Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Healthy Employee Culture Drives Participation

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

f4429a1a0a658cb0f0b6a1849e15ae8a_SInitial engagement in employee health and wellness programs don’t drive long term participation like healthy employee cultures. While new employee health and wellness programs often drive short term engagement through the first few months, or maybe even the first few years, creating healthy employee champions and a culture of wellness creates long term employee participation.

Providing non-cash rewards as a component to a healthy employee culture are a great way to drive long term participation. Offering a discount in the employee portion of the health insurance premium almost doubled employee participation in Herman Miller Co’s employee wellness program. Jumping from 40% to 79% year over year for the first 3 years, but seeing a plateau in participation levels in subsequent years. Offering small denomination gift cards to retailers like GNC, Nutrisystem and CVS/Pharmacy are another way to promote a healthy employee culture by assisting employees in forming a healthy lifestyle.

Instead of using typical carrot tactics to get employees to change habits, providing an environment for creating a healthy employee culture will provide longer term results that will have a greater impact on your workforce and healthcare costs.

Employee Growth Builds Employee Loyalty

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

loyalty-pano_20169Employees are expecting more and more from their jobs, while at the same time employers are trying to retain employees as the notion of the “company man or woman” becomes a thing of the past. Higher salaries, free snacks, and flexible hours are great, but giving employees an opportunity to really grow and learn at work is the most compelling case for employee loyalty.

Employees can leave when their positions start to feel stagnate. They get bored, they check out, and then they start to look for other opportunities to grow. A recent Canadian study reveals that 65% of Canadian employees would leave their “perfect job” for more money, to improve their career opportunities, or for a job that is a better fit for their background. This is compelling and consistent with the employee climate in the U.S. as well. Employees are looking to build their profiles, and if they find an employer who is willing to help them build that while working and contributing to the organization, their loyalty will endure. Employees won’t have an opportunity to stagnate and will build themselves opportunities for advancement, while advancing the goals of their organization.

For more information on how to build employee loyalty through employee growth check out this article from the Financial Post.

The Cost of Employee Turnover

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Employee turnover is constantly on the mind of human resources professionals in all types of organizations. However, once you see the infographic from TribeHR below you might put some urgency behind an employee retention initiative. On average, a new employee costs over $57,000 in lost productivity, on-boarding costs, benefits application, and that figure does not even include the cost of training. For the cost of $57,000 could pay a junior level employee for an entire year, which has much greater potential to have a lasting impact on your business than simply bringing on a new employee.

Want to lower the cost of employee turnover? Keep your current employees on board! Make sure employees feel appreciated through recognition of exceptional actions. Provide opportunity for learning and growth through professional development. When employees feel appreciated and feel like their employers are investing in them, employee turnover will decrease and retention rates will rise.


Skills Gap Leads to Workforce Investment

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

thank youAs technology continues to advance and increase efficiency across a variety of industries, organizations continue to slow their hiring rates. Surprisingly enough, it’s not always due to a slow economy or lack of growth, but simply that technological infrastructure is preventing companies from needing as many people. Additionally, for the positions employers are looking to fill, there is often a skills gap between the candidates available and what the employer is looking for. So even for the limited positions available, employers can’t find qualified replacements for their departing staff. The solution? Employee retention, invest in people so they stick around.

A recent study from Ken Esch and PwC Private Company Services notes that 20% of employers surveyed feel pressure to raise salaries, partially to retain employees. 56% of employers indicated that hiring remains a priority for the company, given the skills gap and the increased difficulty to fill positions with the level of talent and skill set required. However, most compelling is that a whopping 84% of employers surveyed are making substantial workforce investments, ranging from training programs, to talent retention benefits like workplace rewards programs.

Workforce investments that recognize employee effort, motivation and increased production are great ways to increase employee retention. Using small denomination gift cards to retailers like Subway, Crutchfield or even Xbox Live are effective ways to reward employees, with trophy value that creates a lasting impression.

