Archive for the ‘Employee Incentives & Engagement’ Category

Avoiding Employee Motivation Buzzkill

Friday, February 27th, 2015

employee motivationEmployee motivation is the lifeblood of an organization- and particularly important this time of year while parts of the country are facing brutal temperatures, buried under several feet of snow or getting drenched with rain. So how do you keep employee motivation from freezing up with the rest of the country?

Here are three things that can kill employee motivation, and some important strategies to help overcome those pitfalls.

  1. Toxic People: Not everyone is going to be happy in every employment situation. If employees are constantly unhappy and projecting those negative vibes to fellow co-workers, your best options may be to let them go. Unhappy employees can “poison the well” for other impressionable employees and create an atmosphere of hostility that can impede your team’s level of engagement and productivity.
  2. Lack of Appreciation: When employees don’t feel appreciated they lose the fire in the belly that drives them forward to be the most productive and successful employees they can be. Using spot rewards like gift cards to encourage great behavior can be a budget-friendly appreciation tool.
  3. No Communication: Lack of communication between management and tactical employees can drag any workforce down. Ensure that your executive team clearly communications goals, objectives and priorities to the whole staff on a regular basis.

To learn about more pitfalls to employee motivation and how to combat them, head over to


Positive Reinforcement For Powerful Leadership

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool for business leaders.  It can aid them in increasing their employees motivation and engagement levels.  In the book “1001 Ways to Recognize Employees,” Bob Nelson revealed that the top two drivers of employee performance come from feeling like: “I am able to make a difference at work” and “I have been recognized recently for what I do”.  It’s interesting to note that monetary rewards ranked a distant fifth.

When it comes to positive reinforcement employers are not getting better, but worse.  68% of workers interviewed by Nelson at the time, had never received a simple “Thank You” from their boss in 6 months.  Today that number is creeping closer to 80%.

Sincere, specific positive feedback and reinforcement works wonders for employees.  Most people think that positive reinforcement has to come in the form of gifts, bonuses, pay increases, or cash, but these are only one form of positive reinforcement.  Other ways to positively reinforce your employees could be to provide them with lunch or take them out to lunch, recognize their accomplishments during a staff meeting, give the employee a half day off or let them start their day a few hours later. Sometimes all an employee needs to hear is a simple “you are doing a great job”.

The following infographic from Aubrey Daniels International provides you with 5 great ways to effectively deliver positive reinforcement to your employees.

Positive Reinforcement – The Most Powerful Leadership Tool | Aubrey Daniels International

Positive Reinforcement



Employee Learning and Constructive Criticism

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

No one likes hearing they are wrong or that they have made a mistake. It can cause you to lose confidence or want to give up. This is the last feeling employers should want to instill in their employees but at the same time it’s their job to provide feedback, yes and on some occasions constructive criticism. So let’s focus on the key word here, constructive. Without clearly identifying what you are looking for and more importantly why you are looking for it, this term can quickly be lost and leave employees feeling bad about something they put time and energy into. While it may be difficult to navigate, here are some helpful recommendations.

  1. Give feedback at the moment something is happening: Engage employees in feedback on an ad-hoc basis. Don’t wait until review cycles to give feedback, positive or negative. If employees need to be corrected or commended, do it in a timely manner.
  2. Get employees back on the “bike”: Encourage employees to try new skills or make adjustments immediately. The way feedback should be ad-hoc, employee adjustments should be as well. This mitigates the risk of employees losing confidence due to negative feedback.
  3. Reinforce positive change and behavior: Reinforce positive change! Make sure employees feel recognized for their good work. Gift cards are one great way to accomplish some small monetary recognition.

For more information on improving employee learning check out this helpful article from Retail Customer Experience.

CVS/pharmacy Sweetens Valentine’s Day

Friday, February 13th, 2015

CVS/pharmacyLove is in the air, or it will be tomorrow. As we prepare for a holiday full of chocolates and roses, CVS/pharmacy has both classic and non-traditional gift options available. With everything from perfumes, photo cards, razors and male grooming equipment on sale, to bonuses for ExtraCare rewards members on certain purchases and purchasing thresholds, it’s easier than ever to make your special one feel special this Valentine’s Day.

While some may view the holiday as hokey and only meant for the love birds, Valentine’s Day can be used as a unique opportunity to show gratitude and appreciation for the employees in your office. Your support staff, your junior level employees, the people in the mail room (heck, even the person who delivers the mail!) are great people to thank on Valentine’s Day.

