Use an Employee Incentive Program to Boost Engagement

Your employees are your greatest asset—using an employee incentive program will help them stay engaged. When employees feel disengaged and unappreciated at work, they are likely to search for employment elsewhere. As qualified employees leave, your organization spends valuable time and money hiring and onboarding new talent. Get started with a successful employee incentive program by understanding why it is necessary, the importance of goal setting, and the most successful programs.

Why Companies Need Incentive Programs

Employee incentive programs aren’t exclusively for sales goals; they help reduce burnout, which can quickly become a threat to your organization. Causes of employee burnout include dysfunctional workplace dynamics, lack of social support, and feeling unappreciated. Employees experiencing burnout are detached, exhibit declining performance, and could leave. Employee burnout can cost your company time and money while hurting team morale.

Combat burnout by implementing an employee incentive program. Employee incentives, including attractive health benefits, higher compensation, and 401k matching, will help employees feel engaged and committed. Unfortunately for many organizations, these incentives may not be feasible.

Explore budget-friendly options, such as using gift card incentives, implementing monthly team happy hours, or holding creative challenges to raise employee engagement. By giving your employees goals to work toward, your organization can motivate your team and keep employees engaged and committed.

Determine Employee Incentive Program Goals

When considering incentives for employees, it is essential to set goals for your organization. Goals can include increasing productivity, retaining quality talent, and inspiring teamwork across your organization. It is important to identify your goals from the start to determine if your incentive program delivers results in the end.

To ensure employee incentives are a good fit for your business, involve your employees in the process of choosing a program. Bring your team together to discuss goals for your company’s employee incentive program and ask for their help to brainstorm effective incentives for employees. By including your employees in the conversation, your organization will make them feel heard and appreciated. The most successful employee incentive programs include two things—gift card incentives and peer recognition.

Gift Card Incentives

Employees like having a choice when it comes to incentives, making digital gift cards an excellent choice. If you know which restaurants, coffee shops, or stores your employees love to visit, purchase gift cards to these places. Or eliminate the guesswork by using an e-gift card reward provider that offers reward solutions, such as Tango Card.

Digital gift card incentives measurably increase employee engagement. E-gift cards help organizations reduce the cost of managing rewards and the time spent purchasing gift cards directly from stores. Digital gift cards, like Tango Card’s Reward Link®, can offer built-in reporting so your organization can keep an eye on budget usage, popular rewards, and recipients. Tracking these elements is crucial when evaluating employee performances, recognizing employees who consistently exceed expectations, and enabling peer-to-peer rewarding.

Establishing Peer-to-Peer Recognition

To truly integrate rewards into your company culture, consider using gift card incentives that employees can send to each other. Employees love to feel recognized for their work—who better to recognize them than their co-workers! Peer-to-peer recognition helps employees feel a stronger sense of belonging. Companies that want to leverage HR (Human Resource) automation can integrate e-gift cards directly into the platforms they already use for peer-to-peer usage. E-gift card providers like Tango Card can easily be integrated with platforms like Microsoft Teams and Slack so your employees can reward each other in real-time. However, ensure guidelines exist so peer-to-peer rewards do not go over budget.

Set clear expectations on how peer-to-peer incentives can be used, including reward permissions and budgetary constraints. For example, an employee can recognize a co-worker for staying late to work on a project or continually delivering quality work. Additionally, setting a budget for each employee on the number of employee incentives they can give to their co-workers will help keep gifting on track. Lastly, monitor peer-to-peer recognition for any red flags. More specifically, if an employee is frequently giving rewards to the same co-worker without reason, discuss the intention of the program and its goals for the entire organization.

Peer-to-peer recognition effectively boosts employee engagement by creating a supportive workplace culture. By allowing your team to reward each other, you will demonstrate that your business appreciates employees throughout all levels of your organization.

Incentive programs are an excellent way to inspire employees, increase engagement, and reduce burnout. By implementing an employee incentive program, your employees will feel a stronger sense of appreciation and more satisfaction at work – helping them be the best they can be! Tailor your employee incentives to fit your organization and its goals. Use gift card incentives, team happy hours, celebrations, or company swag to recognize and reward your employees. Whatever you use to incentivize employees, be sure to involve your employees in the process to help them feel heard. With an incentive program, your organization will experience the real-world feeling of having happy, healthy, engaged people on your team, making for a more enjoyable workday for everyone.

Christophe Rude
Christophe Rude
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