All Star - Blog

    Accountability Drives Employee Engagement

    Posted by brian on 09.09.2020


    There are many definitions of employee engagement. In a nutshell, employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization.

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    Topics: Employee Reward Programs, Engaged Employees, Disengaged Employees, Employee Incentive Program, improve employee engagement, Recognize and Reward

    Measuring Success in Employee Incentive & Reward Programs

    Posted by brian on 08.25.2020


    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.

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    Topics: Employee Reward and Recognition Programs, employee engagement, Employee Incentive Program, improve employee engagement, Remote Employees, Remote Employees during Coronavirus

    The Impact of COVID-19 on Employee Reward & Recognition Programs

    Posted by brian on 08.11.2020

    The Impact of COVID-19 on Employee Reward & Recognition Programs

    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.

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    Topics: Employee Incentive Program, improve employee engagement, Motivating Employees, Employee Engagement for Remote Workers, COVID Impact

    High Employee Engagement + Positive Culture = Greater Profitability

    Posted by brian on 06.04.2020


    Most companies have some sort of employee engagement initiative underway and company leaders expect tangible benefits from those initiatives. Fortunately, there is data that proves that companies with high employee engagement and a positive culture enjoy greater customer engagement and profitability.

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    Topics: employee engagement, Employee Incentive Program, improve employee engagement, increase profits

    Research-based Employee Incentive, REward & Recognition programs

    Posted by brian on 01.14.2020


    Companies with defined incentive, reward and recognition programs enjoy a higher market share, lower turnover rates, a more highly engaged workforce, higher productivity and a host of additional benefits, so it makes sense that an increasing number of companies are turning to these programs. But very few company leaders know which reward vehicles work best, understand the legal tax and regulatory issues involved, or employ staff with relevant experience to properly design programs. Yet, despite this, many still attempt to do so using in-house resources.

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    Topics: Employee Motivation, Employee Recognition, Employee Recognition Programs, Employee Reward and Recognition Programs, employee engagement, Employee Happiness, Employee Incentive Program, Reward Employees

    How Important is Choice in Employee Reward Programs?

    Posted by brian on 11.27.2019

    Employee Reward Choices

    What is the perfect reward for employee recognition programs that target performance in areas like safety, wellness, customer service and training?  Let’s start by defining what we mean by “perfect.” The “perfect” award would be one that is both highly desired by the award recipient and one that will easily be remembered by that recipient for a long time to come.  Without that in mind, let’s first consider what award structures do not work (and yet are still commonly used):

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    Topics: Employee Reward and Recognition Programs, Employee Reward Programs, Employee Appreciation, employee engagement, Employee Incentive Program, Reward Employees

    why not use cash to reward employees?

    Posted by brian on 10.08.2019


    Attracting and retaining key talent has always been a top concern for business leaders and it is especially so in these days of historically low unemployment. Without accurate intelligence, business leaders are tempted to throw cash at the retention problem. Cash is King, right? So why not use cash to reward employees? Because research shows that tangible rewards are far more effective than cash.

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    Topics: Employee Reward Programs, Non-cash Rewards, employee engagement, Employee Incentive Program, improve employee engagement, Incentives for Employees, Motivating Employees, tangible rewards, lower turnover

    Should Employee Engagement and Company Culture be a job for Marketing rather than Human Resources?

    Posted by heidi on 09.25.2019

    Improve Company Culture

    Studies and experts confirm that companies with higher employee engagement are more profitable, have lower turnover, higher shareholder value, greater productivity and more. Companies with a positive corporate culture enjoy higher levels of employee engagement and better attract and retain talent. In the years since these initiatives have surfaced in corporate America, Human Resources has typically been charged with both increasing employee engagement and building a positive corporate culture. Are these initiatives better suited to the Marketing department?

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    Topics: Employee Incentive Program, improve employee engagement, Motivating Employees, Reward Employees, Company Culture, Human Resources

    The Use of Non-Cash Awards in Recognition Programs

    Posted by brian on 06.12.2019


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    Topics: Employee Incentive Program, Incentives for Employees, Reward and Recognition, Reward and Recognition Programs, Reward Employees, tangible rewards

    How companies reward their most loyal employees

    Posted by heidi on 09.13.2013

    By Jonnelle Marte

    After working 25 years for the same company, many employees are faced with a difficult choice: a juicer or a cotton candy maker. Such are tokens of loyalty many firms offer their longest-serving employees.

