It’s the time of the year when there’s a real focus on getting the very best out of the last months before Christmas. Whatever sector you’re working in, staff motivation is key when business goals get put further under the microscope.
One of the latest retailers to step into the B2B gifting arena is Tesco. Tesco is one of the world’s largest retailers with 476,000 colleagues worldwide, serving millions of customers every day in stores and online.
Whilst Tesco is a formidable force as a retailer, the move to focus specifically on employee rewards, gifting and peer to peer recognition has come about over the last 12 months, with a dedicated team headed up by Karl Vogeler, a Tesco veteran who has been with the business since 1996.
Tesco moved into the gift card space, with a programme managed by SVM Global, under the branding Tesco for Business, and have been impressed with the results so far.
Karl said of the move:
“Working at Tesco there is a real culture of engagement, growth and reward. As a global business it’s been top of mind for Tesco to try and branch out into a wide range of areas and it was only natural that we recognised that businesses are becoming more interested than ever in helping their employees, rewarding them and incentivising them.
We have positioned Tesco for Business as the natural choice for employers. We know that most people have access to, and shop with Tesco. Our research told us that wage freezes were a key concern to HR managers and engagement officers. We’ve been trying to reach these people and let them know that Tesco Gift Cards are the sensible choice.”
Digital delivery was also a key interest for Karl and the team when the programme was launched.
“It’s not like the old days where you would get a reward for work on a 12 month project and that reward would be a bunch of flowers, or a frozen turkey at Christmas to say thank you for another successful year. What we are really seeing is that employers are now using gift cards and rewarding in smaller denominations, but more frequently and grocery is proving to be a very popular choice amongst employers who want to give their staff a very broad choice of rewards. SVM Global has said this is the case among the services they offer. People are coming back time and time again to order Tesco Gift Cards. That says that the gift cards are working and having the desired effect, and it also tells us that our service is good, which is great.

Karl wasn’t sure how the programme would take off, but he has been pleasantly surprised.
“It has moved quicker than we thought. I think there are range of processes at work, be it the changing perceptions of using benefits platforms, or the understanding that as a progressive employer you do have to reward your staff, and that’s putting us right at the forefront of the business market.
Karl continued to explain that the medium of eGift delivery was an important part of the program early on.
“We understood that customers wanted a cost-effective way of delivering the reward and the Egift allows them to do that. It’s a really flexible product as it can be loaded from as little as £1 up to a maximum of £500, so it is proving a popular choice amongst businesses looking for a simple way to reward their staff. The next step is to now complete the digital journey for customers, allowing the Egift to be scanned at the till from a mobile phone. This will hopefully be nationwide by 2017 as we complete the rollout out of our Payqwik programme.”
Looking to the future, Karl is keen to see how the market continues to change.
“Incentive and motivation is just growing and growing. Every day I am reading about how employers are putting more and more into their programmes and trying hard to retain and attract employees. This is a really exciting time to be offering something that fits directly into that market. I am really looking forward to seeing how we can continue to innovate, perhaps with the way we deliver the codes and cards and making them more personal. It’s a great time to be in the space.”
The Tesco for Business site is live at