find out if you can use Love2shop vouchers online

Can you use Love2shop Vouchers online?

The short answer is no, there’s no way to use Love2shop vouchers online.

That’s not the end of the story though. For anyone in need of an online reward, our catalogue has you well and truly covered.

Love2shop Gift cards can be spent at selected online retailers

Love2shop Gift CardsThe Love2shop Gift Card is one of the most popular rewards in the UK right now. It’s a powerful mutli-retailer reward option.

On top of to the 95+ in-store places to spend our gift cards, you can spend them on the websites of selected retailers.  We partner with a select group of online stores, who take our card direct on their websites. That includes popular brands like Argos and MasterChef.

See the full list of retailers and online spend available on our gift card here.

E-gift cards come with online retailers

Love2shop Gift Cards also give recipients access to our e-gift cards. E-gift cards are digitally-delivered gift cards than can be spent online and in-store.

Using our mobile app or Love2shop.co.uk, card holders swap the value of the funds on their Love2shop Gift Card for an e-gift card of equivalent value.

The e-gift card arrives over email, along with easy three-step instructions on how to redeem it online or in person.

The Love2shop E-gift Card range is a thrilling blend of high street brands, online shopping, exclusive experiences, dining out and more.

Combined with our direct online spend options, there’s plenty of online rewards available through the Love2shop Gift Card. All while keeping an in-store spend option.

Read more about the Love2shop Gift Card and its online features here.

Fully digital rewards with Evolve

Digital RewardsIf online is your destination, why not start there?

Our digital rewards platform, Evolve, is based around digital reward codes. Distributed instantly through SMS or email, the codes unlock a giant catalogue of rewards.

Once in the catalogue, your recipient just picks the reward at the value they want. We handle everything else.

Our codes are lightning fast, and incredibly simple. They’re a great option for a business that needs to send rewards fast to just about anyone, anywhere.

Going fully digital also doesn’t cost the end user anything, in cost or choice. A huge reward catalogue is available to anyone with a Love2shop Reward Code.

They can keep the whole reward redemption online, or order their own vouchers or gift card from the catalogue. And as we said above, we handle all the delivery for you.

Read more about the Evolve platform here.

Going online with Love2shop

While you can’t use a Love2shop voucher online, Love2shop’s selection of rewards very much has a home in the digital world.

Whether you need the tactile pleasure of delivering a gift card that accesses digital rewards, or you want to sit fully in the digital world, we have something for your audience.

Time for HR pros to embrace their inner marketer

One of the key responsibilities of HR teams should be to persuade employees to buy into the organisation, its vision, values and culture. But to achieve this, HR needs to get to grips with many of the fundamentals of Marketing. After all, Marketing and HR are not that different – whilst Marketing is responsible for consumer communication, HR owns employee communication. Both are key to organisational success.

Often employer branding is considered the responsibility of an HR department alone and that marketing takes care of the corporate brand. This should not be the case.

HR and Marketing: The Perfect Partnership

HR teams understand what matters most to employees, but marketing pros know how best to capture their attention. They also understand how to deliver purpose-driven messages and create engaging experiences with a brand at every touch point. 

HR can learn much from marketers’ finely-tuned approach to winning and retaining consumers, but where to start?

First Define Your Goals

Any marketing plan or tactical communications activity will have clearly defined objectives. Without this, there can be no measures put in place to determine return on investment. Gone are the days where HR teams needed only to tick a box, stating that they had introduced so many initiatives in a given year. Budgets are tight, and employers want to know that the money they invest in people-driven initiatives is being spent wisely.

Seek advice from third parties as to how well each of your initiatives should be going, attend HR focussed forums and events where case study evidence is given from other companies. Try to benchmark your offering against others operating in a similar field, and then put in place SMART goals (those that are specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and timely).

Three key goals that I believe should remain on HR’s agenda year after year are:  

1. Improve Adoption of Benefits

Retailer marketers tackle market uncertainty and competition head-on, by promoting ‘deals’ and ‘special offers’ to drive business and retain existing customers. HR can do the same when it comes to retaining its customers – the employees.

A comprehensive programme of internal communications can drive uptake of any employee benefit. With typical benefits uptake hovering around 20%, and many ‘non-core’ programmes falling well below this figure, it is vital that HR align benefits to the individual needs of employees and communicate them accordingly.

Never rest on your laurels. Assuming that once a new benefit has been launched that the work is done is a sure-fire way to see uptake rates plummet. Employees must be constantly reminded of ‘what’s in it for them’. Attention spans are short, and the working day is filled with other things to worry about, so get to the point quickly and prompt often!

2. Reduce Attrition

High levels of staff turnover affect many industries. But it doesn’t have to be a given that because others in your sector suffer in a similar way that there is nothing that can be done to address this problem.

Seek ideas from other sectors and run trials with your own employee demographic to see what sticks. Layer different initiatives one on top of the other and measure against benchmark figures you can take today. Gauge audience appeal regularly through surveys and quick polls. 

