Improving Employee Experience Through Rewards Like Gift Cards

Employee rewards and recognition can come in a variety of shapes and sizes

But is there one way that’s best? Here’s what the science says...

From a thank you note to finishing early, an eVoucher or a gift card, there are many ways to reward your employees for their hard work. But is it worthwhile for you as a business?

The short answer is yes.

If you want to improve employee motivation, productivity, satisfaction, and business performance, then using employee rewards and recognition can help. They show your employees that you know how they have contributed towards the businesses’ goals and that you appreciate their efforts. These can contribute to a high performing workplace with happy employees that are less likely to leave.


What can reward and recognition programmes look like?

Rewards and recognition come in many shapes and sizes. There are those which don’t cost you anything including a thank you note from leaders or allowing your employees to finish early on a Friday. To cash rewards through annual bonus schemes, or non-cash rewards like eVouchers and gift cards.

There is also peer-to-peer recognition, where you encourage your employees to publicly recognise when their colleagues have done a great job.


Why are rewards and recognition good for business?

According to research by Globoforce rewards and recognition can have an impact on employee appreciation, happiness, engagement, and motivation. Here’s what their research found:

  • 92% of employees said that recognition made them feel appreciated
  • 86% of employees felt prouder and happier at work
  • 85% were more satisfied with their jobs and 82% were more engaged
  • 79% of workers said they worked harder when recognised and 78% were more productive
  • 75% of workers were more likely to stay with their company after being recognised.


The science behind rewarding and motivation:

According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, reward and recognition are part of the top sections of the pyramid within self-esteem and self-actualisation. These are needs for respect and praise from others as well as the opportunity to develop and grow. Most companies will try to address these through quarterly or annual reviews with managers, where employees will be given feedback on their performance.

But the problem with this if we have to wait to hear about how well we are doing, then it becomes less impactful than on the spot recognition.

According to research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, people who were given immediate and frequent rewards for completing small tasks reported more interest and enjoyment in their work compared to those who got rewards only at the end of a long project. This is because frequent rewards as you work will make it a more positive experience generally and therefore naturally motivates us to continue to perform.


How to implement an effective reward and recognition programme:

No one reward or recognition programme will be right for all employees or all occasions, so it’s best to have a few different solutions up your sleeve to reward your employees.

Make use of peer-to-peer recognition:

Having a peer-to-peer recognition platform can help encourage your employees to congratulate your colleagues for the little wins that often managers might not see. These don’t have to have monetary rewards tied to them, but they can help! It’s all about that public thank you that can boost our self-esteem and motivation to continue our hard work.

Don’t just recognise annually, it should be frequent:

To make the most out of your rewards, you should give them more frequently after shorter tasks have been completed rather than a long project that could go over months or even years. You could try splitting out a long project into smaller milestones and give out rewards when your teams hit those.

Vary your rewards each time:

To keep your employees feeling surprised by your rewards, make sure to vary what they are and when you give them. You could give them an eVoucher to a shop of their choice one month, a gift card to their favourite coffee shop another time or a meaningful thank you note that gives specific feedback as to what they’ve done well and how much you appreciate them.


How we can help:

If you’re not sure where to start with building an impactful reward and recognition strategy that will help you motivate your employees and reduce staff turnover, we can help. Get in touch with our experts today to find out how we can help guide you through creating a reward and recognition programme your employees will value.

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Journal of Personality and Social Psychology


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