Archive for the ‘Employee Incentives & Engagement’ Category

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.


Give Employee Creativity a Chance

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Giving employees a creative outlet is a great way to allow organic growth and development to become part of your company culture. In addition, employee creativity can also create healthy competition, and lead to greater harmony in the workplace.

How you ask? Well, it’s simple, if employees have the opportunity for a little healthy competition they will find more creative and efficient ways to do their jobs, while earning newfound respect for their colleagues. Here are four C’s to employee creativity (in no particular order).

  • Control- Control the environment. Provide parameters for both employee creativity and friendly competition. Keep employees creative but within the organization goals and culture you seek to create.
  • Collaborate- Teams should be cross department and help employees meet colleagues they may have not met otherwise. Cross team collaboration brings colleagues closer together and highlights everyone’s strongest skills.
  • Compete- A little competition can bring out the passionate, engaged and motivated side of employees. But make sure to keep it light and friendly to ensure the competition can end positive, allowing creativity to flourish and new teams to develop.
  • Create- This is the best part. When employees are put in new situations and forced to think differently creativity thrives, outside-the-box thinking happens, and people just may surprise themselves.

Still not convinced that employee creativity has it’s own set of unique advantages? Check out this article from

The Right Employee Rewards for the Right Time

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Employee rewards should be differentiated by the employers goal in giving the reward. If your giving a reward for a job well done in an “everyday instance” the reward should be different than exhibiting exemplary community behavior, which should be different than a reward given for long term growth. Here are three situations and how to differentiate employee rewards for each.

  • Everyday excellence. These should be small spot rewards that give employees a material “pat on the back.” Small rewards, like a friday afternoon off or a small denomination gift card  to a popular retailer like The Limited, The Children’s Place or Catherine’s are a fixed (and low) cost way to encourage positive employee behavior.
  • Model citizenship. Employees should be rewarded, or at least recognized for giving back to the community or otherwise exemplifying model behavior on behalf of the organization. If an employees donates their time or financial resources to a specific cause as an agent of your organization, matching their donation is a great way to promote such behavior and create a real sense of community at work.
  • Continued growth. Growing a young workforce is often a challenge. Keeping young employees engaged and thriving, while growing their skill sets can be tough. However, using professional development as a reward for doing well at their current job is an investment in a workforce that primarily benefits the employee, making them more valuable in the long term.

There is a reward for every occasion and the more appropriate the reward for the occasion, the more effective the reward. For more ideas head over to

Innovating Employee Rewards Programs

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

loyalty-pano_20169Employee rewards are an important part of any HR strategy. However, monetary bonuses can get a bit stale and employees will look for new ways to be rewarded for a job well done. The more innovative your employee rewards program is, the more effective it can be.

Here are three ways to reward employees in new and innovative ways.

  • Peer-to-Peer Rewards- Allowing co-workers to give rewards for behavior that progresses the team to a common goal builds camaraderie and boosts productivity.
  • Experiential Rewards- Giving employees memorable experiences often lasts longer than a monetary bonus. If sending employees on vacation isn’t in the cards for your organizations budget, give employees extra vacation time to create their own experiences.
  • Failure Rewards- Great ideas don’t always mean success. But they do provide valuable learning and are a great way to promote innovative thinking. Giving small spot rewards like small denomination gift cards to popular retails like AutoZone, Crutchfield or The Limited for those great ideas will keep morale up even with failure. Making sure your team knows it’s okay to fail is an important part of leading an organization towards success.

See how changing your attitudes towards employee rewards can change your employees’ satisfaction and productivity. For more innovative ways to provide rewards to your employees check out this article from

Encouraging Employee Initiative

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

thumbs upLeading employees is important, but creating an environment where employee initiative is recognized and rewarded can be truly beneficial for both employee and employer. Empowering employees to choose action rather than inaction and to do something rather than nothing will lead to smoother and more productive operations now and moving forward.

Here are three ways to create a culture of employee initiative and empowerment.

  1. Create a supportive environment. Empowerment starts with support. Making your employees feel comfortable in their environment is the first step in creating a culture of employee initiative.
  2. Keep goals in mind. Keep employees’ eyes on the prize. Goals give everyone something to work toward, both individually and as a team. Rewarding goals large and small, even with a small reward like a gift card to popular retailers like The Cheesecake Factory or CVS/pharmacy are great ways to reinforce desired behavior.
  3. Kick everyone out of the office for a day. Get your team outside. Whether it’s a field day in the summer or volunteering around the holidays, get everyone out of the office. Team bonding builds trust and allows employees to feel comfortable enough with each other to take initiative around each other.

For more information on empowering you employees head over to

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.

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

Motivate Employees through Connection

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Motivate your employees by showing them that they are a connected, critical part of your organization. Connecting employees to the core of the organization builds loyalty among employees and builds rapport between your workforce and your end customers. Here are a few ways to motivate employees to ensure your customers stick around for years to come:

  • Performance Management: Support employees by providing clear goals for their performance and holding them to those goals. Provide honest, candid feedback to employees and when employees do exceed expectations and give their best to your end customers it is important to reward the desired behavior. Providing spot rewards at the time of exemplary behavior like small denomination gift cards to popular retailers like Crutchfield, CVS/pharmacy and The Cheesecake Factory are a simple way to say “thank you” to employees.
  • Open Communication: 360 degrees of communication is key. Managers should obviously evaluate employees but it is critical to motivate employees through participation in the organizational process. Allowing employees to evaluate their managers and the organizational values is critical to establishing open communication that will create long term employee retention and loyalty.
  • Job Role: Establishing a connection between an individuals role within the organization and the organizations role within the industry is a great way to give employees a sense of purpose. Employees who have purpose will be motivated at work, establishing loyalty and longevity.

For more ways to motivate your employees by connecting them to the heart of your organization check out this article from Ahwatukee Foothills News.