Posts Tagged ‘employee incentives’

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.


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Wellness Champions Drive Peer Health and Wellness

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Did you know how much peers influence each other when it comes to health and wellness behaviors in the workplace? The numbers are staggering:

  • Employees who have family or close friends who are obese are 57% more likely to become obese
  • On the flip side employees at small companies are 34% more likely to quit smoking when their co-workers do

A new study out from StayWell Health Management revealed that using “wellness champions” in the workplace, almost like team wellness captains, drive general employee populations to healthier behavior. The peer support and good example set in the workplace changes employee behavior for the better. Creating a healthier work environment lowers insurance and healthcare costs for both employers and employees.

Empowering peer rewards can be a great way to reinforce a community of wellness. Allowing “wellness champions” to reward healthy behavior like increased exercise or decreased smoking or junk food intake creates a non-vertical reward cycle that allows peer support to grow throughout your organization. Rewards can be small, like small denomination gift cards to healthy retailers like Whole Foods Market, GNC or CVS/Pharmacy.

To learn more about wellness champions and the theory behind it head over to Employee Benefits News.

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

AutoZone Doing Well by Its Clients and Employees

Friday, March 14th, 2014

RewardsJHWe rarely do this. Our focus is on B2B gift cards and how employee/employer relationships can be improved through various HR programs. But we have such a compelling example of one of our brands doing right by its customers and promoting loyalty through employers. Here are a few ways Auto Zone is promoting loyalty to its customers and helping employers promote loyalty too:

  1. Switch to rewards based on purchase amount. For employees the “purchase amount” may be extra effort applied or size of a project exceptionally completed. Set ground rules with your employees about what behavior will be rewarded the same way you would set a minimum purchase for a discount with your customers.
  2. Enable online sign up and redemption. Everything is going digital. Your consumers’ shopping habits, your employees’ engagement touch points. Allow employees to opt in to an employee rewards and tracking system online. Likewise, allow them to choose and redeem the rewards they earn online. This hold everyone accountable for tracking behavior, earning rewards and redeeming them.
  3. Streamline the rules, and explain them up front. Set ground rules for your employees. Make sure they know the major guidelines in the employee handbook and know what “going above and beyond” means to your organization. Your customers know exactly when rewards are coming, your employees should too.

This is just the beginning of what AutoZone is doing for their customers and what they are helping employers do across the country. For more information on AutoZone’s loyalty program check out this article from Loyalty 360.

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

Incentives: A Popular Word, but do you REALLY know what it means?

Monday, March 10th, 2014

Whether they are being used to motivate a particular behavior, encourage engagement or foster loyalty, incentives are becoming more popular than ever. InteliSpend, a prepaid solutions provider, released a handy little guide for breaking down incentives at the most basic level. Important takeaways include:

  • More than half of American companies use incentives today
  • U.S. organizations spend over $100 billion annually on incentives (yes that’s billion, with a B)
  • Incentives (other than cash) are a $46 billion industry. That has doubled in the last decade.

If you’re new to incentives and have just started to think about ways to incorporate them into your company or you are just looking to refresh the way you use them, take a look at how InteliSpend breaks down the incentive vocabulary here.

Incentive Pros: GiftCard Partners provides the best price on bulk purchases of gift cards from a variety of merchants from CVS/pharmacy, Whole Foods Market, The Cheesecake Factory and more. Learn more by visiting us at or call us +1.800.413.9101 today!

How are You Celebrating Employee Appreciation Day?

Friday, March 7th, 2014

Friday March 7th (a.k.a. today) is National Employee Appreciation Day. Are you ready to show your employees how much you care? If not, check out these 3 easy ways to show employee appreciation by lunchtime.

  1. In-Office Services: It’s Friday, everyone could use a little pampering. Call up the nail salon down the street and see if they can send over a couple of people to give manicures and neck massages before lunch. Usually salons aren’t as busy during the morning and the opportunity for a quick mani or a stress-relieving neck massage are a great way to say “thank you” to your hardworking staff.
  2. Happy Hour: Instead of the usual outing or a casual 6-pack on the empty desk, bring around the drink cart at 4:30. No one will over serve themselves at the office, but it does make for a good Don Draper joke and some inter-departmental socializing.
  3. Gift Cards: Small rewards with a ribbon or a balloon attached can go a long way. Small spot rewards to family oriented retailers like The Cheesecake Factory, Boston Market or Whole Foods Market are a great way to help employees enjoy their weekend by treating their families to a special dinner.

For more information about Employee Appreciation Day or to get more ideas check out

Maintain Employee Safety During Winter Weather

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

This winter has been especially harsh on cities and towns across the U.S. Between the sleet, snow, ice and frigid temperatures we are beginning to hear Mayors and Governers talk about shortages in salt and sand used to minimize ice on roads and sidewalks. This all adds up to countless hours logged by public works employees clearing snow, de-icing roads and making sure the rest of us stay safe amidst the winter weather.

The media covers how average citizens can stay safe in the inclement weather, but it is the job of public works departments to make sure their employees stay safe through the winter months as well. Make safety a priority this winter. Talk about how to maintain safe practices even in the worst situation. Publicly acknowledge employees that go beyond their basic job descriptions to make sure everyone around them stays safe.

Safety recognition programs are a great way to motivate employees to maintain safe practices. Recognize safety milestones like “X days without a safety incident,” or hand out small spot rewards for a job well done. Giving out small denomination gift cards to popular retailers like Crutchfield, AutoZone or Speedway are a great way to say thank-you to employees who work hard in the worst conditions to keep the rest of us safe all winter long.

Low Cost Employee Loyalty Can Still Be Effective

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

With employers always looking for new ways to engage employees at work, in hopes of boosting employee loyalty metrics, we looked to our neighbors from the north for some advice. Here are three quick and easy ways you can maximize loyalty at your organization, without attaching any budget to the effort.

  1. Solicit Feedback. Ensure that employees have a forum to provide feedback to the organization. This ensures that your company can adjust to the needs of employees, and makes employees feel appreciated and that their opinion is helping to shape the organization.
  2. Recognize Achievements Publicly. When an employee meets or exceeds company expectations make sure they know it and their peers know it. Recognition of desired behavior helps employees at all levels to hear it.
  3. Ensure Executives are Available. Even if it is for an hour once a month, make sure that your high ranking company officers make themselves available to more junior level employees. This provides unique access for junior employees to get to know the people running the company, and help them form a bond and loyalty towards those individuals.

For more information on maintaining employee loyalty within your organization check out this article from The Canadian.