Simple “Thank You’s,” especially during these dark, cold winter months, can be a great morale boost. Thank you gifts don’t need to be big either. A $10 gift card to retailers like CVS/pharmacy can be a great way to say thanks without breaking the bank, especially with the variety of merchandise on sale. For healthier options that can support new year’s resolutions and employee’s healthy lifestyle the CVS Select® Gift Card can help with the temptation by limiting the merchandise the card can be redeemed for (so skip the chocolate when using this gift card!).

So who do you want or need to thank this Valentines Day? Think beyond the cupid interpretation and show “love” as gratitude to the people who make your business great!

Consumers Want Incentives and Rewards

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Consumers want incentives and rewardsA recent survey from HealthMine, which offers employers and health plans health improvement programs for web and mobile devices, revealed that consumers want employers and health plans to offer incentives and rewards to help them manage their health.

The survey revealed:

  •  71% of consumers want their employer or health plan to offer programs or guidelines that help them manage their health. 
  •  75% of consumers want their employers to offer a wellness incentive plan to help them improve their health.
  • 66% of consumers said if their coworkers were considered healthy, they should be rewarded with a discount on their health insurance.
  • 52% of consumers said if their coworkers adhere to a medication regimen, they should be rewarded for it.

Employers should be on the lookout over the next couple of weeks as the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is expected to release new regulations and guidelines with regards to wellness programs.  One of the core reasons for these new guidelines is the debate on what constitutes as a voluntary wellness program as well as the lack of clarity in the standards of wellness programs.

Read more on the recent EEOC wellness program debate here.

You can find the rest of the HealthMine survey results here!

Creating a Sense of Employee Purpose

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Company CultureAt a large company like PwC it is a constant struggle to establish employee purpose. Employees don’t want to feel like a cog in the wheel on the road to nowhere. They want to see their impact and want to have purpose in their job, whether they are in an executive management meeting or filing papers in the mailroom.

So how do employers work to establish purpose at work?

Here are a few ideas that came from PwC’s recent summit on social purpose that could have a positive impact on an organization, large or small.

  1. Let your employees be your guide: This is an area where millenials have changed the game a bit. They want to have input in their employers strategy and they want to be acknowledged and cared about. Ask employees what would give them purpose and what would motivate them.
  2. Bring in a variety of opinions: Bring in experts across a variety of fields. Don’t think that input just from your organization or your industry is going to be helpful. Bring in opinions on motivation and purpose from all over the place. If you throw enough spaghetti at the wall, you’ll find what sticks for your specific situation. It might be something you didn’t expect.
  3. Create a Statement of Purpose: Almost like a decree or words to live by. Once you have outside input and input from your staff, create a document describing how purpose should fit into everyone’s daily tasks.

For more information on PwC’s summit check out Fast Company. There are great ideas to fit organizations of every size.

Aligning Employee Goals with Organizational Targets

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Employee motivation can mean a lot of different things and come in a lot of different forms. It means your employees are excited to come to work every day and do their best to make the organization as successful as possible. Employee motivation can also get so granular that at the most basic level employee goals are in line with organization targets. I’m not talking about employee 6 month goals that go on review forms, I mean that their long term goals match the long term targets of their organization.

Here are two unique ways to align employee goals with organizational targets to improve the overall harmony of employees’ work life balance and workplace motivation.

  • Discover personal goals alongside professional goals: Employee goals can extend outside the realm of you employees professional lives. One employee may have a goal to run a 5k this year, while another may want to learn how to knit, and yet another may want to read a book a month all year. Providing employees outlets to accomplish their personal goals in the context of their work environment is a great way to motivate them to focus on their work during their working hours. Helping achieve employee goals by arranging a training group, a lunchtime knitting group, or a book club allows employees to have stress relief built into their day. This not only makes employees feel appreciated, but makes them more focused and motivated during the hours at their desks and in meetings.
  • Connect individual employee goals to the big picture: Employees want to see the impact their work has on the organization at large. So show them the big picture. Even if it’s the most junior level employee doing tasks like data entry or data cleansing, show them the impact their work is having on the organization and how it is helping the company reach its goals. For employees who consistently make an exceptional impact small rewards like gift cards or a lunch with the CEO or other executive management can be a great way to say thank you and continue the cycle of motivation.

There are a number of ways to connect employee goals and organization goals and targets. Find what works for your company and your staff. Once you establish the basic infrastructure, the cycle of motivation will practically run itself.

