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Why Cash Rewards Don’t Motivate

cash rewards

We talked before about the shift in reward and incentive programs. Employers must now take into account that each workplace is usually comprised of 3 different generations, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials. Each of these generations defines a “valuable reward” in different ways. This shift in rewarding now involves turning away from the idea of general cash rewards and taking a more personalized approach to the individuals you are trying to motivate or reward.

Whether the program is designed to motivate behavioral change, “above and beyond” performances, or engagement, the one tool that remains consistent throughout is the reward or incentive. It’s an important aspect of any program and should be regarded as such when designing your program.

In the past (and many times still today) the preferred option of motivating was offering cash rewards. It’s a common notion that the more money an individual receives at work, the happier and more motivated they will be. But new research finds big cash incentives are more distracting than motivating, and the relationship between motivation and performance is more complex.

 

Find the right reward

 

Incentive Magazine article, 3 Reasons Why Cash Incentives Don’t Motivate, points to two separate studies supporting the idea that cash incentives don’t link to motivation and workplace happiness. One study from Tim Judge of the University of Florida concluded that even if companies let their employees set their own salaries, they still wouldn’t enjoy the job more.

The second study, from Gallup, interviewed 1.4 million people at every pay level, across every industry, around the world and found that job satisfaction had little to do with money. The article points to three important reasons why cash incentives don’t motivate.

Reasons not to use cash rewards

  1. At the end of the day, it’s just considered income. We all have expenses and every dollar brought in typically goes to one of those expenses. So the lasting effect of the reward is fleeting. Which brings us to,
  2. Cash has no “trophy value.” When you’ve earned a reward it’s typical to be proud of it, maybe even show it off a bit. But it’s not usually in good taste to start passing around your paycheck to show off that reward. Getting that reward is something to celebrate and enjoy.
  3. Cash Programs Usually Lack Goals. Think of it this way. If you’re running in a race but have no clue where the finish line is, who’s to say you’ve actually won at the end…no matter how fast you run. Clear goals allow employees to understand where they’re going, how far they are and what they’ve accomplished once they got there.

The best thing an employer can do is to take a close look at how effective their program is. What is the overall goal of the program, are your employees clear on it, and what rewards have the greatest impact on your program participants? While money is important, yes, it isn’t everything.

 


So you’re on the same page, but if not cash rewards then what tools should you be utilizing to effectively motivate and engage your workforce for long-term success? Check out our recent post, Incentives and Rewards in 2016: The role they play in program success, to learn more about how and what rewards and incentives are being used.

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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.

Consumer Mindset on Redemption & Choice in Loyalty & Incentive Programs

consumer mindset on redemption and choice

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Consumers today want the ability to choose, be it the wireless device they use for work and play, the self-selection of digital or traditional shopping channels and options, or the ability to choose among different gift cards in loyalty and incentive programs.

The better the choice, the more apt the person is to be active in the loyalty or incentive program, pursuing the desired behavior in order to earn the reward. Loyalty program participation is a problem for many companies. According to the Colloquy Loyalty Consensus released in February 2015, the average household is “involved” in 29 programs, but active in only 12.1

“A huge challenge is differentiation. Most programs look very similar to their competitors and even to programs in other verticals.”

– Barry Kirk, Solution Vice President – Loyalty Strategy at Maritz Motivation Solutions.

“When instituting a loyalty program, the goal is to engage your customer and give them a reason to transact with your organization more often,” adds Erin Raese, COO and Editor-in-Chief, Loyalty Management at Loyalty360. “Earning points builds engagement, redeeming points creates an additional positive experience. Therefore, it’s important to make sure your rewards selection is attractive to your customers. A way to do this is to provide gift cards to popular merchants where your customers like to shop.”

Gift cards are popular because the value is easy to determine and they know what they are truly receiving, whereas the value of travel or merchandise rewards are more ambiguous, Raese adds.

