Archive for the ‘Employee Incentives & Engagement’ Category

Quick Guide to Cheesecake Factory Gift Cards

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

cheesecake factoryAt GiftCard Partners, we strive to provide incentive and loyalty options featuring cards to the most popular brands on the market. One of our top-selling brands is The Cheesecake Factory, a restaurant known for its delicious food, Earth-shattering cheesecake and, of course, its homey, welcoming feeling. With over 30 years as a casual dining restaurant, The Cheesecake Factory uses fresh ingredients on over 200 different recipes. Because  The Cheesecake Factory gift cards can be used at any of the restaurants, nationwide, they make for a convenient and popular reward at countless loyalty, reward or incentive programs.

At GiftCard Partners, we offer these cards to businesses of all sizes. That’s why we have two options when it comes to ordering gift cards from The Cheesecake Factory:

For small businesses…

We know how tough it can be to find reasonable prices as a smaller business. Because smaller companies sometimes miss out on discounts that larger ones get from buying in bulk, we want to make your gift card purchase as affordable and convenient as possible. That’s why we offer:

  • 10% off your order total in bonus gift cards
  • Orders of $1,000 – $5,000 qualify with a per-day maximum
  • The option of expedited shipping

For larger businesses…

We know that one of the best parts of being a big company is the great discounts you get from making large orders. We want to make sure you get the biggest bang for your buck with us too. That’s why we offer you:

  • Generous volume discounts for volume orders
  • Free two-day shipping
  • Use of the Cheesecake Factory logo and images
  • Pay by ACH
  • No order maximum on orders over $1,000

Whether your company is big or small, ordering gift cards to The Cheesecake Factory works for a variety of incentives and occasions, including, but not limited to:

  • Fundraising
  • Employee holidays, birthdays or celebrations
  • Customer loyalty, reward and incentive programs
  • Employee appreciation
  • Gift-with-purchase programs
  • And many more!

Visit our website to learn more about ordering gift cards to The Cheesecake Factory today!

Employee Motivation Can’t Work Without Employee Engagement

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

A new whitepaper is out from marketing services agency P&MM and it proves a lot of what we have previously based employee motivation initiatives on: you can’t motivate employees who aren’t engaged.

Engaging employees is the first step toward motivation them. Engage employees in their every day work by providing employees with professional development, training and the occasional fun organization activity.

  • Professional Development. Providing professional development opportunities to employees shows that you are willing to make an investment in them. Making employees the best they can be, makes their work the best it can be for your company.
  • Training. Training employees in new skills (maybe an HTML workshop, or a budget tracking workshop for younger employees) and sharpening their old ones (public speaking, Excel, or PowerPoint) is a great way to brush up everyone’s skills while improving the quality of the work your employees do.
  • The Occasional Fun Organization Activity. Everyone works better together when they can relax and unwind together. Plan a happy hour, a national “whatever” day treat (or just a treat because it’s Wednesday).

There are plenty of ways to both engage and motivate your employees. For more information on employee motivation or employee engagement head over to HR Magazine from our neighbors across the pond.

Professional Development is the Key to Employee Engagement

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Employee engagement is key to any business. Many employers struggle with how to boost employee morale, get employees out of career “ruts” and keep employees engaged at work at all times. Well employers, the good news is: the power is in your hands. Making investments in employees by giving regular one-on-one feedback, providing opportunities for training and professional development and providing positive reinforcement are the best ways to engage your employees. Since each generation has different tendencies and works slightly differently, feedback and professional development should be tailored to each employees style, rather than trying to fit employee needs into a manager’s mold. Engage your employees in their jobs by engaging with them on an interpersonal level. Oh, and check out this awesome infographic from mindflash. 

engagement infographic

Inside the World of Corporate Wellness

Friday, March 28th, 2014

inside corporate wellnessCorporate wellness programs have become popular in recent years. Simply put, corporate wellness is any health initiative or program within a company that focuses on promoting good health and employee comfort, rather than dealing with poor health and low morale at a later date.