Remember, if you do operate in an industry where retaining top talent is a challenge, then set realistic goals of reducing turnover by marginal amounts. Just as marketers invest heavily in customer loyalty platforms, with each new HR initiative introduced, the more likely it is that your customers (employees) will remain loyal. 

If you’re lucky enough to operate in an industry with low staff turnover you’re not off the hook! Just because your employees stay put doesn’t mean that they are engaged or productive. Be sure to measure engagement regularly to combat disengaged employees that aren’t really contributing to the success of your organisation.

3. Influence Employee Behaviours

Encouraging employees to display desired behaviours, perhaps defined through your corporate values, can be tough. Marketers continually attempt to drive customers up the value chain by undertaking small actions, one step at a time. It is no different for HR. Employees should be recognised for displaying positive behaviours to encourage them to repeat those behaviours and influence others to do the same.

A formal recognition process can aid this, just as a customer loyalty programme aids marketers.

Then Develop a Marketing Plan That Conveys Your Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

Your employer brand must do the hard work of being clear and consistent about its promise (EVP), communicating an authentic, meaningful brand experience across all touchpoints.

Only by treating your internal communications, people initiatives and benefits launches in a logical manner can you hope to make in-roads into this area. A clearly defined employee marketing plan can help you to build a strong EVP.

To get started, follow these steps:

 

1. Perform Competitor Analysis

Just what are you up against? With top talent more than willing to jump ship for a better deal it is essential that employers benchmark their offer against other organisations.

Be sure to measure your offer against both organisations in the local area and those operating further afield but with a similar remit. You may well be seeking out a healthy blend of local interest and attracting specialist talent from further afield.

 

2. Segment Your Audience

Support behavioural change and engagement using consumer-style segmentation of the workforce. It may be possible to tap into internal marketing expertise to help with this. 

Tailor reward and recognition initiatives to the interests of your employees. Take a leaf out of the retail marketer’s book and create personas for groups of employees. Retailers are the experts at this and commonly create multiple detailed personas of their customers to target them with products and services that will appeal. 

HR professionals may need to start small, perhaps grouping millennial salespeople or Generation X line managers, then designing rewards and recognition that might work for these groups, within each line of business. Cater for exceptions – such as skydiving 60-year-olds or young mums – by enabling employees to opt in or out of different reward schemes.

 

3. Translate Top Level Goals into Something Tangible

Work with middle management to define how corporate strategy translates to their department’s day-to-day workflow and objectives. Apply consumer marketing techniques to drive activity to meet specific targets, from increased sales to improved levels of customer service.

Often the vision of the organisation comes from ‘on high’. Without a meaningful translation of the operational goals of the organisation, employees can feel lost. You do not want employees on the shop floor not understanding how their efforts contribute to the wider goals of the business. Get senior management out there with the troops, delivering workshops, presentations, on video and blogging, so that the vision remains front of mind for everyone.

 

4. Feedback and Survey Target Audiences

Leavers’ interviews, employee engagement surveys and online polls all provide opportunities for HR pros to gather invaluable information about employee preferences. Just as a marketer would perform regular customer research, HR must do the same. 

Huge swathes of valuable feedback is just waiting to be tapped into through these mediums. Give employees the opportunity to voice their opinions and you’re on the right track to company-wide engagement.

Finally, Protect Your Brand Reputation

Websites such as Glassdoor offer employers a prime opportunity to convey the benefits of working for their organisation. If you’re not actively monitoring these then you could be losing the battle for talent attraction before you even realise it.

Encourage employees to be open with their feedback on such platforms and respond to each and every review of your company. If it’s positive, then you’ll draw the eye of readers to the good stuff. If it’s negative, then you have the opportunity to address any concerns and show that you are making in roads in that area. 

Remember, your online brand reputation precedes you when potential employees are doing their pre-interview prep!

A Final Thought

In a buoyant job market, talented individuals have their pick of companies to work for, so what makes yours so special?

If HR teams rest on their laurels then they will fail to attract and retain key personnel, to the detriment of their organisation. But by embracing some of these tried and tested Marketing techniques they can do far more to build an employer brand that they can be truly proud of.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joanna Tracey is a digital marketing consultant at BeeBrilliant! Marketing.

Joanna has helped many businesses to develop comprehensive communications plans that improve benefits uptake, talent attraction and employee engagement.

How to redeem a Love2shop digital reward code through Evolve

This quick video takes you through the simple process of redeeming a Love2shop digital reward code through Evolve.

Evolve is our instant digital reward system. We issue rewards through SMS or email, and users redeem their rewards online.

Evolve’s simple 1, 2, 3 redemption process

Using an Evolve reward code is simple for your customers or staff. They follow a simple 3-step process:

  1. Receive – The reward code arrives by text or email
  2. Enter – Follow instructions and enter the code on our portal
  3. Redeem – Pick a reward from the catalogue

It’s that easy for your users to grab something they’ll love. And it’s easy for you, sending your rewards digitally.

