wellness & safety

Gift cards make terrific wellness and safety awards.  They are not cash but have the best value the incentive industry can offer and they can provide for an unlimited choice in awards.  The budgets for wellness or safety programs are typically small on a per person basis and gift cards are perfect for these types of budgets. Cash is often lost in the paycheck, and when your total wellness budget is about $25 per person per month, how much excitement are you going to get when combined with a bi-weekly check?

In a White House Conference on productivity several years ago, it was found that it takes $3 in cash to drive the same performance in an incentive program as $1 in non cash.  Doesn’t it just make sense to maximize your program budget with gift cards?  Driving wellness in an organization is extremely important and will only become more important.

Gift cards can be very instrumental in motivating employees to join in your wellness and safety efforts and improve performance.

social media


Social media helps companies integrate employee recognition into the corporate experience.  Many large corporations are finding that using Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and others, are excellent ways for employees to share information with each other and for management to share information with employees.

The opportunities for peer to peer and management to peer recognition within social media are endless.  While first incentive responders to this phenomenon are company’s who want to sell complete and expensive electronic point based platforms using the traditional high priced merchandise.

If you have a points based programs that include a limited number of gift cards, they can easily be modified to include hundreds of them.  Why force your employees to redeem their points for a merchandise award that may be 100% higher cost than retail.  Give them a gift card option.

But, gift card systems can be an easier and far less costly option.  They make it easier for you to stop transacting awards and start to energize and inspire people.  It will help you to better interact with your employees and make your program a lot more personal.

Not all gift card systems are the same.  If you would like a short paper that will give you a guide to what features and benefits to look for, please let us know.

09 10th, 2015

non cash

According to a recent edition of Incentive Magazine,

Incentive Research Foundation’s (IRF) Participant Study is groundbreaking research that will prove crucial to effectively demonstrating the value of non-cash incentive awards.”

It found that four-fifths of the program participants surveyed preferred non-cash awards as part of a total awards experience.

Past research conducted by the IRF found that vast majority of all incentive users showed that gift cards were the one award used in more incentive programs than any other award.  Considering all the potential problems incentive users can face when using cash, gift cards have become the perfect alternative.

One of the reasons that gift cards are more effective than cash is that gift cards actually provide for guilt-free buying.  With cash, studies show that the majority of participants actually pay bills with it and the value of the cash award is diminished, is not memorable and lacks any type of or trophy value.

When your average award in your recognition or incentive efforts is under $100, it just makes sense to use gift cards.  They provide ultimate choice and dollar for dollar value in awards.

Gift card systems are prevalent in today’s award industry.  For a quick review of the features and benefits of one of them, the Award of Choice, please click here.


unhappy emp 5

Has your recognition program gone a little stale?  Does it need a kick start?  Is it achieving the results you want?

Like everything else in the HR world, recognition programs need to be looked at and updated from time to time. If you think it’s about time that you take a look at yours, here are some tips that might make that job a little easier.

  • Recheck to see that you still have senior leadership commitment to the program’s success.
  • Find out how many recognition programs are in place in your organization, and toward what goal are the directed.  You might be surprised that some may even be at odds with the others.
  • Ask yourself what you want the program to accomplish, what results you want
  • See if you have put the measurement systems in place to measure those results
  • Have you set forth a clear written strategy for your program?
  • Determine which programs produce tangible results and compare the ROI of these programs
  • If your program is outdated or unproductive, get rid of it and replace it with one more suited your present situation.
  • Make sure that the program is aligned with business goals, especially in a fast moving company where business goals can change rapidly.
  • If you are using training within the program for managers, determine if it is effective, and if not makes steps to change it.
  • If you haven’t already done so, set up a recognition team to help manage the program and if you already have one consider changing the players to get fresh ideas.
  • Make sure you have the processes in place to hold management accountable for results.
  • If you don’t already have one, implement a peer to peer effort to add a new dimension.

If you’re interested in learning about a high value, low cost gift card recognition system that is easy to implement please contact us above.


As long as we have corporate executives that think they need to thank someone every month for being the “best”, you will always have the ubiquitous “Employee of the Month” program.  Unfortunately they are wrong, they don’t work, they die on the vine of complacency and far often do more harm than good.

But they’re still here, and whenever we get into a conversation about employee recognition it is almost always the first type of program mentioned. Hey, “everyone’s got one,” they must be good right?  Wrong!

Employee of the month awards are more often than not popularity contests or “pass around” events where most (if not all) employees will win if they wait around long enough.

Here are three good reasons not to implement one of these programs:

  1. Criteria is rarely communicated or understood by the employees.  They don’t know why they received the award.
  2. Most companies fail to use measurable criteria, this happens consistently in these programs
  3. The award is subjective and never allows for all who deserve it to receive it.

The culprit that drives these unsuccessful programs is normally lack of budget and limited expertise in the planning phase.   They are never funded properly; management gives them lip service, a plaque and a pat on the back and thinks they are doing justice by their employees.

You should be looking every day for ways to recognize your employees!  You shouldn’t be meeting once a month to try to find just the right employee that month.  And of course you can’t recognize Jane or John again because they  have already been picked this year.

As Aubrey Daniels, the noted behavioral psychologist and one of the most sought after speakers and writers in the business management arena put it this way in his book “Bringing Out the Best in People”:

“Unfortunately EOM programs violate practically every known principle of effective recognition and positive reinforcement.”

If you’re interested in learning about a high value, low cost gift card recognition system that is easy to implement please contact us above.

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