Gift cards have been gaining in popularity, for personal use but also for use in employee reward and recognition programs. Studies continue to show that tangible merchandise is a far better motivator, that delivers greater long-term results. Why then do some companies choose gift cards to reward their employees or customers?
According to a recent Gallup survey, employee engagement in the U.S. is at an all-time high of 40%. Another 13% of the workforce is actively disengaged (spreading their negativity and unhappiness to colleagues). The remaining majority of our workforce (47%) is “not engaged”. As company leaders increase focus on the many benefits that high levels of employee engagement provide, why is such a high percentage of our workforce still not engaged? Is employee engagement broken?
There are many definitions of employee engagement. In a nutshell, employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization.
As casinos around the country slowly re-open in their new Covid-19 incarnations, I am struck by how little communication there was between many casino operators and their guests during the pandemic. Yes, when most news is bad news, there isn’t much reason for communication and thus many chose silence. There was however one shining example of a casino whose patrons stayed engaged throughout the shutdown via there online rewards program. This large, first class Native Indian gaming operator stayed top of mind with their better players by keeping their remote redemption program active.
Although employee incentive, reward and recognition programs are popular, many program coordinators skip the steps that would prove their effectiveness. Critics of these programs claim that they’re not measurable, they are nice to have but can’t document any financial benefit to the company. In fact, it is possible – and advisable – to measure employee programs. The latest Incentive Research Foundation study reports how many companies are measuring success.
The pandemic has affected every business and every employee. When businesses make necessary accommodations and transition employees to a work-from-home environment, it is tempting for companies to focus on the immediate crisis and put employee programs on the back burner. Putting employee programs on hold may be the worst thing businesses can do.