Traditional Rewards Make Way for More Savvy Employee Rewards

by: Nichole Gunn September 23, 2010

Smart businesses are moving ahead producing what employees want and even expect diverse incentive programs. In an article published earlier this year, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that company owners and leaders are taking it up a notch and offering more desirable rewards.

According to Susan Lagalski, a human resources rep at Auburn Hills, Michigan-based Guardian Industries (a glass manufacturer), “We have jewelry. We have binoculars and telescopes. We have vases and globes and digital cameras. We try to offer items that people will actually fit into their lifestyle."

This is a sampling of the new rewards programs that businesses are creating to keep their employees happy even in these difficult economic times. Jim Mulhern, a managing director for O.C. Tanner, an  employee recognition provider, explained, “Even in tough economic times, as companies slash payroll and expenses, most have held on to employee recognition programs.”

The Richmond Times-Dispatch noted that a number of experts in the field proclaim the benefits that gift reward programs have over monetary bonuses: the cost of the gift (for the incentive program) is tax deductible. In addition to this, employees who are awarded the gift do not have to report it on their own tax return as income

As an added bonus, the new rewards, according to experts, are safe from association with the recent Wall Street monetary reward scandals.