Shutterfly Business Solutions

How to use employee incentives to boost retention and hiring

The unemployment rate in the United States has trended downward for the last three years. Currently, it is below four percent nationally, with some states under two percent. Demand for workers is high. That means it’s a great time to be an employee/job seeker and very difficult for recruiters. 

With less talent in the market, companies are identifying ways to improve employee retention. 

Among their best-performing options is business gifting. 

We’ll show you why employee incentives like business gifting work and how to simplify it. 

Why your employee retention strategy needs business gifting right now

It’s always better to keep employees than hire employees. 

Posting positions, conducting interviews, and training candidates is a costly process. You put forth all of that time, effort, and money and are still taking a gamble on whether the person will fit your culture — and enjoy working for your company. 

A study by Glassdoor found that it costs employers an average of $4,000 to hire a new person, and the process takes an average of 24 days. That’s a significant investment. 

Ideally, companies plan for a 10% employee turnover rate. However, that number is optimistic in the current market. 

Mercer found that the average turnover rate among US businesses between 2022 and 2023 was 17.3%. That number does not include the rate of involuntary turnover of 4.8% (where the company terminated the employee).

Business gifting helps to retain employees 

Employees appreciate being seen and acknowledged by their employers. But does recognizing and rewarding employees improve retention? Can increasing retention and mitigating attrition be that simple? 

According to Gallup, yes. 

67% of employees who responded said poor recognition of their efforts at work led to them actively searching for a new job.

They conducted a study showing that recognizing employees for their efforts can improve performance while decreasing the likelihood of quitting or leaving for another company. In all, 67% of employees who responded said poor recognition of their efforts at work led to them actively searching for a new job. That’s two-thirds of your workforce who would be looking elsewhere without signs of gratitude. 

But don’t employers always show their appreciation? Sadly, no, according to the study. 

37% of employees said they received great recognition from their bosses.

Only 37% of employees said they received great recognition from their bosses. 

Ouch. Now, let’s look at what happens when employers acknowledge and show appreciation toward employees.  

According to the same Gallup study, employees who receive great recognition are 20 times as likely to be engaged as employees who receive poor recognition.

Companies that want to retain employees and get the best of them are the ones who use employee incentives such as business gifting

Creating your employee incentive program

It’s okay if your employee incentive program is starting from scratch. Including business gifting from the start creates a solid foundation for success. We applaud any company for building one. 

Of course, your company is in an even better place if it already has a mature employee incentive program. In that scenario, business gifting is a great addition to improve performance. 

Many different incentives can be woven into an employee incentive program …

  • Free vacations
  • Casual dress days
  • Gift cards
  • Company picnics
  • Public Recognition
  • Charitable donation
  • Handwritten note
  • Entertainment tickets
  • Free meals
  • End-of-the-year party

While that list is good, it’s missing one of the most impactful employee incentives — personalized gifts. 

Whether the gifts are personalized by the recipient or with company branding, items people love, use, and enjoy daily, always make a powerful statement. Unlike a plaque on the wall or a trophy on their desk, gifts aren’t a piece some employees feel uncomfortable displaying. Instead, it’s a valued item employees are thankful to receive. 

How to use gifting in an employee incentive program

Incentive programs have varying degrees of uniqueness — as does the awarding process.

Some companies use a point system. Managers or even colleagues can give each other points based on performance. These points can be redeemed for items like a gift. 

Other companies use organizational goals like a sales target. If the team achieves a set milestone, everyone gets a reward.  

Incentives like gifts can also be tied to specific behaviors or results, such as  …

  • Being on time
  • Working overtime
  • Customer service scores
  • Work anniversaries
  • Birthdays
  • Initiative
  • Contributing ideas

While the scorecard for achieving/reaching incentives differs, the redemption process for gifts should follow an ideal path. 

  1. An employee earns dollars/points 
  2. The employee visits a gifting site to select items
  3. Item is shipped directly to the employee in a timely manner

What sets employee gifting programs apart?

Better employee gifting programs deliver better results. 

What should you look for in an employee gifting program that improves retention? Here are the top seven must-haves to achieve the best results and program ROI possible. 

  1. Deep personalization of gifts (name, photos, artwork, colors)
  2. Simple online shopping and ordering process
  3. Premium quality gifts
  4. Huge selection of gifts
  5. A well-known brand behind the gifts
  6. Rapid fulfillment of gifts
  7. Exceptional customer service in case of mistakes/issues

Who can deliver that kind of employee incentive gifting experience? The only partner that hits all seven musts is Shutterfly Business Solutions. 

Understand the Shutterfly platform difference

Only Shutterfly Business Solutions can provide access to the Shutterfly platform. That’s a significant advantage. The Shutterfly platform means your company would have access to …

  • Beloved products
  • High-quality production
  • Unlimited personalization capabilities
  • Massive product catalogs
  • Fast production
  • Rapid shipping
  • Easy returns
  • Best-in-class user experience

But there’s something else. Shutterfly Business Solutions has several ways to build and integrate gifting into your employee gifting program. Those include different ways to develop and integrate the eCommerce component as well as unique personalization tools that reduce mistakes and returns. Plus, Shutterfly Business Solutions knows what works for companies and is preferred by employees. They can help you strategize how your employee incentive program can deliver the maximum benefit. 

Improve your employee retention with employee incentives from Shutterfly Business Solutions

Adding business gifting to an employee incentive program is an effective strategy for boosting retention. It has also been shown to improve employee performance. When done with a professional partner, a business gifting program can be easily and effectively integrated into your existing employee incentive efforts. Or you can use business gifting to launch a brand-new program. 

As powerful as it is, business gifting for employee incentive programs is just one solution. Shutterfly Business Solutions has thousands more that are ready to deploy. Using our expertise, scalability, nationwide presence, and massive Shutterfly platform will maximize your communications.

Let’s discuss how Shutterfly Business Solutions can improve your omnichannel communications in business gifting, direct mail, transactional mail, greeting cards, and books

Capitalize on Shutterfly Business Solution resources and workflows to solve your communication challenges.

Related Content


Use the Shutterfly platform and corporate gifting for an omnichannel campaign


Return employees to the office with business gifting incentives

Tap into Shutterfly Expertise

Ask us how Shutterfly Business Solutions can improve your messaging channels. You’ll get the resources to solve any communication challenge. 

Related Content


Use the Shutterfly platform and corporate gifting for an omnichannel campaign


Return employees to the office with business gifting incentives

Accomplish more with Shutterfly Business Solutions.

Let’s discuss how Shutterfly Business Solutions can improve your communications. It’s incredible how many resources we’ll draw upon to solve complex challenges.