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The Most Effective Employee Incentives to Increase Engagement

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In today’s competitive hiring environment, attracting and retaining top talent is more important than ever. That’s why you need to have a rewards and recognition program that’s best-in-class, offering incentives that appeal to all the different people in your organization. Sure, there’s a time and place for t-shirts and trophies, but our research1 has shown that the most desirable and motivating rewards are Visa® or Mastercard® Reward Cards. Here are just a few of the benefits these incentives offer:

  • Create a branded Visa or Mastercard Reward Card with your logo, and your employees will be reminded that they received this reward from you
  • Add your employees’ names to the cards for an extra personal touch
  • Include a brief message (e.g., WELL DONE) on the card as a reminder of how the reward was earned
  • Give your employees spending flexibility since these cards can be used everywhere the applicable network’s debit cards are accepted

The best reward and recognition programs include a wide variety of opportunities for employees to earn incentives. Common recognition moments include spot, safety, service anniversaries and holidays. For companies that offer health and wellness programs, rewards for participating in healthy activities or meeting key wellness milestones can help increase participation.

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Be sure to reward individual achievements

It’s great to be part of a winning team. That’s why many companies reward cross-functional teams that complete complex projects. But for most employees, individual goals and accomplishments are day-to-day priorities. In fact, our research revealed that the most desirable employee reward is an annual $150 award for achieving an individual goal.*

To gain insights into the emotions that employee rewards and recognition can evoke, we asked people who are currently eligible for these programs how they feel about them. Here are the top three responses:

  • 3 out of 4 respondents said, “The reward program makes me feel valued”
  • 3 out of 4 respondents said, “The reward program makes me feel like the company cares about me”
  • 3 out of 4 respondents said, “Financial rewards are just as important as public recognition”1

It’s obvious that employee incentives can drive positive feelings and reinforce desirable behaviors. If you are starting or refreshing a rewards and recognition program at your workplace, let us help you offer the right rewards.

1The Efficacy of Employee Rewards was an online survey of 1,472 employed US adults conducted in 2018 by Murphy Research.

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