Close your eyes.
Imagine yourself at work. You’re leading a team of 10 people. They’re in sales, which means they’re young, hungry, and not yet jaded by the workplace (the good ole’ days). Meghan, an Account Executive comes in your office – she has the biggest grin on her face. “Guess what!? Remember that pharma guy I met at that conference, the one I did the intro call with last week? I just had the demo and it went great! He’s signing on with us next quarter for $200K. Eeeeeee!”
Smiles and high-fives all around, Meghan is killing it. She bounds out of your office, leaving you wondering, how do I say “thank you”? How do I preserve this momentum and energy? How do I continue to keep her motivated, and spread her energy to others? You’re not alone – 79% of HR Decision Makers believe they have a serious employee engagement and retention problem, according to recent research from Officevibe.
Before you consider visiting your local Walgreens for the latest Amazon gift card, let’s pause here. Meghan’s going to get that gift card and do one of three things: 1) buy some books or music, maybe even supplies for her apartment, 2) put it in her desk filing cabinet only to be rediscovered six months later, or 3) re-gift it at Christmas to her Uncle Frank.
What about giving Meghan an experience? Yes, an experience. Her choice of something that aligns to her passions, challenges her comfort zone, or let’s her try something new – like photography classes, skydiving, or a guided wine tasting. Here are a few reasons to consider experiences before you ultimately treat Uncle Frank.
Experiences are Memorable: You know the best thing about life experiences? They just get better over time. Let’s go back to Uncle Frank – it’s Christmas Eve dinner time, and he’s sharing that story about the one time he caught that whale of a catfish – it was a whopping 10 lbs., or was it 20? Details. Frank’s story gets bigger, and better over time as he retells memories with friends and family. Imagine that in the workplace, Meghan comes back from her skydiving trip and can’t wait to share with her teammates over lunch – what better way to inspire performance amongst her peers?
Experiences are Personal: Whether you’re an office of 2 or 2,000, we’re all unique. You’ll be surprised that Finance-guy Joe loves to fish, or Ruby on Rails-gal Liz loves to salsa dance. Recognition should be personal – to really show the employee that you care about them as people, and value the work that they individually contributed to.
Experiences are Sharable: Humans were gifted with a voice for a reason, we love to talk. We love that experiences are social – and rewarded employees should feel proud to celebrate their accomplishments. We’ve found that cash bonuses, stock renewals, and other monetary gifts are often kept secret – but experiences like kayaking trips, glass-blowing classes, or DJing lessons are just the opposite.
If you’re interested to learn more about rewarding your top performers (like Meghan) with experiences, learn more about our offering at Blueboard.com.