10 Reasons to upgrade from paper Love2shop Vouchers to plastic Love2shop Gift Cards

Still using paper Love2shop Vouchers? There many reasons why you should upgrade to plastic Love2shop Gift Cards (at no extra cost). 

Here are 10 ways the Love2shop Gift Card is a better reward for employees and customers alike.

1. Bigger brands 6. Mobile app
2. A more personal experience 7. Discounted top ups
3. Load with any value 8. Spend at M&S
4. Cheaper, more secure delivery 9. Use on the Love2shop Holidays website
5. Replacement cards 10. Use on the Argos website

 

1. Access bigger brands through exchange

By exchanging the balance of a plastic Love2shop Gift Card at www.love2shop.co.uk, cardholders can access big name brands not available on paper Love2shop Vouchers, such as…

Popular retailers

Treat recipients to dining out

See the full list of where you can spend Love2shop Gift Cards here.

 

2. A more personal experience for the recipient


Upgrade to a Love2shop Gift Card and make your rewards even more personal to the individual.

Designs to reflect the occasion

A selection of off-the-shelf gift card designs are available at no additional cost to reflect a variety of reasons you might give a gift.

Personalised thank you messages on card carriers

Choose a card design and then add a personalised thank you message addressed to the individual, on the card carrier. Add a message for your entire audience or customise to each individual.

 

Fully branded cards

Create a completely bespoke gift with a card and carrier that is custom designed to reflect your brand.

 

3. Load with any value up to £10,000

Where paper Love2shop Vouchers are limited to just £5 and £10 values, with a plastic Love2shop Gift Card you can choose cards loaded with:

  • £5
  • £10
  • £20
  • £25
  • £30
  • £50
  • £100

All with the value printed on the card.

Or you can load with any value you like up to £10,000 (minimum load £5).

 

 
 
 

4. Lower cost, secure delivery

Low cost, secure delivery options are easy with a Love2shop Gift Card. Unlike a paper voucher, gift cards can be sent inactive. Card are only loaded with funds once they are received by you (please note: this not applicable to all orders, please confirm with our team prior to dispatch).

This means that you can choose to receive them by standard post or lower-cost courier, safe in the knowledge that the cards are worth nothing until they are in your hands.

 

5. Replacement cards are available if lost or stolen

Once funds have been loaded onto gift cards they are safeguarded and lost/stolen cards can be replaced, whereas paper vouchers are treated like cash. If they are lost then they cannot be replaced. 

 

6. Access our mobile app

The Love2shop app makes shopping using a Love2shop Gift Card easy, with features such as:

  • A card balance checker
  • Interactive where to spend lists – using geolocation to identify accepting retailers nearby
  • Option to top up cards in seconds whilst on the move (please note: this is not available on all cards, please check with our team)

 

7. Top up at a discount

Love2shop Gift Cards are available with optional top up functionality (please note: this functionality is only available on particular schemes, such as Everyday Benefits).

Using this feature, cardholders can top up their card as often as they wish at a discount. For example, cardholders could top up their card with £100 worth of value but it would only cost them £93 (please note that discount rates vary).

This is a great way to save money on household expenses and everyday treats, with savings on top ups easily adding up to hundreds of pounds each year.

It’s the perfect employee discount card or customer loyalty mechanic.

 
M&S

8. Spend at M&S

Marks & Spencer accept Love2shop Gift Cards in-store, but not Love2shop Vouchers. So if you want to give your recipients access to this well loved brand, it’s time to switch to plastic!

 

9. Use online at www.love2shopholidays.co.uk

Cardholders can spend the balance of their Love2shop Gift Card to book a holiday online through the Love2shop Holidays website (www.love2shopholidays.co.uk).

Love2shop Holidays Website

Whilst Love2shop Vouchers can be redeemed through the Love2shop Holidays team, recipients must call in to spend their balance. Whereas gift card holders can book directly online as soon as they find the perfect trip away.

 

10. Use online at www.argos.co.uk

argos-logoLove2shop Gift Cards can be spent directly on the Argos website. They are accepted as a form of payment at the online checkout.

For other websites, cardholders can exchange the balance of their gift card for a virtual Mastercard, which is accepted on 50+ retailer websites.

 

Paper vs Plastic: How do your rewards stack up?

 

Feature

 

 

Love2shop Voucher

 

 

Love2shop Gift Card

 

Spend in-store at 95+ retailers  

 

 

 

Available to under 16 year olds  

 

 

X

 

Value printed on the front  

 

 

(Specific card types)
 
Denominations available £5, £10 £5, £10, £20, £25, £30, £50, £100  or load with any value you like (over £5)
Exchange the balance to spend online  

X

 

 

 

Exchange the balance to access additional brands (such as John Lewis, ASOS, Starbucks, Zizzi, B&Q and more)  

X

 

 

 

Themed designs available  

X

 

 

 

Branded wallets/carrier options  

 

 

 

Branded vouchers/cards  

X

 

 

 

Personalised presentation option to individual recipients  

X

 

 

 

Optional ongoing discounts for recipients  

X

 

 

(Specific card types)
 
Online balance checker  

X

 

 

 

Mobile app  

X

 

 

 

Discounts on large corporate orders  

 

 

(Bigger discounts available on gift cards)
 
Low cost delivery option  

X

(Secure postage required)

 

(Cards can be activated upon delivery, removing the need for secure postage)
 
Funds are safeguarded  

X

 

 

 

 

Replacement option for lost or stolen  

X

 

 

 

 

 

Upgrade to Love2shop Gift Cards today

The next time you need to place an order, why not opt for plastic Love2shop Gift Cards instead of paper Love2shop Vouchers? 

