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Can’t Afford Bonuses This Year? Consider a Simpler Employee Rewards and Recognition Program

  • author

    Hannah Prince

  • posted

    Apr 07, 2022

  • topic

    Employee Rewards

Can’t Afford Bonuses This Year? Consider a Simpler Employee Rewards and Recognition Program

Every business leader has heard it: Your people are your greatest asset. That means it’s imperative to your success that you keep your employees happy. The obvious solution for any employee rewards and recognition strategy is to offer large financial bonuses. But what if bonuses aren’t in the budget this year? Even something as simple as a gift card can show your team members that you care and that they’re valued.

Gift Cards Can Be as Powerful as Expensive Bonuses

Many companies fall into the trap of thinking that the only way to incentivize employees to stay productive is to give them large bonuses or  salary increases. According to a Harvard Business Review study, “performance-related pay was positively associated with job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and trust in management.” Because of the costs associated with those rewards, however, they are often limited to an annual performance review cycle. Employees still need to be rewarded and recognized for their hard work throughout the rest of the year.

Simple employee rewards can prove to be extremely powerful. Just a gift card worth a token amount — say, $10 for coffee or $20 for a fast-food restaurant — can have a surprisingly positive effect on workers. It’s a clear way for managers to demonstrate appreciation for a job well done, and because these rewards are for small amounts, employers can hand them out regularly without taking a huge hit to their bottom line. With frequent rewards to aim for and a high probability of earning one, employees become more active and committed. In fact, 84% of human resources leaders in companies with established employee recognition programs say it increases employee engagement, according to Workhuman.

The Psychological Benefits

Evidence shows that small rewards, like gift cards, can have a very powerful psychological impact that is disproportionate to the value of the gift. Presenting a hardworking employee with a gift card is an almost ceremonial way of recognizing their efforts and accomplishments. It sends a clear message that you appreciate and value them, boosting their morale and productivity. Not only does this encourage them to continue their hard work, it also makes them more likely to stay, since the company cares about them and notices when they do a good job. SHRM reports that 79% of surveyed millennials say increased workplace rewards would increase their loyalty to their employers.

Why Gift Cards Are Ideal for Employee Rewards and Recognition

There are many options of small gifts to choose from. However, gift cards work well because they come in different values for a wide range of brands. This allows employers to choose an appropriate value, as well as a type of gift card that will be useful even in a small denomination.

Gift cards are also popular among recipients. More than 80% of employees report that they prefer receiving a gift card as a reward from their employers, according to Blackhawk Network.

Other Ways to Show Employees You Care

Digital gift cards are a great way to recognize high performers and incentivize employees to hit goals and quotas, but they can also be used in other fun ways. Getting creative with your employee programs will only increase your team’s satisfaction, productivity, and loyalty. Consider using rewards to mark milestones like work anniversaries, promote training and personal development, and even encourage workers to practice self-care.

Learn more about all the ways you can use Rybbon’s digital rewards for your employees.

about the author
Hannah Prince

Hannah is a reformed journalist who has more than 15 years of experience and now focuses on content marketing for innovative tech companies.

Hannah is a reformed journalist who has more than 15 years of experience and now focuses on content marketing for innovative tech companies.

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