Archive for the ‘Employee Incentives & Engagement’ Category

Employee Motivation Affects Your Bottom Line

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

thumbs upEmployees can be your greatest advocate or a horrible detriment to your customer interactions. They are face of your brand, and can create exceptional customer experiences that last in the minds of your customers or they can create bad experiences that leave a horrible bad taste in your consumers’ mouths.

Here are 3 ways that, when motivated, your employees can positively affect your bottom line.

  1. Pride: Ever had a friend who loves their job so much and it feels like they never stop talking about it? If those employees are yours and they never stop talking about your organization, their happiness will instill confidence and dedication to their business.
  2. Recognition: Motivating employees when they act as ambassadors to your brand is a great way to gain their trust and repeat behavior. From a shout out at a company meeting, to a small on-the-spot rewards, or even an extra day off, employee recognition can keep your brand ambassadors singing your praises for months and years to come.
  3. Momentum: Organizing an employee motivation program to coordinate efforts is key to building momentum. Once your workforce is motivated and your brand ambassadors have been identified, keeping the momentum going and evangelizing your organization from within will continue the momentum that helps build client relationships and builds your business.

For more information on employee motivation and how it can affect your bottom line check out this article from ClickZ.

How To Boost Corporate Innovation

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014


G R O W  Y O U RB U S I N E S S  W I T (1)

Surprisingly, we’ve found that fixed pay (salary) and individual performance pay have little affect on innovation, while variable group pay and indirect pay (employee benefits) have a much stronger impact.

In the most recent Human Resource Management Journal, the effects of innovation in the workplace is tested from 7 years of compiled data. The study reveals the declining effects of traditional incentives, such as a raise in salary, and shows the increasing importance of a complex employee motivation strategy to boost corporate innovation. “You can pay employees to innovate if you do it properly. But be aware that individual incentives really are not going to help,” says Bruce Curran, a co-author of the research, and a doctoral student at the University of Toronto.

With the rise of globalization, diversity in the workplace, and the e-business boom, jobs today require a substantial innovation component. Managers are faced with a new set of problems that challenge them to be more flexible and creative when nurturing employee innovation and ideas. A dynamic innovative culture employs freedom, humor, playfulness, trust and time to share ideas in the workplace. (click to tweet) 

The Human Resource Management Journal shows that group or team bonuses, profit-sharing plans and indirect pay, such as robust employee benefits, relates directly to higher creativity and better problem-solving at work. Rewarding teams may allow workers to take more short-term risks because their own pay isn’t necessarily on the line. “If you go down a blind alley, you aren’t going to be punished for that,” says Curran.

In other words, the results of this study suggest that encouraging and motivating employee innovation is possible, provided that you select the right compensation incentives.


Evolving Past Employee Loyalty

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

loyalty-pano_20169Employee loyalty is harder and harder to come by these days. And it has been for a while. There’s no such thing as working at the same place for 30-40 years and retiring with a pension anymore. So how can employers keep employees engaged and hungry for more within their current company? You reward them.

However, the rewards are no longer for longevity. No 5, 10 or 20 years of service luncheons. Since employee loyalty is no longer a motivator, with the average junior employee holding a single position for only an average of 18 months, it’s time to evolve past employee loyalty.

Identifying desired behavior and rewarding execution and consistency is the new “loyalty.” You can’t help that careers are ever-shifting and people get restless (which is more encouraging in today’s job market). So worry about what you can control. Make your employees the best they can be, and when they are, reward them for it. Use what is beyond loyalty, short term performance, to motivate your staff toward organizational goals.

Employee loyalty doesn’t need to be paramount to run a team full of people working well together towards a common goal. If longevity isn’t in your organization’s 2015 outlook, don’t panic. Just find employee motivators you can control and look to performance, even short term, to reward employees for good work.

Employee Investment Equals Creativity in Business

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

employee investmentRemember the Market Basket protests in Massachusetts this summer? They crippled business and were a compelling modern day example of the impact employees can have on the businesses they work for. Engaged employees don’t just make happy employees, engaged employees create innovation and great business ideas.

Big employee engagement plans, like taking everyone on vacation for an tropical all-team retreat is great, but it isn’t always in the budget. Lower-cost options can still have the desired affect on your workforce. Offering perks and rewards like extra days off, or gift cards to popular retailers like Crutchfield, Whole Foods Market and CVS/pharmacy are great ways to provide off-the-cuff rewards to employees on the spot. Delivering rewards as promptly as possible using smaller, more flexible rewards is a great way to engage and appreciate employees without flying the whole team to Cancun.

