Picture a buzzing workplace where teams collaborate effectively, fostering a sense of camaraderie and genuine happiness. In an inspiring environment such as this one, productivity soars because people are motivated to win, fueled by their shared passion for success. As all great leaders know, productivity is the chassis of any successful organization. Finding innovative ways to drive it is crucial. One effective strategy that often surprises professionals is harnessing the power of employee gift cards. These small tokens of appreciation can have a remarkable impact on employee motivation, satisfaction, and ultimately, productivity. In this article, we will explore 10 surprising ways employee gift cards can boost productivity while sharing practical approaches that highlight their effectiveness.

Recognizing Achievements

Celebrating Milestones and Stellar Performance

One of the most effective ways to boost productivity is by recognizing and celebrating your employees’ achievements. By using employee gift cards as rewards for reaching milestones or delivering exceptional performance, you create a positive reinforcement loop that encourages continued success. Personal anecdote: We received a fantastic social review from a client who sent a gift card to a top sales rep for exceeding their monthly quota. To recognize and reward their accomplishment, the sales rep was presented with a gift card to their favorite steakhouse. Not only did it make that person feel appreciated, but it also inspired their colleagues to strive for similar achievements.

Fostering Healthy Competition

Igniting Friendly Rivalry

Healthy competition among employees can drive productivity and inspire innovation. By leveraging employee gift cards as incentives for achieving specific goals or surpassing targets, you can ignite friendly rivalries that push workers to perform at their best. This approach creates a sense of excitement and motivates employees to continuously improve their performance. Personal anecdote: One of our clients implemented this strategy for their customer support department. They introduced a monthly competition where the support agent with the highest customer satisfaction ratings received a gift card. The competition sparked a friendly atmosphere, resulting in team-building solutions that not only improved productivity but measurably increased customer retention.

Enhancing Work-Life Balance

Promoting Well-Being

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is essential for employee well-being and productivity. Employee gift cards can be used strategically to support work-life balance initiatives. By offering gift cards for wellness activities, family outings, or personal hobbies, you encourage your employees to prioritize self-care and rejuvenation. This, in turn, leads to improved focus and productivity during working hours. Personal anecdote: One of our insurance carrier clients recently implemented a wellness program for their employees, many thousands of insurance agents across the USA. Everyone received a gift card for a fitness class. The positive impact on employee morale was remarkable. Not only that, there was an overall reduction in sick days taken and a marked increase in energy and enthusiasm.

Promoting Skill Development

Fueling Professional Growth

Investing in your employees’ professional development both enhances worker skills and fuels productivity. Employee gift cards can play a significant role in supporting ongoing learning opportunities. Whether it’s attending industry conferences, enrolling in online courses, or accessing relevant educational resources, gift cards can provide employees with the means to expand their knowledge and skills. Personal anecdote: One of our clients was adding graphic design capabilities to their corporate competencies but did not want to increase employee headcount. There were several team members with marginal design skills that were not fully convinced they wanted to take on new responsibilities. To encourage cooperation and enthusiasm, they were given high-value gift cards. Our client is now delivering added services successfully and leveraging existing employees who feel appreciated and valued.

Boosting Employee Morale

Creating a Positive Work Environment

High employee morale is a cornerstone of productivity. Employee gift cards can be instrumental in boosting morale and creating a positive work environment. By recognizing and appreciating your employees’ efforts through thoughtful gifts, you demonstrate respect and regard for their hard work. This builds a genuine sense of belonging, loyalty, and positivity. Personal anecdote: Upon completion of a particularly challenging project, one of our clients surprised their team with gift cards for a team outing to a local amusement park. The excitement and gratitude were palpable, leading to increased camaraderie, renewed motivation, and ultimately, successful project completion.

Enhancing Team Collaboration

Fostering a Collaborative Spirit

Collaboration is a catalyst for productivity and innovation. Employee gift cards can be used strategically to encourage teamwork and cross-departmental collaboration. By rewarding teams that excel in collaboration or achieve collective goals, you reinforce the importance of working together and create a supportive work culture. Personal anecdote: One of our channel partners implemented a quarterly team challenge where the department that demonstrated exceptional collaboration and achieved outstanding results received a gift card for a team-building activity. The competition fostered a sense of unity and significantly improved collaboration across the organization.

Encouraging Health and Wellness

Prioritizing Employee Well-Being

A healthy workforce is a productive workforce. Employee gift cards can be used to encourage and support employees’ physical and mental well-being. By providing gift cards for healthy meal subscriptions and health spas, you inspire your employees to prioritize their health. This leads to increased energy, improved focus, and reduced absenteeism. Personal anecdote: One of our clients, a NYC Social Services Agency, executed a vaccine rewards program, sending gift cards to everyone that took the COVID-19 vaccine. Needless to say, the program positively impacted the community in all kinds of ways.

Inspiring Innovation and Creativity

Cultivating a Creative Environment

Innovation and creativity are vital for staying ahead in today’s competitive business landscape. Employee gift cards can serve as incentives for employees to think outside the box and come up with innovative ideas. By rewarding creative thinking and successful implementation, you inspire a culture of innovation and boost productivity. Personal anecdote: To encourage creativity, we introduced a quarterly innovation challenge. Employees with the most innovative suggestions received gift cards and had the opportunity to present their ideas to the executive team. This initiative led to a surge in creative solutions and a renewed sense of excitement among the workforce.

Measuring and Maximizing ROI

Tracking and Optimizing Success

For companies that rely on surveys as a core business strategy or product offering, eliciting the highest possible response rate is a basic requirement. Survey incentives and rewards have become a widely accepted best practice. More card delivery enables the ability to establish baseline metrics and adjust new programs to optimize results. Any type of program or campaign can benefit from this approach, including employee satisfaction, workforce productivity levels, customer retention, marketing promotions, and sales compensation. Personal anecdote: The eGifter Rewards platform is the premier platform for delivering survey incentives. Our clients report strong response rates through gift card rewards, facilitating insights that lead to measurable business results.


Harnessing the power of employee gift cards is a surprisingly effective strategy for boosting productivity in your organization. By recognizing achievements, fostering healthy competition, enhancing work-life balance, promoting skill development, boosting employee morale, enhancing team collaboration, encouraging health and wellness, inspiring innovation and creativity, and measuring and maximizing ROI, you create a workforce that is engaged, motivated, satisfied, and ultimately more productive. Embrace the power of employee gift cards and unlock the full potential of your team

Let us help. Schedule a free consultation with a gift card expert today.