Raise the Bar on Your Employee Engagement Rewards This Holiday Season

  • author

    Hannah Prince

  • posted

    Oct 27, 2022

  • topic

    Employee Rewards

Raise the Bar on Your Employee Engagement Rewards This Holiday Season

Giving holiday gifts to your team isn’t just a nice, unexpected gesture anymore — it’s practically a requirement as engagement and retention get more difficult. In fact, Blackhawk Network found that more than a third of employees expect a holiday gift from their employer.

In the same survey, almost half of respondents said their employers are bad gifters, citing comical examples like an award with the company name misspelled, a set of Disney DVDs, and a fruitcake and bottle of water in a basket. But finding the perfect employee engagement rewards to please everyone at the holidays is no easy feat. You want to give a gift that is personal, speaks to your company’s brand, and recognizes the hard work your teams have contributed all year long. So how do you become a smart gifter? By giving employees what they want.

Give the Gift of Flexibility

Workers look for flexibility and choice in their employee engagement rewards, evident by the fact that 84% chose prepaid cards and gift cards as their preferred holiday gift, according to the Blackhawk research. They were by far the most desired option, followed by an inflation bonus (48%), additional vacation days (40%), food gifts (29%), physical gifts (28%), free lunch (16%), and an office party (15%).

With today’s internet-savvy, mobile-minded workforce, it makes sense to offer digital gift cards. Not only will your employees appreciate the convenience, but you get to reap the benefits of instant delivery, bulk ordering, and free shipping. Here are five types of digital gift cards that your teams will love this holiday.

1. Prepaid Cards

Mastercard or Visa prepaid cards are the most requested employee engagement rewards. They offer recipients the most flexibility, since they can be redeemed at all major retailers and in more than 150 countries. Some virtual prepaid cards can even be added to a mobile wallet like Apple Pay.

2. Amazon Gift Cards

Choice is a major factor in how employees rate gifts, so it’s no surprise that Amazon gift cards are high on their wishlists. If you have a global team, however, you have to make sure to distribute gift cards from the correct site. For instance, an Amazon.com gift card cannot be used on other country-specific sites, such as Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de.  

3. Grocery Store Gift Cards

With inflation at an all-time high, some recipients prefer to get employee engagement rewards that they can use for something practical. Whether they use these cards to purchase items for a holiday meal or everyday essentials, helping them in hard economic times is a good way to show you care.

READ MORE: Thoughtful Holiday Rewards Can Help Employees During a Recession

4. Restaurant Gift Cards

Especially during the holidays, many people like to spend their money on experiences instead of physical items, so a restaurant gift card is a great option. It gives them the chance to meet and break bread with friends, family, or co-workers. Consider a card that can be used at several different restaurants, allowing the recipient to choose the one they like best or is nearest to them.

5. Merchant Gift Cards and Multi-Brand Gift Cards

Merchant and multi-brand gift cards also offer the flexibility that employees want, giving them the freedom to choose their own gift. Multibrand gift cards in particular allow them to use their reward at multiple restaurants, stores, and entertainment venues. More than 70% of respondents in Blackhawk’s survey said they wanted to purchase gift cards that can be used at multiple retailers. When you give your employees choice, they’ll associate you with a fun holiday outing with loved ones or a well-deserved self-care day.

Even digital holiday gifts and employee engagement rewards can make a big impact. Check out these tips for making virtual gifts more special for remote employees.

about the author
Hannah Prince

Hannah is a reformed journalist who has more than 15 years of experience and now focuses on content marketing for innovative tech companies.

Hannah is a reformed journalist who has more than 15 years of experience and now focuses on content marketing for innovative tech companies.