We can set you up with access to order as and when you wish, simply by calling 0151 653 1752 or contact us here.

 
 

The 2018 Shout! Stand

Drop by and say hi to us at EB Live and the CIPD Annual Conference

Some of the Love2shop Business team will be popping up at two of the huge HR events of the year.

We hope you drop in and say hello.

The Love2shop Business stand will be promoting our recognition platform, Shout!, but we’re always happy to talk to our clients.

While you drop in for a chat, you can have a bit of fun on the stand and enter our competition.

We’ll be exhibiting at two major events this year, EB Live and the CIPD Annual Conference.

Employee Benefits Live

What: Employee Benefits Live is Europe’s biggest event dedicated to HR and benefits.

When: 1-2 October, 2019.

Stand: E65

Where: ExCel, London.

 

CIPD Annual Conference

What: CIPD’s Annual Conference is a huge two-day learning and exhibition opportunity for the HR industry.

When: 6-7 November, 2019.

Stand: We’re on stand F95. Click here to see the full floor plan.

Where: Manchester Central Convention Complex.

 

We look forward to seeing you there

Drop us a line if you’ll be at either event! We had a great time at EB Live 2018, we’re really looking forward to this year’s event.

Tactical campaigns that increase sales and drive engagement

Clare Bingham is Engagement and Operations Director of FMI, our brand engagement and incentives focused sister company. Here she writes about how FMI design and build effective tactical campaigns that increase sales and brand engagement.

To give you a clear idea of what this blog means by incentives, let’s define them:

Incentive, /ɪnˈsɛntɪv/ noun. A formal scheme using rewards and recognition to promote/encourage actions or behaviour. Used to motivate employees, and in sales to attract and retain customers.

 

For businesses, an incentive is a great tool to help increase performance among a workforce and channel partners. Or, to shift consumer preference in the market.

A study by the International Society of Performance Improvement shows: “If selected, implemented and monitored correctly, incentive programmes…increase performance by an average of 22%. Team incentives can increase performance by as much as 44%.”

But for how long should an incentive run and how often should they be implemented within a marketing plan?

Is it worth pursuing an incentive scheme if budget is limited?

There is a strong case for long-term programmes. They build ongoing brand loyalty within a business and often outperform short-term programmes.

We refer to long-term activity like that as ‘engagement programmes.’ Where frequent and regular interaction with participants creates brand advocacy and ambassador-like behaviour.

But is this reason enough to take short-term incentives out of your marketing plan?

 

The ‘tact’ of tactical

A quick search of the word tact in the dictionary displays: “a keen sense of what is appropriate, tasteful or proper” as one of its definitions.

We think this is the perfect approach to tactical incentives. Simple, tightly-focussed and hard-hitting programmes.

Launched whenever they are appropriate to inject a bit of energy and drive into a target audience.

This is what makes tacticals a great tool to enhance your ongoing communication with your audience.

We’ve used them to cause tactical disruption in the market place and effectively train staff on key product messages.

To help manufacturers increase brand loyalty during peak sale periods. And to drive product sales within channel partners.

Just as date nights are essential for a romance to work and flourish, tactical incentives are key to keeping things fresh in your business.

They are the perfect companion to product launches, ensuring that your sales staff are fully trained on the core USPs of the new range.

The short and punchy nature of tactical incentives makes them fun and engaging. They add the right amount of drama keep staff excited and intrigued about your brand.

Incentives can even overcome barriers in your business. Whether that’s negative brand perception, low performance rate or lack in brand confidence.

Incentive plans need not be expensive. Tactical incentives can meet and exceed your objectives without exceeding budgets.

In fact, high-budget programmes are often over-engineered. Tacticals ensure that your message remains simple. But without foregoing the fundamentals of an effective programme: easy implementation, versatility, and measurement. That’s what makes them an ideal fit for any marketing plan.

It is certainly worth pursuing an incentive scheme, even if your budget is limited. The return on investment speaks for itself.

 

Approaching your tacticals

Build your programme around what you want your incentive to achieve. A few days’ training, boosting engagement, or increasing sales. Keep the communication simple and straightforward.

Use creative messaging, and weave graphics and videos in for maximum engagement. Keep that up for the during of your campaign.

Speaking from our experience with tactical incentives, you’d be surprised what you can achieve in just ten days or within a few short months.

