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Upgrading Your Employee Rewards Program With Corporate Gifting

Between the 1940s and 1960s, some employees retiring from the workforce would receive an engraved 18-karat gold watch as recognition for their years of service. Being an eagerly awaited reward, it sounded like a fair trade back then. Given the work expectations of today, many would argue that this is not a sufficient employee rewards program. Especially since today’s workforce landscape is much more competitive, constantly shifting, and not as willing to hand out gold-plated Rolexes to working individuals. 

If you’ve asked yourself, “How do I retain these tech-savvy, self-starting workers of the new world?” you’re already on the right track. Research shows that millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2030, so it’s best to get ahead while you still can. And to answer your question: upgrading your employee rewards program with corporate gifts is a surefire way to keep good people with you for longer. Join us as we dive into the long-term rewards for your business when you create a recognition culture through gift-giving. 

Employee Rewards Program: Good Job spelled out on cards that a business man is laying out on a table.

The Importance of Recognition: Do Employee Rewards Programs Work? 

Yes, they most certainly do – when done right. Of course, you’re compensating your team to get the job done. What about motivating employees to excel and rewarding them for doing their job well? Having a successful business does start at the core, where your employees hustle and bustle to beat your competitors and stay innovative enough to meet the demands of changing markets. Rewarding employees beyond their salary is the most modern approach you can take to retain them, and here’s why: 

Receiving a Reward For a Job Well Done Will Motivate Them To Do It Over and Over Again: 

Your employee isn’t a one-trick pony, but if they feel their skills aren’t recognized, they’ll be hesitant to go the extra mile again. Consistently rewarding them for their achievements will motivate them to stay consistent in their performance. 

Showing Them Appreciation Makes a Difference: 

This can take the form of a simple pat on the back to a paid day off. Your employee just wants to know that you acknowledge their efforts and that they are valued.  

Employees Are More Engaged When They Receive Recognition: 

Rewarding your employees for their performance will have them take pride in their work and ultimately be more productive. They’re also more likely to take control of their tasks and complete them on time. 

Rewards Keep Good People Around For Longer:  

Research shows that a lack of recognition remains a common reason people leave their jobs. To bring it down to statistics, one in two employees are looking for a new job every day. Employee rewards programs bridge the difference between retaining your most valued team members and losing them to companies willing to give them more. 

The numbers are simple – investing in a new employee is far more costly and riskier than ensuring your valued employees want to stay. 

Recognition Makes Employees Feel Part of a Bigger Picture: 

When employees feel secure in their job, they dedicate more time and effort to their roles. They want to know you want them around even as your company grows and changes. Rewarding them for reaching company goals provides them with peace of mind. 

Employee Rewards Program: Project lead or boss recognizes one of her employees for a job well done at a team meeting.

Employee Reward Types: What Rewards do Employees Want? 

A 2009 study asked working adults to complete a challenging task to pursue cash and non-cash incentives of an equivalent value. Even though most participants claimed they would prefer the cash incentive, results showed that the majority performed better in pursuing the non-cash item. The study proved that:

  • – A: as humans, we aren’t too good at determining what will make us happy, and, more importantly.
  • – B: employers must consider that ‘preferred’ incentives won’t necessarily guarantee better performance from employees. That being said, here are a few non-cash rewards to consider that will surely kick your employee rewards program up a notch: 


We’re all living digital now. So, if you want to show your appreciation to your new-age employees, gifts such as portable Bluetooth speakers, fitness trackers, smartwatches, and other electronic gifts are the way to go. 

Experience Gifts

Money and other tangible items have their novelty, but good experiences are often hard to forget. Experience gifts have risen in popularity in the corporate world, allowing employees more memorable occasions and ultimately developing more positive emotions towards the companies they work for. Plus, your millennial employees will praise you just for giving them something great to post on their social media feed! 

Paid Time Off 

Many of us dream of not working while still being able to generate income. It’s perhaps the greatest luxury of being a business owner. But, with the right strategy, employers can make this possible for their employees too. One company that gets this right is Apple. Ranked 6th best company to work for in the US by LinkedIn in 2018, Apple ensures paid time off for all its employees every year. This makes for a great incentive for employee rewards programs as it is often the ultimate reward for most working people. 

The Gift of Choosing A Gift

People love being able to choose their own gifts. It adds personalization to their gift experience. Make your employee rewards program flexible by allowing your employees to choose what they want and where they want to receive it. From a group of pre-selected gifts that are within your budget, of course!  

Employee Rewards Program: Employee opens up an elegant gift box

Going Beyond Milestones: When Should I Reward Employees? 

As a company passionate about gifting, we believe it’s always the right time for a gift. But, we also know that offering gifts in a professional sphere requires a little more strategy. While many employers think that gifting starts and ends with holidays, work anniversaries, and birthdays, there are many more occasions to offer gifts to your team. Consider the following when planning your next employee incentive: 

Be Inclusive With Holiday Gifting: 

Today’s workplaces are filled with diverse groups of people with different cultures and different holidays. Only offering gifts for ‘common’ holidays like Easter may have some of your employees feeling excluded. Show them you care by researching the different cultures in your company and offering gifts for special holidays accordingly. 

Reward Them While They Work Towards A Goal:  

While giving a gift for reaching a milestone is great, achieving a goal isn’t the only reason to reward their effort. A gift can be just the motivation they need to succeed in a big project or stay consistent in doing good work. 

Offer A Gift When They Least Expect It: 

So, you offer gifts to your employees every Christmas without fail, and that’s fantastic! The only trouble is that while your team appreciates them, they, unfortunately, become indifferent to the routine and eventually to the gifts themselves. Unexpected gifts always lead to a higher level of satisfaction. So make a habit of offering them gifts when they least expect it.

There Are Rewards for Rewarding Your Team: 

The success of a business heavily depends on the attitudes of those who work in it. And while no employee expects to receive a reward every month, employers must consistently prove to them that they are in a company that values their work. This means neglecting the “one size fits all” approach to employee rewards programs and investing in what will bring the best out of your team. Take your gift-giving incentives beyond ‘predictable’ gifting occasions, and you’ll reap the rewards of increased employee retention, higher productivity, and an overall positive workplace.  

Now That You Know More About Employee Rewards: What’s Next