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How to Align Employee Awards & Incentives With Employee Work Values

How to Align Employee Awards & Incentives With Employee Work Values

Building a workplace culture of recognition and awards 

These days, more and more employers are recognizing the value of building a workplace culture of recognition and awards. Rewarding and incentivizing employees not only goes a long way towards improving engagement rates, but it’s also becoming a crucial step in attracting and retaining talent, particularly in today’s ultra-competitive market. 

By implementing incentive or total rewards programs, smart businesses are going beyond standard compensation and benefits to attract and keep employees. But how can employers ensure that they’re choosing the right awards that align with their employees’ work values?

In this post, we’ll delve deeper into employee awards and incentives and look at ways that you can align your awards with your employees' work values. Let’s dive in.


What are employee awards and incentive programs? 

Put simply, employee incentive programs are initiatives used to increase employee satisfaction and encourage positive action and engagement among your team as a result. Incentive programs offer rewards — often in the form of gifts — outside employees’ normal salary and benefits. 

Incentive programs are an extremely effective tool for driving desired behaviors among your workforce — behaviors that ultimately improve your company's performance and steer it toward better business outcomes. The great thing about employee incentive programs is their versatility — they can be structured according to the business's desired outcomes. 

Whether you’re looking to reward important employment milestones, encourage your team to reach certain performance targets, or achieve something else entirely, your employee awards can be shaped around the specific goal at hand. You can even design multiple programs to support different goals within your company. 

Why are employee awards and incentives good for business?

As we’ve just learned, standard salaries and benefits are often not enough to attract, satisfy and retain employees in the current competitive market. Modern workplaces are realizing the importance of implementing employee awards and incentive programs, and for good reason. When done right, such programs help drive engagement, performance, and appreciation among employees, which in turn helps businesses achieve a range of important goals.

Here are some of the benefits that an employee award and incentive program can bring to your business:

  • Enhanced engagement — Allowing employees to see a clear connection between their actions and the overall success of the company paves the way for higher engagement levels. Put simply, productivity and engagement levels increase when people know that their contributions are making a difference and that they’re being rewarded for this.
  • Increased revenue — There can be little doubt that a company’s financial success is directly related to the productivity of its employees. Companies that provide performance incentives enjoy better financial success, particularly when goals and expectations for performance are achievable, clearly communicated, and individually rewarded. 
  • Boosted morale — As a leader, it is important to provide a strong boost to morale for a dedicated team member, particularly in times of change or economic downturn. Recognizing and rewarding employees for their dedication has definite flow-on effects for a business. When employees know that they’re appreciated and supported, they’re more likely to come together for the good of the company. 
  • Higher retention rates — Similar to the point above, when employees feel appreciated and valued in their roles, they’re less inclined to look for other job opportunities. Thoughtful employee gifts and awards are the perfect way to demonstrate appreciation to valued team members. 
  • Brand awareness — Along with being popular with its own recipients, a successful incentive program can also grab the attention of outsiders. Not only does this help with a company’s brand awareness and reputation, it can also enhance recruitment drives and attract valuable new talent to the business. 

Aligning your rewards with employee work values 

Now, more than ever, employees are reevaluating their careers and making changes to ensure that their employment aligns with their values. If a person is not happy in their current job — if they don’t feel recognized or valued or there is no incentive to put their all into their role — there is a good chance that they’ll look elsewhere for employment that better aligns with their work values.

Understanding your employees’ values is key to retaining talent in your workplace. Throwing a bunch of simple or ill-thought awards their way is unlikely to have the desired effect when it comes to keeping your teams satisfied at work. To succeed, employee incentive programs need to be sufficiently well-thought and align with your workers’ values.

Businesses that take the time to learn these values and then source rewards that can satisfy their employees’ needs and wants will ultimately fare better with their incentive programs. In short, smart businesses understand that in order to attract and retain talent, they need to give rewards that their people actually want to receive. 

Rewarding employees with the gifts that they love 

What better way to reward a valued employee than with a gift that you know they’ll love? Or, even better, a gift that they’ve taken the time to choose for themselves?

There’s no doubt that employee awards and gifts delivered as part of a reward program encourage staff to continue performing well and create a feeling of cohesion between employees and employers. And when the award or gift in question not only aligns with the employee’s values but perfectly matches their unique preferences, the result is only amplified.

So, what is the ideal employee gift? Which gift perfectly displays your appreciation and offers your recipients an unrivaled level of flexibility and choice? A digital gift card, of course! 

Why digital gift cards are the ideal choice for employee incentive and award programs 

Digital gift cards are the perfect choice for employee incentives and awards in more ways than one. Here’s why so many businesses today are choosing gift cards for their corporate gifting programs: 

  • Popularity — Let’s face it, just about everybody loves receiving a gift card from a favorite brand or retailer! And that feeling is only increased if we’re given a choice over the brand. Digital gift cards from a leading gift card platform such as Runa make it easier than ever for businesses to gift employees with rewards that align with their values and that they actually want to receive.
  • Practicality — As well as being hugely popular, digital gift cards are a highly practical gift choice for both giver and recipient. With gift cards, businesses reward their employees with the ultimate gift of choice while clearly conveying the value they bring to the business. Gone are the days of manually sourcing individual gifts for large and diverse teams. A gift card from a retailer of choice will please even the fussiest recipients. 
  • Simplicity — Buying and sending digital gift cards in bulk is a simple and efficient way to distribute awards to teams on a global basis. Unlike the physical variety, digital gift cards require no shipping or tracking. Once you’ve implemented your employee award or incentive program, distributing gifts at scale can be done with just a few simple clicks. What more could you want from a program?
  • International reach — Digital gift cards can be used globally, making them the perfect choice of award or gift for businesses with international teams. International gift cards from Runa are available in 18 currencies for use in 30 countries. This means no more dealing with difficult and time-consuming customs and currency conversion issues. 
  • Versatility — Digital gift cards are a highly versatile and flexible employee award option. Along with giving employees the option to choose from a range of retailers and brands, you can choose from a range of personalization options — from the mode of delivery to customizable delivery templates. What better or more thoughtful way to show your employees that their contribution is recognized and appreciated?
  • Scalability — No matter the size of your business or how many employees you’re looking to award, you can design the ideal gift card program for your needs with the option to scale with ease. Whether you want to send gift cards to one or one thousand employees, with Runa, you can enjoy the same simple process. 

Use Runa to power your employee incentive and award program 

At Runa, we’ve made distributing employee awards and incentives at scale easy. With a single gift card API, your business has direct access to over 1300 leading global gift card brands, including convenient prepaid cards. With us, you’ll not only enjoy a simple integration process, but you’ll also benefit from the ability to manage all aspects of your gift card program via one user-friendly and intuitive platform. What’s more, we can even help your business with any tax reporting obligations.

Whether you want to implement a simple employee award program or you’re looking to incorporate digital gift cards into a large-scale total rewards program, you’re sure to find the ideal solution for your business with Runa. 

Our leading platform is trusted by leading service providers worldwide. Learn more about how your business can benefit from Runa by arranging a free demo today!