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What's your reward? The debate over incentive programs.

In the April 2011 issue of the National Safety Council's Safety+Health Magazine, Senior Associate Editor Kyle W. Morrison debates the benefits of safety incentive programs in his article What's your reward?Incentive programs have long been considered effective in producing positive results that reflect an improvement in safety. However, several experts quoted in the article warn that those results may only be on the surface, and caution employers to take care in implementing any incentive program.
Key points from the article include:


Incentive programs, which some experts suggest may not always be necessary, should use leading indicators.


OSHA has warned it "will not tolerate" incentive programs that punish workers for reporting injuries and illnesses.

Rewards should be given for positive behaviors, and employees should not be at risk of losing a reward because of an incident.

At National Gift Card, we believe that if asafety program’s goal is to modify a person’s behavior, then the incentive or reward must offer high value to the program participants to have the desired effect. An employee will not try to earn something that has no value to them so program manager's must select a reward that motivates and encourages the desired behavior.
And, the reward does not have to be expensive to be effective.A gift card is a solution which is relatively inexpensive, has a perceived higher value, and can be given instantly to reward workplace safety practices.Putting an incentive gift card program into place is relatively easy since they are so readily available, easy to inventory, and can often times be purchased with bulk discounts.
Whether you go with a sophisticated all-encompassing program or a simple safety program, the benefits to your company will outweigh the costs. And best of all, a safety program can essentially pay for itself.
To learn more about gift card incentives in safety reward programs, check out Gift Card Incentives, an article published in the October 2010 issue of ISHN Magazine by National Gift Card's Joan Travelstead.