Simplicity works

This simplicity is what makes reward codes so useful.

Shoot a reward to anyone, anywhere. Let them pick something they’ll love for themselves, and never worry about posting or delivery we handle all of that.

 

What’s in the Evolve catalogue

Our reward codes open a giant library of gifts.

That includes gift cards, vouchers, and e-gift cards for a variety of popular brands.

Evolve codes access more than 70 popular brands, including our own Love2shop Gift Cards and Vouchers.

Depending on the value of the code, your staff or customers can choose from: high street shopping, online retailers, restaurants, exclusive experiences, holidays and more.

 

Read more about the benefits of the Evolve digital rewards, and what’s in the Evolve catalogue.

 

We hope you enjoyed the summer, because it’s time to think about Christmas

There’s officially less than 100 days to go until Christmas. And even less than that before our last order on Christmas rewards.

That might seem like a long time. But between then and now, lots of companies are in a mad sprint to wrap up outstanding projects.

We know we like to come into the year with a fresh start, nothing left undone before a winter break.

So we understand when rewards aren’t always the first thing on people’s minds at this time of year.

But our customers do have a habit of leaving things til the last minute. We’ve got the phone bills to prove it.

We don’t mind that, obviously, and we’re here for you right up until the week before Christmas. But a lot of you could save yourselves some stress by putting your orders in early.

Love2shop Business has Christmas covered

We’re among the UK’s most trusted and most popular Christmas reward suppliers.

More than 30,000 businesses turn to Love2shop every year for their end-of-year rewards.

They come back for our fun rewards, quick delivery and a team of account handlers that can’t go far enough for our clients.

Whatever your staff or customers need, we have you well covered.

Gift cards

The Love2shop Gift Card is one of the most popular rewards in the UK.

It comes with 95+ in-store retailers, a selection of online retailers, and an e-gift card exchange on Love2shop.co.uk.

Our e-gift card exchange lets a gift card holder trade the value of their card for a reward from a special online catalogue.

This opens up an extra selection of in-store retailers, online shops, experiences, restaurants and more.

We also offer a special selection of custom Christmas designs, pictured above, for extra festive flavour.

Having so much to choose from is what makes our gift card Love2shop’s flagship reward product.

Reward codes

Digital RewardsOur reward codes are super fast, super flexible rewards.

They’re delivered through SMS or email, and redeemed online. The codes open up a huge catalogue of gifts.

Code recipients pick from high street brands, online shops, meals, exclusive experiences and more. Whatever you need, we handle all the delivery and fulfillment.

Because they’re mobile and digital, they’re prefect for employees working remote. You can send codes direct to users, or include them in a personalised Christmas message.

Gift vouchers

The Love2shop Gift Voucher is (still) the most popular multi-retailer voucher in the UK.

And with good reason. Our vouchers are accepted in more 150 stores across more than 20,000 locations in the UK. That includes beloved brands like Argos, HMV, New Look, River Island, Waterstones and Schuh.

They’re immediate, tactile, and easy to include with Christmas cards or recognition letters.

Hampers

Hampers are ideal when you really want to make a fuss.

We have a range of hamper options that are guaranteed to delight your staff. They’re overflowing with indulgences like chocolates, wine, gin and more.

Talk to us

Whichever rewards you think work best for your business, get in touch with the team. They’re always happy to chat. But for your own sake, we recommend you get your orders in early. Once it’s out of the way, you can tick it off the list and rest easy.

We call last orders for Christmas orders at 15:00 on December the 20th, so feel free to get in touch any time before then and we’ll be here to help.

You have until 15:00 on December 19th to get your orders in:

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9 corporate perks top talent can’t ignore

Corporate perks are one of the big ways companies are fighting the war for talent. A war that, according to the ONS, is intensifying.

It’s ever-more important for your business to find creative ways to attract and keep quality staff.

But corporate perks aren’t just about blinding staff with cheap, glitzy gifts. Quality employees are more clever than that.

These perks need to be an extension of how you see employees, and the kind of workplace culture you want to enjoy.

Don’t just think about what’s going to make you look funky and different when job-seekers are scrolling through CV warehouses’ open roles.

Think about how your perks reflect your attitude towards staff and your business.

1. Travel

travel is a very popular corporate perkTravelling is enriching, energising and broadens the mind. It’s also one of the most common ambitions your employees are likely to have.

Offering time and resources to see the world will enrich the minds of your staff. And your employees will see that you value them not just as professionals, but individuals.

2. Employee rewards

Make sure staff efforts don’t go without reward and recognition. Rewards become long-lasting trophies and positive memories for staff.

Jump over here if you want the full run-down on everything need to know before offering employee rewards.

3. Flexible hours

Modern life has a funny way of refusing to fit comfortably in the time outside 9am and 5pm.

Showing a bit of trust and letting staff be flexible with hours makes it much more comfortable to balance work and life. Remote working access would also be a huge game-changer for a lot of staff.

4. Time to volunteer

If you care about something, and it’s part of your company’s values, give your staff a stake in it.

