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Why gift cards create a sense of value at work


Workplace recognition. It doesn’t have to be linked to rewards but when it is, the rewards should be personal, meaningful and memorable.

Gift cards do the job. Wonderfully.

Gone are the days of gold watches and gilded certificates (thankfully). Today’s employees demand more personalised benefits and rewards. And why wouldn’t we? On average, we spend eight hours a day at work; a contribution we want to think, and believe, is valued and appreciated by our employers.

In an age when human capital leaders call for us to bring our ‘full selves to work’, one-size-fits-all rewards simply don’t cut it anymore.

A recent article by Forbes illustrates this thinking, in a write-up about a prominent PR company’s switch to customisable rewards. The logic is simple: Employees are diverse; rewards should be too. And let’s not be limited by the narrow defines of diversity – along age and ethnic lines – but consider a wider range, one that includes the diversity dimensions of gender identification, world viewpoints and perspectives, and reward motivations.

Also, we need to consider that the circumstances of employees’ lives are different – some are single, some are single parents, some still live at home. Designing a reward suite wide enough to encompass such rich diversity is no mean feat. Today, rewards need to appeal to individual employees, personally and emotionally.

Here’s three reasons why gift cards fit the bill, perfectly:

  1. Personal reward possibilities
    A gift card comes with the promise of freedom of choice. An employee is enabled to get the reward they want. Their choice. Their happiness. Both made possible by a gift card.
  2. Different cards for different scenarios
    Typically, gift cards are a once-off reward, perfect as surprise and delight mechanisms. But cards can also be reloadable, making them perfect for longer-term loyalty building in the workplace. From sales teams to software developers, a reward card will always incentivise performance.
  3. Cards make moments matter
    It’s a fact: employee appreciation is amplified when a person is recognised by their management and peers, face-to-face. The presentation of a gift card, with the collective wish of ‘happy spending’ for a job well done, is a moment not likely to be forgotten by any employee.

There’s no denying that personalised rewards are the way forward. Sure, it demands research, planning and feedback. But in providing employees with the freedom – and power – to choose the rewards they want, you can’t go wrong with gift cards. Be sure they’re on your rewards list.


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