Time for Employee Recognition

employee-recognition
According to Incentive Magazine, the number one reason employers and managers give for not practicing employee recognition is time. They don’t have time, they can’t find the right time, it’s not effective if you do it too much or too little. There are a million reasons. But the reality is, employee recognition shouldn’t take a lot of time, and with some planning and scheduling employee recognition can extend the time employees remain loyal to their organization.

1). Timely Employee Recognition- If an employee does something worth recognizing, make sure you execute on employee recognition in a timely manner. If you wait too long the recognition becomes stale and ineffective. Ensure ROI and trophy value for rewards by recognizing employees as soon as possible.

2). Doesn’t Need to Take A Lot of Time- There’s a misconception in the market that employee recognition is time consuming. However, if you have a regular recognition program, and rewards on site, recognition only needs to take a few minutes. Whether it’s public or private employee recognition, it doesn’t need to be a time suck.

3). Deliberate Frequency- Make employee recognition programmatic. That way employee expectations around recognition and rewards are set and can be met and/or exceeded. From a time perspective, deliberate recognition builds recognition into your calendar, rather than being disruptive.

Making time for employee recognition will ensure ROI into any program that is approved and endorsed by management.

 


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Rachel Merkin is a digital marketing professional. She has been exploring the worlds of social media and B2B gift cards since 2006. When she is not blogging, tweeting, or finding ways to leverage Facebook as a marketing tool, she spends as much time at the beach as she can.

Employee Rewards They Really Want

employee-rewards

Ever wondered what employee rewards your staff really want? While you know they may appreciate the sentiment of the reward, and even find the rewards fun, have you ever wondered, if they could pick anything, what the general employee response would be? In a recent study done by The Voucher Shop these hard-to-come-by desires are revealed. Even though these are results from across the pond, there’s a lot to be gleaned applicable for American employees and households as well.

Here are the top categories employees want to see in rewards from their employers:

  • Food and grocery shopping vouchers (47.8%)
  • Department store vouchers (14.9%)
  • Holiday vouchers (12.4%)
  • Leisure or family day out vouchers (9.2%)
  • Eating out (8.7%)
  • Clothing vouchers (5.8%)
  • Do-it-yourself or home improvement voucher (0.8%)

These results reveal a lot about what employees want and need. Rewards should provide trophy value for employees and allow them to afford things they won’t necessarily deem a necessity. The fact that things like groceries, department stores and holiday rewards top this list shows the continued financial strain on working families.

On one hand, it’s great that added rewards can help fill gaps in employees’ financial needs but on the other hand, employers need to aim to balance giving rewards with the trophy value they aim to provide. In either case, this study sheds light on what employees really want in rewards and will help guide employers to providing rewards that will have the maximum impact on their workforce.


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Rachel Merkin is a digital marketing professional. She has been exploring the worlds of social media and B2B gift cards since 2006. When she is not blogging, tweeting, or finding ways to leverage Facebook as a marketing tool, she spends as much time at the beach as she can.

Why Employers Often Fail at Employee Recognition

employee recognitionA recent survey by OfficeTeam revealed that 89% of employers think they are doing a good job with employee recognition for outstanding efforts at work. That would be great, except only 70% of employees tend to agree with that statement. The divide between employee and employer opinions is significant. If employees don’t have confidence or agree that their employers are doing well recognizing their efforts, then employers get no return on what is often a significant investment.

There are many reasons why employers can fail at delivering employee recognition. Sometimes it’s a lack of effort, communication or application of a program. Here are three reasons we find most common- and how to overcome them.

  1. No Purpose: If your employee recognition program is too ad-hoc it can seem like there is no clear purpose or direction. Before handing out rewards or recognizing employees publicly, the leader/administrator of the program should be able to set out specific purposes and goals of the program. This will provide guidance and direction to keep the program focused and clearly laid out for employees.
  2. No Feedback: Every employee recognition program starts with “employee.” Don’t lose sight of that. Solicit feedback from employees on where, when, how and why they want to be recognized. Keep it meaningful not just for your management team but for the people you aim to acknowledge.
  3. No Learning: Great employers help their employees grow. Employee recognition should be about learning. Employees should be recognized for both learning and personal growth, just as much as working hard to further company goals.

A lot of factors can come into play when an employee recognition program isn’t successful. But the important thing is how companies and employers understand and meet those challenges in order to overcome them. Here are more examples and solutions in Incentive Magazine’s article, Top 10 Reasons Why Companies Fail at Employer Recognition.

Rachel Merkin is a digital marketing professional. She has been exploring the worlds of social media and B2B gift cards since 2006. When she is not blogging, tweeting, or finding ways to leverage Facebook as a marketing tool, she spends as much time at the beach as she can.

Financial Wellness Paired With Physical Wellness

Financial Wellness

With 80% of U.S. and Puerto Rican workers under moderate or high levels of financial stress, employers are looking beyond physical wellness programs and adding a financial wellness component to employee benefits. Financial wellness programs often provide financial advice and guidance to employees with the aim to reduce financial stress and increase workplace productivity.