It should come as no surprise that most of the companies on the top 100 companies to work for list, year after year, offer corporate wellness programs. Companies that offer corporate wellness programs are striving, and people enjoy working for them. Not only do companies that offer such programs have happier staff, but they end up doing better financially.  Research shows that for every $1 spent on corporate wellness, a company saves $4 in sick time, health costs and overall work productivity.

Top Corporate Wellness Programs 

Google is regularly on the top 100 companies to work for list. In fact, it has topped the list for several years. It makes sense then, that Google also has one of the most comprehensive wellness programs in the industry. The company offers on-site gyms, healthy eating options in the dining area, fully paid sabbaticals, volunteer opportunities, and health classes and screenings. SAS, a software developer, comes in at number two on the list. The company offers their employees on-site child care and fitness centers, a multitude of medical staff on-site, reimbursed gym memberships, healthy eating options and dietician services. With compressed workweeks, job sharing, 100% health coverage and paid sabbaticals, The Boston Consulting Group comes in at number three on the top companies to work for list. While these three companies are worlds apart in many ways, they share one common factor; solid wellness programs that ensure their staff is working to the best of their abilities.

Creating a Wellness Program 

It is understandable that not all companies are going to be able to offer the same perks as Google. Google is a behemoth in the business world, with untold amounts of money to spare. Smaller companies, clearly, will be unable to procure the “campus-style” structure of Google, nor will they be able to offer the round-the-clock day care services that SAS gives to their workers, but every company can instill a wellness program that is sure to raise productivity and boost morale. To begin a wellness program a company must work to better understand their internal culture. Once the internal culture is understood, a better understanding of what the employees need out of a wellness program will arise. Before you begin a wellness program ask these questions;

  • What do my employees really need out of a wellness plan?
  • What is the corporate culture in my office?
  • What incentive will work best for my employees to get healthy?
  • How can a wellness program best benefit the employees and employer collaboratively?

Once you’ve answered those questions you can begin working out a wellness plan that will work best for your company and your employees. For example, if you can not offer a gym on-site, because you simply don’t have the sprawling campuses that large corporations do, then consider offering gym reimbursement options. Employees who are reimbursed for this expense are more likely to utilize it. If you can’t offer on-call medical staff, consider offering regular screenings at different parts of the year. For example, after the summer offer a skin cancer screening. Prior to the winter months offer a cardiovascular health screening.

Using Gift Cards in Your Wellness Program 

Gift cards can also be used in wellness programs. Gift cards are an easy way for companies that do not have the space, nor resources to allocate to wellness programs to get more involved in the health and wellness of their employees. Gift cards can be used in lieu of a company dining experience. If employees are offered gift cards to healthy eating options they are more likely to use those options, than to stop by a fast food location on their lunch hour. Alternatively, gift cards can be used as incentives for employees to get healthy and be rewarded for it. Gift cards can also be given for pharmacies and other health outfitters that will help your employees get on a healthier track.

The Bottom Line

While not all companies have the space, time or monetary resources, to institute an all-inclusive wellness program, there are plenty of ways to get a wellness program started, even in a small company. In the end, wellness programs are shown to actually save companies money, boost morale and raise productivity. Every company, both large and small can stand to have revenue saved, morale boosted and productivity raised. In the end, it is a win-win situation.

3 Quick Employee Loyalty Lessons

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Loyalty is important for any organization. Churn creates a lull in productivity and drags down collective employee morale. Loyal employees means a happy workforce, a productive company and a healthy bottom line. Few organizations do employee loyalty or customer loyalty like American Express. Check out three of their top recommendations to maintain loyalty in your organization.

