Posts Tagged ‘employee incentives’

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.


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.

Gamified Employee Incentive Programs Should Follow a Formula

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Finally, after years of industry experts providing research on how effective gamified employee incentive program are, Incentive Magazine has come up with a formula for how to prioritize and rank employee incentives and rewards. The SAPS hierarchy will help guide you to design the optimally effective employee rewards program to meet your organizations budget and your employees’ motivational needs. Here is how SAPS works and why.

Status: Think about boarding a plane, the most loyal airline customers always get to board first. Shouldn’t your most loyal employees get first pick for things like which days they take vacation. Your most loyal employees don’t want the same 5 year anniversary gift that sits like a paperweight on their desk. Allow them to chose something that reflects their loyalty in a way that matters to them.

Access: Give access as employee incentives. These types of employee incentives don’t hold any monetary cost but does hold intangible value to employees. Access to their C-level executive for lunch one day could incent a junior level employees to work hard and stay motivated to get some facetime with a high-level employees that they don’t normally interact with.

Power: Allow employees to gain power through peer leadership. Power doesn’t need to come through promotions, but can be earned by becoming a peer leader. Employee incentives can earn them a spot to lead an employee committee on organizational recreation or an employee committee on safety. Good behavior should be met with more opportunities to exhibit good behavior. These types of employee incentives create a natural culture of leadership and professional development.

Stuff: Stuff should come last. Once an employee has reached past the first three levels of employee incentives, that is when you can reach for a bonus, or a gift card, or even a paid vacation. Stuff should come last, because an employee should have worked loyally through many other levels of incentives before an employer simply hands over the goods. However, when an employee does earn “stuff” incentives, it is because they are your most loyal employees, most deserving of incentives.

Employee Rewards & Trophy Value

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Employee rewards should be as memorable as the effort that employees put in to earn the reward. Building up trophy value will making lasting memories of employee recognition and employer appreciation that will maintain lasting employee morale.

Trophy Value
Make employee recognition memorable for employees. Bonuses are nice but a short trip or a personal gift are memorable. A trip or gift don’t end up paying the bills or put away in the savings account. These employee rewards allow employees to relax and treat themselves, without thinking they should be using the value for a practical purpose.

Choosing the Right Employee Reward
Employee rewards are something employees work hard for and put in extra effort to achieve. The reward should fit the effort an employee exerts to achieve it. Don’t forget the extra effort employees exert to earn rewards. The same way a punishment should fit a crime, an employee reward should fit the good behavior.

Cash Isn’t Always King
Cash bonuses are great in certain situations. We aren’t telling you to get rid of the Christmas bonuses, but smaller spot rewards don’t need to be all cash. Small denomination gift cards allow employees the trophy value of treating themselves to dinner at The Cheesecake Factory, a new T.V. from Crutchfield, or a new outfit from The Limited. Gift cards allow employees to treat themselves without feeling guilty.

For more information on creating trophy value with your employee rewards check out this article from Incentive Magazine.


Employee Wellness Programs Reinvigorated

Friday, June 13th, 2014

In 2012 half of all companies with at least 50 employees had a corporate wellness program that incentivized employee wellness through either direct financial incentives or non-financial recognition. Companies larger than 50 employees were even more likely to have an employee wellness program in place, at 79%. These programs do simple things to prevent avoidable conditions like health risk assessment, weight management and nutrition education.

The investment is a low-risk high-reward endeavor, especially as components of the Affordable Care Act take affect that further encourage employers to implement programs directed at employee wellness. The average investment in wellness has doubled since 2009, skyrocketing from $260 per employee to $594. The 2014 figure is also significantly higher than the $521 average investment made per employee for wellness in 2013.

Employers increased investment and encouragement of employee wellness shows that it is working. Check out this infographic and more great information from Modern Healthcare on where the employee wellness industry is going and growing in 2014 and beyond.

employee wellness industry growth chart

Truth, It Will Boost Employee Engagement

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Remember the phrase “the truth will set you free?” Well, we aren’t here to solve all of your problems, but we are here to tell you that the truth may be able to help boost employee engagement. It is time for all of the corporate hierarchy to melt away and for organizations of all sizes to work on open communication and employee engagement. Transparency and truth-telling will open up the lines of communication and engage employees in making the organization the best it can be, which makes employees do the best work they can.

Dropping away fear and hierarchical force allows employees to feel comfortable enough to tell the truth. Here are three ways to use truth and open communication to engage employees.

  1. Give people permission to speak openly. Even when the conversation is tough, it usually still needs to be had. Find constructive ways to get through the tough conversation, and always encourage employees to talk to their managers or Human Resources. Any issues that may arise will only get worse the longer they go unresolved.
  2. Convert criticism. Instead of directing criticism to one employee, create co-owned resolutions for the issues that are leading to the criticism. Work it out together, in a way that is agreed upon by all parties in order to avoid blame.
  3. Embrace cynicism. This seems counter-intuitive but when employees get cynical, make it a challenge for them to work to find a constructive solution. The problem solving exercise turns what can be negative energy into a positive.

For more information on engaging employees check our this article from Business2Community. 

3 Keys to an Effective Employee Safety Program

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

An employee safety program can be tough to implement and even tougher to get employees actively engaged in. An effective employees safety program can be a sound investment that keeps your workforce safe and mitigates risk of workers compensation cases. Here are three ways you can ensure the implementation of your employees safety program is effective.

  1. Program Communication: Shout it from the rooftops! The existence of the program, the criteria of the program and how to identify as a workforce leader (should an employee so choose) should be information that is abundantly available and delivered to employees. Throw a kick-off party to get the program started, and have regular points of positive communication whether that’s a status letter from the CEO or a team reward when the group reaches a program milestone. Be positive and keep the communication open and often.
  2. Build in a Reward Component: Safety should become an organizational value. Rewarding good behavior instills it in people. Safety rewards should be timely and don’t have to be big. A $10 gift card to popular retailers like Whole Foods Market, 1-800-Flowers or Speedway Gas are a great way to reward good behavior and promote the safe behavior your organization. Rewards are part of the investment that builds a culture of safety at your organization.
  3.  Recognize and thank employees for participation: Even if your employee safety program is mandatory recognize employees who are engaged and active participants in the program. For employees who appreciate public recognition, call them out for good behavior. For employees who do not appreciate public recognition, a quiet thank you in an email or a card is a great way to recognize the effort quieter employees are still making.

For more information on how to ensure effectiveness of the implementation of your employee safety program check out this article from Occupational Health & Safety.