Let them put some time aside every year to volunteer for a good cause that reflects what your company’s about.

As a corporate perk, it’s more than a feel-good exercise. Your staff get invested in the same things your company cares about, improving employee engagement. And boosting internal sentiment about your company.

5. Holiday trading

If you’re not already familiar, holiday trading is a form of salary sacrifice. Employees give up a slice of their annual pay for an equivalent number of days off. Or selling their extra holiday back.

As we pointed out in the flexible working section, everyone’s life is a bit different. And what’s important to everyone is different.

Some employees would relish the chance for an extra week with their family. Other work-obsessives might bristle when asked to take their days out of the office.

The most important thing is that the choice is there.

6. Training and development

The ugly stereotype that millennial staff are fickle job-hoppers does start with a sliver of the truth. Millennial staff are keen to learn, and they’re keen to take opportunities to grow.

Offering opportunities for staff to grow has two major effects. Talented people will seize the opportunity to develop their skills, and they’ll be inclined to stay with the companies that invest in them.

7. Staff discounts

Make the everyday a little bit easier, every day. Offer your employees a way to ease the daily burden of the things they can’t avoid making part of their routine spending.

Even discounts that seem small add up quickly when you use them over the course of a year.

Alternatively, you could arrange discounts on services like laundry, gym membership or cafes by dealing in bulk with local suppliers.

Staff will appreciate a corporate perk that does something positive for them every day.

9. Profit-sharing

Sometimes an employee can feel a bit divorced from the impact of their work. The difference between the company having a good year and a brilliant year might not get them fired up.

If it’s right for your company culture, profit-sharing would build more investment between employees and the success of the company.

They’d have more emotional connection to the effects of their work, and a sense of connection with the business.

Empathy first

The common thread through these corporate perks is having a bit of empathy. Acknowledging staff are human beings, not just cogs in a machine. People with needs, ideas, and wants.

That’s the foundation of any attempt to deploy some difference-making perks to attract and keep top staff. Get the emotional core right before fretting about which perk is right for your business.

you absolutely have to know five things about employee recognition

How to ensure your employee recognition scheme is a success

The leaders in your company must understand the value an employee recognition scheme brings and how it impacts on overall business success. Any business that values its employees and wants them to stay needs to understand that regularly showing appreciation is a key driver of engagement and retention.

Having constant flow of employee recognition is vital to productivity, engagement, morale and retention. You’re doomed if you ignore it while your competitors embrace it.

This blog gives covers the fundamentals of what everyone, from middle management to CEOs, needs to know about employee recognition.

What’s covered in this article:

1. What employee recognition is
2. Why employee recognition matters (the business case)
3. When to recognise your employees, and for what
4. How to recognise staff
5. Getting started on employee recognition

 

What is employee recognition?

what's employee recognition all about?By definition, employee recognition is:

“Communication that seeks to highlight or celebrate achievements, with the intent of reinforcing behaviour and building positive habits.”

That’s a very staid and plain way of describing recognition, however accurate it is.

When you recognise employees, you’re highlighting positive behaviour. Behaviour you want to see repeated and celebrated. We’ll go into details on what you might want to highlight later.

But for now, you can see from that definition that recognition has always existed. It was there every time someone said “good job.”

It just hasn’t always been understood or embraced as a tool for your business.

Peer-to-peer and social recognition are different

Traditional recognition schemes tend to focus heavily on top-down recognition.

Managers recognise employees and senior leaders recognise managers in turn. There’s nothing outright wrong with that, managers should recognise staff for their work. It’s just so constrictive. Peer-to-peer and social recognition put the hierarchy aside and let anyone recognise anyone.

Giving employees the chance to recognise anyone across the business is empowering. It offers them a voice, and an opportunity to talk about what’s important to them in the workplace.

How recognition and rewards interact

employee recognition and rewards are linked but differentYour recognition efforts aren’t inherently separate from your rewards. But they’re not really the same thing, either.

We have a good longer read on everything you need to know about rewards here if you want to read up.

To summarise in a hurry: they’re connected, but separate. Recognition doesn’t have to involve any kind of cash-value reward, but rewards are inherently a form of recognition when they’re the result of behaviour at work.

Pay isn’t the same as employee recognition, by the way

Despite what the more curmudgeonly business leaders think.

Pay is a transaction. It’s cold. It’s also something employees fast become accustomed to. That’s why cash is so questionable as a reward. Our blog goes into more detail on that here.

The emotions you’re trying to create with recognition shouldn’t be associated with being paid on time. You and your employee have already agreed about what their work is worth. Recognition, and reward, are always in addition to being paid.

 

Why employee recognition matters

Employee recognition is more than just a feel-good exercise. Even though it does feel good. It’s a valuable tool for your business.

Companies that embrace recognition, and take the spirit of recognition the right way, see genuine benefits to their business.

The tangible outcome of embracing recognition is more motivated, productive and loyal employees.