According to an Aon Hewitt survey, 76% of employers were interested in financial wellness initiatives in 2013, and looking to expand their efforts by 2014. Companies also observe that the more financially stressed an employee is, the more sick time they take, disrupting work flow and workplace momentum.

At Meredith Corp. employees are offered a financial wellness questionnaire and can take educational courses and other financial wellness actions to gain access to discounted healthcare options and other financial perks. Meredith is recording big results on their financial wellness program too.

  • 95% of Meredith employees fill out the initial survey
  • 80% take at least one educational class
  • 88% of those who report less money stress use no sick time

The greater continuity in the workplace is strengthening Meredith’s workforce and proving that employees don’t need to make more money to relieve financial stressors. Employer based financial literacy and aptitude resources can sometimes be enough to set employees on the right financial track. This also proves that financial wellness may be equally critical to physical wellness in terms of employer rewards.

Are you offering financial wellness incentives to employees? Tell us about them in the comments.

Rachel Merkin is a digital marketing professional. She has been exploring the worlds of social media and B2B gift cards since 2006. When she is not blogging, tweeting, or finding ways to leverage Facebook as a marketing tool, she spends as much time at the beach as she can.

Healthy Workplace Programs Reduce Obesity

Healthy Workplace Programs

A recent study, led by an associate professor at the University of Rochester, finds that providing healthy workplace programs reduced the number of overweight or obese employees by almost 9%. The study was based on two years of research, studying almost 3,800 employees. The researchers instituted workplace programs to promote healthy eating and exercise at half of the work sites and no healthy programs at the other half.

The test group that had implemented healthy workplace programs promoted things such as revamped cafeteria offerings with fewer calories and smaller portions, free meals to those who made healthy food choices, workshops to share healthy recipes, walking clubs, upgraded gym facilities, and group activities.

Workplaces are great environments to modify food options and provide physical activity having the potential to reach a large number of adults. “This study shows in particular that when employees are empowered to help shape wellness programs, these programs appear to result in meaningful improvements to health” said Diana Fernandez, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., lead author of the study.

The study tracked the workers’ BMI at the beginning and end of the two-year program. The number of workers considered overweight or obese increased by 5% over the group that did not offer healthy programs in the workplace. While the test group that had healthy programs decreased those considered overweight or obese by 4% — a net difference of 9%.

The full article can be read here at Incentive Magazine. The full study can be downloaded for a fee at The American Public Health Association.

creating successful wellness incentives

Jennifer DiPietro has been managing B2B gift card programs since 2010. A lover of social media, she has recently decided to get back into blogging as well as delve deeper into the world of marketing. Native to New England, she enjoys the beauty of the coast, but also loves the cold, snowy winters. She is obsessed with Boston sports and the Denver Broncos.

Corporate Responsibility Drives Sales

Corporate responsibility is on the rise as corporations feel compelled to give back to the community. Major brands have taken note and develop their own way of giving back, from grocers like Whole Foods Market sourcing items through local farms and suppliers, to pharmacy retailers like CVS/pharmacy enabling employees to recognize one another’s accomplishments my earning points that they can later attribute to a charitable donation from the company on their behalf. Corporate responsibility has gone beyond something people might make an effort to do and has become something that is due diligence for organizations looking to become members of their community and encourage employees to do the same.

The second component of corporate responsibility, which can be even more critical to its business, is the impact it has on consumers. At the end-shopper level, consumers want to invest their hard earned dollars in organizations they know are doing positive things in the world. Corporate responsibility drives sales in the world of connected and conscientious consumers, therefore while it does good for the world and can build business partnerships, it can also be viewed as a business investment.

In our most recent white paper, Consumer Behavior Influenced by Retailers with Corporate Responsibility Programs, we explore how consumer behavior is influencing retailer corporate responsibility plans.


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Rachel Merkin is a digital marketing professional. She has been exploring the worlds of social media and B2B gift cards since 2006. When she is not blogging, tweeting, or finding ways to leverage Facebook as a marketing tool, she spends as much time at the beach as she can.

Employee Investment is an Investment in Your Brand

employee investmentEmployees are your brand. They are the ultimate liaison between you and your customers. No customers, no business, so it’s critical to make an employee investment and consider it an investment in your brand. In order to ensure your employees are the strongest representation of your brand you must create a culture of employee engagement. Here are three ways to do that.

  1. Knowledge: Empower employees with knowledge. Ensure they have a full knowledge of products in inventory, how to procure products that may be out of stock, and other key information to enhance the customer experience. Retail employees who work on the floor are your brand ambassadors. Make sure they have all the tools they need to succeed.
  2. Communication: Teach employees how to tell your brand story. Polite bubbly personalities are great but when employees understand your brand’s narrative at the highest most corporate level it will help them immerse themselves in that story and craft it for each individual interaction they have. Better consumer experiences mean a stronger brand and business case.
  3. Commitment: Commit your organization to your employees. Professional commitment needs to go both ways. Employees commit to working hard for you, and you have to commit to professional development, training and perks for them. Commit to your employees and they will commit themselves to organizational goals.