Engagement is crucial, there’s a greater demand for jobs that provide perks and more diverse employment benefits. If you make an employee investment, employees will invest back in the company. They will invest their time, their brain power and their innovative ideas to make your organization more successful. As you invest in office space, new technology, don’t forget to invest in people, because without them there is no business.

3 Corporate Gift Ideas That Show Appreciation

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Last Minute Gift Ideas That Shows Appreciation

Nothing says “I didn’t think about you” like a painfully obvious last minute gift. The presents that we give to others speak a lot about our character, they offer a glimpse of how much thought and care we are willing to invest in others to make them feel valued. Corporate gift ideas are important, give yourself time to think about what your office and your clients care about. What kind of gift you give can actually move them and strengthen your professional relationship? Consider customizing their gifts with their name or initials, try to individualize them if you can or allow employees to choose for themselves from a list of similar items. You can even go so far as to listen in on some of the talk around the water fountain for ideas. You may be surprised by what you can learn when you listen. What can you do that will standout? How can you make your employees, coworkers and clients think “wow he/she put a great deal thought into this.”

Express your appreciation for those important relationships in your business with one of these three gift ideas:

The Tervis Tumbler – Quite possibly the ultimate customizable corporate gift idea. Tervis, a high quality insulated drink ware, comes in all shapes and sizes perfect for tea, water, soda, wine, or the coffee drinker. With extremely easy-to-customize options, adding your company logo, a name, monogram, date or special saying can make your design stand out. You can also get inspired by visiting the Tervis Pinterest board for gift wrapping ideas.

Succulents – Give the gift of life. Liven up the office space with easy to care for plants. Succulents are easy to find in stores or ordered online and can be tailored to fit your budget and time restraints. Plants can last a lifetime and will remind the recipient of you year round. 

Often with end of the year deadlines, holiday parties, and vacations knocking on your door, it’s difficult to spend a lot of time picking out and ordering the perfect gift for every person you work with. Here’s a last minute idea that will help you light up your office. 

Gift Cards – A gift card is a versatile and quick idea. You can make a gift card more personal by considering your recipient’s interests. If they have a favorite restaurant, department store, or hobby you can purchase a card that will compliment them. Gift cards can also be ordered in bulk for easy B2B gifts. This corporate gift idea can be done last minute, but use some strategy and creativity and you can still give a gift that says “I care.”


Great Workplaces on the Rise

Monday, November 24th, 2014

We are entering an age of great workplaces. A job is no longer just a job, but a good fit in environment and skills between employer and employee. Due to more transparency given by employers and more trust in the employee/employer relationships employees are happier in their workplace.

What does this mean? Generally, it means better business results. Awesome, right? The Great Place to Work Institute’s latest research is the simplest example of the cause and effect of investing in employees and workplace culture. Creating a place where employees want to be will make them believe in your organization’s goals and the business results are undeniable.

At GiftCard Partners we take our own lessons to heart. We were recently recognized as a Massachusetts winner of the When Work Works Award for innovative, flexible and effective workplaces. We all work remotely, and take great pride in our ability to find camaraderie and teamwork while working in flexible, fluid workspace. It makes our employees’ lives easier by giving them the flexibility to be home when kids get back from school, or there’s a family emergency. None of us commute, so we save time, money and frustration between the hours of 7 and 9 a.m. A workplace doesn’t need to be a 9-5 grind and it doesn’t need to take place at uniform desks under fluorescent lighting. A flexible workplace can make the work better in certain situations.

A job is no longer just a job. A great workplace doesn’t need to look conventional. It does need to work for its employees and their employer.

Employee Engagement is About Staying Human

Friday, November 14th, 2014

downloadEmployee engagement can be complicated, or it can be simple. A lot of organizations get caught up in metrics and ROI figures when ensuring their employees are engaged at work. However, it can be as simple as staying human.

Employees tend to disengage most when their companies get too corporate and lose their human side. Employees, above all else want to be treated like individuals, with respect and dignity, no matter what. Keeping companies human ensures that processes in place will deliver those basic principles to employees.

Engagement and specifically employee engagement is about not only being human but bringing humans together. Recognizing groups that work well as a team and recognizing individual strengths and weaknesses grow teams and bring people together, causing higher engagement levels.

Bringing people together is not only and engagement skill but a leadership skill. If you can bring your workforce together, you have the attention and respect of your staff and should reflect that back on them. Giving out spot rewards for exhibiting desired behavior or even exemplifying the team dynamic can be a great way to reinforce employee engagement and bringing a workforce together.

