Successful business owners know that their employees, not their goods or services, are their company’s most valuable asset. But even those who strive to build an employee-focused company still struggle with long-term retention.
Trouble is, many employees simply aren’t as loyal to their companies these days. This is true despite the fact that companies are much more geared toward the needs of their employees, particularly in providing enhanced benefits, flexible hours and telecommuting. Still, one-third of CEOs polled by Vantage Research in 2007 said they believe their employees are less company-loyal than was the case 10 years ago.
Some of the strategies for tackling this issue are obvious, like having a good hiring process, fostering a welcoming & team-oriented company culture & providing consistent performance feedback and opportunties for advancement.
So where does swag fit in to the equation? First and foremost, companies of all sizes need to develop a meaningful awards and recognition program. The key word in the last sentence was MEANINGFUL… and that’s one place where a lot of companies could use some help! Handing out the same old plaques and awards year after year may be easy and comfortable, but are they achieving their purpose from your employees point of view? Perhaps it’s time to get more creative and more personal with your awards program – an engraved name-brand watch instead of a wooden plaque, a monogrammed leather briefcase instead of a marble sales award. Freshening up your awards programs doesn’t have to cost more, and it may help improve employee satisfaction.
The only problem with awards and recognition is that they don’t apply to all of your employees, which is why you also need to build regular events into your company calendar for teambuilding and training. This is where swag can play a big role if you’re creative. Instead of just giving your employees swag with a company logo, be creative and imprint it with the messaging you want them to remember from your company events. Key words, your mission statement, a quote – all of these are more powerful and personal, and therefore more likely to be remembered.
Consider giving items that aren’t just imprinted, but personalized with each employee’s name or initials. There’s a big difference between receiving a nice pen with a company logo & receiving the same pen with your name engraved on it. Small touches like that may only cost a dollar or two, but make a world of difference in how meaningful the item is to your employee.
Lastly, don’t underestimate the power of company logo apparel. A nice logo embroidered shirt or jacket is a very personal item that literally becomes part of the image of your company – not only to the employee who wears it, but also to the outside world. Is your company apparel stylish, comfortable and well-fit? Have you kept current with new styles or are you still ordering the same shirts you were getting five years ago?
If your company apparel is stuck in a rut how can you expect your employees to be excited and proud to wear it? Now may be a good time to look at new styles – and spanky new shirts may be just the ticket to help instill a new sense of pride in your employees!
So where do you turn to get help with your employee awards, swag for your events and stylin’ new shirts for your workforce? To a trusted expert in the world of swag – also known as a promotional products professional. If you’re ordering your company swag piecemeal – awards from a trophy shop, shirts from a uniform store, swag from an internet site – you’re probably doing more running around and getting less good advice than you would working with a single source.
Swag Connection is my company, and this is what we do – work with companies to provide ALL of the custom-decorated items they need. You don’t pay more when you order from a company like ours, and the time you save is an added bonus.
If you’d like to learn more about us, or shop our online store, check out our website at http://www.swagconnection.com. Thanks for reading my blog and keep coming back to learn new and interesting ways to think about swag!