It’s safe to say that gift cards are continuing their influence as powerful rewards options in company recognition and reward programs. They’re versatile enough to match any employee’s preferences, which explains their overwhelming prevalence in award programs. The 2014 IRF Pulse Survey reports that as many as half of all businesses in the United States use gift cards as recognition tools for their employees, partners, and customers, and it’s easy to see why: gift cards work with today’s lifestyles.
There’s been a good deal of talk about the anticipated changes in workforce demographics over the next several years. Baby boomers are beginning to enter retirement as millennials are entering the workforce, bringing a shift in motivators and preferences. Despite any changes in the workforce, one constant is that gift cards continue to gain popularity and traction among the multi-generational, diverse workforce. More than two-thirds (67 percent) of companies in the IRF Survey preferred using gift cards as the award of choice for employee engagement, followed by sales incentives (38 percent), customer rewards (30 percent) and channel incentives (8 percent).
Gift card popularity in employee engagement is due in large part to the convenience, flexibility, and budget control that they offer to managers of rewards and recognition programs. We’ve spoken before about the need for your program to have the flexibility to adjust to a fluctuating and changing workforce. As your employees’ preferences and tastes change, gift cards have the flexibility to change with them and continue to deliver meaningful value.
As gift cards solidify their place in the employee engagement market, virtual or e-gift cards are a convenient option. Currently, 28 percent of the largest organizations in the IRF Survey use e-gift cards in their incentive programs. Rather than waiting for physical cards to arrive by mail, companies are turning to e-gift cards to deliver immediate employee recognition. E-gift cards can be processed and emailed instantaneously.
The appeal of e-gift cards doesn’t end with reward program administrators or employee engagement managers. Employees and consumers are becoming more interested in the value of an e-gift card that can be easily stored and accessed on their mobile devices.
This is especially true for millennials. Why? The simple answer is that an e-gift card fits their lifestyle. It is easily emailed and stored in an app or retrieved from an inbox on their phones. And you can’t lose an e-gift card. In response to a 2014 Bankrate survey, 40 percent of millennials admitted losing a physical gift card before they could spend it. An e-gift card solves that problem. While you have to worry whether or not you have a physical gift card on you, an e-gift card can be pulled up as easily as an email.
E-gift cards provide meaningful value to your workforce and shouldn’t mean extra work for your rewards and recognition managers to set up. In fact, the usability of any gift card portal was rated as a top priority by program managers in an IRF poll. This ranked ahead of the variety of merchants offered or available discounts.
The good news for any rewards and recognition manager is that the all-new MIGiftCards® portal is designed to be the ultimate gift card ordering portal. Ordering is available 24/7 so you can order gift cards or e-gift cards whenever you need them, not just during set hours. The portal is designed with a quick and easy-to-use interface where managers will find over 200 national and regional gift cards all at incredible discounts. Whether you’re self-administering a reward and recognition program or you just need a selection of relevant gift cards the MIGiftCards portal provides you with a convenient, real-time, on-demand option for ordering. You can get an e-gift card award sent to an employee’s email with a few clicks of a button. That’s convenience that engages everyone’s lifestyle.
If you are interested in learning more about how the MIGiftCards portal can work for your organization, call our team at 800-543-7373 or visit www.MIGiftCardsOnline.com to set up an account today.