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5 Tips for Motivating A Virtual Workforce

Virtual workforces, like the atmosphere we share at GiftCard Partners, are becoming more and more common as we can work together and share projects through digital channels. However, virtual workforces need alternate forms of employee engagement and motivation. Fostering team camaraderie and sharing common goals requires innovative solutions from organizational management. Here are 5 ways to motivate your virtual workforce, from an employee of a virtual company who couldn't help writing about such a relevant topic!

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Holiday Rewards: Going Beyond the Christmas Bonus

Although the holidays are still 3 months away now is the time to begin planning your end of year employee rewards. For many companies money is still tight, and often end of year bonuses are still not in the budget. There are still many effective ways to reward your employees at the end of the year. These rewards are the most important rewards you give all year, as they are what will motivate your workforce into 2013. Many companies give out gift cards during the holiday season, often to restaurants like the
Cheesecake Factory. These cards allow employees to enjoy a meal out with their friends and/or family, helping to ease their seasonal financial constraints. Other organizations are giving out gift cards to promote healthy living such as the
CVS/pharmacy Select card, to help employees make good on their New Year’s Resolutions. Other organizations wait until the craziness of the holidays has subsided and throw a big party for employees in January, offering a chance for employees to decompress and enjoy spending time together, outside of the office. However you choose to reward your employees this holiday season, ensure that the rewards you choose are effective in motivating and rewarding your workplace demographic. Give the employees what they want, so they can continue to use their expendable energy on reaching company goals in 2013.
For more information on how best to reward your employees this holiday season check out this article in British Marketing Week.

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The Latest in Corporate Health and Wellness Research

GCP’s CVS eNews is here! What you will find:

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2012 Gift Card IQ: Gift Cards are the Smart Choice for Employee Reward and Recognition Programs

Chicken or Steak; Obama or Romney; Comedy or Drama; Yankees or Red Sox; Gift Cards or Cash? We may not have all the answers, but according to Incentive’s “2012 Gift Card IQ” survey,
gift cards trumps cash. The use of gift cards in the incentive industry grew from 27.8 percent last year to 36.7 percent in 2012. Not only are companies using gift cards as a way to recognize or reward employees during the holiday season but the survey shows that they are increasing the frequency of which they use gift cards throughout the year and the amount spent on them. The survey seems to be holding steady states Incentive Magazines Leo Jackson, “…the best word to describe the results of Incentive’s “2012 Gift Card IQ” survey, compared to the 2011 version, is stability. By and large, this year’s results were within a couple percentage points of last year’s in virtually every category.” It looks like gift cards are on the rise while cash rewards could become a thing of the past. Some interesting findings from the survey include:

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Creating Core Beliefs for Employee Engagement

Employees who feel engaged and appreciated at work are proven to be more productive, more satisfied in their jobs, and tend to stay in their positions longer. So creating a culture of engagement is key to maintaining your organizations greatest competitive edge: your people. Here are 3 quick rules to creating a culture of engagement in your organization.
The Rule of Common Purpose: Iterating and reiterating company goals and beliefs is key to fostering a common purpose among employees. If everyone feels the sense of common purpose, camaraderie and teamwork will grow. Employees will be motivated to work together to reach the common goals of the organization.
The Rule of Selective Membership: Create an atmosphere where membership is a privilege. Unique environments and ensuring employees feel supported and appreciated by the organization will help to attract top talent and retain it for longer stretches. Providing unique perks such as extra time off or gift cards for a job well done, or in-office perks such as free food, or a lounge space can also help attract and retain top employees. Creating an exclusive environment where employees feel "special" as a part of it can promote engagement.
The Rule of Omission: Since people always remember what you don't do, rather than what you do do, make sure that if you want to engage employees and show your appreciation for them, don't deceive or exploit them in any situation. Creating internal practices that would hold up in an external business context will motivate employees to perpetuate that upstanding way of doing business. What core beliefs does your organization promote?
For more information on how to foster an environment of engagement check out this article from Fast Company.

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