Most employees will spend a large portion of their lives hard at work. This Friday, March 2, 2018 is Employee Appreciation Day and the perfect time to let employees know how much you appreciate their efforts throughout the year.

There are a number of ways you can express appreciation for your team, but one of the best ways to recognize and motivate your employees is to give them rewards that they actually want.

Based on our reward preference research, here are a couple of things to keep in mind as you look to find the right reward to celebrate your employees:

One size doesn’t fit all.

When you’re trying to motivate and show appreciation toward a diverse group of employees, one single reward type doesn't work best. It’s important to offer a variety of reward choices such as gift cards, egifts, travel, merchandise and more to satisfy a diverse group of recipients.

Digital and physical rewards are desired in different situations.

There’s a time and place for each. Digital rewards are preferred for smaller-value rewards of $5-$25, whereas physical rewards are preferred for high-dollar rewards of $100-$500.

The right categories make a difference. 

Compelling categories that offer choice (such as prepaid cards and gift cards) are important factors to reward earners.

People prefer prepaid rewards. 

When given the choice of prepaid cards, versus travel or merchandise, consumers overwhelmingly prefer prepaid that can be used everywhere the network’s debit cards are accepted; however, single-merchant gift cards are another very popular option, especially if the selected merchant feels like a splurge or a treat. This is not surprising, given the flexibility and choice both rewards provide.