Continue reading to learn more about what the experts have to say about:

  • The transition to digital
  • The importance of incentive choice
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.

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.

Incentives for Millennials

Millennials, those who currently are in the 18-33 age range, will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025. This generation posses an entirely different outlook on workplace culture than the generation before them. Technology is the primary Millennial influence, both in and out of the workplace. What are the best incentives for millennials to be motivated?

Growing research shows that point system incentive programs have the highest success level, especially with Millennials. These employees want to not only be recognized, but they also want choices in how they are rewarded as well. Points programs are virtually foolproof, easy to understand, appeal to the interests of many different types of participants, tend to have higher participation rates, and are just plain fun!

One amazing employee points program incentive model is the Values In Action program at CVS/pharmacy. An online rewards system where colleagues and managers can recognize one another by granting points that are redeemable for merchandise, travel vouchers, gift cards, and even the option to make a charitable donation.

While points programs work best for Millennials, they can be customized for any diverse workforce. For more information on why points programs are so popular check out this article by Quality Incentive Company.

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.

Incentives to Eat Less and Increase Employee Productivity

Do you notice your employees coming back from their lunch break just a little slower than when they left? Well studies show that it might be due to that large lunch they ate. A U.S. study by Wellness & Prevention, Inc., published in the April issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine showed the relationship between a large lunch and a slower worker.

According to the report, a company of 1,000 employees had an annual productivity loss of $107,965 due to binge eating. The issue with binge eating is not one to overlook. It not only costs your company money and but also affects the health of your employees. So what to do? “These findings suggest that efforts to improve the health, productivity, and performance of employee populations should include routine screenings and interventions for binge eating behavior,” said Richard Bedrosian, Ph.D., Director of Behavioral Health and Solution Development at Wellness & Prevention, Inc.

So encourage employees to participate in programs that address the issue of binge eating and look to solve it. CVS/pharmacy gift cards or the CVS Select Card, a selectively filtered card that filters out items not supporting a healthy lifestyle, not only offer the perfect incentive for participation in these kinds of programs but also send your employees the right message about the importance of their health.
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.

Using Employee Motivation for Long Term Engagement

Employee motivation is an important dynamic in the workplace and finding ways to constantly motivate employees is a great way to engage employees in their positions and with your organization for the long term. Less turnover means a more stable company environment, more dedicated employees, and a more productive workforce. Creating an environment that nurtures employee learning, focuses on professional development and recognizes employee achievements and hard work, are great tools in employee motivation because it leaves them feeling supported by their organization. When an employee feels noticed by their employer, and feels like they are more than a “cog in the wheel,” they are more motivated to excel in their positions, and use their expendable energy at work to put in extra effort.

It has been proven that employee incentives and rewards are great employee motivators, enforcing desired behavior at the employer’s discretion. These incentives can come in a variety of forms including an extra day/afternoon off, an additional career development training session, lunch with the boss (or other special access to senior management), or fixed cost items like gift cards. Gift cards have specifically been proven to have a high trophy value among employees as they feel rewarded twice- once when they receive the reward and recognition among their peers, and again when they get to spend the balance of the card. Gift cards hold more intrinsic value than monetary bonuses because they carry a unique purpose and often employees can choose where they want to allocate the card. Being able to reward an employee with a value they seek; such as a Boston Market gift card for a working mom, a Whole Foods Market gift card for the health conscious employee, or an AutoZone gift card to the office car aficionado add more meaning and a longer lasting effect on the employee than a monetary reward that could get wrapped up in an extra dinner out, instead of going towards a more useful purpose. The longer the motivation lasts, the greater the workplace engagement, and the better for your company’s bottom line.

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.

Corporate Wellness Incentives & Safety Programs

Step 1: Create a safety program.

Step 2: Make it successful.

Still struggling with Step 2? Many strategies have been tried, from payroll bonus, discipline, performance review, to issuing penalties.

