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Should you offer digital rewards to boost engagement?

Sales incentive programs and other employee engagement strategies work best when you offer the types of rewards that are most appealing to your workforce.

Sales incentive programs and other employee engagement strategies work best when you offer the types of rewards that are most appealing to your workforce. Although the first ideas that come to mind might include cash bonuses, restaurant certificates or shopping sprees, these are just a few of the possibilities. The beauty of the digital age is that it makes it easier to offer a wide range of rewards that are instantly available. Should you consider including digital rewards in your engagement catalog?

Smartphones pervade everyday life 
In the United States, smartphones are quickly becoming ubiquitous, and the trend is taking hold in many regions around the world. According to a PewResearch Internet Project report on mobile technology, 90 percent of American adults have a cell phone, with 58 percent owning a smartphone. Consumers also have relatively high rates of e-reader and tablet computer ownership – and many people who don't use designated e-book devices have apps to peruse digital books on their phones or computers.

Americans are incredibly attached to their mobile devices, keeping them by their bed at night so they don't miss any messages, the report indicated. These gadgets are becoming the preferred option for browsing the Web, completing tasks on the go, looking up information and enjoying a little entertainment. 

Therefore, chances are good that your workforce is heavily permeated with mobile devices. Your employees might even use their smartphones or tablets to complete professional activities or get some reading done during their lunch breaks.

Digital rewards 
Because smartphones are so popular, digital rewards might be an excellent option for your employee reward program. If your workers like to use their mobile devices for reading, listening to music or other activities, they might appreciate the opportunity to have electronic incentives. Not only are these rewards convenient because they're easily transportable, and also instantly accessible. People can start using the rewards they've earned much faster if they don't have to wait for delivery – and the more immediately you can give people recognition for their accomplishments, the better.

Here are a few digital reward examples to consider:

  • MP3 tracks
  • TV seasons or episodes
  • Movies
  • eBooks

Another advantage of digital rewards is that you can offer a wide range of selections. For example, you could enable your employees to choose from millions of MP3 tracks, rather than a much more limited CD selection. Of course, it's always important to tailor your reward program to your worker demographic, so assessing employee preferences is the first step in optimizing your engagement strategy.

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