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Rick Blabolil

Do Your Gift Card Incentives Reflect the Changing Workforce?

According to the 2014 IRF Pulse Survey, almost 50 percent of program planners maintained they would be increasing their budgets and per person spend in 2015.  But are those budgets being directed at the right rewards and incentives?

Consider this: As the economy continues its climb out of the Great Recession and as more Gen-Xers join the workforce, the desired gift cards and non-cash incentives are changing.

To continue reaping the ROI from your incentive program, your non-cash rewards program must be in line with the times. And as more baby boomers retire, your program will become even more critical to retaining the talent you have and enticing new talent to join your ranks.

Gift Cards for Necessity or Luxury?

When including gift card incentives, are you targeting rewards for necessity or luxury? The answer should be both. The market crash caused employees’ definition of luxury items to shrink down to more common necessities. In response to that, gift card rewards for segments like houseware and apparel successfully merged a taste for luxury with the ability to meet everyday needs. These gift card segments had the ability to feel personally motivating to employees without overstepping the public’s sensitivity to extravagance and indulgence.

However, the recent IRF Pulse Survey revealed that public sensitivities have returned to pre-recession levels, changing the type of personally motivating gift cards once again. In a rebounding economy, electronics and open gift cards are now replacing houseware and apparel at the top of the list. Open gift cards also give the recipient the choice of using them to purchase everyday items or splurge on luxury goods. It is more important than ever to have a varied and easily adaptable rewards platform to keep up with the motivations of your employees, especially as the demographics of your workforce begin to change.

The Growing Need for Employee Incentives

The growing need to maintain employee rewards and recognition programs stems in large part from the shift in workforce demographics. As aging Baby Boomers continue to move out of the workforce and into retirement, they are being replaced by the upcoming Gen X. Unfortunately, the sheer size discrepancy between the numbers of Baby Boomers to Gen X is causing an anticipated decrease in the workforce by 30 percent.

For managers, this means that you’ll have to work harder to attract and retain the high performing Gen Xers, but also entice the aging Baby Boomers to remain in the workforce to train the incoming Millennials. Proven tools like non-cash rewards will become an important component of the corporate strategy to transfer knowledge from one workforce demographic to the next.

The Need for Options

The changing workforce also represents a change in the type of rewards that are personally motivating. A Wharton study showed that people 45 years and above favor ordinary or known experiences, while people 35 years and younger prefer extraordinary experiences.  The result is the need for a rewards and recognition program that has choices.

Marketing Innovators’ People Performance Management Express Solution (PPM Suite Express) is exactly that. A cost-effective, all-in-one rewards and recognition platform that allows you to deliver personally meaningful recognition to your employees. As both the workforce demographics and their needs and desires change, you shouldn’t need to switch rewards and recognition platform to keep up. PPM Suite Express includes an array of rewards options, including 30M+ digital rewards, gift card incentives, merchandise, tickets, and travel rewards so you know that your rewards platform can change as your workforce does.

For more information about how your company can benefit from the Marketing Innovators PPM Suite Express, contact us now and our team will explain how we work directly with you to train, implement, and manage programs for your organizational goals.