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Getting started with digital gift cards for HR teams

Getting started with digital gift cards for HR teams

As an HR professional, you already have a lot on your plate. Implementing an employee reward & recognition program shouldn’t add more complexity or more hours to the day. 

That’s why Runa has developed a free, streamlined platform to help HR teams quickly integrate digital gifts into their attractive annual incentive, employee retention and recognition programs. With our user-friendly platform, you can create simple reward campaigns for any purpose, and in a few simple steps deliver a meaningful gift that will delight your recipients and increase your engagement. 

The simplicity of our platform also means that anyone can put together a great recognition program. You don’t need to integrate your systems or set up access credentials, and you won’t need a complex approval workflow. Your new account can be ready to use in just a few minutes.

How can digital gifts and a robust platform improve your programs? Let’s take a look.

How do gift cards make life easier for HR teams? 

HR is a big lift. Many times, the HR team is responsible for engaging with team members through the complete employee lifecycle — from recruitment to retirement. Therefore, empowering and engaging a workforce of hundreds or thousands requires scalable reward and incentive solutions that doesn’t break the budget. 

Using gift cards, you can facilitate a variety of programs for your employees:

  • Onboarding gifts and sign-on incentives
  • Promotion perks and spot bonuses
  • Travel and catering costs
  • Remote work and home office stipends 
  • Culture-building events like virtual meetups and lunches
  • Holiday and personal milestone gifts such as: 
    • Births and adoptions
    • Years of service awards
    • Educational accomplishments
    • Retirement gifts

No matter the program your team implements for employees, a gift card program can help you administer it successfully and smoothly.

Do gift cards improve employee engagement?

As companies compete for the attention and retention of employees, HR teams are taking advantage of the possibilities that gift cards provide to connect with and engage your workforce. 

In the age of the Great Resignation, competitive salary and benefits are table stakes for growth-minded companies. Regular recognition of achievements and anniversaries is a powerful way to be sure your employees “feel the love” years into their tenure.

Gift cards are an excellent way to achieve this. They’re also seen as highly desirable by recipients. Over 70% of respondents reported that gift cards were a preferred form of recognition, according to the FiServe Gift Card Gauge employee survey. 

It makes sense! Most of us love receiving gifts and recognition, whether from work, friends, or family. Giving your employees a tangible reward for service reminds them of their value and contribution to the brand and team. Giving them the power to make their own gift selections further improves the experience.

Why should HR use a gift card platform to deliver rewards to employees? 

Even at small companies, employee engagement programs can involve dozens or even hundreds of gifts delivered throughout the year. You may have multiple programs for recognition and retention: Anniversary and birthday gifts, sales team performance bonuses, and spot bonuses for an individual employee who goes above and beyond. 

With each program, it’s important to make the process simple and keep ROI and satisfaction levels high. Gift cards help you achieve this in several ways:

It’s easier than manual delivery

Manual gift card programs don’t scale. But with a simple platform and digital delivery, you can build programs that keep pace with your company’s growth.

With the ease of a platform, you can skip the hassle of manual implementation. No more relying on the office admin to make a Target run for gift cards, or spending hours and money to manually process physical delivery. (Trust us. They’ll thank you!) 

With a simple platform, it’s possible to deliver a welcomed surprise, recognition, or encouragement to your employees digitally, with no shopping or shipping required. 

It’s highly personalized

Personalization is the word on every marketer’s lips these days. The same goes for HR teams striving to engage and energize their staff. Since the world has gone remote, making a connection is both more challenging and more important than ever. Fortunately, you can still deliver a personalized experience with a digital approach.

By sending a digital gift card through the Runa platform you can create an individual experience for each employee, no matter where they live or what they like. We feature an extensive catalog of gift cards, with options available on every continent. With a few clicks, you can offer employees at home and abroad a world of choice. 

You can curate each delivery by: 

Location - Have employees all over? You can send individuals options for cards that will work in their geographic area.

Category - You can tailor your catalogue to the occasion. Need a team-building experience? Try a virtual lunch and learn by selecting the food category during setup so everyone can enjoy a personally-selected meal together. 

Interest - Do you know your recipient enjoys a certain sport or hobby? Tailor their experience with a card from a retailer who caters to their favorite pastime. 

It’s free to send and use

Fees and processing charges cut into the ROI on your engagement programs. With Runa, you can avoid frustrations like activation fees on simple campaigns. Through our platform, you can get started with an employee recognition campaign for just the face value of the cards you send.  

This also allows your employees to enjoy a seamless buying experience. They can use their reward at any time, with no fees or penalties for storage. The money is there when they want it, to use in the way that works best for them. 

What is the gift card experience like for recipients? 

This is what it looks like to redeem a reward with Runa... 


Receiving a digital gift card is a fun and easy experience. Once you’ve delivered the unique links to each recipient, they will be taken to the curated catalog you designed. Our platform and catalogue is user-friendly and accessible from any desktop or mobile device. With a single click, your recipient can browse for the brands they love most.

  • If you’ve curated multiple brands in your gifting catalogue, employees will have the option of spending their credit on a single brand, or spreading their balance between multiple brands. There is no need to spend the entire balance in a single transaction. 
  • If a recipient wants to save some of their balance for a future occasion? They have future access to the link and remaining balance. Once they complete their card selections, they’ll have immediate access to use their rewards.


We believe you will love the ease of using simple digital gift card campaigns to engage and delight your employees. And when you’re ready to expand your programs with even more beneficial features such as advanced integrations, segmentation, campaign analytics, and gift card balance recapture? Our platform is flexible enough to grow along with you. 

Ready to give the Runa platform a try? Click here to get started with your first employee gifting campaign. With just some basic information and a simple payment option, you can have your first campaign designed and delivered to inboxes today.