An increasing number of employees are prioritising rewards and other perks over salary when looking for their next role. This has become especially true with the trend of wages growing slowly for many years.

When creating a reward scheme, it’s important to include reward vouchers or gift cards that appeal to as many people as possible, such as:

  • Educational vouchers
  • Health and beauty vouchers
  • Fashion and accessory vouchers
  • Food and drink vouchers
  • Days out and entertainment vouchers

Investing in rewards can be a daunting process. So in this article, we’ll explain why reward vouchers are important and how you can use them as part of a more personalised employee experience solution.

Why use reward vouchers?

Giving your team reward vouchers as a token of your appreciation is an effective way to promote behaviours and your business values.

However, this isn’t the only benefit. Reward vouchers can also improve a range of people metrics including:

  • Retention
  • Turnover
  • Employee satisfaction
  • Productivity
  • Engagement
  • Motivation

Reward vouchers can even positively contribute to your employees’ financial wellbeing, particularly if they’re part of a comprehensive discount and benefits package.

Plus, rewarding employees with gift cards for their favourite brands is great for building team morale, as it shows senior management understand their teams on a more personal level.

Employee on her laptop spending a reward voucher

The benefits of personalisation in your employee reward scheme

If your reward vouchers are a feature of a more comprehensive engagement platform, you’ll have greater scope for personalisation, especially if you can offer a mix of custom rewards and vouchers.

Take Perkbox for example, it allows you to allow reward your employees with points. These points can be used in our Reward catalogue which includes:

  • 5,000+ physical rewards to choose from including days out, dining, homeware, and tech
  • 3,500+ gift cards from your country's biggest retailers — due to our unique relationship with global brand partners

That's over 8,500 rewards in total, so plenty for your employees to choose from.

We understand that if you’re part of a large organisation, personalisation is more challenging, so we suggest delegating this responsibility to line managers or more senior members of the recipient's team.

That said, personalisation is well worth the effort as it has so many benefits and promotes:

  • Higher levels of engagement. People feel a stronger connection to their company when their managers make the effort to get to know them.
  • Greater job satisfaction. Encouraging personal gestures between colleagues contributes to a greater sense of job fulfilment.
  • An increase in loyalty. Employees are less likely to move on when they receive recognition from peers or managers.

Co workers inspecting their notes at a desk

How to personalise your next employee voucher in four steps

Choosing a personal gift voucher can be tricky, even when you know a colleague very well, so to help, we’ve broken down what you need to do in four steps.

You don’t necessarily have to follow these in this particular order, but they’re a useful checklist for when you’re running out of ideas.

  1. Celebrate personal milestones with a voucher
  2. Add a personal message
  3. Take the time to thank the person
  4. Address the person by their first name

Young employee smiling after receiving a reward voucher for her hard work

Types of reward vouchers

Nearly every store, entertainment venue, and restaurant offers gift cards, which can make choosing a voucher challenging.

So, with that in mind, we’ve listed examples of reward vouchers within popular categories of interest.

Educational vouchers

If you offer discounts on courses as part of your benefits package, how about treating your teams to vouchers for something they're interested in learning?

Employees could spend educational vouchers on:

  • An e-book
  • A newspaper subscription
  • A learning platform subscription
  • Language courses
  • Coding courses

Health and beauty vouchers

To promote workplace wellbeing, you could reward your teams’ efforts with a selection of health and beauty vouchers that encourage self-care.

Employees could spend health and beauty vouchers on:

  • Activewear
  • Yoga lessons
  • Skincare and cosmetics
  • Wearable tech
  • A subscription to a fitness app

Employees enjoying a rewarding yoga session

Fashion and accessories vouchers

For fashion-conscious employees or those who are interested in the latest homeware trends, lifestyle vouchers are an excellent option.

Employees could spend fashion and accessory vouchers on:

  • Footwear
  • Clothes
  • Jewellery
  • Homeware
  • Perfume

Food and drink vouchers

Foodies will love vouchers for meals out and new dining experiences. Also, treating your employees to vouchers for the bar they drink at is a great way of encouraging them to get together outside of the office.

Employees could spend food and drink vouchers on:

  • Dinner at a restaurant
  • Drinks at a cocktail bar
  • Healthy meal kits
  • Chocolate gift boxes
  • Coffee shop treats

Staff sharing a celebration lunch together

Days out and entertainment vouchers

Everybody wants to make the most of their weekends and you can help your employees switch off by giving them a voucher they can put towards a day out.

Employees could spend days out and entertainment vouchers on:

  • Visiting places of historic interest
  • Tickets for theme parks
  • Cinema tickets and snacks
  • Theatre trips
  • Escape rooms

Make reward vouchers part of a bigger employee experience strategy

While reward vouchers are an excellent way of motivating your employees, they’re most effective when they form part of a wider employee experience strategy.

To deliver an exceptional employee experience we also recommend:

Taking care of your employees’ mental and physical wellbeing

When employees are happy and healthy they produce their best work. After all, giving someone a reward voucher won’t motivate them if they feel overworked and stressed.

Taking a proactive approach to wellbeing may require some investment, especially if you want to give your teams access to an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) or flexible benefits, such as healthcare plans that include an online GP service.

However, if these options are out of your budget, introducing lunchtime walks and creating a flexible working policy is a great place to start.

Two women co workers walk to the office together

Supporting their professional growth

Supporting an employee’s growth within your organisation is just as important as rewarding them for producing good work.

To get an idea of a colleague’s career aspirations, it’s important you talk about what they want to achieve in one-on-one meetings. This will make it much easier for you to suggest courses and any internal training schemes that your organisation offers.

When people feel their managers want them to succeed, they’re more engaged, motivated and loyal.

Offering a competitive discounts and perks package

Reward vouchers are a great way of saying thank you, but they're unlikely to make a significant difference to your employees’ everyday lives.

Investing in an all-in-one employee experience platform that includes a comprehensive discount and benefits package is a cost-effective way to deliver rewards and save your people money at the same time.

Additionally, with our platform, you can also add your own individual company benefits, so your employees can see everything they’re entitled to at a glance.

Two male co workers being celebrated in a company meeting

Creating a strong company culture

Building a culture of recognition and reward promotes a healthy work environment and a greater sense of togetherness.

While vouchers are an excellent way of showing your teams you appreciate them, they’re not a replacement for transparent communication and a strong Employee Value Proposition (EVP).

Creating a set of business values and sharing them with your employees is the first action you should take to establish an inclusive culture that everyone wants to be a part of.

Group of staff enjoying a meeting together at a table on their laptops

What makes an employee reward and recognition scheme wonderful?

A good staff rewards scheme should include scope for personalisation and a diverse range of rewards. If these elements are lacking, rewarding just becomes another box-ticking exercise and this can negatively affect employee experience.

Using Perkbox, managers are given Reward points by their Perkbox admin, which they can attach to the recognition they send to their teams.

Their team members can then choose a reward they want. Our Rewards catalogue covers a range of interests and preferences — over 8,500, to be precise. So there really is something for everyone.

Find out how Perkbox can create a reward scheme for your organisation


1. Can you give vouchers to employees?

Employers can give their staff gift vouchers. In fact, gift vouchers or gift cards are one of the most popular types of reward due to how easy they are to use.

We recommend using a range of vouchers, so your employees receive a gift card for something they value.

Remember, the more meaningful the reward voucher, the bigger the impact it has on employee experience.

2. What rewards can be given to employees?

3. How do you reward employees for free?

Get your reward and recognition strategy on point with our guide

We've put together this guide to give you the tools you need to plan, create and review your very own reward and recognition strategy.

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