Morale

employee recognition is directly linked to better moraleNo one wants to feel like their achievements aren’t valued or noticed. When staff feel unappreciated or ignored, they lose heart. It’s only a natural reaction.

By pointing out and highlighting achievements, we make sure people know they’re valuable.

This makes employees feel good about their work and their place at your company. Their morale will improve, improving the mood of the employees around them.

Productivity

Receiving employee recognition, whether from peers or managers, is validating.

If you’re feeling a bit more callous, you might say to yourself: “Why do I care about employees being happy as long as they get the job done?”

Simple answer: happy employees do more work. They also do better work, they’re easier to collaborate with, and their happiness rubs off on other staff.

Retention

Feeling unappreciated is one of the biggest reasons employees cite when they leave a company. And recognition is a proven pathway to make employees feel more valued.

As we talked about in one of our longer read blogs, retention costs companies thousands of pounds a year. It costs as much as £30,000 to replace a skilled employee once recruitment, training and productivity dips have been accounted for.

There’s no real room for argument here. Not when your company can start recognising employees for free, and it could save you tens of thousands a year.

How employee recognition affects your company culture

An employee recognition scheme influences your company's cultureWhen you embrace employee recognition, it becomes a feedback loop for your company culture.

What you recognise is by default what you treasure and want to promote about your workplace.

You’re signalling that to staff when you recognise them. It’s only natural human behaviour to seek out validation, and to seek to replicate behaviour that results in positive reactions.

Your leadership need to understand this

The link between recognition and culture is why it’s so important leadership understands their role in recognition.

They’re building a company culture, for better or worse. Whether or not they even know they’re doing it.

What your leadership recognise and reward is a way of telling staff how to behave. Regardless of whether your employee handbook says otherwise.

Engagement is in the employee recognition mix

engagement can be improved by tactical recognitionYou’ve probably heard about employee engagement by now. If you haven’t already thought about it, read a quick run-down on our blog here.

It’s essentially your staff getting invested in your company purpose and values. That investment influences their behaviour at work.

Employee recognition has a positive effect on engagement. As long as you get it right.

For many companies, embracing recognition is an extension of their company culture. Seeking and highlighting the value other colleagues bring to the company is a part of how they work.

For other companies, the recognition is what makes the values in your company come to life. By asking employees to express the company values when recognising employees, those ideals are kept alive in the workplace.

This makes it easier for staff to identify and invest in what your company stands for, improving their engagement with your business.

Where’s the proof?

We don’t advocate for the benefits of recognition for no reason. There’s plenty of evidence to show that recognition generates real improvements in your company. As long as you execute it properly.

When there are measurable, tangible benefits to employee recognition, you sort of have to be mad to refuse to take it seriously.

  • Morale
  • 97% of public sector managers agree recognition improves morale, and 98% of managers agree recognition improves a sense of belonging[1]
  • Loyalty
  • 55% of employees say they would move for a company that clearly recognises its employee contributions [3], and recognition rich environments have a 31% lower turnover rate. [6]
  • Productivity
  • Happy employees are, on average, 12% more productive,[2] and and strategic peer-to-peer recognition improves productivity by 32%. [5]
  • Engagement
  • Employee engagement increases by 61% when employee recognition programs are offered [4], and a 15% uplift in engagement correlates with a 2% uplift in operating margin. [7]

 

When to recognise employees, and for what

Employee recognition isn’t a magic staff happiness button. You can’t dish out recognition for everything and anything and expect to see the benefits in line. Pick your moments.

It might cross your mind that we talked about social and peer-to-peer recognition earlier. When your company puts the power to recognise in your employees’ hands, you have to give up a bit of control.

That’s no bad thing, staff need that freedom to feel in control. And you can keep the recognition on track with your social recognition platform – just ask staff to match all their recognition up to one of your company values.

Picking the right time to recognise staff

pic your moments for employee recognitionChoosing the right time to recognise – Use a similar checklist to our when to reward section but make some changes.

Much like rewards, it’s handy to have a little mental checklist. When you’re thinking about employee recognition, especially as a manager, think about:

Values – Ask yourself whether what you want to recognise is part of your company values.

Notable – Making a coffee, or completing standard job tasks isn’t notable. For recognition to be effective it has to highlight behaviour both the employee and management would acknowledge as notable.

Timely – Millennials especially feel the need to see quick recognition for the best work. But it doesn’t matter what generation your staff belong to, being close to the event is helpful.

Positive – Remember what we said about what you recognise becomes what you see in the workplace. Only recognise employees for behaviour you would want the public to see.

Repeatable – This harks back to what we said about recognition being about generating positive behaviour. If you want to see certain behaviours more often, it helps if what you recognise is repeatable. If not the actual task itself, then the spirit of the achievement.

Employee recognition suggestions

shine a light on the right time for employee recognitionTake a look at these ideas as a starting point. Every business is different, so please don’t feel like you should be constrained by these suggestions.

Employee achievements – Put employee accomplishments in the spotlight and show they’re valued.