Your Employee’s Wish List

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Have you ever wondered what your employees would change about their workplace? In mid-December, Tinyhr released a survey of more than 1,000 employees and found their top-five wishes for their workplace. The employee’s wish list shows they are looking for…

  1. Managers who communicated more effectively
  2. Better team leaders
  3. Supervisors with empathy skills
  4. The retirement of their current boss
  5. Higher wages

Here are some suggestions on how to implement these wishes at your workplace in order to increase employee happiness.

  • Communication – Communication topped the list as the #1 thing employees would ask for from their managers.  When employees can communicate openly in the workplace it creates trust and dissipates unnecessary tension.  Be open about company culture, work, interview experiences, performance, and employment packages.
  • Empathy – Aim to help employees feel that they are not alone in their work challenges.  When an employee makes a mistake, help them feel better by sharing a story about the last time an error was made and how it was resolved.
  • Recognition – Ignoring employee’s work has almost the same effect on their motivation as shredding it before their eyes.  Employees want their efforts acknowledged.  It doesn’t take much effort to acknowledge your employees in way that increases motivation.  Work on small, more frequent acknowledgements to keep employees motivated.  Something as simple as a thank-you note or a mention in a company meeting is just enough to make an employee feel good and encourage more great work.
  • Improved Perks – Employees want benefits such as unexpected treats or rewards such as snacks, lunches, dinners, and even thank-you notes.  Ask employees for input as to what rewards they would like to see at your company.

Read two more workplace suggestions from Entrepreneur here!

What do you wish for in your workplace this year? 

Reduce Employee Turnover to Provide Revenue Stability

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

No company can completely eliminate employee turnover, but at a time of year where employees could be looking for something new, it’s important for HR departments and management teams to focus on minimizing employee turnover. Turnover has direct and indirect costs associated. Research from the Center for American Progress discovered that it costs employers about one fifth of an employee’s salary to replace them. This includes time spent training and getting a new employee up to speed. Indirect costs can be felt in other areas, and often by other team members as new employees get ramped up to full productivity. Here are three ways to minimize employee turnover and maximize productivity and your bottom line.

  1. Let staffers know they matter: Show employees you care about the investment they make in their work. They give a lot of themselves and it is important to recognize their hard work. Small rewards, like a Friday afternoon off or a small denomination gift card to a restaurant like Boston Market, The Cheesecake Factory or Papa John’s are great, low cost ways to show employees that they are the most important part of your organization.
  2. Fight burnout: Don’t let your employees get burned out. It seems basic, but so often employers don’t stop to take the pulse of their staff. The risk of employee turnover is highest when employees are feeling mentally exhausted and frustrated at work. So try providing breaks from the office grind, like a team lunch or flexible work hours to help combat burn out.
  3. Give back: Corporations are citizens of their community too. Corporate community service is a great way to both prove to employees that the organization cares about their community and gives back to it, and it provides a fantastic team building opportunity for colleagues to serve their community together.

These ideas are just a start. For more ways to combat employee turnover, head over to

Fantasy Football Increases Employee Engagement

Monday, January 19th, 2015

Football Close Up on FieldAccording to a recent study from Quantum Workplace’s Best Places to Work research panel, employee engagement is higher among those employees who participate in Fantasy Football with their coworkers.  With the Super Bowl coming up, it’s not too late to use this as an employee engagement opportunity!

The analysis of the study revealed that employees participating in a fantasy football league with their coworkers had higher survey scores when it came to measuring teamwork and trust with their coworkers.  Workplaces that encourage employees playing and socializing together had higher results in overall workplace teamwork and considered their workplace a great work environment.  Employees at these ‘best places to work’ often feel a sense of “family” in the workplace.

Some key highlights from the study include:

Of NFL fans surveyed, 75.3% were highly engaged employees compared to 63.8% of non-NFL fans.

  • NFL fans have a more positive view of their leadership and their commitment to creating a great workplace.
  • Employees who predicted a Super Bowl winner were 3.45% more engaged than those who did not.
  • Panthers, Ravens, and Cowboys fans were the most engaged at work.

Companies should identify and foster opportunities such as these to bring employees together and bring a fun element into the workplace.  Something as simple as an office sports league is a great way to bring together coworkers and build engagement.  With NCAA March Madness just two months away perhaps an office bracket would be a fun way to get your employees engaged!

For more stats read the Quantum Workplace article here!