From a sales performance uplift of 225% to increased participant registrations of 83%, the numbers start to speak for themselves.

When it comes to incentive marketing strategy and effective programme delivery, we at FMI know that you don’t need spend your entire budget trying to reinvent the wheel.

Our incentive and engagement experts have considerable industry experience in employee and channel incentives, and extensive reward options to help you achieve greater successes in your business.

If you think a tactical incentives campaign would work for your brand and help to increase sales, get in touch with us today.

We’re always happy to provide ideas for campaigns which drive real ROI and results.

get a grip on employee rewards without hitting the books

The best guide to understanding employee rewards you can read in 10 minutes

Employee rewards are vital to your employee recognition and benefit mix. Getting the most from your rewards means getting to grips with the basics of using them. Enjoy the full rundown on what you need to know about employee rewards.

In this blog, we cover the fundamentals of:

1. What employee rewards are

2. Why employee rewards matter

3. When you should reward staff

4. How to manage your rewards

Click to jump to a section.

What employee rewards are

An employee reward is any token, gift, prize, or cash-value trophy. You use them to thank employees for something you or your company believe is valuable.

That’s the simple part. The harder part is figuring out how you can make the best use of them in your business.

How that intersects with recognition and incentives

Recognition

Rewards act as a signal boost for recognition. We’ve said this a few times, but rewards aren’t the same as recognition.

They’re linked, because rewards can back up recognition. But it’s important to get a grip on how recognition works without rewards to make sure you’re getting the most out of your rewards.

Incentives

It’s easy to confuse incentives and employee rewards and put them into the same neat category. The truth is they’re related, but very different ideas.

An incentive still involves a reward, but to be an incentive the employee reward needs to be withheld until the employee or team hits a target.

An effective incentive also has to be discussed ahead of time to give the employee motivation to complete a task or hit a milestone. Otherwise, you’re firmly in the world of just issuing rewards.

Now that you’ve got the what, we’ll walk you through the why, when and how of using employee rewards for your business.

We’ll start with why they’re so important.

Why you need to offer employee rewards

You need to offer rewards for three major reasons:

  • Intrinsic and extrinsic rewards.
  • Operant conditioning.
  • Expectation.

We’ll explain each of them here.

Intrinsic and extrinsic rewards

In the office, intrinsic reward is the feel-good sensation your staff take from their work. Feeling proud of achievements.

Taking pride in supporting their team. Feeling a sense of accomplishment in helping the business reach its goals.

Many elements go into that sensation. Your management style, engagement, the work itself. And recognition, too. That’s why it’s so important you get a grip on both rewards and recognition.

Extrinsic rewards, the other kind, are the ones you buy from us. They’re external rewards that have some kind of tangible element. Their real-world cash value is what fuels their value to staff.

The two need separate understanding, but they intersect. The physical (extrinsic) rewards make the intrinsic (emotional) rewards more powerful. They do this by turning them into trophies.

Not only do your staff get something they enjoy through the reward, there’s a lasting impact. Non-cash value rewards make excellent trophies. Unlike cash, which we’ve covered already as a poor reward.

Those trophies have an afterglow. They help your employee bask in a sense of achievement whenever they reflect on their reward.

That means employee rewards do more than make employees feel great about one achievement. It makes them feel better about their entire job. It’s a useful tool for building employee engagement.

Combined, there’s a big influence on motivation and job performance. Assuming you deploy your employee reward scheme effectively.

Operant conditioning

Operant conditioning is a fancy way of saying “getting people to do what you want.”

The concept is similar to Pavlov and his famous bell. Only instead of making your employees hungry you make them feel good.

The process is very simple. Your employees do something exceptional. What that is, we’ll address later. Recognising this exceptional event, you reward the employee.

The reward, as we’ve said, doubles-down on how good they already feel about their achievement.

It’s human nature to seek out those good feelings again. Behaviour you reward is behaviour you’re more likely to see repeated in the future.

As a result, you quietly train staff to associate good feelings with work achievements.

The rewards, like the ones we supply, make that easy.

Expectation

Rewards are an extremely common tool for incentives and motivation. Excellence requires acknowledgement and celebration. As we pointed out, rewards are a very effective tool for marking and creating high performance.

The flip side of rewards being commonplace is that they become an expectation. What was once a fringe benefit is something staff assume they’ll receive.

Expectation is very important to employees. Failing to meet it starts to erode the way employees see their employers. Over time, failing to match expectation chips away at their faith in the business.

This has a knock-on effect on employee engagement.

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Improve engagement with recognition platforms

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Take a huge step towards better employee engagement with a values-driven social recognition system.

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Summary:

To summarise, you need to offer rewards for three primary reasons.

1. They’re good for motivation, morale and productivity. They interact with and amplify the intrinsic rewards we mentioned to do that.

2. Employee rewards help you get more of what you want from staff. That’s by influencing and reinforcing their behaviour through rewards.

3. Staff are expecting to receive them.

Now it’s a question of when you should be doling out the rewards.

