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Health and Wellness, Under-performance and Incentives

Why do Smart people under-perform or not fit in?  Believe it or not one of those reasons might be the employees’ physical or mental health. Profiles International published a paper that caught our eye:
Why Smart Employees Under-perform: 7 Hazards to Avoid.  Number 6 on the list is Health and Wellness of employees. Gift cards, used as incentives are a big part of the health and wellness programs our clients are involved with.  It’s been a popular topic that poor workplace performance can often be due to health issues and physical and environmental factors that can be improved with workplace health and wellness programs. You may also have many employees meeting their goals but not working to their full potential due to below average health, but you may not know it until they are motivated to be healthier and subsequently performing better. Profiles International states “Approximately $260 billion in output is lost each year in the US because of health-related problems. Whether they are absent from work altogether, or present but working at a reduced capacity, employees suffering from physical or mental illness have difficulty performing at their peak.” A comprehensive employer driven health program typically contains elements like:

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Virtual Wallets: What are they…Really?

This post might look familiar to you; we've added an update further down the page. Wikipedia outlines a “Virtual Wallet” as a hybrid checking/savings account with 3 components: a "Spend" account (checking), a "Reserve" account (backup checking, incurs interest), and a"Growth" account (savings). This is a pretty narrow view of a virtual wallet (note to self, update Wikipedia). Virtual wallets are cropping up not just from banks for online banking; they are being offered by credit card companies, SmartPhone providers, and there are even free versions that stores, manages, and organizes digital versions of store membership cards, coupons, loyalty cards, virtual gift cards, or any other piece of information that you store in your traditional wallet. Windows even offers a PC software version of a virtual wallet, but it’s more focused on protecting all those passwords, account numbers, and access codes vs. making purchases and using your loyalty rewards points or gift cards.
GiftCard Partners feels the Virtual Wallet that will not only change our way of shopping, paying, and redeeming, but will also combine the best of the above types and allow us to:

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Getting ready for IMA Summit - Selling and marketing in the new economy

The GCP staff is excited for all the insights, collaboration and networking to be had at the upcoming 12th annual IMA Executive Summit 2011, August 7-9. The theme: Learn, Connect, Benchmark and Deb Merkin, Ed Shulkin, Melina Balboni and Diane Freeland will be on-hand at the event.

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What Motivates Women?

A new study by the Obama administration caught our attention; among other important statistics, it states that females earn about 75% of what their male counterparts make. Although employers “need to treat men and women equally”, when it comes to compensation, it’s just not going to happen overnight. However, handling employee engagement, recognition, incentives and rewards in a way that is engaging to women…MIGHT be keeping you up at night. Recognizing performance differently for women than men is a sticky topic, but employers do need to provide incentives and rewards that are relevant to women and which speak directly to their likes, needs, and wishes. An example of this is to buy gift cards in bulk and offer card brands that catch the attention of the woman, the mom, the professional (see below).

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Are Gift Cards going Green?

At GiftCard Partners, we follow gift card technology closely and we’ve been doing some trend reporting on e-Gift cards (aka eCerts & virtual gift cards), mobile Gift cards (aka mCerts), and their place in
virtual wallets (see last week’s post:
Virtual Wallets: What are they…Really?). These technologies affect our clients (retailers) as they navigate through their adoption of technology across their retail locations, ecommerce sites, and in their B2B or bulk gift card business. It also affects our customers, as they receive their cards and deliver them to their end user differently. The end users, who receive the cards as part of workplace incentive programs or loyalty rewards, receive their cards fast and can use them with optimal convenience.  Here, let’s take notice of yet another party that benefits from this technology…Mother Earth. In E-Gift Cards Pushing Out Plastic Credit, Earth911 highlights that implementing e-Gift card technology reduces the industry’s carbon footprint and “spares natural resources by offering retail credit via online delivery”. Decomposition resistant plastic card resins, laminates, inks & dyes combined with packaging and fuel for shipping…all are eliminated by technologists and the retail industries’ movement to Go Green with gift cards. Also consider that gift cards are just a tiny slice of the overall plastic and paper pie, if you add up all the payment methods that could eventually reside in a virtual wallet. Although consumer purchased gift cards were the first to go “e”, we are also seeing a strong migration in the more complicated to fulfill and distribute, B2B market. More than ½ of our clients already offer technology based gift cards and another ¼ of them are in the process now. As more retailers adopt non-plastic gift card methods, companies like
RevTrax® and
Transaction WirelessTM lead the way to provide critical pieces to make B2B bulk corporate gift cards widely available. Until our wallets are all virtual, encourage your cards’ recipients to recycle their used gift cards here:

Visit Alison Neumer Lara's Earth911 article.

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A better way to buy gift cards in bulk

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