  1. Understand Your Market. Whether you have a young workforce, an older workforce or a variety make sure that when you target loyalty programs and rewards you can offer incentives that your employees will be excited about. If your loyalty program is not effective and motivating to your workforce you will not get the ideal return on investment.
  2. Provide Choice. Not all of your employees are looking for the same thing. When providing loyalty rewards try flexible gifts like gift cards. There is a fixed cost for the employer and your employees get ot chose from a range of options. The working mom can bring home dinner from Boston Market, the car enthusiast can pick up accessories at AutoZone and the weekend warrior can get some of their gas taken care of at Speedway. Give everyone what they want, with the power to choose.
  3. Be Accessible. Employees stick around because they feel supported, are given opportunities for professional development and recognize an opportunity for growth. Just because an employee has been around for a while doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay them attention. Ensure all of your employees have support at all times.

For more tips on employee loyalty from American Express, check out this article from Colloquy.

Do You Have Healthy Rewards at Your Company?

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Do You Have Healthy Rewards at Your Company?

Offering healthy rewards to your company is a great way to lower the cost of employee healthcare and improve your employees’ wellness while you do! Healthy rewards encourage employees to lead healthier lifestyles by offering them incentives to stay proactive about their health. Even if you already have one in place, expanding your existing employer wellness program can control healthcare costs even more.

Workplace wellness programs come in a variety of forms, many of them based on employee participation. Some programs with healthy rewards include:

  • Weight control and weight loss programs
  • Lowering cholesterol or blood pressure
  • Preventative health care, such as flu shots
  • Fitness membership reimbursement
  • Health education seminars
  • And many more!

Right now, 30 percent of companies surveyed reported using gift card incentives to promote healthy behavior and behavioral changes toward forming healthier habits. Here are a few companies who are leading the way in lowering healthcare costs and improving overall wellness through their gift card incentive programs:

  • Whole Foods: Whole Foods Market gift cards allow you employees to purchase high-quality, healthy foods at over 330 Whole Foods locations around the country.
  • GNC: The GNC Corporate Gift Card Program lets your employees buy everything from vitamins to sports nutrition products at over 6,200 GNC stores.
  • CVS: CVS offers options for healthy incentive gift cards, including cards that cover everything from prescription co-pay costs to oral hygiene products.

Do you have healthy rewards at your company? Read more about how healthy incentives can create a more productive work environment and lower employee healthcare costs.

 

Photo courtesy of stockimages/freedigitalphotos.net

Company Wellness Programs: Do You Have One?

Friday, March 21st, 2014

company wellness programsManaging assets wisely is the hallmark of every successful company. Today’s highly competitive environment shines a spotlight on the one resource you depend on most, your employees. Productivity and profitability, intimately tied to worker performance, are suffering due to an alarming rise in obesity and poor health. Many employers now offer a company wellness programs and institute policies designed to promote healthy lifestyle changes. More than talk, the approach includes a wide range of information, support and healthy lifestyle incentives including cash rewards and gift cards.

The Impact of Poor Employee Health:

  • Reduced employee alertness
  • Poor performance
  • Reduced productivity
  • Higher insurance costs

F for Fat

The average worker in the United States is fatter and gets sick more often today. The CDC reports an alarming rise in obesity. By 2030, half of all Americans will be obese and their employers left to deal with dramatic increases in lost time and profits due to obesity related illness. A proactive approach to worker health offers positive reinforcement for healthy behaviors that benefit both workers and their employer.

Your company, your employees and your profits don’t have to suffer.

Join the growing number of employers already instituting vigorous wellness programs for their workers. According to research conducted by the national Business Group on Health, nearly 90% of all employers now offer some type of company wellness program. For many it involves a combination of education and incentives with sponsored activities like gym membership and weight control programs.