When you need to offer employee rewards

Love2shop Corporate RewardsAs we pointed out earlier, rewards work as behaviour modifiers. As such, rewards need deploying when you have a chance to create a better work culture.

We can’t tell you every single situation in your company when a reward would be appropriate.

At least not without one of the team getting to know your business first (you’re always welcome to give us a call, we’d love to do just that).

But we can give you, based on your experience, some suggestions to start the engine for you.

Reward employees for:

  1. Exceeding performance targets
  2. Exceptional customer service
  3. Sustained outstanding performance
  4. Putting other people’s needs before their own
  5. Going beyond their job description for the company
  6. Spotting major roadblocks and coming up with ways around them.
  7. Exceptional ideas for the future. You should already have a way to submit ideas, and you should reward the most exceptional ideas
  8. Volunteering their free time to support charities you value
  9. Putting your company values first in their work and behaviour
  10. Taking up an exceptional amount of voluntary training
  11. Solving a long-standing problem
  12. Organising fun (but appropriate) social events or drumming up community spirit
  13. Referring valuable new clients
  14. Displaying notable loyalty to the business
  15. Being a leader in the office, whether it’s making sure the office gets cleaned or helping employees deal with change

If you’re ever unsure if an employee should be rewarded, run a mental checklist. Ask yourself if the situation is:

  • Notable: For both the employee and their peers, the reward should attach to something obviously notable.
  • Positive: It should almost go without saying, but only reward positive behaviour.
  • Values-based: In clear alignment with your company values.
  • Purposeful: Contributes to the purpose and mission of your company.
  • Timely: Don’t let time pass between a noteworthy employee event and your offering of a reward.

Now you know what, why and when. It’s just a question how rewards should find their way to staff.

How to reward employees

The different types of employee rewards, how to deliver them to staff, and the relative merits of each approach.

Digital, physical, a blend of each, the benefits and drawbacks.

Types of rewards

  • Cash.
  • Cash-value.
    • Gift cards.
    • Vouchers.
    • Digital reward codes.
  • Trophies.
  • Merchandise.
  • Experiences.

The pros and cons of different employee rewards

Cash

Cash is not a great reward, even if it is a popular one. Read more about our opinion on that here. But to give you the summary: your staff are used to it.

It’s an existing transaction. Money is also a source of stress. It doesn’t make sense to confuse pay and rewards by rewarding with cash.

Gift Cards

Gift cardsLove2shop Gift Cards are versatile and exciting. Our gift cards come with more than 95 in-store retailers, and e-gift cards.

E-gift cards are a further selection of physical and digital brands accessed by swapping the value of your gift card online. Gift cards work for just about anyone, assuming you can get them delivered.

Vouchers

Vouchers are simple, tactile and immediate. We still see a place for the voucher in the reward marketplace.

Particularly for on the spot, quick rewards among staff that can’t use a phone or computer at work.

Digital rewards

Digital reward codesLove2shop Reward Codes (or e-codes) make it simple to ping rewards about teams that aren’t always in the same.

By using SMS and as delivery, anyone with a phone or computer can receive the reward.

Experiences

We’ve watched the demand for experience grow massively over the last two years. It’s a sign of changing times, as more of the younger generation enters the workforce.

As a result, there’s less emphasis on items and more longing for adventure. Whether it’s a group experience or individual experiences, they’re rising as workplace demographics change.

Trophies

There’s still a place for the simple trophy. Even if other rewards become their own sort of trophies, an actual trophy has value.

They’re very effective for capping off internal contests or light-hearted competitions. And they’re extremely cost-effective compared to the positives impact on morale.

Merchandise

We don’t just mean a company-branded windbreaker. We’re talking about electronics, fashion, kitchenware, cameras, sporting equipment, luggage and more.

Demand for merchandise tends to trend toward older generations, but there’s a lot of older workers to cater for.

Sourcing your rewards

Obviously, we’re a bit biased on this subject. But you would have to be mad to try to source and house a catalogue worth of rewards on your own.

Especially if you want to use a mix of rewards. Let a third party handle that for you. Reward suppliers offer you reward management, platforms, expertise on running schemes and quick delivery.

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More choice, more fun with Love2shop rewards

Love2shop Corporate Rewards

Our reward range is powered by the joy of choice. Whether you use card, code or voucher, we put your audience in touch with a wide world of rewards.

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Our employee rewards as a case study

Your company doesn’t have to just pick a reward and stick with it. Love2shop Business Services’ teams are a great example of using a blend of rewards.

We have logistics, office-bound and mobile staff across multiple locations. We have to mix up how we reward teams.

Our warehouse staff spend most of their time away from a computer. To keep the warehouse ticking there’s a lot of picking, packing, boxing and counting going on.

So any kind of employee reward tends to be physical. Our warehouse teams also swell quite a lot during the run-up to Christmas. Gift cards and vouchers are timely and tangible.

In a warehouse environment, without phones or computers handy, they make perfect sense.

Some of our sales staff, on the other hand, are mobile. And we also have a second location down south.

