We’re in the era of prioritizing employee health and happiness, and giving gift cards to employees is a step in the right direction. Gift cards can be a simple and effective way that leaders can show their team members that they care.
However, gift cards also have some drawbacks. It’s important to realize that gift cards don’t always go the extra mile — and leaders should want their employees to feel prized and valued. Let’s take a look at why gift cards no longer make the cut when it comes to employee recognition and appreciation.
How Gift Cards Fall Short
Too often, gift cards are impersonal and bought en masse. A company will purchase a bundle of $15 Starbucks gift cards and hand them out on birthdays, anniversaries, and recognition events.
This concept sounds great in theory, and it might be a significant benefit for some people in the office. However, what about the employee who doesn’t drink coffee or is on a restrictive diet?
What about the employee who would much rather have that $15 in cash? Too often, a gift card isn’t personal enough, and it doesn’t really get to the core of what each individual team member needs to be happy and healthy.
People want to feel appreciated by their leaders, but a general, impersonal gift card isn’t going to do the trick.
Sure, companies can personalize gift cards and choose specific places or stores for each employee. For instance, a supervisor can purchase a gift card to the movie theater for the employee who loves the movies and a gift card to a local comedy club for the one who loves comedy.
Personalizing gift cards is a much better way to take care of employees on an individual level. However, getting gift cards for each person isn’t always practical. It also eliminates the ability to give personalized recognition in the moment.
Plus, there are some definite shortcomings with gift cards:
Gift cards can feel like a one-off gift and not a genuine effort at continual care and appreciation. In that way, they’re a short-term fix to the long-term need of employee well-being.
Gift cards often can’t solve the day-to-day needs of employees. For example, things like groceries, transportation, gym memberships or streaming services are often incompatible with gift cards.
So, how can employers provide the benefits of gift cards without the inherent downfalls?
A Better Alternative to Gift Cards
One way that companies can get the benefits of gift cards without the drawbacks is by offering customizable fringe benefits through the Fringe platform.
Here at Fringe, our customizable benefits platform allows leaders to give points to employees as part of the regular benefits package or in real-time for recognition, birthdays, and celebrations.
Like gift cards, our online benefits marketplace is easy to use, flexible, and completely customizable. Employees can use their points to choose impactful lifestyle benefits that best improve their happiness and reduce stress.
Our platform helps save time and money for companies by consolidating existing vendors, stipends, and reimbursement programs into a simple, automated platform. No more having to go out and buy gift cards in bulk or spending time searching for a gift card tailored to one employee — we are here to make life easier and help give employees the feeling of individualized appreciation.
Talk to our team to get started today!