Workplace: 15 Key Discoveries”, by Dr. Brooks Mitchell. His work has been published and referred to in hundreds of publications, including Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Fortune, and the New York Times.

Incorporating Innovation into Recognition

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

It is easy to provide standard compensation to employees: salary, plus rewards for organizational success and individual achievements. But what about innovation? If an employee finds an innovative way to change the business for the better, or to change the atmosphere in the office, shouldn’t that be rewarded on a higher level? Shouldn’t innovation that improves the business either internally or externally garner organization-wide recognition, not to mention some compensation that goes beyond standard bonuses?

Rewarding innovation is important to move your business forward, and to keep your employees engaged in the company’s work at all times. To know there is a high level reward behind innovative thinking and behavior is a huge employee motivator, and lets employees know that their organization stands behind them as long as they are committed. The compensation could be monetary, or it could come in the form of a choice of gift cards, which would reward the employee in a more personal way. Gift cards hold a trophy value, and can be used by the employee to treat themselves, friends, or family with their reward.

Compensating employees is expected, but rewarding and engaging employees by driving your business to innovation is much more productive. For more information on how to reward your employees for innovative behaviors check out this Fast Company article.

The Prepaid Expo: Adapt or Die

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

It should be of no surprise that mobile payment was a choice topic at this year’s Prepaid Expo, but as purveyors of the B2B portion of retail sales; how will we get to mobile payment?

Retailers and merchants are living (or about to live) the latest technology and game changing concepts about the consumer waving their mobile device to pay. But the B2B portion of the market still has major issues to overcome. The questions that the Prepaid Expo asks ring loud in order to capture consumers and also ring true for your B2B customers and subsequent end-consumers:

What will be frictionless in your environment?
What will bring the greatest value?
What will be the best authentication?
What’s the best way to reduce cost?
How do you make prepaid product more relevant and valuable to cardholder before, during, after the
payment transaction?

Interesting quote from Bill Gates about the future: “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.”–Bill Gates

Mobile buying is inevitable, but are you considering B2B gift card sales in your mobile prepaid strategy? If not, when will you shape your change?

Read up on the Prepaid Expo’s Live from Prepaid Expo: The Future of Prepaid & Mobile

Reward and Recognition- The Latest Trends

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

The Incentive Research Foundation released an executive briefing entitled 2012 Trends in Rewards and Recognition, which shows emerging trends for 2012. Some of the top trends include:

  • Personalization. Increased use of award elements such as gift cards allow employees to discount “fun purchases” or use the reward to ease up their monthly bills. Using flexible award elements such as gift cards allows employees to choose how they want to direct their award currency.
  • Participation. Using incentives as part of a health and wellness program have been shown to increase participation by 26% to 90%, and offer employers an ROI of about $3 for every $1 invested.
  • Convenience. Integrating incentives programs across multiple platforms like mobile applications increase communication between employees and employers, as well as provide more convenience, flexibility, and ease of use for the employee.
The IRF briefing included many other trends, some of which we have covered on the GCP blog before, such as “gamification” of reward programs and the increasing presence of virtual workplace creation through various social media channels. Check out more on the Incentive Research Foundation executive briefing and let us know which trends your company is following.

Gamification Keeps Employees Engaged and Brand Image Strong

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

According to Gartner Inc., of Stamford, CT 70% of the top 2,000 publicly held companies will use game-like applications to engage and reward their employees by 2014. Gamification is changing the employee engagement and rewards landscape. Gamifying employee rewards falls in line with social media and the concept of social sharing to create brand awareness and positive brand image. Whether applications are used internally, based on employee performance or externally, rewarding employees for promoting the company and bringing in referral traffic, the trend is growing.

Gamification can reward employees in a number of ways. Some applications are designed for employees to accrue points for larger rewards, but others reward employees more frequently with smaller rewards such as gift cards to a choice of retialers, allowing the employee to essentially choose their own gift. The combination of the social component of game-like applications and the rewards employees work toward through the use of the applications makes gamifying employee engagement productive for both the employer and employee.


For more information on gamification and to check out some existing examples check out this article in “Entrepreneur.”

Charming Shoppes: The Right Fit for Loyalty Programs

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Are you running a customer loyalty points program and looking for the right FIT for your customer rewards? Selecting the right gift cards to include in your program goes beyond strong brands and lots of locations. The gift card brands you offer should not only be a category leader, but they should innovate by facilitating a perfect fit for their customers, and in this day-and-age; they should provide social experiences that enhance the buying experience.

Last September, Charming Shoppes launched Fashion Genius™ for Lane Bryant® and its sister brands Catherines®, Fashion Bug® and Sonsi®.  The Fashion Genius™ includes breakthrough “fit and style technology that takes the guesswork out of shopping online, enabling plus size women to turn personalized recommendations into fully styled, head-to-toe outfits.”

Now couple that technology leadership with offering a mobile shopping experience which integrates PayPal, adds customer crowd-sourcing and shopper collaboration on social media platforms, and; Charming Shoppes offers your loyalty program participants more than a cutting edge gift card reward, it’s a seamless customer experience.

Read more about Charming Shoppes’ Fashion Genius and their latest advancements in social shopping technology.