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How to Increase Productivity in the Workplace with Gift Cards

Posted, by Deborah Merkin
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As we approach World Productivity Day on June 20th, a day recognized by the United Nations to focus on improving how we work and live, many employers are interested in increasing productivity in their workplaces. However, increasing productivity does not mean a promotion of “hustle culture” or a breakneck pace that leads to employee burnout.  

World Productivity Day is a wonderful time for employees to take stock of how their productivity affects their work/life balance and how they can use increased productivity to keep their work within the confines of their working hours. For employers, this can be the right time to provide important resources on how to maximize productivity in a responsible way that increases organizational impact.  

Read on to understand the importance of employee productivity, as well as how to boost employee productivity and measure it effectively within your organization. 

What is Employee Productivity?  

In short, employee productivity is an employee’s capacity to complete tasks and produce outcomes in their role. At scale, employee productivity directly contributes to business outcomes and an organization’s ability to reach milestones and accomplish goals.  

Because productivity metrics can be difficult to track, it is important to keep productivity conversations and initiatives at the individual and team levels to make employee productivity a tangible objective across the workforce. When leadership teams start to extrapolate productivity metrics across whole offices or companies, they often become less effective in driving employee behavior because employees do not connect as directly with the broad-based metrics.  

Since the pandemic, employee productivity has become a managerial priority. However, studies show that a return to the office does not always equal increased employee productivity and output. According to a 2023 study completed by Future Forum, schedule and location flexibility actually provide productivity boosts, compared to employees with traditional office schedules and little flexibility. The study showed that location flexibility led to an 8% jump in productivity, with schedule flexibility proving to boost productivity by a whopping 39%.  

Limiting employee work flexibility has proven to be counterproductive. Get the most out of your employees by keeping them motivated and providing work/life balance. This kind of flexibility and satisfaction directly translates into increased productivity. 

Why is Productivity Important in the Workplace?  

So why the focus on productivity for leadership teams now? Didn’t we all learn to work from home during the pandemic? Aren’t we all safe to return to in-person work? Can’t we all do what is best at an individual level?  

While the answer to all the above questions could be a quick “yes,” employee productivity also carries strategic value in a company. Productivity can dictate the pace of work, and even the pace of innovation within a company. Leadership teams must balance company culture that values focus and personal time to drive productivity effectively.  

Productivity is indicative of employee efficiency and focus. When productivity dips, employees often find themselves needing to work after-hours to accomplish tasks and reach goals. If employee productivity is increased to the right level, the pace of innovation and output balances with employees’ ability to meet goals within their normal work schedules. This balance also places employee productivity as a focal point of the employee/employer relationship and a key component to keeping employees motivated, engaged and satisfied at work.  

How to Increase Workplace Productivity  

Increasing workplace productivity can often come with a negative connotation, like productivity is a problem that needs to be solved. Instead, workplace productivity should be seen as a proactive initiative where new employee programs are introduced and an incentives system is put in place to directly benefit and motivate employees.  

Rewards and incentives are a great way to encourage employees without promoting an counterproductive "hustle" culture. It is important to select versatile rewards for productivity programs so they can bring value to employees with broad interests outside of work. Rewards also need to be scalable so they can be sized appropriately to the productivity milestones employees reach. 


The Engage2Reward™ Gift Card Ordering Platform can support both versatile and scalable employee rewards. The Engage2Reward Platform contains unique features like instant order processing for the employer, which ensures rewards are delivered quickly. The platform also offers multi-channel delivery options via email or text, ensuring your employees receive their productivity rewards through a channel that is accessible and convenient for them. 

The Engage2Reward™ Choice Card is the ultimate in versatile gift card products, allowing the employer to select the denomination of the card, and the recipient – your productive employee – to select from 250+ digital gift card brands where they want to allocate those funds.  

Increasing productivity can be a positive experience for all parties when done well. It requires appropriate positioning and well planned and executed programming to affect employees in a positive way. Keeping employee productivity improvement programs positive and motivating, rather than degrading, is key to improving employee morale and motivation rather than eroding it.  

Strategies for Boosting Employee Productivity with Gift Cards 

  1. Incentive Programs: Implement structured incentive programs where employees earn gift cards for achieving productivity milestones or exceeding performance targets. This creates a tangible reward system that motivates employees to work more efficiently. 
  2. Wellness Initiatives: Offer gift cards for wellness-related activities such as gym memberships, fitness classes, or spa treatments. Encouraging employees to prioritize their health can lead to increased energy levels and overall productivity. 
  3. Flexible Rewards: Provide gift cards that cater to diverse interests and preferences, allowing employees to choose rewards that resonate with them personally. This flexibility enhances the perceived value of the rewards, making them more motivating. 
  4. Recognition Programs: Integrate gift cards into employee recognition programs to acknowledge outstanding contributions and achievements. Publicly recognizing employees' efforts with a meaningful reward can boost morale and encourage continued high performance. 
  5. Training and Development: Use gift cards to incentivize participation in training programs or skill development courses. By investing in employees' professional growth, organizations can empower them to perform their roles more effectively, leading to improved productivity. 
  6. Surprise and Delight: Occasionally surprise employees with unexpected gift cards as a token of appreciation for their hard work and dedication. This unexpected gesture can foster a sense of loyalty and commitment, driving sustained productivity. 


As employee productivity remains a focus for employers in all industries, it is important to keep a positive perspective. Rather than a problem that needs to be addressed, view employee productivity as something that is worked on proactively as an organization. 

Ultimately, staff productivity is a component of company culture that contributes to work/life balance and serves as a tool that benefits employees and employers alike. Strategies like incentives and rewards should act as perennial program components to maintain productivity as a fun challenge that employees face together.  

Are you ready to use incentives to increase your employee productivity? With over 300 popular gift card brands, discover what the Engage2Reward™ Gift Card Ordering Platform can do for your team’s productivity. 

Download our free resource below for more employee engagement insights to boost your workplace productivity and employee satisfaction.



Topics: Employee Performance, Employee Recognition, Business Success, Employee Gifts, Employee Appreciation, Employee Engagement, Employee Retention, Employee Incentives & Rewards, Employee Compensation

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