But the question still remains, what works best to foster a safety culture within the workplace? The answer could be as simple as corporate wellness incentives in the form of gift cards. They are a flexible and affordable way to incent and reward for accident prevention, increasing morale and productivity, and encouraging feedback.

GiftCard Partners makes using gift cards a budget-friendly choice. Contact us today to get the best discounted rate on volume purchases from some of America’s top selling gift card brands.
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Established in 2004, GiftCard Partners is an award-winning leader and outsourced solution provider for merchant B2B gift card programs through key distribution channels.

Employee Investment and Innovation Management

Innovation is key to business success. Your organization is constantly striving to stay ahead of the innovation curve, and innovate faster than competitors. The best way to promote innovation in your organization is workforce investment. Investing in your employees is a great way to show support and build a rapport with employees that will increase job satisfaction and retention rates across your organization, leading to a more productive and innovative workforce. Here are 3 easy employee investment strategies that will promote innovation in your organization.

Build Trust: Building trust with and for your employees is crucial to fostering an innovative environment. You have to trust your employees to innovate along with your organization’s vision and direction, while employees need to trust their employer and trust their job security to go out of their comfort zone at work and find innovative ways to get things done.

Cultivate Passion: Set an example with your enthusiasm. No one is motivated by someone who is just getting their job done. Employees look up to other employees who are invested in their work. Employee investment starts at the top, when management is enthused with their positions, so will lower level employees. If you are passionate, the people you lead will also be passionate, and passion often leads to innovation.

Inspire Loyalty: When management is loyal to an organization, employee loyalty will follow. Investing in your employees by providing small rewards for milestones reached with a company, such as an annual anniversary, or even a semi-annual anniversary is a great way to show employees their organization cares. Using small denomination gift cards for employees investment in loyalty to retailers such as Speedway for gas rewards, or Whole Foods Market to help curb employee grocery costs are great ways to show employees that you both notice and appreciate their hard work and dedication, while controlling organizational costs simultaneously.

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.

Top 10 Trends for Employee Recognition in 2013

Mobile recognition, Social, Interactive, Green…there are many key initiatives rolled up in Roy Saunderson’s Top 10 Trends for Employee Recognition in 2013, but he shows us that it’s not just important to identify the trends, but to also put them in context. It’s not surprising to see gift cards rank in top recognition trends for the new year, but Roy shares his insights around making recognition and incentives meaningful for the employee. “6. Give me the cards I want.”

Employees will no longer be satisfied with mainstay gift cards from big box stores and established suppliers. Employees will demand to receive customized cards from meaningful places they prefer and not just what the employer deems everyone should get.”

This bodes well for GCP’s strategy of bringing the most wanted gift card brands to employers for recognition rewards and incentives. It forces employers to not just toss a cash equivalent gift card at an employee, but to be thoughtful about the gift. Give gift cards to great restaurants so your employees take their families to dinner, pharmacy gift cards so families can be proactive with healthful and personal care purchases, retail apparel gift cards…often a real treat.

Check out the rest of Incentive’s Top 10 Trends for Employee Recognition in 2013

Established in 2004, GiftCard Partners is an award-winning leader and outsourced solution provider for merchant B2B gift card programs through key distribution channels.

How to be Well: Promote Breaks in Your Workplace

As we close 2012 we all work down to the wire, meeting expectations, goals, and hoping we reflected our company’s values throughout the year. But, did we promote helping ourselves enough? After all, if your employees aren’t well, your bottom line won’t

Click to view the whole graphic & commentary

be.

Check out this clever and wise infographic about how “Taking a Break” can not only keep  your workers happy and healthy, but can boost efficiency, productivity, and even profits. Incenting and rewarding your employees for doing the right things for their mind and body can go a long way towards meeting your 2013 goals.

Check out the full infographic & commentary.

Established in 2004, GiftCard Partners is an award-winning leader and outsourced solution provider for merchant B2B gift card programs through key distribution channels.