Gift Programs

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Go Green with your Employee Recognition and Incentive Programs

A few months ago I came across a discussion on LinkedIn about the need for green products in employee recognition and incentive programs. In the past year or so I have seen many green ideas applied to the employee recognition and incentive programs that my clients utilize and I wanted to share them with readers in this week’s post.

The most common way that clients make their employee recognition and incentive programs green is to take the award program completely online. For employee recognition program websites, staff members can receive an email congratulating them on reaching an anniversary milestone and provide employees with instructions to access the recognition website and redeem their award. In the case of online incentive programs, employees can receive an email letting them know when their online account has been updated with the goals reached and the points have been earned. Emailing employees is an excellent way to engage employees and maximize participation in the award program as emails can be sent in a timely fashion and contain up-to-date program and account information.

Online award websites serve as the central hub for reward program activity. From viewing the award catalog and placing an order to submitting award program feedback and peer recognition nominations, modern recognition and incentive program websites allow companies to demonstrate its commitment to environmental responsibility and eliminate the cost of paper program supplements. In addition, paper-based award program supplements often become outdated very quickly whereas online award catalogs and participant account information can be consistently updated. Online recognition and incentive programs can truly engage employees because of these capabilities.

Another common way to make an award program green is to reward employees for achieving green goals: reducing paper consumption, increasing recycling participation and taking part in car pooling or bicycling to work. Online incentive programs often contain green related goals for both individual employees and departments in order to increase environmental awareness and environmental stewardship of the company as a whole. When companies encourage staff members to adopt a green attitude they engage employees who feel they are a part of a socially responsible enterprise which can in turn increase employee loyalty.

An additional method of creating a green award program is to include merchandise rewards that are energy efficient or help to encourage green behaviors. ENERGY STAR qualified appliances such as refrigerators, dynamo or hand crank operated devices such as flashlights and radios and bicycles that employees can use to ride to work instead of car pooling are all examples of green reward merchandise included in our award catalog. By offering green reward merchandise, companies can engage employees with state of the art awards that will help to increase employee loyalty.

Many of these green ideas to decrease an award program’s environmental impact are being practiced by clients of mine and are becoming more popular with new clients as well. By taking the award program online, rewarding employees for their green efforts and awarding workers with green merchandise, companies can positively impact the environment, maximize employee engagement and increase employee loyalty.

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