Designer Employee Incentive Programs Include Merchandise

by: Nichole Gunn December 8, 2010

With a lingering down economy, employers and employees are both a bit apprehensive. Employers are strategizing to keep employees content and on board, and employees are noting the stagnant benefits.

So, the question arises: How can employers continue to offer effective employee incentives to retain their talent in a lagging, yet changing economy?

Director of sales at Samsonite Pete Mitchell realizes the quandary employers are finding themselves. In an article in Premium Incentive Products magazine Mitchell explains it is becoming more and more difficult for employers to offer reasonable rewards, especially when the newer workforce expects fresh reward programs.

On the flip side of the employee satisfaction coin, president of an incentive provider Barb Hendrickson feels that things don’t look quite so bleak; there are still opportunities to mix rewards up and create effective programs.

Hendrickson notes that "merchandise is still what excites and motivates; merchandise is much more fun to win or earn than a gift card or cash, and is more likely to be talked about with colleagues, friends and family." She goes on explain that it’s a matter of coming up with the “right merchandise mix for your audience and budget takes work – that's why you 'hire a professional' to design your program."

Effective incentive programs need to be creative. Along with merchandise, adding flexible work schedules, additional time off, or a personal recognition system can help boost employee satisfaction.

In an economic climate in which employees are looking forward with a change of job in mind when the opportunity arises, employers will need to have a comprehensive reward program in place to help retain and attract talent.