Longevity – The longer your staff stay, the more valuable they are. And the more important it is to keep them around. Recognise their longevity milestones to make it clear.

Good ideas – Improving processes, products or services with creativity or knowledge.

Problem prevention – Spotting a roadblock and prevent a crisis could save you huge amounts of hours and money fixing a problem.

Project delivery – Making sure vital projects go live on time.

Working on initiative – Acting on good ideas when the chance comes along and turning them into something workable and valuable to the business.

Helping colleagues – Offering time and care to help colleagues hit deadlines, or help other departments deliver projects.

Going above and beyond – Employees who go outside their job role and take responsibility for projects or ideas.

Putting values first – Finding ethical solutions to problems requires ingenuity and skill. That often merits recognition.

Hero of the month – Focus on your stand-out performer of the month. And, as we suggested in another blog, consider democratising that process and letting your staff have a say.

Milestones – Recognise your teams and employees when they bring you closer to organisational goals.

And many more possibilities – Without a crystal ball, we can’t look into your company and tell you what matters most in your workplace. Your values and your day-to-day needs will tell you that.

Focus on outcomes

focus on what really matters for employee recognitionThe most effective employee recognition will focus on tangible outcomes.

Differences and improvements employees, and their colleagues, will recognise in the workplace.

By staying in the visible spectrum, so to speak, what you recognise is always easy to understand.

And it’s easy for employees to latch on to what’s important and encouraged in your business.

 

How to recognise your employees

Employee recognition channels

In broad terms, you have three avenues to recognise employees; verbal, physical and digital. For example:

Verbal

Verbal recognition would include face-to-face talks, or vocally celebrating someone’s achievement in a huddle or department meeting.

Digital

Digital recognition would include highlighting achievements on your social media or your website. It would also cover using a recognition platform or an online wall of fame. You might also choose to send out emails to celebrate staff achievements.

Physical

Physical recognition uses items to create trophies. That might include literal trophies, but you don’t have to stop there. It also includes recognition letters, handwritten notes, certificates and placards.

Mix and match your approach

pick and mix the right approach to employee recognition based on your employees' needs and valuesThe best employee recognition schemes don’t just stick to one way of communicating. There are benefits and limitations to every approach, so it’s best to mix and match.

Verbal recognition is personal, immediate and emotional. But it’s fleeting. A digital recognition is more permanent, but needs a public element to influence other staff.

Trophies and plaques are nice mementos, but need an accompanying personal message for proper context.

Be funkier if you can

Get creative if your company culture and environment let you. Like we’ve said a few times already on this blog, if you get the basics right you can be as creative as you like.

Work the flavour and personality of your team and company culture into your employee recognition scheme.

Some companies hand out custom Lego miniatures. Others use stickers on the back of chairs, or a Wall of Fame on the wall of the office. You’re only limited by your imagination the boundaries of your company culture.

Platforms make employee recognition easy to manage

Using an employee recognition platform simplifies issuing, tracking and managing employee recognition.

Issuing recognition

Issuing recognition over a platform is versatile. You’re no longer bound by the need to be in the same room as the person receiving recognition. Email makes a nice alternative, but you forgo the benefits of recognition being public: a central, digital, visible place to recognise employees.

Tracking and learning

Platforms offer you a top-down view of employee recognition. You can see who receives recognition. And what they’re recognised for. This gives you valuable insight on how your company interacts. When recognition is quiet, or private, there’s no opportunity to use it as a business learning tool.

Management

Often, recognition in between employees is private. Delivered through emails or verbal. In turn, it’s fleeting. When recognition goes public, managers can see it. There are two benefits to that. First, senior leadership can see the virtues and achievements of teams they don’t always get to interact with. Second, they can measure it and better understand the business.

Values framing

While verbal recognition is personal and real, it makes it harder to incorporate values. Your staff live your values, they don’t generally sit around talking about them. A digital record lets you frame recognition in your values without being stilted or coming off awkward in a conversation.

Integrating rewards

It’s much easier to integrate rewards into your employee recognition with a platform. Many recognition platforms have reward options built-in, or have simple reward plug-ins. That makes it easy to top recognition off with a reward.

For more on the advantages of using a platform, read more on our Shout! employee recognition product page.

Or, if you’re shopping around, you can read our blog on how to pick quality employee recognition software.

 

How to get an employee recognition scheme off the ground

getting an employee recognition scheme started is the hardest partYou could introduce an effective employee recognition platform with just the time it takes to plan and implement it.

Establish values

Make sure you have a clear idea of what your company culture is about, and the behaviours and values you want to see reflected.

This will form the basis of which behaviours you want to recognise later on.

Seek buy-in

Your company’s leadership need to understand and buy into your values, and the concept of employee recognition.

This is important – the success of new ideas depends on buy-in for two reasons.

First, your senior leaders must believe it’s necessary, and must agree to put the resources aside to achieve it. Second, your middle management must have the motivation, and the breathing room, to execute the new idea.

