Posts Tagged ‘employee incentives’

Study Showing the Continued Growth of Gift Cards

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

This topic is really exciting for us at GiftCard Partners. In the past we’ve reference the growing popularity of non-cash incentives in the marketplace, highlighting statistics from the 2013 study from Incentive Federation Inc. and Aspect Market Intelligence‘s Incentive Market Study. The 2013 study touched on the popularity of non-cash incentives, stating that 74% of businesses use non-cash options to recognize and reward key audiences in the form of incentive travel, merchandise, or gift cards.

Now new research by the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) and Aspect Market Intelligence, conducted for the Incentive Gift Card Council,  is showing how non-cash incentives (specifically gift cards) are still hot, hot, hot. The study highlights the continued preference for gift cards in a variety of programs, with the largest companies using them at a rate of 56%.

So what are these gift cards being used for? Of the companies using gift cards, 67% are using them for employee incentives, 38% for sales incentives, 30% for customer rewards, and 8% are allocated to channel incentives.

As gift cards continue to be a staple for rewards and incentives, with goals to foster motivation or drive engagement, acquisition, retention or loyalty, it’s safe to say they’re here to stay.

Does your company use gift cards in any of their programs? If so, we’d love to here more about how. And if you’re looking to add gift cards to your programs check out our gift card brands here.

Skills Gap Leads to Workforce Investment

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

thank youAs technology continues to advance and increase efficiency across a variety of industries, organizations continue to slow their hiring rates. Surprisingly enough, it’s not always due to a slow economy or lack of growth, but simply that technological infrastructure is preventing companies from needing as many people. Additionally, for the positions employers are looking to fill, there is often a skills gap between the candidates available and what the employer is looking for. So even for the limited positions available, employers can’t find qualified replacements for their departing staff. The solution? Employee retention, invest in people so they stick around.

A recent study from Ken Esch and PwC Private Company Services notes that 20% of employers surveyed feel pressure to raise salaries, partially to retain employees. 56% of employers indicated that hiring remains a priority for the company, given the skills gap and the increased difficulty to fill positions with the level of talent and skill set required. However, most compelling is that a whopping 84% of employers surveyed are making substantial workforce investments, ranging from training programs, to talent retention benefits like workplace rewards programs.

Workforce investments that recognize employee effort, motivation and increased production are great ways to increase employee retention. Using small denomination gift cards to retailers like Subway, Crutchfield or even Xbox Live are effective ways to reward employees, with trophy value that creates a lasting impression.

For more information on the skill gap and workforce investment head over to Forbes here.

3 Points in Favor of Employee Wellness Programs

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Employee Wellness ProgramEmployee wellness programs work well for a lot of reasons. While they may not be the most scientifically measurable, metrics-based programs, there’s still a lot left to learn about employee wellness programs? These programs are relatively new in the space of human resources and employee benefits and while we don’t claim to know everything, here’s some great points you may find useful:

  1. Healthy employees take fewer sick days. According to the CDC, a healthy weight man misses 3 days of work a year due to illness, where an obese man misses 5. Does 2 days annually make or break a career? Probably not, but if I were a business owner and I knew that employees at a healthy weight were more consistently attendant at work, I would work to help them achieve their weight goals.
  2. People like wellness programs. Access to exercise, convenient health screenings and support or work-out groups bring people together and are seen as an employee perk. Providing access to and support for the tools employees need to get healthy and maintain an healthy lifestyle are a great way to boost morale. Give the people what they want, because the comparative cost can be high.
  3. Measurable benefits do exist. One meta-analysis of a 42 program set of employee wellness programs revealed that at the onset of the wellness programs the organizations experienced a 25% reduction in absenteeism and health costs as well as a 32% drop in worker’s comp and disability claims. These results help to prove the point, employee wellness programs are here to stay and can make a positive impact on your workforce.

If you still need convincing about why employee wellness programs work (or some more skepticism about what we still don’t know) check out this article from Fast Company.