Start with Education

Healthy workers are more alert, they miss less time from work and are more productive. Getting your workforce to that point begins with education and information. One way that many employers attack the issue is by providing health fairs on company property. Healthcare and wellness professionals come on site and set up tables to do healthcare screenings and offer tips on how to enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

Employees touring the health fair get their blood pressure, blood glucose levels and other vital statistics checked for free. Doctors, dentists and physical fitness professionals can come to the fair armed with information and incentives for participation provided by you, the employer. Offering a free $50 gift card for completing a health screening or joining a weight loss program is an ideal way to encourage employee attendance and participation.
Another approach to start with involves group sessions. Make some time during scheduled working hours to have employee meetings with invited guest speakers dealing with health and wellness topics. After the speech, roll out your wellness program and explain why it is to their benefit to participate. Combining education with motivation, your employees will perceive real rewards for taking steps to get healthy.

Rewarding Results

Company sponsored weight loss/weight management programs produce positive results for workers taking advantage of them. Some employers encourage participation with the old carrot and stick approach. Workers who take part in health and wellness activities, lose weight or give up harmful tobacco addictions are rewarded. Workers not involved could be penalized with higher insurance premiums or other negative incentives.

Perhaps the most effective approach, providing results-based incentives encourages participation in wellness programs with a combination of reward and recognition. Your company might offer discount membership in a weight management program as part of the company “biggest loser” competition. The employee losing the most weight over a pre-set time period gets is given an award by the company, public recognition in the local media and a $500 gift card to shop for healthy food.

The idea is to encourage active participation and results. Tailor your wellness program and incentives focusing on these factors and promoting a healthy workplace environment. Visit GiftCard Partners to learn more about incorporating incentives like gift cards into your company wellness outreach efforts.

Employee Retention, Found ‘Em, Got ‘Em, Now Keep ‘Em

Monday, March 17th, 2014

When a survey shows that 46% of Americans are not certain that they want to stay at their current company, it’s no wonder employers are scrambling to find out ways to increase employee retention within their own company. A recent Korn Ferry study indicated that the secret may lie in the bosses creativity.

Employee retention should not be taken lightly. Your employees are the life blood of the company and their loyalty can make or break it. EBN, Employees Benefit News, gives three tips on how to get your employees to stick around for the long haul.

  1. Empower employees- Less than 60% of American employees indicated they were rewarded for doing a good job.* An acknowledgement of a job well done can be enough to change an employees attitude. Giving an simple reward like a low denomination gift card, a thank you note, or an unexpected free Friday off goes a long way in showing your appreciation and won’t break your budget.
  2. Create a positive workplace atmosphere- 54% found their workplace welcoming enough to stay, while 15% said they didn’t, and 31% were UNSURE about their future plans.* Getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of day to day routine can be draining. Spice things up with a catered lunch, joke of the day, or themed colors on small holidays. Feeling like the color green today?
  3. Listen- 35% of respondents said that leaders are not good listeners.* This one is an easy fix. Scheduling time out during the week to discuss who is working on what and any issues that are occurring is a good forum for open dialogue between management and employees.
 *Korn Ferry survey

Top 10 Examples of Employee Appreciation Gifts

Friday, March 14th, 2014

employee appreciation giftsYou’ve heard it before, “you get what you give”.  A little appreciation goes a LONG way! What about the saying, “You reap what you sow”. It’s true. Studies have proven again and again that giving to your employees offers one of the best rates in return. So, give away! Obviously verbal appreciation, certificates and public acknowledgements have their place. There’s something about recognition and affirmation from leaders that simply affords a boost in moral, outlook and commitment. Tangible rewards like money, raises and other bonuses are always well received. Here is our top ten idea list for employee appreciation gifts. We’ve also included money saving tips to incorporate significant discounts!

