The Biggest Problem with Employee Award Programs

The award industry has many variables and choices, sometimes too many.  With this vast array of options why do we often see so many employee awards programs that just don’t achieve results?  They don’t improve employee engagement, they don’t improve performance and they often work in opposition to what they are designed to do in the first place and can demotivate their participants. 

As a company that fulfills employee awards (specifically gift cards) for a variety of companies, we don’t often get involved with our clients in helping them structure their programs.  They’ve made up their minds by the time they get to us and are just looking for the award component, or a better mousetrap than they had before, or the quick fix award du jour of the moment.  It’s a shame we don’t get involved sooner as we have seen thousands of programs over the years and can help clients navigate the award program jungle and give them ideas that would eliminate a lot of mistakes that are made every day. 

So what’s the biggest problem with employee award programs?  Why do so many of them fail?  In our opinion it’s simply because no one takes the time any more to ask questions, a lot of questions, questions designed to give the buyers the knowledge they need to implement the right program.  Too many buyers think they have the expertise to do it themselves, after all, how difficult could it be to design and implement an awards program?  Unfortunately many don’t have that expertise. 

The best thing these buyers can do for the betterment of their program is to assume nothing, question everything, and question a good cross section of professionals in the award industry.  You will be surprised at the answers you receive pending the professionals you ask.  It’s those answers which will foster more questions, and when the exercise is completed you will be in a far better position to structure and implement an employee award system that works well and achieves results.  Of course, asking the right questions goes hand in hand with the art of listening.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be on the top of the priority lists of buyers these days. 

When you are confronted with a puzzling question in the design and implementation of an employee award system, we will be happy to offer our expertise; we have over 100 combined years of experience.  If you only have a couple of questions, ask away.  We are happy to share our expertise without charge.  Our compensation comes when your program is a success and you utilize the Award of Choice card to reward your participant.  Your success determines our success.

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