In the world of promotional products, there are events or celebrations going on every day that small businesses can use to their advantage. While each is just as important as the last, perhaps the most influential day of them all is the first Friday in March – Employee Appreciation Day.
The secret to any successful work environment is satisfied employees. The added happiness (not to mention productivity) associated with something as simple as a birthday card should never be underestimated by a manager, and is the reason why HR departments spend so much time brainstorming company-wide celebrations. The validation of a job well done is of paramount importance, and Employee Appreciation Day is an excuse to shower successful workers with meaningful corporate gifts.
A small business owner has two different options when deciding which promotional products to give away, and the choice should involve the executive's target audience. Clients can be offered promotional items thanking them for their business, or employees can be given rewards for meeting goals or a diligent work ethic.
The National Association for Employee Recognition (NAER) highlights two rules to keep in mind when thinking about what gifts to choose. The first is if your employees expect a promotional product, it may not be viewed as a "gift." The second is that gifts need to match your employee’s needs and wants in order to have the maximum effect.
Adhering to the golden rules of business gifts
It is possible that many employees are not aware of Employee Recognition Day. A small business owner can try to keep plans under wraps so that every employee will be pleasantly surprised.
For employee recognition, personalized business gifts are the way to go. Logo ink pens can be imprinted with an "Employee of the Year" designation, with the respective person's name and title underneath it. Good managers know their workers like the backs of their hands – Giving out targeted items like a custom coffee mug to the caffeine addict in the office adds a measure of respect.
Such promotional items should also be given out in a ceremony that every employee has the opportunity to attend. Regardless of future accomplishments, workers will always remember the time when they received public appreciation from both their supervisors and peers.
But while singling out a few employees for official recognition, small businesses must always remember to extend appreciation to all areas of a company so that no one feels left out. This is where widely-applicable products like custom wall calendars come in – they can say anything from "Thanks to the mailroom for keeping us organized" to "Congrats to marketing for a record year."
If providing thank-you products, a marketing manager does not necessarily need to include specific names of clients, though if possible this is certainly a nice gesture. The extra detail would only be cost-effective to a company with a handful of clients who know the proprietor very well. Gifts should also be of quality, not quantity – sending a unique promotional pen to a CEO can be better than giving away thousands of pens to a small company, because visibility will be with the party making business decisions. Thank-you promotional products should also always be accompanied with a printed note to make the gesture more personal and official.
Employee Recognition Day is the one day a year when offices around the country will all be thanking their clients and employees. This March, corporations looking to promote brand awareness should not miss the opportunity to provide both appreciation and advertising in a single business gift.