The Downside to Financial Incentives

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Financial incentives have become an organizational norm.  Paying employees based on their contributions has become a fairly standard practice in every business.  It has also become something that employees have grown to expect, especially high level executives.  But how can an employee trust a incentive plan where executives are achieving financial rewards while lower-level employees have gone without pay raises for significant periods of time?

Employees that do not trust a financial incentive plan, or the way the plan is run, will be unhappy with it no matter how much the plan pays out.  Incentive plans that have no link to performance can have an extremely negative impact on a corporation.  An incentive can only work if the person who is receiving the incentive can affect their performance.

To make things simple, Hay Group has distilled all the research they’ve done around incentive pay into the table below:

Financial Incentives

Table Courtesy of:  http://www.mortgagebrokernews.ca/news/the-downside-of-financial-incentives-178690.aspx?p=1

GiftCard Partners, Inc. provides many different gift cards to help support your non-cash incentive plans, including CVS/pharmacy®, Whole Foods Market, AutoZone, and more!

Employee Motivation Key to Employee Satisfaction

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

We all learned in Psych 101 about Maslow’s hierarchy. The same way that you can’t worry about your safety if you can’t breathe, employees can’t focus on their work if there is no employee motivation. When employees become stagnant in their positions they start to focus on everything but the task at hand, not to mention focusing on finding other more motivating job opportunities.

Below are Brian Ward’s, co-founder of Affinity Consulting and Training Inc., seven key motivators. Employee motivation fits these criteria in a unique way.

LinkedIn Employee Motivators

Brian Ward, What Motivates People?

 

Apply these seven key motivators to the design of your team’s work structure. For example, give employees control over the way projects get done, as long as deadlines are met on time. Ensure the output of employee effort is meaningful to the employee and their goals. Provide opportunities for advancement. Ensure that you’re giving appropriate praise and rewards for a job well done. These relatively small adjustments in the way your team gets their jobs done will not only harvest employee motivation that will lead to greater productivity, it will also ensure that employees remain satisfied with their positions and loyal to your organization. Employee motivation leads to satisfaction and employee loyalty.

Get Social with Employee Engagement

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Social media has become and integral part of all of our lives, whether we like it or not. Using social media to engage employees can be a great tool, it’s become a staple for many Americans in their day to day routine and requires voluntary participation by definition. Here are four great ways to use social media to stimulate employee engagement, no matter your organizations size.

  1. Solicit Feedback: Use social tools to solicit feedback from your employees. It doesn’t have to be public or identifiable to any one employee. Sending out an anonymous survey where employees can track the results in real time can make them feel like their voice is being heard and gives you the chance to see where the majority public opinion lies.
  2. Respect Privacy: Not all employees are social, or will want to use social outlets for certain topics. For employees who aren’t comfortable using these channels, make sure you provide private outlets to engage in a way that works for them. No two employees will engage exactly the same way, listen to your people and give them what they want.
  3. Score Yourself: Set goals for employee engagement, and adjust your program as you go. If it falls flat in the first iteration, follow up with engaged employees offline and find out what’s going on. An employee engagement program can’t be successful without the employees’ buy in. Be flexible, make adjustments and optimize.
  4. Reward Participation: When employees engage in the program you’ve outlined, reward them! If one employee sees another get a gift card to a popular retailer like AutoZone, Crutchfield or CVS/pharmacy, it’s safe to assume the desired behavior will be repeated.

For more information on how to make your employee engagement program social, check out Incentive Magazine’s guide.

Employee Recognition= Lower Salaries: Part 1

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

thank youAccording to recent studies in the U.K., employees would rather be recognized for their professional accomplishments and have a solid benefits package then get paid a higher wage. Is it possible that our neighbors across the pond are on to something we can apply here?

