Using Gift Cards To Improve Employee Productivity

Using Gift Cards To Improve Employee Productivity

When it comes to inspiring employees, businesses have a range of strategies they can employ to motivate their team members. Whether it’s offering salary increases, bonuses, or additional time off, companies have explored many such approaches to boost productivity and job fulfillment.

One method that has become increasingly popular is the utilization of gift cards as employee incentives. This approach has proven to be effective and well received by the majority of staff members, which is also evident by recent surveys showing that 69% of the total workforce appreciates gift cards more than other modes of incentive. In this article, we will explore the benefits of employing gift cards as incentives in the workplace and examine how this approach can enhance employee motivation, leading to improved results. But first, let’s start with how these incentives boost motivation.

69% of the total workforce appreciates gift cards than other modes of incentive

Source: Keka

Why Are Employee Incentives Crucial?

More than half of organizations worldwide face the challenge of retaining their employees. Research shows that the average length of employment is four and a half years. This high turnover not only comes with costs for businesses when it comes to replacing roles but also leads to disruptions in training and development as well as the loss of key talent. While there are factors contributing to employee turnover, low levels of engagement and inadequate company culture and a lack of recognition are particularly prominent drivers for talent attrition within organizations.

Why Are Employee Incentives Crucial?

Employee engagement goes beyond communication; it involves creating a culture where employees feel motivated and passionate about their work. Building such a shift takes time, and engagement levels can fluctuate. However, business owners should take steps to prioritize employee well-being. Several factors can contribute to employee disengagement, such as growth opportunities or a lack of perks. Disengaged employees have a bad impact on a company’s performance by reducing productivity, fostering negativity, and affecting both customers and colleagues alike negatively.

At this stage, organizations must genuinely understand what drives their workforce. With many employees now working remotely, traditional perks, like pizza Fridays and office ping pong tables, may no longer align with what employees desire. Whether working from home or in an office, an organization must have a satisfied workforce that embraces its values and principles. Employers should allocate time, effort, and resources to comprehend how to cultivate such a culture fully.

This emphasizes the significance of providing incentives such as gift cards and experiences to employees. It’s not just an addition; it plays a role in the long-term growth and strategic direction of a company.

The Psychology Behind Incentives

To truly understand the benefits of using gift cards as incentives, it’s important to get into the psychology behind motivation. Several key theories shed light on how incentives can shape behavior and lead to better results.

One such theory is the Hierarchy of Needs (by Maslow), which suggests that individuals have a set of needs that are essential for fulfillment and motivation. By utilizing gift cards as incentives, businesses can effectively address these needs, and these needs are directly linked to self-esteem and social connections. By offering recognition and fostering a sense of community, gift cards serve as a tool to boost morale and encourage participation.

Another relevant theory is the Expectancy Theory of Motivation. According to this theory, individuals are motivated by their belief that their efforts will result in desired outcomes. Through the use of gift cards as incentives, businesses can instill a sense of expectancy among their employees. When team members believe that their hard work will be rewarded with a gift, they are more likely to remain committed and engaged.

The Psychology Behind Incentives

Why Gift Cards Stand Out As The Best Incentive Option?

Choosing the presents for your team members can be quite a task, particularly when it comes to holidays and special occasions. It’s completely understandable if you find yourself contemplating what to get for your staff. Personalizing a t-shirt or coffee mug with your company logo might seem like a boring and outdated gesture (as most employees don’t prefer to use products with the branding of their company). This is where gift cards stand out as a well-received solution. As mentioned before, many employees had also expressed their preference for receiving gift cards from their employers.

Here are a few reasons why gift cards could be an outstanding option for your employees;

  • Personal Freedom: Gift cards give your staff members the freedom to decide what they want to purchase instead of someone else making that choice for them.
  • Opportunity for Savings: By shopping during sale periods, they can make the most of deals and ensure that their prepaid money goes a long way.
  • Flexibility: Gift cards offer flexibility, allowing recipients to use their funds whenever it suits their preferences.

