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February 2020

How to Build Successful Employee Award and Recognition Programs

According to a report by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, only 24 percent of respondents say that employees in their organization are engaged.

That’s especially concerning, considering that they also found that “a highly engaged workforce can increase innovation, productivity, and bottom-line performance while reducing costs related to hiring and retention in highly competitive talent markets.”

On the bright side, the report finds that recognizing high performers is considered to have a powerful effect on employee engagement.

At 1338Tryon, we help you build an employee engagement program with strong promotional marketing. A well-made employee recognition program can be your ticket to engagement and the business success that follows. 

Related: Case Study: Attract New Customers

Why Does Public Recognition Matter?

People need to know that their work is valued and important. Private recognition can be nice, but public recognition sends a strong message. It shows that everyone should appreciate a valuable contribution.

On top of that, in order for everyone to benefit from recognition, and not just the employee being recognized, it’s important for other employees to see that value is rewarded. It’s also a great way for them to get a clear picture of what valuable contributions look like.

Why Informal Recognition Isn’t Enough

An informal recognition fails to make crystal clear what kind of contributions are valued. If it’s done in private, then the recipient may feel somewhat encouraged. But they won’t feel as encouraged as if all of their co-workers were there to congratulate them with you.

Additionally, the other employees would have no idea that someone’s good work garners acknowledgement and rewards. As a result, they would have less incentive to perform exceedingly well so that their future work could also be rewarded.

Types of Rewards

Prism Diamond Award

Recognizing employees can take several forms. Employee awards might include a token of some kind that reads “Employee of the Month,” a gift card, special privileges, public praise, and more.

Some employee recognition programs use cash, though this can be a mistake in some situations.

Why Not Cash?

Using monetary awards has a few downsides. The most obvious is that it costs money! For businesses on a tight budget, one more expense can be difficult to stomach.

On top of that, cash awards are impersonal. They’re an obvious first thought, which is exactly the problem. They don’t show any degree of attention to the specifics of the employee or the work they’ve recently done.

If your employees are already well-paid, then a cash reward isn’t likely to affect them that much. You can achieve a stronger effect with social rewards and some personal attention.

Related: How to Put Together an Onboarding Kit

Traditional Awards

Faceted Crystal Circle – Medium

Traditional and time-tested rewards include a token of recognition of some kind. A medal, a plaque, or a statuette can be a great way to take nebulous approval and make it concrete. 

The more clearly a token shows that you have put time and resources into it, the stronger the message that your praise is sincere and you take people’s work seriously. 

Gift cards can also be a tool in your belt to motivate employees. If the employee to be recognized loves a particular store or restaurant, a gift card to their favorite place can be a two-fold reward, not only giving them something they can enjoy using but also showing awareness of who they are as a person and what they like.

Giving the employees some power to express their preferences is a great way to make them feel that the recognition program is oriented towards them. Have a special meeting and invite employees to brainstorm together what kind of recognition rewards they’d most enjoy.

Each workplace is different, so this is a powerful way to take advantage of any idiosyncrasies of yours. A coveted parking space or break room privilege might really motivate your employees, but you have to ask them to find out!

Items With Emotional Value

Moleskine® Soft Cover Ruled X-Large Notebook Black

You can also take advantage of the natural prestige that exists within the office. An admired figure like a boss or CEO can really make recognition strike home by adding brand voice to it. They can choose a product like a branded notebook, hat, or even bag to drum up excitement.

Try getting the CEO or another person high up in the business to write or otherwise deliver a brief message thanking the employee for their excellent work. This can be included alongside a personal gift, like a beautiful (and useful!) Moleskine notebook.

Marc Jacobs The Tag Tote 27 (Black)

Related: 8 Corporate Gifts for Your Employees

Criteria for Employee Recognition Programs

team collaboration and working together

Recognition programs need to be as clear as possible. A well-designed program can motivate people before, during and after the recognition itself. It can motivate both the recipient and all the other employees.

On the other hand, a few design flaws in employee award programs can dilute their effect and waste their potential.

First, make sure that your program recognizes people at well-known intervals. Every time you reward someone’s good work, it will help remind everyone that someone will be rewarded again next time, and it could be them!

Try to reward people for discretionary good behavior. If you reward someone for something that no one else can do, the other employees might feel like they can’t compete, so they might as well ignore the rewards program.

For example, if you reward someone for an amazing feat of computer programming, other employees without those skills might not feel included.

On the other hand, if an amazing programmer goes the extra mile to help their whole team on a project, that would be a perfect opportunity for a reward. Everyone will feel that teamwork is appreciated and that they might be rewarded next month by being a great team player in the coming weeks.

On top of that, try to find a variety of things to reward. When employees see that they can be rewarded for good behavior of all kinds, it motivates them to behave well in every way, rather than in only one narrow domain.

