Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Employee Leadership in 3 Easy Steps

Monday, September 29th, 2014

3 fingersEmployee leadership is critical to maintaining employee morale and motivating employees toward organizational goals. Here are three tips to ensure you lead your employees effectively.

  1. Accountability- Leaders hold both themselves and their employees accountable for their actions. Hold yourself as a leader to a high standard and your employees will follow. This leads to greater team camaraderie and more productive individuals.
  2. Respect- Respect is contagious! Yes, it’s cliche but it’s also true. People expect leaders to respect them and in turn trust leaders more when they respect them. Without respect your leadership capacity will be limited.
  3. Authenticity- Be yourself, by honest and be authentic. Don’t ask people to do things that you can’t deliver on and don’t pretend to lead in a way you can’t effectively. Be yourself and your leadership skills will blossom.

For more information on how to implement exceptional employee leadership head over to

Speedway Named In Top 5 Favorite C-Stores

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Speedway_Signature_Trademark 2We always strive to make our clients proud, but many times we also get to be proud of our clients, and we like to brag about them. Last week Speedway was named in a Market Force Information study as North America’s 5th favorite convenience story. The survey considered a number of factors including fast and reliable service, locations, cleanliness, merchandise selection and many others. Speedway excelled in all categories and came in fifth overall!
Speedway PromotionsThe study revealed important information for convenience store chains and franchisees. While price remains a competitive factor, only 26% of respondents marked it as number one. Service and cleanliness ranked higher among consumers than price alone. One criteria made Speedway an out-and-out winner, though. Speedway came in first in the “promotions and discounts” category, which can create loyal customers and brand advocates.

The fact that Speedway customers find promotions and discounts (and presumably price) a satisfaction category of importance means that they will be particularly happy to receive gift cards to either begin or continue shopping at Speedway. If your employees are Speedway loyalists, using Speedway gift cards to promote employee engagement and rewarding a job well done can go a long way in creating trophy value and a lasting impression on your employees.


Employee Recognition Is Engaging

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

We write a lot about utilizing gift cards for employee recognition in this space because frankly they’re a great way to recognize your employees for great work on a limited budget. But all of our effort to convince you is for naught if employee recognition programs are not implemented correctly within your organization.

Here’s the concern,

  • According to a study done by Deloitte, 70% of employees are only recognized annually or not at all.
  • Another study by Gallup indicates that employees who are not recognized are three times more likely to quit in the next year than employees who are recognized at work for a job well done.

So what’s the problem?

It takes no time to say thank you. It can cost whatever your budget affords to implement a small employee rewards program. Some may argue that giving physical rewards puts a monetary sum on an employee action. However, pairing employee recognition with these physical rewards provides emotional and professional development support, while providing tangible rewards and gratification to employees.

Now, the good news,

  • Managers who do recognize employees raise engagement at work by 60%.
  • Organizations with employee rewards programs are twelve times more likely to have strong business results.
  • Recognition programs can lower voluntary turnover rates by as much as 31%.

It seems like a bit of a no-brainer, right? To learn more about employee rewards and employee recognition check out Business2Community here.

The #1 Potential Problem with Mobile Payments

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Apple unveiled their forray into the already crowded mobile payments space earlier this month and it seems to have the whole industry talking about how Apple Pay and all of the other mobile payment ventures are integrating not only payments, but gift cards and gifting into consumer shopping experiences and retailers’ POS. Here’s the one component of mobile payments no one is talking about yet: will consumers adapt?

A new study by Princeton reveals important information about how consumers feel about mobile payments. Without consumer adopting, it won’t matter how many companies invest in the space or who has the best option.

  • 4% of consumers said they would be open to using their phone to make payments all of the time.
  • Less than 10% of consumers said they would be open to using their phone to pay some of the time.
  • 44% of consumers indicated that they would never be comfortable using their phone to make payments.

Apply Pay should be a good experiment to see if these “epayments” will catch on with their loyal fans. However, the mobile payments industry needs to take a step back and make sure the product is being used by consumers in the marketplace. For more information on mobile payments adoption head over to 

If You Could Fix Your Employee Compensation, Would You?

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

If you knew 50% of your employees didn’t feel like they were being paid fairly, would you make the necessary adjustments to ensure your employees felt fairly compensated? Would you want to ensure your employees felt like if they were doing a good job, they were getting paid for it? Seems fairly obvious that you would but, according to the 2014 Towers Watson Global Workforce study, only 40% of employees think their employer links performance and pay scale. These numbers are pretty staggering. It’s time employers listen to employees regarding employee compensation before there is irreparable harm done to the employee employer relationship and retention rates decline.

Employers, on the other hand, know that they are only doing a mediocre job communicating pay scale. Only 35% of employers think their employees understand how base pay is communicated. So, employers have a few options at their disposal to improve employee compensation issues:

  • Communicate base pay strategy and bonus structure better. By setting appropriate expectations employees will be more satisfied when the expectations are met.
  • Supplement typical salary and bonuses with spot rewards. Using small gifts, given out on no specific schedule, to recognize employees for a job well done, is a great way to supplement employee income. Small denomination gift cards allow employees to treat themselves at popular retailers like Crutchfield and The Cheesecake Factory.
  • Solicit feedback. If you’re not meeting industry standard your employees are going to walk out the door. Make sure you meet standard market value and that your employees are satisfied with your plans.

For more information on fixing a rocky (in some cases broken) employee compensation program, check out more from MarketWatch and the full Towers Watson study here.

