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Why are incentives important? 4 ways incentives benefit your business

Posted on 18 November 2022
Read time 3 mins
Author Tillo

“For it is in giving that we receive.”

- St. Francis of Assisi.


Incentivizing the people you want more of - employees, customers, and partners - with digital gift cards will not only delight them, but it will also support your business growth in the short and long term. 

In this blog, we’re focusing specifically on the use case of employee incentives rather than customer or partner rewards (we’ll cover these separately). 

But what exactly do we mean by incentivizing? 

Simply put, incentivizing is a way of motivating or encouraging someone to do something for you. The promise of a reward spurs positive action. 

And when it comes to incentivizing and rewarding, cold hard cash is not the only answer. In fact, we’ve already shed light on why the delight and loyalty factor is greater with digital gift cards vs. cash:

According to psychologists, “when paying with a gift card, people forgo buying everyday items in favour of buying indulgent items,” making the purchase feel like more of a gift and creating a long-lasting memory. 



And if you’re thinking, “I’m not sure we really need an employee incentive program," remember it’s not just about the need or the cost right now - but about the ROI and other benefits to your business. 

Here’s how using incentives can be a win-win for businesses. 


4 benefits of employee incentives

1. Improving employee performance 

Productivity drives business, but what drives your employees? 

Happy, appreciated employees are ultimately more effective. 

There’s little doubt that recognition impacts employee engagement, job performance, and value to your business. 

And did you know that this impact is actually measurable? Here are some stats to prove it:

  • Employee engagement, productivity, and performance are 14% higher than in organizations without recognition. (Deloitte)
  • A 15% improvement in engagement can result in a 2% increase in margins. (Deloitte)
  • A recent report on employee recognition found that 92% of workers are more likely to repeat a specific action after receiving recognition for it. 
  • 90% of top-performing companies utilize incentive programs to reward their sales associates. 

As you can see from these stats, if you haven’t considered employee incentives yet, you should certainly put it on your radar!

If you’ve just had a strong quarter or are thinking about Christmas rewards, then you have the perfect opportunity to share a bit of delight with your employees. 

Or, if you’re pushing towards an ambitious sales goal, consider offering incentives to your employees to encourage them to get those deals over the line. 


2. Retaining your existing talent

Employees are the best asset for driving your business forwards - but employee churn can be expensive, not to mention stressful. 

According to Glassdoor, the average employer spends about £3,000 and 27.5 days to hire a new employee. 

Therefore, HR leaders are starting to invest more in employee retention.

Overall, incentives budgets are expected to increase by 34% in 2022, with gift cards increasing by 34%. 



As we recover from “the great resignation”, - where resignation rates between 30 and 45-year-olds increased a staggering 20% between 2020 and 2021 - there's more of a focus than ever on retaining existing talent. 

Making employees feel rewarded has a significant part to play in keeping employees happy, focused, and fulfilled in their roles. 



3. Creating a more positive work culture 

What’s the greatest benefit of creating a work culture that celebrates success? 

This ultimately comes back to productivity, job satisfaction too, and employee retention too. 

85% of HR leaders agree that recognition programmes positively affect organisational culture.



Incentivizing employees can improve morale in many ways - from helping them feel seen and recognized for their efforts to making them feel more embedded with the company and even fostering a healthy level of competition across teams. 

Involving employees in certain incentive decisions has its benefits too. For example, allowing colleagues to nominate one another for rewards is empowering and shows the value of employee opinion. Or giving your employees the chance to choose where they spend their reward by offering them a Choice Link shows thoughtfulness and an understanding of staff differences. 

In addition, one-off rewards that are unexpected by employees can help create that extra delight factor. According to one survey, 47% of respondents preferred to be rewarded spontaneously, whilst 38% preferred to be rewarded for good work and the rest for traditional calendar events. 


4. Improving your reputation

But it’s not all about the bottom line (although these benefits do also influence business growth):

As a side effect of happier, more productive employees and positive company culture, incentivizing your employees can also:

🚀 Boost customer satisfaction scores

🍾 Enhance career progression

🤒 Reduce staff absence

🧘🏽 Improve staff wellbeing

👀 Attract top talent

All of these things help create a positive brand image and attract new business, new customers, and even new fans. 

Indeed, some of the best incentive programs and initiatives go a step further by focusing on the idea of customer-focused rewards. 

Linking employee recognition to customer experience metrics helps create a more customer-centric culture, benefiting your business further. 


Get ahead of the gift card game

Incentives are a simple, effective way to show your employees that you care.

And it’s a growing trend. In 2021, B2B gift card sales dominated the gift card market, representing around 75% of the market and growing 26% year on year (GCVA). 

Whether you want to launch a full-scale employee incentives and rewards program using digital gift cards or use rewards as a one-off to reward, incentivize and delight employees - we can help.  

With Tillo, you can easily bulk-buy digital gift cards through our site in seconds. With over 2,000 brands to pick from (everything from Deliveroo to IKEA) and 100% environmentally friendly, Tillo is the best choice to delight your employees. Or why not give the gift of choice by exploring Choice Links - the flexible digital gift card solution that helps you delight every customer

Whatever incentive you choose, our award-winning gift card API makes the process quick and straightforward, so get in touch to learn more. 


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