We can all agree that it feels great to get recognized by your boss for a job well done, almost more than getting that paycheck we all expect twice a month, however, could it be true that we might all pass up a raise for some good old fashion employee recognition.

These numbers seem to indicate that if Americans are anything like Brits, we would:

  •  71% of employees would sacrifice a higher salary for a solid benefits package and employee recognition component.
  • 68% of respondents indicated they would be more loyal to their employers if they were thanked regularly.
  • Likewise, 34% indicated they would be highly unlikely to leave a position if employee recognition were practiced regularly.

The One4All study highlights the universal importance of showing regular employee recognition. The incentive of positive reinforcement drives employee productivity, motivation and loyalty to an organization. Without it retention rates fall, employees are unhappy and employers have a harder time managing teams. Employee recognition should be part of any HR strategic plan.

The Business of Gamification

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Gamification is a booming business, and it helps businesses boom. It has become a great tool for giving simple rewards, like getting a free game for hitting a high score, to an industry that does everything from track your workouts and push you harder, to serve you special offers for becoming the “mayor” of your favorite coffee shop. Gamification helps drive business forward, and for employers it helps drive employees to the next level. The infographic below from Click Software, notes that by next year 40% of the top 1,000 companies by market share will be using gamification as their primary lever to make operational changes.

Gartner notes that 70% of companies that try to make large scale operational changes fail due to lack of adoption within the organization. Gamification combats this issue by working within your organization to motivate employees towards organizational goals and values. Rewarding employees for reaching certain goals and milestones builds camaraderie, relationships and drives a unified organization towards company goals.

Gamification-of-Business_28121

Can Employee Engagement Breed Leadership?

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

A new study released by Performance Improvement Council suggests that implementing an employee engagement program can breed a culture of leadership within your organization. The premise of the study implies that engaged employees are more motivated to advance their careers within that organization and thus step up to challenges and additional workload. 72% of survey respondents cited the combination of strong results and strong social skills as keys to being a great leader. Engaged employees are driven to results, and thus make better, more cooperative team members.

Employee engagement programs need to work for your employees if they are going to have an impact on the level of leadership within your organization. They need to be focused on results, and just as important, the rewards given when those results are reached. Using flexible rewards, like gift cards to popular retailers like Whole Foods Market, Reebok and The Cheesecake Factory allow employers a fixed cost, while allowing a potentially diverse workforce the flexibility to choose a reward they will use and that will have a lasting impact.

So why not cash? Avoiding cash rewards is key because cash can roll into bill payments, pocket change and lose the trophy value that will have an enduring effect on employee engagement. Gifts that last, and stand on their own will affect employee engagement and pave the way for a culture of leadership to form at your organization.

Employee Wellness Incentives That Work

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Employee wellness is a hot topic for employers in an environment where healthcare costs are rising and there can be a lot of confusion around new Affordable Care Act rules taking effect. Here are a few ways to ensure that your employee wellness incentives provide the ROI that you seek in investing in employee wellness.

  1. Results-based incentives: Focus on biometrics. Without driving your compliance officer crazy, voluntary biometric readings are a great, concrete, measurable way to incentivize employee wellness. When an employee’s BMI drops, cholesterol decreases, blood pressure reaches a normal range, these are measurable milestones that are worth recognizing with employees.
  2. Incentives for completing an HRA: Getting employees on board is helping your organization reach participation goals and get employees engaged. Health risk assessments are an entry point to employee wellness initiatives and participation should be recognized. A small denomination gift card to a wellness based retailer like Reebok, CVS/Pharmacy, Whole Foods Market or Nutrisystem is a great way to support an employee as they begin their personal wellness initiatives.
  3. Discounts of Gym Memberships: 42% of employees to whom these employee wellness incentives are offered take advantage. To have almost half of your staff taking advantage of an employee wellness incentive is a strong case for an investment that will, over time reduce long term healthcare costs.

For more information on how to effectively engage your employees with employee wellness incentives check out this article from Marketing Innovators.