Creating Specific Employee Health Goals

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

f4429a1a0a658cb0f0b6a1849e15ae8a_SEmployee health programs are still rising at a rapid rate. According to a recent Towers Watson survey 48% of employers are testing employees biometrics as part of an employee health program, compared to only 14% of employers doing the same 4 years ago. Using specific biometric goals like losing a certain amount of weight or lower cholesterol by a certain percentage is a tangible way to lower costs for both employees and employers.

Offering incentives for voluntary participation in programs like this are a great way to help employees reach goals and make long term healthy choices that help your organization and their well-being. Providing even small rewards like gift cards to healthy retailers like CVS/Pharmacy, GNC and Whole Foods Market provide the support and boost employees need to stay the healthy course and meet their goals.

On the flip side, employers’ other option to boost participation in employee health programs is to apply disincentives, or financial penalties on employee premiums for healthcare. While this is permitted, research has shown that providing positive incentives (carrots) rather than penalties (sticks) are more effective in nurturing employees to health rather than threatening change.

Establishing (and Maintaining) Work Life Balance

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Work life balance is something that all employers and employees struggle with. However, working to maintain that work life balance can be some of the most important time you spend keeping your employees happy and fulfilled at work. Here are three ways you can work with your employees to ensure that both you as the employer promote a work life balance and an environment where employees believe in the importance of a work life balance.

  1. Prioritize Everyone’s Time. Make sure employees know what to spend time on and what to deprioritize. Ensuring that employees support team goals and focus on the same things will ensure that work loads remain manageable.
  2. Leverage Distractions. Instead of discouraging employees from taking breaks and being distracted, encourage employees to take breaks and be curious. Try encouraging employees to take team “adventures” that can be fit into a lunch hour. Building in distractions makes them scheduled breaks and gives employees something to look forward to, rather than disrupting work flow.
  3. Consider an Open Vacation Policy. Work life balance is exactly that. Employees shouldn’t fear taking vacation and it shouldn’t be something they have to plan in January to ensure they don’t go over some arbitrary limit. Offering an employee unlimited vacation time allows employees to take vacation as they need it, providing a culture of work life balance. Some rules or regulations may need to be put in place to ensure the policy isn’t taken advantage of, but giving a more relaxed feel to time off for vacations can go a long way for employees.

For more information on creating and maintaining work life balance in your organization head over to Fast Company.

How to Keep Employees Motivated (and how not to)

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Keeping employees motivated keeps them happy at work, maintains productivity and prevents negative peer-to-peer interactions. Money can be a short term motivator but it doesn’t have lasting effects to keep employees motivated long term. Here are three ways to keep employees motivated for the long haul.

  1. Coaching: Helping your employees perform better makes your organization better. Providing an environment for employees to grow will keep employees around and allow the organization to grow with your employees and vice versa.
  2. Relationships: Build relationships between managers and employees and between peers. Relationships build a stronger team and that kind of ROI is priceless.
  3. Dialogue: Give employees an opportunity to provide feedback, not just during a semi-annual review cycle but, whenever they want. Keeping the lines of communication open ensures that employees will feel their voices are being heard and valued.

Check out the infographic below from Salesforce and Rypple for more ideas on how to motivate your employees and also some key points to steer clear of.


Wearable Devices in Your Corporate Wellness Program

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Wearable devices are becoming a growing trend in the fitness community and now for employers looking to track their corporate wellness programs. Wearable technology provides a unique opportunity for both employees and corporate wellness program administrators to track participants’ progress in real time. Here are a few ways incorporating these “wearables” into your corporate wellness programs can boost its effectiveness.

  1. Create Team Challenges- Use the real-time data to create fun team challenges. Can the marketing team take more steps in a week than the IT team? Program administrators can track progress and bolster competitiveness within the office. The competitiveness can become loftier wellness goals for all teams involved in the challenge.
  2. Make “Wearables” Part of Company Culture- Providing a wearable fitness tracking device to participants of your corporate wellness initiative has the capacity to boost participation and get employees engaged with the program on a day-to-day and even hour-by-hour basis.
  3. Use Incentives for Participants- Providing nominal incentives, like small denomination gift cards to healthy retailers like Whole Foods Market, GNC and CVS/pharmacy can give employees a boost in a healthy direction. Promoting wellness by example is a productive way to boost participation and level of commitment.

For more ways to promote your corporate wellness program through wearable technology (and vice versa) head over to

Work Perks That Maintain Employee Loyalty

Friday, September 5th, 2014

Casual Fridays are nice, free snacks are great, beer cards on Fridays, awesome. However, giving employees work perks that save them money and time aren’t always good enough when the goal is raising employee loyalty. Here are a few unique work perks that are a great was to push your loyalty program over the top and keep your employees sticking around for the long-term.

  1. Laundry Service: If employees wash an average 400 loads of laundry a year, and the low-end drop off laundry service costs about $1/pound you could be saving employees about $500 a year. This is also a huge time saver. By picking up employees laundry you take one more item off the weekend chore list. This may work best for employers with a young (presumably single) workforce, but where it fits, the value is significant.
  2. Free Healthy Food: Providing free snacks is great. However, providing free breakfast, lunch and snacks with an emphasis on nutritional value beats the cheese puffs in the cabinet any day. You will be saving employees an average of $2,500 annually (assuming 50 weeks of work a year about about $10 on lunch per work day). The savings is palpable and it shows an employer’s commitment to both a social workplace and a healthy one.
  3. Spa Services: Spa services you say? May sound a little ridiculous, but it can provide some much needed self-care for employees who put in long hours for your organization. Bringing a masseuse or a manicurist to the office once a month or once a quarter is a great way to treat employees and say “thank you” while providing some healthy and much needed stress relief.

Employee perks should be just that. Something earned, not given. For a hard working staff, they can go far in promoting long tenure, employee loyalty and employee satisfaction. For more ideas on innovative employee perks, check out this article from