For more information on bringing teams together and employee engagement check out this article from Forbes.

64% of employees do not feel that they have a strong work culture

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Moments of recognition are powerful, they give us a feeling of purpose, a sense of accomplishment and an undeniable drive to produce our best work. Recognition is continuously proven to motivate employees by allowing them to see and feel their personal value.

“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”—Khalil Gibran, third best-selling poet of all time.

An insightful survey recently conducted by the employee engagement firm TINYpulse involved over 200,000 employees across more than 500 organizations and was featured on

The study, The 7 Key Trends Impacting Today’s Workplace, shows that work environments are severely lacking in their culture, recognition and satisfaction scores across the board. Perhaps even more interesting is the proof that peer-to-peer recognition is the #1 most positive influence, not money, that drives fellow colleagues to go the extra mile (tweet this fact).

This question remains, How will we foster a company culture that promotes peer-to-peer recognition and creatively drives strong employee engagement?

Approaching the holiday season can make this task seem a bit overwhelming. Let’s be honest, this blog post will not, and can not, possibly answer the depth of this question for you. However, what we have learned is that small steps in the right direction yield huge results when it comes to employee recognition.

Take advantage of this holiday season. Do something light, fun and creative for your employees. Something that will engage and foster the opportunity for them to individually recognize the hard work of their peers during this busy Quarter4 schedule.

Here’s a fun activity to try out in your workplace.
Sweeten up peer-to-peer recognition. Provide each employee with a jar of sweet treats, and a gift card nestled inside. Ask them to write a thoughtful note or letter that recognizes a unique accomplishment, particular dedication to a task, or specific time when their peer inspired them or went that extra-mile to help them at work. Attach this letter to the “Sweet Jar” and have them hand deliver it to the peer that they have chosen to recognize.


M&M Jar

Three T’s to Arm Your Front Line Associates

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Front line employeesSometimes in the enormity of running a retail operation it’s easy forget about the front line employees. These are usually the hourly wage earners who may not be the most senior employees but are the employees who have the most impact on consumer experience and can dictate how loyal your customers are.

Here are 3 key components to arm your front line associates with to ensure your consumers expectations are fully met.

1. Tools. Give store associates the tools they need to be successful. This may mean arming them with a tablet with inventory software or ensuring there is an extra manager on duty during your busiest days to keep things running smoothly.

2. Technology. In today’s ever evolving retail landscape this could mean a number of different things. It could mean having mobile devices on the floor in places where beacons are pushing messages to consumers, or having associates armed with tablets to execute mobile checkouts in areas other than the traditional cash registers. But remember it’s not all about having the latest and greatest technologies. Find out what spots are weak or need improving on and the right kinds of gadgets that can help improve these areas to see success.

3. Training. The most important thing to arm store associates with is knowledge. Equip them with the know-how to handle any situation. This builds confidence and autonomy that is usually more valuable in situational problem solving than any piece of technology or tool.

For more information on how to arm your front line store associates with the three T’s and beyond head over to Loyalty360.

Employee Motivation with a Chainsaw

Friday, October 31st, 2014

Since it’s halloween let’s talk about motivating employees with a chainsaw. Sounds terrifying and unprofessional. Sounds like it might be the plot of a horror movie, or that we are playing tricks on our readers. It’s actually neither. At digital marketing agency Sq1 the Red Chainsaw Award is given to the employee who not only goes “above and beyond” but who does it by cutting through the BS to do it.

So there you have it: employee motivation with a chainsaw. Blood and guts free. So here’s why you should think about coming up with your own version of a chainsaw award.

Recognition Is Important: Everyone wants it, and employees do weird things to get attention when they don’t get it. Actively giving recognition drives everyone to strive for it and motivates the people who get it to keep working harder to be recognized further.

Recognizing the Individual Members of the Team: Everyone at any company is working toward organization goals. However, it’s important to recognize the individuals who make the team whole. Sometimes teams achieve things, but don’t be afraid to recognize individual rock stars who deserve it.

Rewards are important too: Recognition is great. Whether public or private being told you’re doing a good job is great. But don’t forget to provide some kind of material reward, which gives a tangible component to positive reinforcement. Whether is a gift card to a popular retailer like Boston Market, The Limited or Crutchfield, or an afternoon off to start a weekend early, make sure you show your employees tangible appreciation.

For more information about employee motivation, with or without a chainsaw check out this article from The Next Web.