Establish criteria

Get a clear idea of what should merit recognition in your business. This will be based on the details of how your company works, and what achievement looks like in your company. Then communicate this decision to your management teams.

Tell your employees what to expect

Tell your staff about employee recognition. Explain why you’re taking employee recognition more seriously, and what kind of changes they can expect to see.

Name your scheme or concept

Give your employee recognition efforts a name. By giving it an internal identity, something that reflects your employees’ personality and culture, you make it easy to remember and become attached to.

Measure and reflect

set your goals and measure your progress after start your employee recognition schemeUse an anonymous survey ahead of time to gauge how your employees feel. Ask about the areas you’d like to see influenced by an employee recognition scheme.

Ask your managers to keep track of what recognition they’re issuing, and when (assuming you don’t have a platform to manage this for you).

After enough time, ask your staff’s opinion again with another survey. A year would be enough time to get a feeling of your success.

However, you might want to use pulse surveys at shorter intervals for top-ups.

Good today, perfect tomorrow

Start with something simple, repeatable and effective. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to make something completely perfect before getting started.

Over time you can implement platforms, rewards, social recognition and more. But the benefits of embracing employee recognition are available regardless of whether or not you have a formalised piece of software.

Easy to learn, difficult to master

Once you have your head wrapped around the concept of recognition, it’s easy to get started. But like many worthwhile things, it’s easier to get started than it is to master.

Platforms, as we discussed earlier, are a great way to gain an understanding of how recognition is affecting your company. But you need the expertise and time inside your company to measure and understand what you’re getting out of them.

 

Take us as an example of employee recognition in action

Park Group, our parent company, has a company culture informed by four ideas. We call it our Trademark Behaviour. We always aim to be:

  • Collaborative – We value each other and we work together as colleagues, clients and partners so that we exceed our goals effectively.
  • Respectful – We appreciate the contribution and opinion of others; when we act with respect we optimise everything.
  • Empathetic – We are human and we value everyone.
  • Dynamic – We are curious about the world; we are passionate about agility and we love what we do.

We see our colleagues put these values into motion every day. How we treat each other, how we treat clients, and how we approach our work reflects those values. Leadership figures understand the need for recognition, and all of our colleagues are empowered to deliver it.

Recognition at Park and Love2shop Business is expressed over a variety of channels. We see verbal recognition straight after tasks, we see written recognition in notes and emails, we see recognition in our meetings and we see it in our internal communications.

Notably, you can also see it on our shared social recognition platform. By using a blend of techniques, we can see employees across department, divisions and sites receive recognition for their work.

 

Talk to us about your employee recognition scheme

Our Engagement Services team are experts in helping businesses deliver effective employee recognition schemes and platforms.

If you’re not sure how to get started with yours, or want to talk about using some effective recognition software, get in touch. Send us an email, use the web chat on this page, or call the number at the top and bottom of this page.

7 easy tricks to improve employee long service awards

Most employee long service award schemes, if they even exist, are not great. And that’s us being polite.

They’re mostly poorly managed, badly executed afterthoughts. Very few companies give their service awards the proper attention.

Even fewer back that up with the right rewards.

No one really wants to hear that. But it’s the ugly truth of most longevity awards.

Whether you have no formal long service award scheme, or you have a feeling your scheme is lagging behind, you’re in the right place.

Read this blog and get a grip on how to schedule, structure and fulfil your employee long service awards.

Balance your service awards

A lot of long service award schemes were designed with a funny definition of “long service” in mind.

They don’t start until 10, or even 20 years. And the rewards are loaded closer to the 30 year mark of service.

The problem is, it’s much less likely these days that an employee is going to last 20 years or more in one business. That means it’s a bit of a baked-in defeat to start your service awards in multiples of decades.

Your employees are unlikely to be starting at your company with 20-30 years of service in mind. More than likely, they don’t think they’ll ever reach ten years with a company. Let alone 20.

And, what’s more, we know that modern staff are more hungry for immediate recognition than previous generations.

Young staff expect to hear some recognition after just one year of service.

Instead of hoarding your awards for the longest service, spread the same budget over five-year periods.

You’ll be satisfying the expectations of younger employees, and getting more short-term benefit from the scheme.

Equality in recognition

On a more serious note, spreading your rewards around avoids any suggestion of discrimination.

Older employees, closer to retirement, are unlikely to be in the company for 20 years. It would be impossible for them earn the same rewards as younger staff.

Focus on more frequent recognition for loyal service, and a more even distribution of rewards in employee long service awards.

Move away from cash

It’s always tempting to look to cash. Whether that’s a long service award, an incentive, or a general employee reward.

Good old cash is always there. Reliable, familiar. And kind of boring, if we’re honest.

Employees will often ask for cash, but try to look around that. They ask for cash not because it will be a thrilling treat, but because money is one of the most pressing concerns in just about everyone’s life.

We’ve written a longer explanation of this before, but cash just doesn’t do the same job as non-cash rewards.

It doesn’t grab us in the same way, and it doesn’t feel like a “gift” like rewards do.

