7 Incentives Your Business Can Offer Rather Than a Gift Card

Gift cards are a popular holiday gift

Gift cards are a popular holiday gift, but they can be impersonal. Instead of giving a gift card, consider one of these 7 incentives your business can offer instead of gift cards:

The gift card’s popularity as a holiday gift has continued to increase over the last decade, despite the fact that it’s one of the most impersonal ways to give.

Gift cards are one of the most popular holiday gifts, but they’re also one of the most impersonal. And while it may seem like you’re doing your employees a favor by giving them a gift card for their favorite store or restaurant, this gift isn’t doing anything to show them that you care about them as individuals or value their hard work.

If you want to show your team how much they mean to you in a way that doesn’t feel impersonal, give them something that will let them know how much they’re valued in other ways than just money.

Instead of the standard fare, try one of these 7 incentives your business can offer instead of gift cards.

Gift cards are an impersonal reward that doesn’t show your employees you care about them as individuals. Gift cards are not a good way to reward your employees, and they do not portray the message that you value their hard work and achievements. Instead of the standard fare, try one of these 7 incentives your business can offer instead of gift cards:

  • A bonus
  • Paid time off or vacation time for a goal met
  • An extra day off (e.g., if it’s someone’s birthday)

1. Extra vacation days.

If you are looking for a way to say “thank you”, it is tempting to give out gift cards. Gift cards can be used anywhere and can come in any denomination. But there are other ways that you can reward your employees without handing them cash or gift cards. A popular incentive is extra vacation days. Employees usually do not need to ask their managers if they have earned extra time off. Instead, they simply take those days without feeling guilty about it because they have been awarded additional time off as an incentive for their hard work and dedication, which will help them relax and recharge before going back to work again.

2. Money towards a cause close to their heart.

Money towards a cause they care about.

Not everyone has the same passion, but there are many causes that unite us all. If you know that someone is involved in charity work, consider donating to their favorite cause on their behalf. This could be something like cancer research or helping the homeless—the possibilities are endless! It’s also a great way to show your friend or family member how much they mean to you by giving back in their name.

3. An additional personal day and/or sick day.

  • These days are important for your employees and their families.
  • They’re also an effective way to show that you care about your employees’ well-being, both physical and mental.
  • It’s a great way to show that you trust them, which is especially important if you have high turnover or low morale in other areas of the company.

4. A bonus towards health and wellness expenses or memberships.

Health and wellness is a growing trend in the workplace, and it’s important for both employees and businesses. According to the National Business Group on Health (NBGH), health care costs can be reduced by up to 25% when companies offer healthy initiatives. These results are even more impressive when you consider that offering a free gym membership or yoga classes doesn’t require any financial investment on your part.

Employees who use their health and wellness benefits regularly will find that they not only have less stress at work, but they also feel better overall after leaving work each day.

Healthy employees are also more productive than their less-healthy colleagues because they’re able to focus more clearly while working!

5. Money toward educational opportunities or certifications within their discipline.

After all, it’s important to offer employees the tools they need to achieve their highest potential. The business will reap the benefits when this happens.

Money toward educational opportunities or certifications within their discipline can be a great incentive for employees because it helps them develop professionally, which is in turn good for your company and its success.

For example: If an employee wants to take a class on how to use new software that you’ve recently implemented at the office—but doesn’t have the time during regular work hours—then paying for her education would help her do so without costing your company any extra money. Or if someone wants certification from one of several associations related to his job field (such as being certified by Microsoft or Cisco), then making sure he gets those credentials could help him become more valuable within your organization while also providing more value back into yourself as an employer.

6. A donation in their name to a charity of their choice.

If you’re looking for an alternative to offering a gift card, consider creating an incentive that benefits not only your employees but also charities they care about. Charities are always in need of donations and this is a great way to help out while creating some goodwill among your staff members.

Here’s how it works: You choose a charity and decide on the amount you wish to donate every time someone purchases from your business. This can be done by setting up automatic deductions from employee paychecks or by adding extra funds into their paycheck every month. In addition, offering this incentive makes your company look good in front of their friends and family due to the fact that now they have proof that their employer is helping out charities with proceeds from everyday purchases made within their company!

7. A surprise thank you from the owners, directors, or managers—publicly recognized and awarded for outstanding contributions to their team, field, or department for the year.

This is a great incentive because it shows that you respect and appreciate your employees as individuals. It’s also a good way to make sure your employees are feeling appreciated, while at the same time showing other employees that they can be recognized for their contributions as well.

This award could be given out at an annual company meeting or dinner event that all of the leaders attend, or it could be awarded privately to an employee who has gone above and beyond in their role.

Gift cards are impersonal and don’t show your employees you care about them as individuals

Gift cards are impersonal, so don’t give them to your employees. Instead, use these seven incentives!

  • Show you care about their personal interests. For example, if one of your employees is an avid reader and loves going to bookstores or the library, give them a gift card for Barnes & Noble or Amazon. This way they can pick out something they love and won’t have to spend time searching for it themselves.
  • Show you care about their health and wellness (especially if they’re new parents). You could also surprise them with something as simple as a pair of headphones so they can listen to music while working out or running errands on their lunch break—and maybe even get up early enough in the morning that they’ll actually exercise!


The holiday season is a great time to show your employees that you care about them as individuals and not just as part of a team. Gift cards are impersonal, so giving an incentive in exchange for their hard work is a much better way to show your gratitude. Whether it’s extra vacation days, money towards a cause close to their heart, or their favorite charity, they will appreciate knowing they have been recognized by the company.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *