Blackhawk Network research reveals that HR reward systems should have more financial incentives after COVID-19

It’s never been more important to make staff feel valued and rewarded for their hard work. With the threat of being furloughed, or even laid off, a big concern for many, it’s vital that employers give recognition where it’s deserved and put employee’s minds at rest. A recent survey of just over 2000 respondents from Blackhawk Network looked at employee attitudes towards rewards, with some key findings below:

  • 83% of employees like being rewarded for working hard and 82% agree that receiving gifts or rewards from their current employer makes them feel valued
  • 47% of employees would prefer to be rewarded with some form of physical or digital gift card or prepaid card, with being rewarded a day off coming in at second (20%)
  • Just 15% of employees have received a digital gift card that can be used in multiple retailers or brands, but 27% are interested in receiving one

Other findings from the report includes:

  • Nearly half of shoppers have replaced shopping in retail stores with online purchases, with older shoppers (over 55’s) being the biggest converts
  • Overall, online purchases are up 45% on the previous year, with over half (51%) of the over 55’s making more online purchases than ever before
  • 32% of online shoppers use a digital or physical gift card at least once a week
  • 16% of online shoppers use PayPal once a week
  • 7% of online shoppers still use a cheque weekly
  • 39% of people describe themselves as a ‘deal seeker and bargain hunter’, with 31% of online shoppers wanting a discount on a product more than any other special offer
  • Almost a quarter of shoppers (22%) have received a digital gift card that can be used in multiple retailers or brands, but 35% are interested in receiving one
  • 44% of shoppers want to buy gift cards to support businesses


The survey was conducted online by Sapio Research and Blackhawk Network in June 2020 using an email invitation and an online survey. The survey was conducted among 2007 interviews with UK consumers that regularly shop online – representative by age, gender, and region. At an overall level, results are accurate to ± 2.2% at 95% confidence limits.

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