For more information on the skill gap and workforce investment head over to Forbes here.

Community Engagement and Unifying Your Community

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

How well do you know your neighbor? With the hustle and bustle of everyday life many are finding themselves more and more dettached from their neighbors and the community as a whole can end up suffering.

Using small rewards to incentivize community engagement can help not only accomplish community goals, but engage a certain subset of your community to slow down and get involved. Whether you need to clean up the neighborhood playground, seed the community garden or encourage young adults in your community to get in the habit of giving blood, a small incentive could do the trick.

Offering a $5 gift card to retailers like Subway or Speedway to incentivize either your whole community or a specific group, like young adults or seniors (or both to get cross-generational volunteerism going!) can provide a small boost to get community members active.

Whether your goal is to make a positive impact on a small budget or to bring the community together as a whole, gift cards are a great motivational tool and something everyone can appreciate.

How is your community incentivizing community engagement? As the summer comes to an end and fall is quickly approaching, what are you doing  to bring your town, city or community together in a unified effort to make your community a better place? Leave us a comment with your ideas!

Creating Customer and Employee Loyalty

Friday, August 15th, 2014

As a Massachusetts based company it has been hard to ignore the Market Basket scandal/scuffle/struggle. As the drama continues to unfold, one thing has been made clear by both Market Basket employees and customers: they are loyal. Scandal aside, organizations work very hard to try and build that kind of loyalty on either side of the cash register.

Here are three ways to help build loyalty in your organization:

  1. Develop long-term employee relationships. Building relationships with employees builds a lot of positives into the employee/employer relationships. Specifically, by promoting from within, employees become loyal as employers make further investments in their existing staff. Through professional development and advancement, employees grow with employers, while customers get a consistent brand experience for years.
  2. Keep overhead low. Ensuring workplace and supply chain efficiency will help keep employees busy, which will create widespread employee satisfaction. Low overhead simultaneously allows prices for consumers to stay low. Creating mutually beneficial situations will cultivate both customer and employee loyalty.
  3. Treat employees and customers like family. While customer and employee loyalty can be really complicated, it can also be simple. Remember the golden rule? Use it! Treat customers and employees the way you would want to be treated. Build relationships and get to know both populations that are critical to your business. Through relationships loyalty will grow.

For more advice on cultivating customer and employee loyalty, check out this article from

3 Points in Favor of Employee Wellness Programs

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Employee Wellness ProgramEmployee wellness programs work well for a lot of reasons. While they may not be the most scientifically measurable, metrics-based programs, there’s still a lot left to learn about employee wellness programs? These programs are relatively new in the space of human resources and employee benefits and while we don’t claim to know everything, here’s some great points you may find useful:

  1. Healthy employees take fewer sick days. According to the CDC, a healthy weight man misses 3 days of work a year due to illness, where an obese man misses 5. Does 2 days annually make or break a career? Probably not, but if I were a business owner and I knew that employees at a healthy weight were more consistently attendant at work, I would work to help them achieve their weight goals.
  2. People like wellness programs. Access to exercise, convenient health screenings and support or work-out groups bring people together and are seen as an employee perk. Providing access to and support for the tools employees need to get healthy and maintain an healthy lifestyle are a great way to boost morale. Give the people what they want, because the comparative cost can be high.
  3. Measurable benefits do exist. One meta-analysis of a 42 program set of employee wellness programs revealed that at the onset of the wellness programs the organizations experienced a 25% reduction in absenteeism and health costs as well as a 32% drop in worker’s comp and disability claims. These results help to prove the point, employee wellness programs are here to stay and can make a positive impact on your workforce.

If you still need convincing about why employee wellness programs work (or some more skepticism about what we still don’t know) check out this article from Fast Company.

