One of the silver linings to come out of the volatile business climate over the last couple of years is that many organizations recognize—potentially now more than ever—the value of an engaged workforce. Engaged employees are more enthusiastic, productive, and invested in their roles, often leading directly to improved organizational performance. In fact, a report by Gallup found that business units with engaged workers have 23% higher profit compared with business units with unhappy workers.
Unfortunately, a separate Gallup report found that engagement levels in the US have dropped 2% in 2023, continuing the steady decline in engagement since it peaked in 2020. Recent research also found that fewer than a quarter of respondents say they are thriving and enjoying their current role, and even among those who are thriving (22%), one in five report they are still unhappy and seeking new employment. With these shifts in engagement, including unprecedented levels of burnout, hybrid workplaces, and continued economic uncertainty, businesses are having to reimagine their loyalty and engagement strategies.
The good news is that there are existing avenues that you can leverage to create long-lasting loyalty and help forge better connections with your employees.
The Power of Seamless Payments
In recent years, payment experiences have evolved from simple monetary transactions to representing valuable, unique experiences organizations are using to drive engagement and strengthen connections. As better technology continues to remove friction from the payment process, there are more opportunities to use payments in reward and incentive programs.
Digital payments can drive immediacy into the rewards and recognition process for maximum impact.
Connecting with Employees via Embedded Rewards
Instead of paying for bespoke incentive platforms to engage employees, organizations can now insert a reward in any application the company chooses. Microsoft Teams is one prominent example of this; it now integrates BHN Rewards directly into the Teams app, allowing employees to issue instant rewards, such as an eGift, during group or private meetings, as well as Chats.
Research found that more than 40% of working Americans surveyed want embedded rewards in the form of digital gifts and prepaid cards.
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Companies like Microsoft understand this preference and offer embedded reward options within everyday workflows many employees are already using within the Teams ecosystem.
So, managers can distribute digital prepaid and gift cards during live meetings directly in Microsoft platforms within seconds to a single individual or even a large group of employees.
Benefits of Real-Time Rewards
Well-designed reward and recognition programs can drive significant ROI because people want to be acknowledged for their accomplishments at work, and they want recognition in real time.
Embracing embedded rewards can yield several benefits when it comes to helping businesses build and sustain company and team culture, including boosting employee engagement, morale, productivity, satisfaction, and retention, and empowering managers to reward employees regularly. Making better use of existing technology can also save a significant amount of time that would have otherwise been spent selecting the right reward(s) for each person. In some cases, our clients have seen tremendous time savings from outsourcing reward selection to the actual recipients.
In addition to building connections with your employees, APIs can also help you get more out of the tech stacks and subscriptions that you already have, which many organizations may not even realize.
Another report found that even smaller organizations with fewer than 500 employees have a staggering 172 SaaS subscriptions on average. With the economic volatility we are currently experiencing, optimizing existing tech stacks is a smart, strategic way to streamline resources, protect budgets, and save time and frustration spent switching between engagement platforms.
Overall, making smarter use of your existing tools and programs builds connections, saves you money, and contributes to the long-term health of your organization. It helps you more directly interact with your target audiences in near-real-time and on an ongoing basis via digital rewards. Embedding rewards into the everyday work or payment flows people are already using helps alleviate friction and forge meaningful connections with those who drive success: your employees.