Gift cards – the ultimate Christmas staff reward?

Christmas is only a few weeks away and it’s important to start thinking about how you will motivate employees

The festive period is the ideal time to acknowledge the hard work carried out by your staff over the last 12 months, as well as motivating and incentivising them for the year ahead. But what is the best staff reward to give them to keep them motivated and say thank you for all of their hard work through out the year?

Cash often seems like the obvious staff reward, allowing employees to spend it on whatever they choose.

However, cash incentives and bonuses often get swallowed up by personal bills or get added to an employees’ salary and therefore go unnoticed, which in turn can leave employees feeling disengaged and under valued.

An e-gift card or gift card on the other hand is a reward that works really hard:

  • It provides an instant acknowledgement of a job well done when they are sent it
  • They have to go outside their daily routine to spend it, reminding them of why they received it in the first place.
  • It gives the person spending it some sort of memory or positive association between the reward and the employer.

These three reasons alone make an e-gift card or gift card a far more effective way of engaging staff, rather than simply giving them a cash option.

Everyday essentials versus a treat

Supermarket e-gift cards and gift cards have also grown in popularity as a staff reward, perhaps because of the tough financial climate we’ve experienced over the last few years.

On the one hand a supermarket e-gift card or gift card can be used to help the family budget work harder and stretch further when spent on food for Christmas get-togethers and daily essentials. Alternatively card recipients can treat themselves to large-ticket items like a bottle of champagne or perhaps even a new tablet computer or TV – giving employees the wonderful gift of choice, and a positive association with their employer.

Positive memories

Experiential and ethical gift cards are also growing in popularity, enabling employees to make the most of their precious spare time or feel like they are making a difference. The long-lasting benefits of using a gift card in this way is that employees will always associate the memory of the experience day or item they buy with your business, and that association is so important for staff morale and motivation.

Budget savings

Another benefit of using e-gift cards or gift cards over giving cash is that employers can make savings by bulk buying. Most suppliers offer substantial discounts when buying a high volume of gift cards. Which means that giving a gift card can also work out cheaper than giving the cash equivalent. This is an attractive prospect when budgets are tight.

Gift cards are easy to administer and take delivery of quickly. They are available as a URL link and can be delivered instantly or on the date of your choice. Additional rewards can be topped up remotely by the provider, as and when the employer wants to issue a reward.

Other advantages include the ability for employees to manage their cards online – checking their balance and transaction history.

Sarah Chesterton a commercial manager at Sainsbury’s Business Direct

Sainsbury’s Business Direct is able to manage campaigns for your business. If you need to send e-gift cards to multiple recipients we can manage this for you, taking away the stress of mass distribution but ensuring that your staff or customers are rewarded instantly for a job well done.

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