Non-cash Rewards Prove Effective for Boston Businesses

by: Nichole Gunn March 15, 2011

Employee loyalty programs is a tool most businesses are using to create and sustain employee satisfaction. And, many of those businesses are realizing the most effective incentives are based on non-cash rewards.

Verifying this trend, the top listed companies in Boston Globe’s 2010 Top Places To Work consider money as merely a slight consideration in employee incentives.

The survey consisted of 236 companies within the Greater Boston vicinity and over 82,000 employees from within those participating companies. The results demonstrated work environments that offered benefits such as incentive-geared vacation days, workplace recreational areas for non-work time, mini trips, and full dinner gifts, ranked highest for generating employee satisfaction.

One such company utilizing an effective reward program is HubSpot, fourth place on the Globe’s list. The Cambridge business software company has a number of incentives and benefits that help create motivated and productive staff. Features of the program include:

  • Limitless vacation days
  • A ping-pong table
  • Special exotic lunches that allow employees to bring in and share a variety of ethnic foods
  • An Employee of the Month blog.
  • Family events
  • Inter-department dinners

Another innovative idea is an internal message board that allows staff to post ideas and receive feedback from other employees during the day. Danielle Herzberg, a HubSpot salesperson, realizes communication and incentives are vital to relationships within the office.

The company’s director of talent acquisitions Joe Sharron explains that the incentive program’s focus is to create a strong workplace community. In an interview with the Globe, Sharron noted that in the planning stages, the company asked, “What can we do to strengthen our culture and be viewed as the employer of choice in the region?" Since receiving the award, HubSpot has continued to strive for employee satisfaction.

HubSpot’s incentive strategies may be a little off the wall for the majority of businesses, but its employee loyalty program is effective. Employees are happy and motivated to be at work, creating the desired results, growth. The company recently exceeded its 4,000th partner.

Other entrepreneurs, such as John Thedford, owner of a chain of pawn and jewelry shops in Vancouver, took advantage of less complicated strategies. He told the Vancouver Sun that utilizing initiatives such as an employee book club and company barbeques have been successful. While they don’t afford daily benefits, the employees are pleased with them nonetheless.

Two companies demonstrating a wide range of incentives are great examples of different types of employee incentives and what can be accomplished by utilizing them.


About Nichole Gunn

Nichole Gunn is the VP of Marketing at Incentive Solutions, an Atlanta-based incentive company that delivers advanced, agile B2B customer loyalty and channel sales incentives programs.