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3 Employee Motivation Killers & How to Avoid Them

Employee motivation is the lifeblood of an organization- and particularly important this time of year while parts of the country are facing brutal temperatures, buried under several feet of snow or getting drenched with rain. So how do you keep employee motivation from freezing up with the rest of the country? Here are three things employee motivation killers, and some important strategies to help overcome those pitfalls.

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The Secondary Gift Card Market

The secondary gift card market is a delicate topic in the gift card industry. It's sort of like a dirty little secret that’s extremely helpful for consumers. In this market, consumers can recycle, regift or exchange their unwanted or unused gift cards for something that is of more use to them. It's a free market, or markets and with the access to internet today these exchange sites are literally at consumers' fingertips. While this new market may leave unwanted gift card holders jumping for joy, retailers are as thrilled. Secondary gift card markets can be seen as devaluing retail brands. These markets essentially allow consumers to trade in one brand for another, making the currency that was previously brand specific, brand agnostic. Currency no longer gets funneled into a retailer's business, but rather commoditized on the open market. Diane Freeland, GiftCard Partners' VP of Client Relations, comments on the commoditization of the secondary gift card market stating, "These secondary marketplaces offer consumers the opportunity to trade unwanted gift cards that they were received as a gift at a less than face value for the cards they are trading." Selling a retailer's brand for less than face value can have unforeseen consequences that only time will tell. Secondary gift card markets are a sensitive subject in the gift card industry, and it is certainly something we will keep an eye on. Check back to this space for more information on this subject as we track the industry’s response.

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Employee Learning and Constructive Criticism

No one likes hearing they are wrong or that they have made a mistake. It can cause you to lose confidence or want to give up. This is the last feeling employers should want to instill in their employees but at the same time it’s their job to provide feedback, yes and on some occasions constructive criticism. So let’s focus on the key word here,
constructive. Without clearly identifying what you are looking for and more importantly
why you are looking for it, this term can quickly be lost and leave employees feeling bad about something they put time and energy into. While it may be difficult to navigate, here are some helpful recommendations.

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Take Your Sales Incentives to the Next Level

We've talked a lot about
gamification and
sales incentives over the years. From a cutting edge concept to an integral part of some sales organizations, gamification works to motivate salespeople through friendly competition and achievable metrics set by employers. Gamification is great but it can create a lot of work for the employer and sales management. Organizations like Chattanooga-based
Ambition, seek to take your gamification platform to the next level, integrating both digital and automated aspects. As Jared Houghton, one of the co-founders of Ambition, says in a recent Inc.com
article, they are working to "transition from whiteboards to dashboards." These platforms don't like the word "gamification" so let's use sales motivation instead. Automated sales motivation platforms simply allow employers to define their metrics for success and track each salesperson's goals and productivity. The platforms also provide a healthy dose of competition by tracking salespeople against each other and comparing numbers. Every organization does sales incentives their own way, and there are reservations that this system could get too public, giving salespeople too much access to their peers' performance. That being said, it’s important that employers look closely at both their employees and the dynamic within the company before launching in to this type of open platform. Supporters stand firm that in a world where business systems are increasingly digital, giving employees the self-motivation to take their own performance to the next level through digital tracking that can be monitored by the employer really automates what can be a tedious process. Self-motivation associated with sales incentive platforms can also boost employee autonomy which furthers the desired motivation outcome. These technologies are new, cutting edge and have the power to transform how sales motivation and sales incentives happen. The GiftCard Partners team can't wait to see how gift cards and virtual gift cards play into systems like Ambition. Imagine having a system where when a team member met or exceeded personal benchmarks, they were automatically sent an eGift card straight to their inbox?      

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Medicare Changes On The Horizon

Recently the Obama administration announced a goal of accelerating changes to Medicare so that within four years half of the program’s traditional spending will go to doctors, hospitals, and other providers, stressing quality and frugality.  This plan is intended to replace Medicare’s traditional fee-for-service medicine.  Currently in the fee-for-service structure, doctors and hospitals are paid for each service without regard to how the patient fares. Last year about $72 billion (20%) of traditional Medicare spending went to alternate payment models such as Accountable Care Organizations (ACO), where doctors banded together to care for patients along with the promise of getting a portion of any savings they bring to Medicare.  Across the U.S. there are now 424 ACOs and 105 hospitals or health care groups that accept bundled payments. In return, Medicare gives them a fixed sum for each patient which covers initial treatment and follow-up care. The administration is targeting for about $113 billion (30%) of Medicare’s traditional spending to go to these ACO type of endeavors by 2016 and about $215 billion (50%) by the end of 2018.  They also want to spend on quality components. such as bonuses and penalties on top of traditional fee-for-service payments, so that by the end of 2018, 90% of Medicare spending has some sort of link to quality. "For the first time we're actually going to set clear goals and establish a clear timeline for moving from volume to value in the Medicare system," said Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell,  "So today what we want to do is measure our progress and we want to hold ourselves in the federal government accountable."
Read more on the Obama Administration’s plan for Medicare here!

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