Mobile sales staff are only in the office once or twice a month, and our second office come to HQ even more sporadically.

For them, a reward essentially has to be digital. We can send digital rewards quite easily with a digital reward code.

Anyone, anywhere, gets a code through their phone or email and cash them in straight away.

Meanwhile, we have a lot of flexibility for our permanent in-office staff. Because all of our employees have an Everyday Benefits discount gift card, we can top them up as a reward.

It saves us issuing a brand new gift card for every reward opportunity. They then spend the EDB discount card just like a regular Love2shop Gift Card.

We can also draw on business occasion cards and occasionally digital rewards.

Just like our clients, we have a mix of options at our disposal because we have a mix of staff.

What you need to do now about your employee rewards

Start implementing. Worry about formalising and automating later. You could spend a long time planning and worrying about the perfect reward scheme, but just getting started matters.

Time spent dithering is time spent not trying, doing or learning. You will want to deploy, assess, re-assess and adjust as time goes on. Starting with a modest, deliverable plan and expand on your successes.

Use our list of behaviours as inspiration to get started, and assemble a list of achievements to look for. Once you know what you want to reward, consider how your employees work.

Their unique work conditions will dictate the type of reward and how it’s delivered. Then just get to it.

If you want anything, whether that’s some gift cards or just some advice. Get in touch. We’d love to talk to you. Just use the live chat on this blog, call us on the number at the top of this page, or shoot us an email.

Love2shop Business is moving to Liverpool after 13 years in Birkenhead

You read it right. Along with most of Park Group plc, Love2shop Business Services is getting the ferry across the Mersey.

It’s a huge move for the whole organisation, and a big step towards realising our renewed corporate strategy.

2019 is a very exciting and interesting time to work for Park Group and Love2shop Business.

Proud of our heritage

Park Group has been in Birkenhead for more than 50 years. Love2shop Business has been here since we were founded in 2006.

We’re proud to be a Merseyside business, and we’re proud to employ so many people from our local community. That local identity has for a long time been a benefit Park and Love2shop Business’ company culture.

Obviously, Love2shop Business and Park Group will still be Merseyside businesses. Just on the other side of the Mersey.

Our new home will be 20 Chapel Street, in Liverpool’s vibrant Commercial District. That’s just to the North of the Liverpool One area of the city centre.

Eyes on the horizon

Everyone at Park and Love2shop Business is looking forward to the new location. We’ll have more flexible working space, with a new open-office plan.

Chapel Street will also offer us more variety of meeting space, and more access to the resources we need to be the most effective and cooperative teams we can be.

Our guests will also have a more attractive and easier to reach place to visit us. And, like us, they’ll benefit from being in one of the most vibrant cities in the UK.

Words from our CEO

Park Group CEO Ian O’Doherty, speaking about the move in June this year, said: “The relocation of our core business to Liverpool is another important and tangible step towards us delivering the new strategic plan for the company.

“This major investment exemplifies our commitment to growth, to driving our business forward and to giving our fantastic Park people an excellent work environment in which to flourish.”

Stop by and visit us

We expect to be making the big move close to the end of September. You should email your account manager and ask them to give you a tour! They’d be delighted to hear from you and welcome you to our new home across the Mersey.

rewarding employees - ask these five questions first

5 questions you need to ask yourself before rewarding employees

It’s import to get rewarding employees right. Rewards aren’t just a nice bonus to make staff feel good. They’re a business tool. That’s not to say you should take the joy out of giving employees rewards, but you should be smart about how you use them.

A poorly timed or a poorly thought-out reward is just your company’s money down the drain. That’s a tragedy when you could be getting so much more out of rewarding employees.

When you think someone deserves a reward, take just a few seconds to ask yourself five questions about the achievement in question.

1. Does it reflect your values?

Rewarding employees for living your values builds engagement with those principles. It’s important to make sure employees are recognised, and sometimes rewarded, for upholding your company values in their work.

By closely linking achievements to company values, staff are more familiar with your company’s purpose. This also creates positive links between staff, your business and your rewards.

Rewarding for behaviour that doesn’t reflect your values has two negative effects. Your employees lose faith that you believe in your own organisation’s values. And they will see that you actually treasure them working outside of those values.

2. Is it notable?

Would your employee, and their colleagues, agree their achievement is notable?

A reward is a waste of cash if the employee doesn’t also see their achievement as noteworthy. That doesn’t improve when other staff see the reward and think the same thing.

Rewarding for behaviour that employees don’t see as notable is jarring. It implies disconnection between you and your staff. Or at least a difference in what your team values and what managers think is important.

3. Is it timely?

To make the most of the combination of rewards and achievement, time is important. It’s vital to issue rewards as close to someone’s achievements as possible.

If you’ve left it too long, it can feel a bit like you’re not paying attention. Or that you’re playing catch-up with your staff’s achievements. And by that time, the emotional impact of your reward will be long gone.

4. Is it positive?

Rewarding employees should be associated with positive behaviour. Like we said, you’re training your staff on how to behave when you reward them. It’s an endorsement of what they did and how they achieved it. What you reward should always be something you’d be proud to talk about in public.

