How to Motivate and Reward Your Team With Employee Gift Card Programs

Employee gift cards are a great way for businesses to show appreciation to employees and build company culture.

6 min read
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For any business to succeed, the whole team has to be empowered to turn their passion into productivity. Recognition is the glue that builds a strong company culture, and can incentivize shared purpose. Celebrating team and individual milestones with alluring incentives can show employees that they are valued and appreciated. 

How to reward employees without cash

To effectively show gratitude and appreciation, gift cards are an ideal choice. Employees love them because they are flexible and can be used to purchase real products or services. A physical or digital gift card is simply a prepaid amount of monetary value presented as payment at a specified store, website, app, or restaurant, and can be given in any monetary denomination.

Can you give gift cards to employees?

Absolutely, but when should you offer an employee gift card incentive program? Employee gift cards are always a welcome reward, particularly for employee achievements or milestones. Some popular occasions include a work anniversary, project completions, holidays, or personal events like a birthday or graduation. Here's why you should consider a gift card incentive program for your team.

  • Motivating employees: Being rewarded for accomplishments will encourage your team to achieve their next big goals. Having contributions recognized increases commitment, productivity, and dedication to their work.

  • Acknowledging benchmarks: Celebrating milestones and benchmarks with rewards and incentives such as gift cards, meals, or social gatherings builds camaraderie within your team.

  • Ongoing incentives: Offering employee gift card programs means team members can expect what their reward will be and how to achieve it. This can be a popular job perk that supports recruitment and long-term employee satisfaction.

  • Retaining talent: An employee recognition program that is transparent and measurable is an incentive for employees to stay with your business.

  • Showing appreciation: Feeling appreciated at work holds a lot of value for employees. Appreciation, including National Employee Appreciation Day, a dedicated day for expressing gratitude on the first Friday of every March, can be a huge boost for team spirit and productivity.

DDfB - Blog - How to Motivate and Reward Your Team With Employee Gift Card Programs - DoorDash Gift Card

What you need to know about offering an employee gift card incentive program

While gift cards are popular incentives in many businesses, there are some important considerations before implementing a gift card incentive program.

Are employee gift cards taxable?

Yes, employee gift cards are taxable. The IRS considers giving employees a gift card with a monetary value the same as giving them a bonus. The amount should be added to an employee's W-2 form. 

What are the expense categories for gift cards for employees?

While gift cards with a cash value are taxable, they also can fall under various expense categories. These include classification as a business expense for cards offered as a thank you or reward, a marketing expense if gifted to promote your business, or as a payroll expense if cards are included in annual compensation.

DoorDash for Business makes it easy to offer employee gift card programs

The easiest and most efficient way of offering employee gift card programs is with DoorDash for Business, the delivery service your employees already love at home and now can enjoy at work, too. DoorDash for Business also offers a gift to employers in the form of centralized in-depth analytics to help companies track expenses. 

Employers can schedule gift cards to send on special occasions like work anniversaries and birthdays. Since these cards don't expire, there's no time limit pressure on employees to use them or lose them. In addition, cards can be personalized when gifted, which allows people to feel valued for their own individual achievements and accomplishments, not just as part of a generic program. And although the cards can have individual messages, they can still be bulk ordered for efficiency. 

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Rewarding employees is good for business 

Boosting team morale is always a positive business move, both for the well-being of employees and for increasing overall productivity. It's a big win to reward teammates with the fun flexibility of gift cards. So if you're ready to build team spirit, DoorDash for Business is the easy and efficient way to treat your employees with employee gift cards.


Jenn Riek

Jenn Riek

Content Marketing, DoorDash