Employee Appreciation Gifts

  1. Gift certificates for spa services. Massages, accupuncture, mud baths, exfoliating peels, aroma therapy and other personal spa services are geared towards mental, physical and sometimes, spiritual health. A gift towards the purchase of individually selected services like this shows recipients how much you value their overall well-being and gives them an invitation to relax. A gift towards spa services would likely convey the message, “We know how hard you’ve been working and we just want you to know how much we value the effort you’ve given!”
  2. Everyone loves good food, but how can you promote health and wellness while rewarding employees with a tasty treat? The nation is trending upwards concerning health and eating better. So restauranteurs are pairing up with nutritionists and health-conscientious chiefs. The result has been impacting national chains like Panera Bread, Jason’s Deli, Noodle’s & Company, Corner Bakery Cafe, Au Bon Pain, Chipotle, Atlanta Bread, Einstein Bros. Bagels, and Taco Del Mar. Another new spot for lean cuisine, My Fit Foods. They’ve been a hit in some areas serving ready-made, but totally healthy and fresh meals. It’s like fresh, fast food . . . plus, you have to get out of your car to walk in and get your “to-go” order.
  3. Let’s dance?! Some employees might enjoy a professional partner’s class to learn the tango, ballroom dancing or even swing. Plus, it’ll be an added (not to mention, FUN) aspect of promoting personal fitness, corporately. Set it up so that employees are able to invite family or personal friends and/or so co-workers are comfortable with one another as dance partners. Perhaps it’d be worth it to set up single’s dance lessons and partner training so employees can choose. Have the class scheduled as a group outing so that it’s a special celebration for everyone to enjoy together.
  4. Bringing in a professional chef to teach while cooking might be a hit for a smaller group. For especially small groups, allow each employee to invite a friend to participate too.
  5. Take advantage of your local outdoor area. If you’re near the lake, charter a yacht. If mountains surround you, have a professional hiker lead a tour. Surrounded by the ocean or snow, take advantage of the natural surroundings and have a professional lead your group on an adventure. You’ll be taking care of two things at once; letting employees know how much you appreciate what they invest into the company AND increasing their overall wellness. (Remember, doing something new increases brain activity and function while lifting moods!)
  6. Rent a resort and give employees their very own “company vacation”!
  7. It might sound old fashioned, but honor employee achievements with a banquet, picnic or corporate dinner. Schedule a time in the evening to honor high-achievers and acknowledge efforts with certificates, plaques or humorous trophies.
  8. Host a movie night. Depending on the needs of your team, you may simply want to offer gift cards for a set of movie theaters so each employee can select when, where and what to watch and with whom. Or, if you are also working to build team strength, host your own movie night. Rent or utilize a projector and complete the event with concession stand featuring a popcorn maker.
  9. Use a national holiday like Valentine’s Day or Halloween to dote affectionately on employees!
  10. A simple hand-written card from top-level executives or owners may prove a significant (and inexpensive) way to show appreciation.

Budget Saving Tips

Partner with a local venue or service provider to get the highest discount. It’s customary for spas, resorts and food venues to regularly run discounts as incentives for new or repeat business, especially as a way to increase the service package purchased. And generally speaking, most facilities already offer loyalty rewards for repeat customers. Ask about committing to purchase from them again in the future for a deep discount (like $25 off for every $100 spent) if you’re willing to make it an annual treat for employees. Be willing to share the amount of your budget or ask what their minimum purchase requirement would be for significant savings. Lastly, use the off season as leverage to negotiate pricing.

Can Employee Incentives Go Too Far?

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Employee incentives can be great when offered and given at the right cadence and the right size for the occasion. According to a new study by the  Association for Psychological Science’s Minds for Business, people who had been promised a higher reward for completing a task and thus had heightened levels of dopamine in their blood, had more difficulty completing simple tasks.

This definitely seems like a long shot with a lot of extrapolating. However, the same theory could apply to employee incentives. If employers offer too much in the way of incentives for employees, employees can be so blindly driven by the incentives that the quality of their work falters because they lose sight of organizational goals and get so focused on the incentives at hand. You can avoid this situation by offering small “spot” rewards that come as a surprise to employees and are not pre-announced. When employees don’t expect a reward, they are driven by their goals and company missions, not a reward they never knew was coming.

Keep it simple and small to keep your employee incentives effective.

To learn more about the study or how to keep your employee incentives in check, head over to Inc.com.