5. Is it repeatable?

Could another employee aspire to make this achievement for themselves?

When you reward employees you show everyone what the organisation thinks is important. Sometimes it’s appropriate to reward a one-off achievement, but tread carefully.

If employees can repeat behaviour that gets rewarded, they’re more likely to try and earn that reward again. If your plan is to build better behaviour with positive feedback, it needs to be something other employees can do.

Your turn

The first four questions are the real quiz. If you can say “yes” with a straight face, it’s high time to break out the rewards. The fifth one you’ll have to play by ear and use your judgement, depending on your specific business.

But make sure you give your rewards a bit of thought before dishing them out. It’s worth it.

14 effective ways to improve staff retention and slash your recruitment budget

Staff retention is, undeniably, a vital element of any successful business.

The stats show that employee turnover is a giant financial burden to the nation’s employers.

The cost of voluntary turnover in the UK [1]:

  • Replacing a skilled employee costs
  • £20,000 to £30,000
  • Lost productivity of turnover costs
  • £16,000 to £39,000
  • Finding and training new staff costs
  • £3,000 to £6,500
  • Training a new employee takes
  • 12 to 18 months
  • In 2013 alone, turnover in the UK cost
  • Over £1 billion

Those figures show an unacceptable burden to UK business. And employees are still as prone to leave as ever – in 2016 alone, one in seven UK employees resigned from a position.

If you look around your office, could you honestly say you could afford to lose one in seven staff? For the sake of your company, we hope the answer is a resounding “no.”

The good news is many problems that cause high turnover are avoidable. With a bit of intent, investment and time, you could address staff retention in a quarter.

Start with the ideas we lay out here.

14 effective ways to improve your staff retention

Click below to jump to a section:

 

1. Advocate your values

If your business doesn’t have values, it’s time to think of investing in some. We choose the word investment on purpose.

Values are a significant boost to a company that lives and dies by upholding them. However, like any investment they need attention, maintenance and care to be valuable.

Modern staff increasingly indicate they want to work for ethical companies. The world is more aware than ever of the effects of our lives, personal and professional, on the wider world.

As a result, there’s some existential and internal pressure to behave in an ethical manner. Those needs dovetail neatly with what employees want from their employers.

Upholding some coherent, ethical values will help you with staff retention. [2]

2. Establish a purpose and talk about it

connecting employees with values helps improve employee retentionConnect the work your employees do to something more interesting than bars on a chart. Then make that your purpose, and find a way to talk about it.

Graphs and bar charts are too boring. They need context to get an emotional response from staff. They don’t seem as tangible as real-life outcomes.

Too many companies set out with a purpose, but it ends up as flimsy PR, internally and externally.

Employees stay with employers that make a real difference to the wider world. Connecting employees with a professional raison d’être gives them more than just figures and graphs to look to when it comes to what they take satisfaction in with their work. [3]

3. Recognise staff

Recognise your employees for anything that brings sincere value to your workplace. Not just for hitting targets, but for improving your workplace overall.

Recognition isn’t just another form of reward, it’s a way of building a relationship among a group.

From both managers and colleagues, it’s important for human beings to feel like a valued member of a team. It’s vital to our emotional comfort and personal and professional safety.

Recognition improves areas like motivation, productivity, engagement and satisfaction. It extends to retention, too: 55% of employees state that they would leave their current job for a company that embraces recognition. [4]

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Ask for a demo of our social recognition platform

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Shout! empowers your employees with a central, public platform to celebrate anyone in your company. Let every employee shout-out any colleague's achievements.

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4. Empower staff and listen to them

Having a voice in decision-making gives staff a sense of buy-in over their work and what they’re being asked to do.

The only thing worse than not listening to staff, is listening to staff and ignoring what they say.

When your staff believe in a project that requires their expertise, they will be more invested in the project’s success.

Long-term, this helps build your employees’ engagement with their work and your company. [5]

Engaged employees are much more likely to stick with a company than disengaged employees.

That’s because having power and a voice is a big part of feeling close to an employer’s values and purpose.

5. Pay fair and competitive salaries

Your business isn’t “getting away” with anything by underpaying staff. You’re only going to guarantee they will leave.

A job can only ever look like a stepping stone an extremely underpaid employee.

Poor pay remains one of the top reasons an employee leaves a job. Considering the enormous cost of replacing talent we outlined earlier in this article, paying staff badly is at best an own-goal.

The short-term gains don’t make up for having to reinvest in new staff. [6]

6. Talk about the future

Not only the future of the business, but the future of the employee. It’s important for two major reasons.

First, job security. Being acknowledged as a part of the plans for the future makes it clear they have a place in the company.

That security lets staff stop fretting about the safety of their job, and focus on their work. [7]

Second, it gives staff the security that your company is the place to achieve their career goals.

You’ll struggle to retain staff in the long term if they aren’t sure what their role long-term role is. They need to know if that matches up their ambitions.