Financial stress

Financial stress is a genuine problem in the UK’s workforce. It might seem counter-intuitive, but that’s a great reason to keep your rewards non-cash. Ask yourself – why would you choose the greatest source of stress in someone’s life as a way to show your gratitude?

A one-off long service award payment isn’t going to alleviate any problems your staff have with money-related stress.

In fact, more money might not address the problem at all – a significant amount of higher-earning staff have reported financial stress that effects their productivity.

Your employees’ long service awards are an expression of gratitude and joy. How you choose to reward staff has to reflect that intention.

By going with a non-cash option, your staff have to take up something that really feels like a trophy.

Rewards for employee long service

As we pointed out earlier, when you give out rewards for employee longevity, they become trophies. Once you put cash to one side, a whole world of possibility opens up.

Reward staff with:

  • Watches
  • Tech
  • Gift cards
  • Certificates
  • Reward codes
  • Special meals
  • Travel
  • VIP experiences

It should go without saying, but that list is nothing close to exhaustive. You need to make choices by considering what’s special to your employees.

Multi-choice rewards, like gift cards and codes, make it easier. They let employees choose for themselves. Our Love2shop Gift Card, for instance, offers your staff access to everything from high street shopping to an international holiday.

Put a price on the value of loyalty

Scaling the value of service awards over time is always a sticking point for an employee long service award scheme.

For a sense of scale, start with the simple pricing guide below.

It keeps things pretty simple, and it’s based on surveys of what other companies have used for rewards.

  • 3 years
  • £25
  • 15 years
  • £300-£400
  • 5 years
  • £100-£140
  • 20 years
  • £400-£500
  • 10 years
  • £150-£270
  • 50 years
  • £500-£1,300

As you can see, it’s extremely simple. Jostle and jiggle the figures to get what you want, and what suits your budget.

But remember that the money isn’t really the focus. Like we’ve said in other posts, it’s really more about the humanity behind the numbers.

Shout about staff loyalty

We’ve mentioned before that the recognition for employee long service should start after one year.

The table we showed you above only focuses on the big milestones. Every employee anniversary should come with some kind of recognition for their long service.

You should make an effort to recognise every year of employee service, not just the biggest milestones.

At the same time, when employees do stay with your company for five years or longer, make some fuss.

Acknowledge and thank them internally, whether that’s in a department meeting or an internal newsletter.

Presentation matters

It’s not just what you do, it’s how you do it. Even the best employee long service awards need some context and a personal touch.

Your staff are humans, and the human touch amplifies the benefits you get from recognition and reward.

This is one of the reasons not to use a third-party outsourcing company to actually fulfill the rewards themselves. Being present when the recognition and reward are being distributed is valuable.

On top of that, when employees are passing milestones in double digits, your senior leaders should be involved in the presentation.

Not just as a feel-good gesture for employees, but as a demonstration of your company culture. To make it clear your leaders buy into the value of recognition too.

It’s not enough for employees to be important, you have to show employees they’re important.

Personalise rewards and recognition

Personalisation and care demonstrates your gratitude as effectively as the value of your awards themselves.

Taking the time to customise and personalise shows employees that you care. The thought, and the effort, really do count.

However you choose to approach your long service awards, take the time to make it personal.

Show, through words and deeds, that your staff matter to you.

Keep the tax man happy

Remember that your spending on recognition and rewards is subject to tax once it crosses £50 in a financial year.

Stay on the right side of HMRC. Talk to your finance department, or read more here if you don’t have anyone to hand with tax experience.

Measure the effects of employee long service awards

If you want to measure the benefits of employee long service awards, talk to your workforce.

Ask your employees what they’re thinking, and give your staff a chance to tell you how they feel.

Ask them if they think the company values loyalty. And ask if they think the company does enough to recognise and celebrate the company’s most loyal staff. This could be as part of a wider employee survey, or a quick pulse survey.

As a side note: You should be asking employees every year about their wider employee experience anyway.

Asking about your approach to long service should dovetail nicely with your other employee service efforts.

Read the results

Let’s keep it simple. Look for an improvement in sentiment about your internal approach to long service.

Remember what we said about service recognition being done, and the need for recognition to be seen. If you want to change how your staff think about their years of service, you need to make an effort to show your staff you value their tenure.

To see any significant changes, you will have to make sure your management get on board. They need to recognise and embrace the need for long service recognition. Then make the time to do it properly.

Retention is the big one

As we’ve pointed out before, poor retention costs thousands. If not tens of thousands. And employees become more valuable to a business the longer they stay.

Losing one skilled employee could cost your business up to £30,000, and in 2013 voluntary turnover cost the UK over £1bn.

*Oxford Economics, Brain Drain, 2014

Increasing retention by recognising long service is one of the biggest outcomes you can hope to generate with better employee long service awards.

If you’re not sure, ask

If you have questions about your long service awards, ask. We’re always happy to talk.

Call us with the number at the top and bottom of the page, email us, or use our live web chat.