Incentives + Rewards | Gift Cards | Ignite Magazine
Advertisement

How to Design an Effective Gift Card Incentive Program

One of Canada’s best places to work reflects on their unique gift card incentive program—a key strategy for celebrating and rewarding its 130 employees

By Michelle Warren

At Ariad Communications in downtown Toronto, employee engagement is a top priority. The company is recognized as one of Canada’s Best Places to Work—five years running—and their unique gift card incentive program is a key strategy for celebrating and rewarding its 130 employees.

“We provide an opportunity for peers and managers to recognize each other for really good work—there is tremendous value in that,” says Ariad president Michael Beckerman, adding the company experimented with financial gifts, spot bonuses and handing out gift cards ad hoc. “Those were well received, but we felt we could do something better, more customizable and special.”

Ariad teamed up with Mississauga, Ont.-based Samba Rewards International to design a gift card incentive program, focusing on experiences that appeal to everyone from adrenaline junkies to foodies. Recipients are recognized at the company's monthly town hall meeting. More companies are recognizing the benefits of gift card incentives. According to the Incentive Research Foundation’s report, Ten Trends for Merchandise and Gift Card Programs in 2015, almost 50 per cent of planners are increasing budgets and per person spending is up: More than half will spend in excess of $100 and 30 per cent in excess of $300 per person.

It’s a significant investment and an effective program requires time and effort. There is no one-size-fits-all-approach, says Samba’s Douglas Garcia. “In every company the target demographic changes a bit and that impacts the type of program.”

 

GETTING STARTED
What to consider when developing a gift card program:

• Examine your audience, determine what is meaningful to the group and define what the company wants to achieve. “We normally take a consultative approach to help planners get the answers to these questions,” says Samba Rewards International's Douglas Garcia.

• Create a strategy for communicating to staff, ensuring a fair system for awarding and distribution and measuring effectiveness.

Customize rewards. Garcia says a key motivator is enabling participants to choose the gifts they want.

• Consider working with an incentive company. “It was totally turnkey for us,” says Ariad's Michael Beckerman. “Samba does a good job of aggregating their buying power and they made it really easy for our employees to use.”

• Incorporate a social-media style recognition platform. Ariad operates an employee portal where it celebrates recipients and invites employees to post photos of their experiences.

Save

Save

other articles in this section

Make an Impact

Mutual Appreciation

Well Intentioned

A Rewarding Experience

Cruising the Rhone River

Celebrating Employee Milestones

How Do they Do It

Eyes on the Prize

Healthy employees = Healthy company

Measuring ROI

Hawks Cay Resort, Duck Key, Florida

Good Sensations

How to Design an Effective Gift Card Incentive Program

Fogo Island Inn, Fogo Island, Newfoundland

The Case for including Spouses on Incentive Trips

Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya

On-site Gifting

Rim to River Hiking in the Grand Canyon

Sparkling Hill Resort, Vernon, BC

Creating incentive trips that appeal to everyone

The Brave New World of Gift Cards

Award Show Winners

Capella Marigot Bay Resort and Marina

Take me to the river

Click + Praise

The Science of Incentives

Incentive trips go family-style

Knock-their-socks-off gifts for hard-to-buy-for executives

Building a Better Program

Perfect Pampering

Indulge Me!

Customized Recognition Programs

Virtual gift cards, the new reality

Gift Cards that Give

Go with a Pro, in the Spa and on the Greens

Chartering private jets

Offsite Employee Engagement

Behaviour-based Recognition

Canadian tax implications for employee gifts

A Christmas Bonus with all the Fixin's!

Peer-to-peer recognition

Everyday Green Heroes

Recognizing Environmental Actions in the Workplace

Reward and Recognize Every Day!

New Year, New You!

Co-Branded Cards

Last-minute gifts and rewards

Double Pampering Hits the Spot!

Hidden Gems: Cobble Beach Resort

Gamification

Corporate Gifts for Golfers

Free and Fab Employee Rewards

Incentive Programs Used by the Pros

Think Local for Corporate Gifts

21st Century Gift Cards

Time for an Incentive Travel Update

Reward Best-Practices for the Holiday Season

Small Product, Big Impact

Spa Rewards, Done Right

Staying Motivated

Gift Giving Guidelines

The Pros and Cons of Gift Cards

Eco-Friendly Corporate Gift Ideas

Green Guides

Travel Rewards Strategy

Speaker Gifts that Shine with Gratitude

Tax Treatment of Incentive Travel

order Valtrex
new balance femmeJordan chaussurejordan scarpeair jordan femmejordan femmejordan hommejordan chaussureAir max femme