2012 is coming to a close and as you prepare for 2013, it’s important to ensure that your Employee Recognition Program is up for the challenge that the new year is sure to bring. Incentive Magazine’s, Roy Saunderson, explains, ‘Vendors and practitioners must now learn to reinvent themselves and the way recognition will look and is managed in order to lead out into the future.” It’s time to get excited about a brand new year and keep in mind some helpful insights that will start you out of the gate running: Mobile devices take a more prominent role in recognition. The use of recognition apps on cell phones and tablets brings acknowledging greatness in the workplace to the tips of your fingers: can you say convenient? Give the rewards they want. Take an interest in the types of rewards that your employees will use and more importantly appreciate. Gift cards to The Children’s Place for young mothers or cards to AutoZone for the car fanatics in the office are the perfect way to show you are thinking about what an employee really wants. Show them the results. Technology makes it easy to track your employees achievements and recognize both individuals and teams that have advanced towards their goals and the goals of the organization. Check out more insightful trends from this article in Entrepreneur’s, “Top 10 Trends for Employee Recognition in 2013.”
It may sound like an obvious thing to say…”that management needs to be committed to their safety program for it to work”. But, all too often safety programs feel like a pretense to employees and this sets the stage for safety behavior. Real world experiences with safety programs and safety incentives tell us that this is happening all the time. The act of selecting which incentives and rewards will be offered sets the tone for your program. Will you expect employees to feel rewarded for fewer accident reports with a “super-star” coffee mug, or other trinkets? Cash is appreciated and remembered, but you won’t receive discount on cash rewards. Gift Cards are the perfect incentive for safety and corporate rewards and business incentive programs, as discounts are achieved for volume orders. Companies like GiftCard Partners offer only volume orders and discounts on top gift card brands like Speedway (Gasoline), The Cheesecake Factory, Boston Market, AutoZone and many more.
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:
Promo Marketing released an article this week that gave some insight into customer loyalty and the need for revolution. The simple, straight forward formula they offer does not necessarily lead you to the customer loyalty "pot of gold" but it's definitely a treasure map. Introducing, The 3 R's. Reward, Recognition, Relevance These three words should be constantly intertwined with the term customer loyalty, but how well are they being implemented? Maybe another ‘R’ word will catch your attention...Repetition. Reward, Recognition, Relevance The Reward can be as simple as a Thank You. Thanking your customers for their loyalty to your brand or business is easy and inexpensive. Try giving them a discount, a chance to earn points, or rewarding the women in your office with a gift card to The Limited or the men in your office with a gift card to AutoZone. Recognition is a way the show your customer that you appreciate them for choosing your brand or business when they could have just as easily gone to your competitor. Lastly, Relevance is key. In a day in age that throws more information at customers than pick-up lines at a singles bar, you could be reaching a customer who is overwhelmed and exhausted; the last thought in their mind being to process your message. So, keep it relevant, put yourself in front of the eyes that want to see you. Don't try playing football at a baseball game. As hard as it might be to practice, quality is better than quantity in the case of customer loyalty. Remember the 3 R’s and it could put you on the track to success. Read more on The Three ‘R’s to Successful Customer Loyalty, here.
Rewards are great for keeping employees engaged at work, but Josh Strok, Director of Rewards, Talent and Communication, for Towers Watson has a much broader view of how to make your rewards dollars go much further. Creating Total Rewards Optimization, which includes not only rewards benefits such as bonuses or gift cards for engagement, but combines this with other elements such as health and wellness benefits, career development opportunities, trainings, and corporate social responsibility workshops. Putting all of these elements together, Strok believes, creates a total package for employees that not only help retain them, but can be used as a competitive edge to attract employees from other competing companies. Strok believes that Total Rewards Optimization will help attract and retain top performers in a corporate climate where work hours are increasing, and will continue to do so. It is important to build your Total Rewards Optimization program not only to fit your organizations budget, but to cater to the needs and wants of your employees. For example, if you have $100 to spend on employees, would they rather that go to a reward or loyalty program or would they rather have a lower insurance deductible? Would employees rather have a stronger retirement program or a better career development program? Finding out what employees are interested in and tailoring your organizations program to employee needs is critical to the success of your program and the investment of your rewards dollars. Total Rewards Optimization is a win-win for you and your employees when implemented successfully. For more information about Total Rewards Optimization programs check out this Smart Business Network article.
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