Employee Loyalty

Paula Thomas, Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes


One of the most overlooked ideas in loyalty marketing is the understanding that the exact same principles apply to your employees as much as they do with your customers. With increasing evidence that retaining your staff more effectively drives greater profitability, it’s clear that senior executives are concerned about both the cost of recruitment and their ability to compete for staff at a time when unemployment in markets such as the USA is at the lowest point in seventeen years.

We’ve previously written about the key principles of customer loyalty – the three C’s that ensure a great foundation when a programme is clear, consistent and compelling, as well as ways of “being brilliant” by ensuring your programme is also “easy, empowering and engaging“. This approach also delights your staff when an effective strategy is applied with the specific intention of reducing turnover, particularly when supported by two key benefits which we discuss below – education and acknowledgement.

With so much competition to attract and retain staff worldwide, we’re taking the opportunity to showcase some ideas you can implement quickly and easily, and although company culture doesn’t change overnight, employees do recognise and value visible commitments from their leadership team, so the importance of sending clear messages around their role and contribution can’t be underestimated.

Loyalty Strategy Overview:

While a tangible and transactional reward in the form of salary is the main tool that delivers value back to employees, the emotional or ‘soft’ benefits of their employment are harder to quantify, but these ideas are extremely useful to differentiate your company’s culture and workplace. Employees want to feel valued, recognised and rewarded beyond their monthly pay-check if they are going to remain loyal to your brand long-term.

Great Employee Loyalty Programmes balance both rational and emotional benefits.

Education through Gamification: 

With increasingly diverse and varied staff schedules, it’s no surprise that online learning through gamification is a highly effective approach to keeping staff up to date on new product launches and areas of commercial focus.

With a goal to “maximize enjoyment, engagement…. and learning“, our platform has been successfully used by leading retailers to educate through games. By simply sharing short, informative product questions with staff, or running sampling campaigns, employees quickly learn key selling points so that new products can be promoted and sold more effectively in store on arrival.

Ongoing staff engagement and education are particularly important in summer time when many retailers depend on part-time staff, so many brands create specific digital campaigns that mirror the creative, concept and content of their consumer campaigns, but that only employees can play.

One great example of this was an exciting “spin and win” promotion for consumers in Norway by Circle K who partnered with Coca Cola to offer one main prize of a car, and hundreds of smaller prizes for entering and playing the game.

To support the comprehensive advertising campaign across all channels, Circle K employees were given access to their own spin & win game, using vouchers with a unique code. Employees could win simply by opening and playing the game each day, with exciting prizes on offer such as a scooter, an Apple Watch, Xbox, Netflix gift card, Spotify giftcards and many more.

Circle K created this exclusive game for employees to support their summer marketing campaign.


Perhaps one of the easiest ways to enhance your company culture is to adopt a culture of praise and recognition for quality work and great performance – a subject discussed extensively at the recent NACS HR Forum in the US, with industry leaders in agreement on the importance of recognition and praise.

While a busy operational schedule may make it challenging for store managers to instantly acknowledge staff on their performance face to face, software solutions like our loyalty marketing platform can be easily implemented to support your teams, with advice from the NACS HR event also discussing the importance of “communicating through technology… to show progressive standards within the company.”

We’ve also been delighted to help leading retailers like Valora and Reitan Convenience to offer exclusive deals to employees via our platform as part of their overall employee benefits.

Connection Counts

One fantastic recent Forbes case study describes how a US pizza restaurant achieved a dramatic reduction in employee turnover with a “laser focus” on the problem. In an industry averaging 100% staff turnover, Nicks Pizza & Pub was already ahead of the game at just 60%, but managed to reduce it still further to an incredible 25% by reading and learning from industry leaders such as Starbucks and Whole Foods, creating a “community-oriented, family friendly restaurant in every aspect of the business.” It has clearly worked, proving that loyalty can exist in a virtuous circle between employees, owners and customers.

Whatever strategy you employ to drive down employee turnover, it helps to remember the simple element of human connection, which truly is the “secret sauce” in your loyalty strategy. By genuinely listening to and learning from employee feedback, staff feel appreciated and become advocates for your brand.

We believe that a good employee loyalty strategy, delivered on a simple platform that enables education, recognition and engagement can create a genuine connection between your brand and your staff resulting in a team of people who come to work with the genuine intention to make a difference to the customers they serve.

Contact us if you’d like to enhance your business with an effective digital employee loyalty programme.

About Us:

Liquid Barcodes is a leading global loyalty and digital marketing technology company specialized for the convenience store and foodservice industries. Our proprietary cloud-based technology platform allow retailers to create and manage their digital marketing campaigns with a proprietary process we call the “customer connection cycle’ to engage, promote and reward customers activities in real-time across digital and media channels.

How we do it:

We have developed the most advanced loyalty and digital marketing technology platform specifically for convenience store and foodservice retailers globally.

Retailers use our self-service dashboard to create and manage loyalty driven marketing campaigns that increase purchases with their existing customers, as well as effectively target and acquire new customers through partners or paid media channels.

One core component of live loyalty is gamification. We have gamified branding, loyalty and promotions. We believe this approach is essential in order to get customers’ attention and ultimately truly engage them with repeatable actions thereby winning their loyalty.

Check out some of our exciting/proven results here:

About Me:

Paula Thomas

Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes and Independent Loyalty Consultant

With over twenty-five years marketing experience, I specialise in loyalty marketing consulting, managing consumer loyalty propositions, strategy and operations. In addition to working with Liquid Barcodes, my clients have included Telefonica O2, Three Mobile, Electric Ireland, Allied Irish Bank and The Entertainer, as well as Avios – the global points currency for some of the world’s top airlines. I am also a judge for the Loyalty Magazine Awards. 



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