7. Reward excellence

Issue rewards for the best and brightest. As we’ve pointed out before, rewards for excellence become trophies.

Trophies become reminders of personal excellence, and they generate passive motivation.

Feeling valued, and having a token of that value, makes staff likely to seek another reward in the future. They’ll do that by striving for more achievement.

In that same article, we also discussed how ineffective cash is as a reward. It doesn’t create an effective association between achievement and the sensation of reward.

When giving rewards, prioritise non-cash rewards unless you absolutely have to use cash.

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More choice, more fun with Love2shop rewards

Love2shop Corporate Rewards

Our reward range is powered by the joy of choice. Whether you use card, code or voucher, we put your audience in touch with a wide world of rewards.

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8. Invest in employee skills

You don’t want an immobile, low-skilled workforce. You’ll hobble your company’s growth. The problem is, it’s so easy to create one through underinvestement in skills.

Staff retention means putting resources into your people.

It will also stifle your ability to grow and change over time to meet the changing needs of the world around you.

Diversify and invest in your staff’s skills. Or the ones who can grow and change will end up walking away to companies offering to nurture them. [11]

9. Seek feedback and act on it

Receive feedback, and make sure to move on it. Asking for advice and input but ignoring replies actually makes the problem worse.

It’s a two-faced approach, paying lip-service to an obligation, but not truly believing in what you’re doing.

Ignoring feedback, especially when it was sought, will drive employee morale straight off a cliff. Low morale is a direct line to struggling with staff retention. [12]

10. Take an honest look at your management

It only takes one bad manager to undo a great deal of careful planning.

At its worst, half of employees choosing to go left directly because of management.

When a business makes significant cultural, or organisational, shifts it’s vital that every manager understands and embraces them. [10]

This blog has already covered how only measuring KPIs undermines your company’s values. We’ve also covered how toxic management can appear deceptively successful.

Toxic management will unpick every good intention you set out with in your business. And only measuring the success of KPIs and metrics encourages that toxic behaviour.

11. Open up flexible working

Flexibility matters to workers. Employees consistently demand flexibility from their employers.

Technology has allowed work to infiltrate the home lives of workers through computers.

As a result, the lines between the personal and professional are irreparably blurred.

Many staff see a fair but neccessary transaction here. In exchange for more work out of office hours, employers have less say over where that work takes place.

You might have some hard red lines, depending on your industry. You can’t fly in the face of regulations, legal constraints or even the need to staff your call centre. But flexibility will be a prized workplace benefit for the foreseeable future.

And employees will leave for employers with more flexible approaches to work. That’s a direct threat to staff retention.[8] [9]

12. Offer robust employee benefits

Employee benefits are not optional. They’re vital for attracting and keeping quality people.

Even just finding a way to alleviate the financial burden on your staff could be monumental.

Every day, a huge swathe of British workers struggle to prevent endless financial struggle from affecting their work. [13]

Employee benefits that improve quality of life increase employee attachment to employers.

Competitive employee benefits packages reduce personal issues that make employees think about leaving.

They also help you attract new employees at the same time. Combined it’s great for acquisition and staff retention.

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Staff save money everyday with a discount card

Staff discount card

Everyday Benefits discount cards let your employees save hundreds of pounds on their normal shopping budget. Your staff get more out of life, for less.

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13. Address your work environment

Does your workplace work for your workforce? As companies grow, workplaces themselves can become a millstone around the neck.

They can stop teams from reaching their potential and frustrate your employees. Frustrated employees are poor for staff retention.

Companies like Google, Facebook and Apple invest collective billions into their work environments. Because they know employees need appropriate surroundings to excel.

Some factors that make a workplace a better environment for your employees include:

  • The ability for employees to communicate properly.
  • Some degree of privacy, or space for quiet work.
  • Access to the technology they need to do their work, like wireless internet or video conferencing equipment.
  • A location that’s desirable without being inaccessible for staff.
  • Access to food and health services.
  • Safety of workers during their working day.

14. Embrace the exit interview

If an employee leaving your business is a cloud, then the exit interview needs to be the silver lining.

You can’t claw back an employee already walking out the door, but you can learn from what set them on that path.

Then you can apply that knowledge to the rest of the your staff. Especially the ones who might have one foot out the proverbial door.

Put employees at ease by holding the interview after they’ve secured a reference. That way there’s no fear that they’ll put their next role in jeopardy.

Ask open-ended questions that address their employee experience without being too negative. For instance, asking what an employee would like change about the company is more constructive than just asking what they didn’t like about working for your company.

Be positive, honest and above all else, keep their answers as confidential as possible.

Getting staff retention strategies off the ground

Ultimately, your company needs to believe in the change, and believe in the need for the change to take place. Not just individually, but as an organisation.

Making any kind of substantial change to how your business operates will tend to seem like a big deal. That means it’s important to have the will to overcome any hurdles.

Your senior leadership needs belief in the change to drive it home. In the long run, it will be worth it. Employees that stay longer bring immense value and understanding to your company.

