Archive for the ‘Employee Incentives & Engagement’ Category

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.


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.