Ways Gift Cards Can Boost The Team Productivity

There are many ways a gift card can create a more boosted atmosphere in the workplace. Here are some ways how:

  • Celebrating Achievements and Outstanding Performance

Employees experience a sense of appreciation and value when they receive gift cards as tokens of recognition from their employer. Utilizing employee gift cards to acknowledge milestones or exceptional performance establishes a positive reinforcement loop, fostering ongoing success. This, in turn, enhances morale and motivation, contributing to improved overall performance and productivity.

  • Fueling Friendly Competition

Encouraging healthy competition among employees can drive productivity and spark innovation. By employing employee gift cards as incentives for reaching specific goals or surpassing targets, you can fuel friendly rivalries that inspire workers to excel. This approach generates excitement, motivating employees to enhance their performance consistently.

  • Expresses Business Owners’ Appreciation and Respect for Employees

The act of presenting gift cards to clients, vendors, and employees serves as a tangible expression of the organization’s acknowledgment and gratitude for their dedication. Long-term clients may interpret these gifts as tokens of appreciation for their sustained partnership, while new members feel a warm welcome into the organization.

  • Creates a Positive Environment in the Workplace

Maintaining high employee morale is foundational to productivity. Employee gift cards play a crucial role in uplifting morale and cultivating a positive work environment. By acknowledging and valuing your employees’ contributions through considerate gifts, you showcase respect for their hard work.

This nurtures a genuine sense of loyalty, positivity, and belonging. Individuals often experience demotivation and dissatisfaction when occasional perks are lacking. In such instances, corporate gift cards emerge as an excellent means to enhance employee morale. Not only do they enable you to express gratitude, but they also contribute to team cohesion and improved performance.

  • Monitoring and Enhancing Success

For businesses relying on surveys as a pivotal aspect of their strategy or product offerings, achieving the highest possible response rate is fundamental. The utilization of survey incentives and rewards has evolved into a widely acknowledged best practice. Increased card delivery not only facilitates the establishment of baseline metrics but also allows for the fine-tuning of new programs to optimize results.

This approach proves beneficial across various initiatives, encompassing employee satisfaction, workforce productivity, customer retention, marketing promotions, and sales compensation.

  • Nurturing a Culture of Collaboration

Collaboration catalyzes both productivity and innovation. Employee gift cards can strategically foster teamwork and cross-departmental collaboration. By recognizing and rewarding teams that excel in collaboration or attain collective goals, you reinforce the significance of collaboration, thereby cultivating a supportive work culture.

Gift Cards – A Perfect Choice For The Business Owners And Corporations?

Gift Cards – A Perfect Choice For The Business Owners And Corporations?

Gift cards are not only great for employee productivity, it also offers the best way for employers, Here’s how:

1.   Convenient Gift-Giving Solutions

The concept of convenience in gift cards has the simplicity and ease associated with their purchase and presentation, making them a hassle-free and user-friendly choice for givers, especially employers. The role of convenience in gift cards is evident in several key aspects:

  • Ease of Acquisition: Gift cards are readily accessible, whether through online platforms or physical stores. This accessibility makes them a convenient choice for corporates and business owners, with the flexibility to select various denominations based on the desired value.
  • Streamlined Gifting Process: Providing a gift card requires minimal effort. It eliminates the need to choose, wrap, and ship physical gifts, resulting in time savings and reduced logistical complexities. This is particularly advantageous for corporate gifting on a larger scale.
  • Flexible Delivery Methods: Gift cards offer versatile delivery options to accommodate different preferences and occasions. They can be delivered electronically via email or presented in a printed format, ensuring immediate access to last-minute gifts. This adaptability enhances the overall convenience of the gift-giving process.

2.   Preserving Company Distinction

Giving gift cards to your employers extends beyond mere generosity—it serves as a strategic move to surpass your competitors in the market. Nowadays, maintaining a competitive edge is crucial. If a rival offers superior services, products, or experiences, both your clientele and employees might contemplate switching places.

