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Joseph Frazier
Business Developer

Gift Cards are the Best Way to Recognize Your Employees

How to Effectively Use Gift Cards for Employee Appreciation

Your employees are more than productive workers - they’re humans with emotional needs and professional aspirations. Employee appreciation, therefore, exists to tap into their innate desire to be recognized and appreciated so they can, in turn, enjoy a spirited and productive experience that yields happy customers and higher revenue gains. While many employee appreciation ideas exist, gift cards are the most effective to the individual.

Why Gift Cards Are the Top Way to Show Staff Appreciation

You must keep in mind that your employees need to be recognized for their hard work. The most impactful, yet cost-effective, way to do so is with gift cards. Why? It’s quite simple - awarding a $5 gift card to Starbucks sparks the same psychological effect as a $50 reward to Target. That’s because the way our brains are wired, the token of appreciation means more than the reward itself.

Of all the employee appreciation gifts that exist, gift cards are the most flexible and rewarding in the scope of individual recognition. They’re also more environmentally sustainable than a throwaway gift, and fun to work with, as they give power to the employee to use them how they like, whether it’s ordering their favorite dish at a restaurant or making a heartfelt purchase for themselves or a loved one.

The Types of Gift Cards

Before jumping the queue to shower your team with thank you cards, it’s important to first understand your options. There are two types of gift card:

l  Open loop: An open loop refers to a gift card that leaves its reward in the hands of the receiver; for example, prepaid Visa cards.

l  Closed loop: Closed loop cards already have their fate decided. In this case, the receiver has to use it for whatever it’s worth, whether it is a movie ticket or store discount.

Ways to Send Gift Cards

In the digital era, you no longer need to physically take yourself to a store and collect physical gift cards to reward your teams. While you can absolutely still do this action, you also have the option to send e-cards or digital reward codes, which are equally as effective as their tangible counterparts.

Top Practices When Using Gift Cards as a Reward Incentive

When handing out recognition awards, the difference lies in the details. To make your reward the most powerful, practice the following tips:

l  Include a personal touch: Instead of a one-size-fits-all gift card, try catering it to the person’s particular needs. For example, if they recently had a baby, offer an award to a toy store.

l  Utilize closed loop over open loop: Closed loop keeps the gift special by pre-deciding that it will be used as a treat over a mundane expense.

l  Make your motive clear: Whether you’re writing a thank you note or announcing the gift at a meeting, overtly explaining the reason for your reward solidifies its purpose.

Contact Marketing Innovators for Help with the Details

Don’t rely on outdated appreciation models, like employee of the month awards. Instead, turn to Marketing Innovators for state-of-the-art solutions. If you need original employee recognition ideas for your company, we can help. We’ve been in the business for more than 40 years raising staff morale and improving employee retention through innovative and customized strategies, featuring a series of gift card options to keep your workers engaged and uplifted. To learn more, call us today.