    At a time when workers change jobs as often as they change light bulbs, and employers are searching for new and better ways to retain their best workers, some consultants marvel at the persistence of a seemingly ancient initiative: tenure reward programs. Employers spend about $46 billion a year, or roughly 1% of payroll on various employee-recognition programs, according to the Incentive Marketing Association, a trade group for firms that help build incentive programs. A 2012 report from Bersin & Associates found that the bulk of those funds, or 87%, are spent on programs that reward employee tenure.

    Most of the time, employees are given the chance to choose from a catalog of gifts when they reach significant anniversaries with their company—say, a knife set for reaching the five-year mark, or a 48-bottle wine cooler on their 25th anniversary. Acknowledging that a person’s fifth year anniversary at one company could be their 20th year working overall, some firms are adding a bigger range of gifts. Electronics and home appliances are popular choices but not all gifts are quite so practical. “An item that might raise an eyebrow for one person - such as an adjustable slimming belt - could be seen as the perfect reward for someone with a doughnut addiction,” says Susan Adams, the director of engagement at Dittman Incentive Marketing, a firm that helps employers develop employee-award programs. “There is something to suit everyone’s taste.”

    Many employers outsource the process to a third-party company that make it possible for workers to order their gifts online. Often, employees sifting through the merchandise won’t see a dollar value attached to each item, but companies commonly budget to spend $25 for each year of service, says Jeffrey Fina, chief business development officer for Michael C. Fina, a leading provider of employee recognition programs. So someone celebrating five years at the firm could expect to get a gift worth roughly $125, he says.

    wavebreakmedia /

    These programs are ineffective, some experts say, partly because many employees aren’t even aware the programs exist. The programs may be doing little to encourage people to worker harder or to stick with the company longer. Indeed, while nearly 75% of companies said they have a recognition program, only 58% of employees knew about them, according to the Bersin report. “Doing this type of program doesn’t result in any significant benefit for the company,” says Stacia Sherman Garr, a lead analyst for Bersin.

    Given that workers typically change employers every 4.6 years, according the U.S. Department of Labor, few are likely to stick around for the gift of a blender or autographed baseball. For employees ages 65 and up, median tenure at a company was 10.3 years in 2012, three times the tenure for workers ages 25 to 34.

    And even if a person wanted to stay with their employer for 20 or 30 years, they might find their ambitions of loyalty outlast their company’s fortunes. The average company stays in the S&P 500 stock index for 15 years, down from about 67 years in the 1920s, says Richard Foster, a lecturer with the Yale School of Management and former senior partner at McKinsey & Co. Those exits from the S&P are often more due to companies being acquired or spun off than they are to companies shutting down, says Foster, but such organizational shifts are often accompanied by changes in branding, structure and focus. “Anybody who thinks they’re going to stay with a company 30 or 40 years better go back and change their assumptions,” says Foster. “These days, workers should expect to have to change jobs four or five different times.”

    Still, the gifted coffee makers and bicycles are unlikely to go away anytime soon. For starters, even if it isn’t clear that the programs do anything to boost engagement or performance, not having them could hurt a company’s retention and recruitment efforts, experts say. “It’s very emotional to the employee,” says Fina. “It’s like their birthday, and if you miss it, they get pretty upset.” Some companies are responding to shorter tenures by offering rewards earlier and introducing a greater range of gifts, he adds.

    And the programs, when paired with other measures, can help boost morale and performance, he says. Some companies find the gifts can have more of an impact when they are paired with regular employee feedback, when they’re easy to redeem, and when a company sets clear criteria on what workers must to do to earn the rewards, says Garr. For instance, employees might get gifts for helping the company meet organizational goals, like boosting revenue, or for participating in special projects outside of their main responsibilities. Companies that had those additional elements had 31% lower voluntary turnover than companies with ineffective programs, according to the Bersin report.

    The tax man also has a hand in the current reward programs. Unlike with cash awards or gift cards, when companies give tangible gifts to reward performance or longevity, employees can generally receive them tax-free. Length-of-service awards can generally be given only every five years. And there’s a reason the gifts—even for 50-year veterans—can be only so extravagant: The total value of gifts workers can receive tax-free each year, for performance or longevity, is capped at $1,600. (Anything above that must be reported as income.)

    Another factor is cost. Some companies feel tangible gifts can have a bigger emotional impact than a gift card, and may feel like they have to spend more when they’re giving cash in order for it to have the same effect, says Adams. Indeed, 54% of companies surveyed by the Incentive Research Foundation, a non-profit organization that studies the use of incentives, said they gave employees merchandise as part of their recognition programs. Thirty percent said they gave workers cash.

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    Topics: Blog, Employee Incentive Program, Increase Performance, Reward Employees


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