Their contributions eclipse the price of making sure they stay in the fold in the first place. Once your senior leadership understand the need for change, it’s much easier to drive positive changes across a whole business.

References:

1.Oxford Economics, Brain Drain, 2014
2.https://www.forbes.com/sites/forrester/2018/05/23/millennials-call-for-values-driven-companies-but-theyre-not-the-only-ones-interested/
3.https://www.prweek.com/article/1463132/employees-engaged-purpose-led-companies-survey-says
4.2015 SHRM/Globoforce survey
5.https://www2.deloitte.com/insights/us/en/focus/human-capital-trends/2016/employee-engagement-and-retention.html#endnote-sup-3
6.https://www.hrdive.com/news/employees-most-likely-to-quit-for-a-higher-salary-elsewhere/527382/
7.https://hbr.org/2017/03/why-do-employees-stay-a-clear-career-path-and-good-pay-for-starters
8.https://www.ft.com/content/1c3e8d8a-6a70-11e8-aee1-39f3459514fd
9.https://www.personneltoday.com/hr/new-polls-confirm-desire-for-flexible-working-as-9-to-5-declines/
10.https://www.gallup.com/workplace/232955/no-employee-benefit-no-one-talking.aspx
11.https://www.forbes.com/sites/meghanbiro/2018/07/23/developing-your-employees-is-the-key-to-retention-here-are-4-smart-ways-to-start/#4b0155643734
12.https://news.gallup.com/businessjournal/22753/youve-gotten-employee-feedback-now-what.aspx
13.https://www.employeebenefits.co.uk/two-fifths-work-financial-worries/

Flu shot rewards – Use gift cards and vouchers as incentives to protect vulnerable patients

Flu season starts in October, every year. But if you have medically vulnerable staff, or staff that interact with vulnerable people, your flu season starts a bit earlier. You need to prepare a flu shot reward to incentivise staff to take up their jabs.

Leave it too late, and you’ll be well into flu season before you try to catch your staff up on their jabs.

Why you should offer flu shot rewards

Cost of flu to medical workforces

Cold and flu alone cost hospital and community health services 325,305 days of work in the winter of 2016-17. In a four-month period between November and February, some trusts saw more than a hundred working days lost just among their nursing and health visitor staff. [1]

Absent staff cost you money when they can’t work. Even worse, many sick employees come in and create sick departments through presenteeism.

Sick departments suffer in performance and increased stress in every business. This is even worse in a medical environment where your staff support vulnerable patients.

There’s a three-pronged crisis caused by the flu:

  • Your staff pass flu among themselves and on to patients
  • Your patients become more difficult to care for when suffering flu
  • A sick and understaffed team struggle to care for patients that need extra attention

Minimising the risk of this problem is as simple as making sure staff get their flue jabs. To make sure they take up the offer, offer them an exciting reward as incentive.

A 2018 report from NICE concluded that incentives prove popular among staff. They also noted that expert testimony support NICE’s recommendations to increase flu jab uptake. That included offering incentives to employees. [2]

Outside a medical environment

flu shot rewards could keep your staff from costly illnessesFlu shot rewards aren’t just useful for medical teams.  You may have employees with immune systems issues. Or a vulnerable condition like asthma, COPD or diabetes. You might also have pregnant staff, or workers over the age of 65.

Flu is dangerous for vulnerable employees, and could put them out of action for a long time. And just like in a medical environment, you don’t want a team beleaguered with flu picking up the slack either.

You want your employees coming into work, and coming in healthy. What you lose with a flu-ridden staff is considerably more than what you’d spend on organising work flu jabs and offering flu shot rewards.

Overcoming natural malaise

We know your staff aren’t callous about your vulnerable patients. Or deliberately spreading their flu microbes. But they are busy as anyone else. A tantalising reward punches through the fog of daily life and your staff a reason to take part in a new scheme.

Rewards light a fire under your employees. Thousands of businesses get their staff motivated by using our rewards every year. We know they work when it comes to getting someone moving. If you want to push people into action, you need to give them a reason to move.

How to manage your flu incentive

flu shot rewards boost vaccine take upOur clients tend to fall into two broad categories. Spread a budget out over your staff as individual rewards, or put all the funds in one place as a lottery. Which one you choose depends on the needs of your staff.

Know your workforce, and consider your budget. When you have less staff, you might generally consider yourself as having a smaller reward budget.

But at the same time, a small team is even more affected by sickness. It’s a balancing act depending on your business’ needs. If you’re unsure about which way to go, get in touch. Our team is always happy to talk.

Plan and promote your flu shot rewards

Name it and promote it. Our other clients have given their anti-flu campaigns funky names like Flu Fighters (get it?).

Make sure you communicate the value of the jab, and the value of the reward. Getting out ahead of the actual jab itself is important. You want staff that see why they should take the flu jab well ahead of time. And be fired about what they can do with their rewards.

The sooner you start planning, the more effective your flu shot reward campaign is likely to be. As ever, if you need anything, you can find us on phone, email or the live chat on this site.

References: