Infographic: Six Employee Rewards Trends to Watch

20 Aug 2021

87% of employees surveyed say it’s important for their contributions to the company to be recognized.* And we agree.

That’s why we put together an infographic sharing the latest trends on why, what, when and how to reward your employees, all of which will help you keep and attract top talent.

If you’re ready to make your employees feel appreciated right now, talk to one of our rewards program experts at 866.829.0707

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Infographic: Six Employee Rewards Trends to Watch

Trend 1 – Missing Expectations

There’s a noticeable disconnect here: employees love reward programs and think they’re important, but some employers aren’t offering them.

  • 80% say it’s important for their workplace achievements and anniversaries to be celebrated.
  • 87% say it’s important for their contributions to the company to be appreciated.
  • 40% say their employer doesn’t offer incentive or rewards programs to recognize employees.

Trend 2 – Rewards and Expectations Don’t Match Up

The rewards employees value most don’t really match up with the rewards they most often receive.

Time off work:

  • 42% want it
  • 15% get it

Prepaid or Gift Cards:

  • 41% want them
  • 15% get them

Personalized cards or emails:

  • 33% want them
  • 20% get them

Getting singled out at a company event or ceremony:

  • 19% want it
  • 27% get it

Pro Tip: Offer Prepaid Cards

Offer employees something they actually want and can really use with Mastercard® or Visa® prepaid cards. They’re convenient, personalizable, customizable, available in virtual and physical formats and employees can spend them everywhere the networks’ debit cards are accepted

Trend 3 – Incentives Boost Productivity and Loyalty

When employees get a “thank you” or reward that really means something to them, good things happen.

  • 80% say a gift card or prepaid card reward increases loyalty and productivity.
  • We’ve seen this sentiment before. In 2020, our multinational BrandedPay™ report found that:
  • 86% said a gift or prepaid card from their employer would make them feel valued.
  • 81% said it would motivate them to work harder and feel more loyal.
  • 79% said they would want to stay longer with their employer.

Trend 4 – Employees Are Going Digital

People have always enjoyed the convenience of digital, but 2020 made contactless payments even more essential.

  • 44% say they prefer digital gift cards or digital prepaid cards more since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 33% say they want to load physical or digital cards into a mobile wallet.

Trend 5 – Faster is Better

Receiving a reward immediately makes it more impactful. Luckily, today’s digital rewards can be emailed or texted and used almost immediately.

  • 50%+ say a reward is less impactful if it takes “too long” to receive
  • 7% say more than a day is too long
  • 24% say more than two weeks is too long
  • 23% say a month is too long
  • 22% say more than a month is too long

Trend 6 – Remote Work Will Continue

The COVID-19 pandemic pushed many employees into full-time remote work, and more jobs will likely remain remote in the future —making it more important than ever to stay connected.

63% of Americans surveyed in March 2020 were working remotely—many for the first time.

(Source: The “Receiving Incentives and Rewards from Your Employer” study was an internet-based study conducted by SurveyMonkey on behalf of Blackhawk Network between March 24–25 2020. The sample size included 1,718 working US employees ages 18–60.)

60% of Americans recently surveyed say they work remotely some or all the time.

(Source: The “Employee Appreciation Survey” was an online survey conducted by SurveyMonkey on behalf of Blackhawk Network. The sample size included 2,000 US respondents ages 18+)


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