CVS Caremark Expands Reach, Acquires Navarro

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

CVS Caremark, the parent company to CVS/pharmacy, recently announced its acquisition of Navarro Discount Pharmacy. “The acquisition of Navarro will strengthen CVS/pharmacy’s position in the Hispanic marketplace, the fastest growing demographic in the U.S., and we are excited to be adding the Navarro Discount Pharmacy brand to the CVS/pharmacy family,” said Helena Foulkes, President, CVS/pharmacy.

CVS/pharmacy continues to expand with this acquisition, adding to its now has 7,600 locations nationwide. Navarro customers will also benefit from the Minute Clinic services, bringing urgent health care services into new communities.

CVS/pharmacy gift cards are now an even stronger brand to make available to your employees as part of a health and wellness initiative, or rewards through an employee recognition program. Gift cards are useful to employees in any denomination, large or small, which helps fit into an employer’s budget for the remaining part of 2014, or as we all begin to look ahead to 2015 planning.

With four options to choose from, CVS/pharmacy corporate gift cards offer a card to fit your program.

  • CVS/pharmacy gift cards and eGift cards are useful for any employee program.
  • CVS Select® Cards are great for health and wellness initiatives of all size, steering employees to make healthy choices in-store.
  • Minute Clinic® Prepaid Cards can assist employees in receiving the health care they need, whenever they may need it.
  • CVS/pharmacy® Flu Shot eGift Cards are a great way to make sure the flu virus doesn’t inundate your office with sick employees (or sick days!) over the winter. Keeping your workforce healthy also keeps it productive.

Invest in Employee Training

Friday, August 8th, 2014

The title pretty much covers it for this one, so if you have to stop here (which we at GiftCard Partners DON’T recommend) you’ve gotten (part of) the point. For most organizations, employees are the biggest and greatest asset. Invest in them! Employees matter, and employee training produces ROI like any other investment.

Here are three ways to invest in your employees.

  • Superior quality output translates to your clients. Training your employees to do their absolute best will mean that your workforce will provide the absolute best to your clients.
  • Optimize your biggest investments. You spend a lot of money paying employees and training them, making sure they do their best. Provide professional development opportunities like internal training or external conferences. This ensures your best investment is at the top of their game and have all the latest knowledge related to your industry.
  • Reduce downtime. Ensure employees are busy and challenged. When employees are pushed to their limits, they set new limits, which makes your business better. Rewarding employees for working hard with small denomination gift cards to popular retailers like The Limited or The Children’s Place is a great way to let your employees know you recognize their effort.

Train employees to translate your success to the long-term. Increasing the quality of your output will be noticed by clients, and the investment you put in will raise employee retention and loyalty.

Free Employee Perks That Mean Everything

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Employee perks are a great way to provide non-cash rewards and incentives to your employees. Providing a little something extra to employees beyond their workload helps build team dynamics and create a positive company culture. Here are four employee perks that won’t touch your budget but will go a long way in building your team.

  1. Unlimited Time Off: This can be a win-win, if handled properly. Making unlimited vacation work involves prepping managers for the flexibility they are going to have to give employees in order for the policy to hold true. It is equally important to communicate to employees that this is vacation at THEIR discretion. Don’t be afraid to mention that there is a line that can be crossed. However, unlimited vacation gives employee flexibility and prevents employers from needing to pay out accrued days off upon employee departure for any reason.
  2. Workouts- Mind and Body: Challenge employees and offer an escape. Lunch-time professional development training and after work yoga session in the office are both great ways to provide healthy and productive employee perks. Helping employees grow and form good habits goes a long way.
  3. A Culture of Giving: Do good, together. Charity, volunteering and giving back to the community are all great ways to bring your team together. This provides internal camaraderie while also doing good for your community and those less fortunate.
  4. Gratitude: Be grateful; for each other, for the work and for the successes! Let employees know when they are going above and beyond, and let employees recognize each other. Make a wall of gratitude or an anonymous internal blog.

For more ideas on how to use free employee perks to build your team head over to The Muse.