For more information on employee investment or how employees represent your brand, check out this article from Retail Customer Experience.

Rachel Merkin is a digital marketing professional. She has been exploring the worlds of social media and B2B gift cards since 2006. When she is not blogging, tweeting, or finding ways to leverage Facebook as a marketing tool, she spends as much time at the beach as she can.
employee motivation

3 Employee Motivation Tactics That Work

Employee motivation has gone way beyond the traditional cash bonus or employee of the month trophy. Employees want motivation programs that really dedicate them to their work and their peers.

Here are three employee motivations tactics from B2BNewsNetwork to help you revamp your program.

  1. Unlimited Vacation and Sick Days: This seems like it could turn into a runaway train, but giving employees unlimited PTO  can actually be a great motivator. Since they can choose to not be at work at any time, the time they are at work is more productive. Additionally, from a long-term loyalty standpoint, employees feel that their employer is giving them incredible freedom and they feel the responsibility to remain dedicated and loyal to the organization as a result.
  2. Peer-to-Peer Recognition: Rewards and recognition shouldn’t always come from management. Allowing peer-to-peer recognition to either take place publicly or privately is a great way to build camaraderie across teams in your organization and empower employees to go above and beyond their regular job responsibilities. If you allow employees to give each other rewards, make them small, like a small denomination gift card to a favorite retailer or restaurant. Just a small thank you from someone other than their boss can give employees a great boost.
  3. Giving Back: Creating a culture of community service is a cool and innovative way to motivate staff. Showing and including employees in corporate social responsibility initiations makes employees proud to be a part of their organization, and can give employee motivation in day-to-day responsibilities a big boost.

Have any other favorite employee motivation tactics that you like to use? Leave us a note in the comments!

Rachel Merkin is a digital marketing professional. She has been exploring the worlds of social media and B2B gift cards since 2006. When she is not blogging, tweeting, or finding ways to leverage Facebook as a marketing tool, she spends as much time at the beach as she can.

Optimize a Successful Wellness Rewards Program

wellness rewards program

Nearly 90% of employers offer wellness incentives, or financial rewards or prizes, as a means to engage their employees in creating and sustaining a more health conscious lifestyle, according to a recent survey from Fidelity. Rewards offered today are growing from $260 per employee to an average of $521 per employee. That’s an increase of 57% from 2009.

Learn How Your Company Can Optimize a Successful Wellness Rewards Program

Thursday, March 26
1pm EDT | 12pm CDT | 10am PDT

wellness rewards program

Attend this webinar and learn how your company can optimize the success of a wellness rewards program and create sustainable health for employees and organization.

The Corporate Health & Wellness Association, in partnership with CVS/pharmacy and GiftCard Partners would like to invite you to join this educational webinar.

In this webinar, you will learn:

  • Why gift cards provide the most return on wellness investments
  • How to retain and encourage employees after initial participation
  • Which wellness activities typically have higher participation rates when incentivized
  • Different incentive programs and models
  • Tax implications of incentives based on the Affordable Care Act
  • The importance of changing up the incentive design – variety is key

Meet the speakers!

corporate rewards program

Lauren is the Marketing Specialist here at GiftCard Partners. She enjoys all things marketing and design related. Learning about the newest trends and technologies in the b2b gift card world and seeing how we can use them to develop the best experience for our audience and reader base is our goal.

Employee Development Builds Great Future Leaders

Employee DevelopmentEmployee development is an important responsibility for both employees and employers.  Good managers continuously prepare their employees for future leadership roles.  Doing so increases employee engagement and productivity and makes employee transition into leadership roles as seamless as possible.

Here are three helpful strategies that are vital to developing employee leadership skills:

  1. Encourage Networking – Networking is fun and essential to individual growth and business development.  Encourage networking within the work place during lunch hours, during after-work events, and outside of the company.  Have employees attend industry events with upper management to give them a clear idea of how to conduct themselves so they can attend future events on their own.  Employees who attend industry events on their own time could also be a sign of a potential great leader.
  2. Assign a Mentor – Mentor/mentee relationships develop when employees grow and advance their skills.  Mentorship programs are beneficial for assimilating new hires and are a great tool for cross-training current employees.  Cross-training can affordably boost employee performance and motivation and it prepares employees for expanded roles within the company.
  3. Provide Opportunities to Grow – Provide employees with opportunities so they can grow to one day pursue a leadership role within the company.  Opportunities for growth could include paying for formal education, internal and external training, lunch-and-learn programs, and more.  Set up a calendar with upcoming events and trainings to keep employees organized and help them attend on their own time if need be.

Employees are your company’s biggest asset, make sure to properly invest in them. Read more on How to Turn Good Employees Into Great Leaders here!

Jennifer DiPietro has been managing B2B gift card programs since 2010. A lover of social media, she has recently decided to get back into blogging as well as delve deeper into the world of marketing. Native to New England, she enjoys the beauty of the coast, but also loves the cold, snowy winters. She is obsessed with Boston sports and the Denver Broncos.