As a manager, you already know that motivated employees are better employees — that’s why you’re always looking for ways to better inspire and incentivize work. The only problem? Sometimes it’s hard to know what incentives are actually motivating. If you think cash is the foolproof answer, think again. In fact, when looking for the best way to motivate staff members, stick with gift card incentives.
Why are gift card incentives such effective tools to reward and motivate your staff? Why should you use them instead of cash in your incentive program?To help answer these questions, here’s a look at some key reasons that employees like getting gift cards more than cash:
- More memorable: Cash is great, but, let’s face it, cash tends to be less memorable than a gift card. Why? Generally speaking, cash feels like compensation, while a gift card feels like a gift. When you receive a gift card, you can use it on whatever you like — and then every time you use that item, you remember how you earned it.
- More personal: Because purchasing a gift card involves the extra step of selecting the company and picking up or ordering the card, it usually feels more personal than cash. You have to pick from all kinds of options when you select the gift card — restaurant, retail, travel or something else. That’s why this shows more thought than just writing a check or handing someone an envelope of cash. When you give your employees gift cards, you can let them know you are paying attention to what they value.
- Guilt-free spending: Give someone cash, and you give them the opportunity to do things like pay bills or pad savings — worthy efforts, but not necessarily enjoyable. Give a gift card, however, and you enable the recipient to spend money at the intended destination without any guilt about not using it for something immediately practical. Whether the gift card provides dinners out or the chance to go on a small shopping spree, it’s an opportunity for the person to treat himself or herself to something special.
- Bragging rights: Most people feel it’s bad form to brag about a cash bonus, but announcing you won a gift card typically feels less uncomfortable. This means your workers can talk to one another about their incentives, highlighting their value and driving more interest in your program.
- Better results: Perhaps the most compelling reason to use gift cards is that they work. According to research referenced by Innowave Marketing, three out of four respondents to a survey said they’d be more motivated by gift cards than cash. For the above reasons and more, people find gift cards more desirable than cash — and that’s why they’re worth using in your incentive programs.
The bottom line, when you’re looking for the best way to incentivize your workplace, is that people like getting gift cards. Whether you’re handing out gift cards from a nationwide pizza chain, a retail store or gas stations, you’re offering something that has more of a motivating factor to recipients. When you’re looking for the best way to drive better attendance, performance, sales or other measurable work behavior, consider gift cards!