Posts Tagged ‘employee incentives’

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 Ragan.com.

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.

How to Keep Employees Motivated (and how not to)

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Keeping employees motivated keeps them happy at work, maintains productivity and prevents negative peer-to-peer interactions. Money can be a short term motivator but it doesn’t have lasting effects to keep employees motivated long term. Here are three ways to keep employees motivated for the long haul.

  1. Coaching: Helping your employees perform better makes your organization better. Providing an environment for employees to grow will keep employees around and allow the organization to grow with your employees and vice versa.
  2. Relationships: Build relationships between managers and employees and between peers. Relationships build a stronger team and that kind of ROI is priceless.
  3. Dialogue: Give employees an opportunity to provide feedback, not just during a semi-annual review cycle but, whenever they want. Keeping the lines of communication open ensures that employees will feel their voices are being heard and valued.

Check out the infographic below from Salesforce and Rypple for more ideas on how to motivate your employees and also some key points to steer clear of.

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Motivate Employees through Connection

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Motivate your employees by showing them that they are a connected, critical part of your organization. Connecting employees to the core of the organization builds loyalty among employees and builds rapport between your workforce and your end customers. Here are a few ways to motivate employees to ensure your customers stick around for years to come:

  • Performance Management: Support employees by providing clear goals for their performance and holding them to those goals. Provide honest, candid feedback to employees and when employees do exceed expectations and give their best to your end customers it is important to reward the desired behavior. Providing spot rewards at the time of exemplary behavior like small denomination gift cards to popular retailers like Crutchfield, CVS/pharmacy and The Cheesecake Factory are a simple way to say “thank you” to employees.
  • Open Communication: 360 degrees of communication is key. Managers should obviously evaluate employees but it is critical to motivate employees through participation in the organizational process. Allowing employees to evaluate their managers and the organizational values is critical to establishing open communication that will create long term employee retention and loyalty.
  • Job Role: Establishing a connection between an individuals role within the organization and the organizations role within the industry is a great way to give employees a sense of purpose. Employees who have purpose will be motivated at work, establishing loyalty and longevity.

For more ways to motivate your employees by connecting them to the heart of your organization check out this article from Ahwatukee Foothills News.

Healthy Employee Culture Drives Participation

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

f4429a1a0a658cb0f0b6a1849e15ae8a_SInitial engagement in employee health and wellness programs doesn’t always drive long term participation like healthy employee cultures. While new employee health and wellness programs often drive short term engagement through the first few months, or maybe even the first few years, creating healthy employee champions and a culture of wellness is what creates long term employee participation.

Providing non-cash rewards as a component to a healthy employee culture is a great way to drive long term participation. One example of this was offering a discount in the employee portion of the health insurance premium which almost doubled employee participation in Herman Miller Co’s employee wellness program; jumping from 40% to 79% year over year for the first 3 years, but seeing a plateau in participation levels in subsequent years. Offering small denomination gift cards to retailers like GNC, Nutrisystem and CVS/Pharmacy are another way to promote a healthy employee culture by assisting employees in forming a healthy lifestyle.

Instead of using typical carrot tactics to get employees to change habits, providing an environment for creating a healthy employee culture will provide longer term results that will have a greater impact on your workforce and healthcare costs.

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.