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Motivating Employees with Top Retail Trends

Kate Devlin

Every day more and more people tell Alexa to turn on the TV, play their favourite music or read them the news. It all seems so simple. Don’t you just wish it was that easy for Alexa to motivate your employees on your command? Maybe it is… Contributor Kate Devlin, Human Resources Manager – Rymax Marketing Services, Inc.

Virtual Assistants continue to be at the top of everyone’s wish lists and the demand is expected to continue through the next four years. In fact, Forrester Research predicts that by 2022, more than 66 million households in the U.S. will have a smart speaker like Alexa…that’s half of all U.S. households. That means that Alexa-enabled products are helping to shape the retail landscape and serve as true motivators to the American consumer. Since incentive trends tend to directly reflect retail trends, organisations should use the voice control craze to their advantage.

Employees have always wanted to feel valued and appreciated for their hard-work and dedication – that isn’t anything new. But recognition is not one-size-fits-all, and the way companies recognise employees is shifting. Whether acknowledging a milestone anniversary or recognising a colleague who went above and beyond to execute a project, gone are the days of gifting a company pen to say, “thanks”. Today, it’s all about personalisation and staying connected to marketplace trends.

Companies seeking new ways to excite and engage employees should look towards trending merchandise for inspiration. Implementing a dynamic and effective employee engagement program that rewards staff with in-demand products will motivate employees, and help organisations create an appealing work environment where employees are treated as a valued resource.

Two of the most significant factors that contribute to lack of engagement are failure by management to properly communicate objectives and to clearly provide direction and feedback. As the workforce continues to experience a generational transition, today’s young professionals seek constant feedback, and collaboration more than any generation before. Millennials and Generation S thrive on open dialogue with their managers and peers. Teamwork, frequent communication of goals, and evaluations of progress, are valued more than traditional formal annual reviews.

An engagement program can help bridge the generational gap by helping to clearly communicate expectations while providing a system for real-time recognition. Offering a platform where goals can be seen and feedback can be given in a more continuous framework will also contribute to employees feeling ownership over their roles. This will ultimately lead to a boost in productivity.

With the implementation of an engagement program, organisations can motivate their employees with premium, trending rewards that are in-line with their wants and lifestyle needs. A program specifically designed with their employees in mind ensures that organisations are acknowledging their employees’ commitment, while also providing an outlet for peer-to-peer recognition. By delivering a mix of product that meets those demands, needs and desires, employees will feel understood and that their needs are cared about. Thus, organisations will continue to prosper.

For example, along with voice-control products and virtual assistants like Alexa, one of the hottest trends in consumer electronics continues to be wearable technology. According to, the wearable device market worldwide is expected to exceed 830 million in 2020, and the revenue from fitness tracker sales is forecasted to reach approximately $2.57 billion this year alone.

To meet this demand for smart devices and wearables that their employees desire, organisations can create wellness programs by including these highly sought-after devices in their rewards programs. Not only will inclusion of these products meet the fitness needs at any level, but the ability to track steps taken, calories consumed or burned, and even sleep patterns can lead to healthier and happier employees.

Ultimately, staying ahead of retail trends and understanding the needs and wants of your employees are two of the most important variables in creating and maintaining a recognition program that will bring results. Keep your employees engaged with a program built on clear communication and recognition, and offer the products that fit into their lifestyles to ensure success.

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