By consistently reinforcing your company’s values through gift cards to both staff and business partners, you not only cultivate a positive reputation but also prompt them to share the goodwill. This word-of-mouth promotion can contribute significantly to enhancing your business’ standing in the market.

3.   Better Budget Allocation

Gift cards often come with a predetermined budget, and they emerge as a strategic choice for maintaining precise financial control. Here’s how they contribute to effective budget management for both employers and employees:

  • Predictable Costs: Gift cards enable organizations to allocate a specific budget for each employee with precision. The specified value of gift cards eliminates unforeseen costs or surprises, streamlining the budgeting process.
  • Cost-Efficiency: Opting for gift cards proves to be a cost-effective solution for corporate gifts. They deliver value to employees while ensuring that costs remain manageable for the organization, fostering overall budget control.
  • Bulk Purchase Savings: Organizations can benefit from cost savings by purchasing gift cards in bulk. Negotiating discounts or availing promotional offers from retailers or providers becomes feasible, contributing to enhanced budget efficiency.

In essence, gift cards offer a practical and efficient approach to maintaining budget control in corporate gifts for employees. They allow organizations to adhere to budgetary constraints while still presenting meaningful and appreciated gifts to their workforce. This equilibrium ensures that employees feel valued without jeopardizing the financial stability of the company.

4.   Avoid Headache of Gift Selecting

Choosing individual gifts for a large group of employees can be a daunting task, often leading to gifting mistakes. Assessing personal preferences accurately becomes challenging, introducing uncertainty into the process. Gift cards emerge as a solution to eliminate this uncertainty, ensuring that employees receive gifts they genuinely appreciate.

Imagine this scenario: tasked with selecting gifts for colleagues or an entire department, the pressure is on to choose something perfect and cherished. However, the challenge lies in needing more clarification about individual preferences. Questions about color preferences, sizes, or dietary restrictions can complicate the decision-making process. It’s a tricky situation indeed. Enter gift cards—the ultimate solution that empowers the recipient.

With gift cards, you relinquish the guesswork and offer recipients the freedom to choose precisely what they desire. No more attempting to decipher their preferences or worrying about whether a chosen item aligns with their style. Gift cards ensure that the gift perfectly aligns with the unique tastes and needs of the recipient.

Gift cards step in as the heroes of gift-giving, rescuing you from the pitfalls and uncertainties associated with traditional gift selection. They provide a straightforward and thoughtful solution that lets each employee make a personalized choice, ensuring a truly appreciated and valued gift.


Using gift cards as incentives in the workplace has become an effective way to boost employee motivation and overall productivity. It’s interesting to note that more than two-thirds of employees prefer gift cards, which aligns with principles of motivation like meeting esteem needs and creating a sense of anticipation. Gift cards provide a flexible option, allowing employees to choose what suits them best, which ultimately fosters a great and positive work environment.

In addition to recognizing individuals, gift cards also promote collaboration, celebrate achievements, and encourage competition. For business owners, these cards offer a solution for giving gifts while maintaining company identity, managing budgets effectively, and eliminating the stress of choosing presents. In essence, using gift cards strategically aligns with the preferences of employees. It plays a crucial role in nurturing a motivated and engaged workforce.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why Are Gift Cards Good for Employees?

    Gift cards serve as a thoughtful alternative to cash, preventing it from disappearing into daily expenses like mortgages or rent. They enable guilt-free spending on something tangible, fulfilling desires such as new shoes or gaming equipment.

  2. What is a Good Gift Card Amount for Employees?

    Typically, a gift card amount ranging between $50-$100 will satisfy the majority (67%) of employees.

  3. What is a Good Gift Card to Give a Coworker?

    Ideal gift card options for coworkers include restaurant gift cards offering food delivery, home improvement store cards, hobby and craft store cards with an adult coloring book and pencils/markers, or a streaming app gift card like Netflix or Hulu.

  4. How Are Gift Cards Beneficial?

    Gift cards offer a convenient alternative form of payment, especially if one prefers to use something other than cash or credit cards. They make suitable gifts for holidays or special occasions and can be utilized to manage spending, helping avoid bank overdrafts.

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