Motivate Your Workplace!

two women writing on a white board

We hope this review of employee recognition programs has been helpful. To find great awards to give your employees or learn more about personalizing your workplace, check out our website!

Related: Case Study: Employee Appreciation Gift

8 Ways to Extend your Marketing Messages Post-Event

After your guests leave your event venue, your work has just begun. It’s time to begin your marketing post-event. 

When it comes to engaging with your potential customers after an event, it is more than nurturing them to take action and increase your ROI. The key is to keep the attendees interested in engaging with your brand.

At 1338Tryon, we know the value of strong, yet personal branding. Here are some useful marketing post-event ideas that you should consider.

Related: 16 Ways Color Affects Your Branding and Marketing

Ask for Feedback

Creating a post-event survey is the simplest way to measure the attendees’ satisfaction. The results allow you to know what went well and what went wrong. 

Create a survey and send it at least 12 hours after an event. Ask them why they agreed to come to the event, what they liked best, and what you can improve on. Ask recipients to rate different factors about the event.

The questions can revolve around the following.

  • How they enjoyed various workshops
  • How they would rate the clarity of the speakers
  • How much they liked the venue
  • If the food was great
  • If the customer care was courteous and helpful

If there’s a part that receives a low rating like five and below, requests the recipient to give reasons. Be sure to give incentives for your survey with a discount or something to encourage participation. Providing an incentive for them to fill out as this information will be extremely valuable in planning future events. You can give survey-takers a raffle ticket for a prize like the one below, personalized with your brand name or logo.

New York Oversized Mug – 18 Oz.

Extend your marketing messages with 1338Tryon.

Create a Networking Event

Consider setting up a small follow-up event where attendees who connected with each other can meet again. The goal of a follow-up event should be to allow attendees to mingle and get to know each other even better.

The event can be held remotely or live. In both cases, you need a facilitator. If attendees were from different locations, find geographical locations that are convenient for everyone.

If you want to do this the simple way, you can create a forum where your moderator facilitates discussions about anything related to the event. Individuals who attended your event have similar interests and needs, and discussions among them help in keeping the name of your brand fresh in their minds.

A follow-up event can further enhance your brand’s customer experience.

Vlog and Blog For Stronger Marketing Post-Event Results

wordpress blogger writing about cofee

Vlogging and blogging are seen as effective pre-event tasks. However, they’re equally powerful as marketing post-event ideas.

After your event, revamp your posts. You already have plenty of materials for these.

Here are some ideas on things to add to your vlog or blog after the event.

  • A thank you message for your attendees
  • Event highlights and testimonials
  • A post-even discount or offer limited to attendees
  • A collection of GIFs and memes from the events
  • An extensive blog about the product or service that was promoted on the event

This can be done on your social media platforms but it may not allow you to get into details.

Related:9 Useful Apps for Sales & Marketing Professionals

Follow-up with a Thank You Gift

YETI® Customized Rambler™ 20 oz. Tumbler

Was there anything your audience asked for more information on? Did they request samples? This is a great opportunity for you to keep the conversation going year round. 

Your attendees did you a huge favor by supporting your event. Although you may consider sending a personalized thank you email enough, you might consider doing more to enhance your marketing post-event results.

Show your appreciation by giving your guests something of value like a discount code. Something tangible is also appealing. Try mailing them a hand-written appreciation card accompanied by a gift card.

A thank you card should be sent after 24 hours of the event. However, you can send gifts later to show you haven’t forgotten their act. Consider also using promo products to add even more impact for your brand.

Once you organize another event, send them an early bird special deal or a personal invitation. Make it clear to the recipients that it’s your way of saying thank you for attending your past event.

Build Relationships through Social Media Contests

social media icon

Some of your attendees may experience post-event blues. Therefore, you want to keep the fun of the event fresh.

Give your guests something small to look forward to. This can be accomplished by a social media contest with a prize.

You don’t have to go overboard with the contest. You can use a funny photo or caption contest of a photo taken during the event using the event hashtag. The winner can be the participant who gets more votes or likes.

The entries become user-generated ideas that further market your brand after the event. Send an email announcing the winner and the runner-up. Be sure to give other individuals a consolation prize. Such as a code for a small discount.

Related: Customer Experience + Branding: The Relationship Goals of Marketing

Extend Event-Only Offers for Marketing Post-Event

The day after your successful event is an opportunity to push your goal. If you launched your products at the event and sold it at a discount price, offer it at the same price for the next 24 hours. This option should only be available to your guests.

This goes to a charity event too. Continue talking about the amount of money you raised and keep encouraging others to contribute.

Analyze Your Data

After every event, you’ll learn a lot about your business and products from the feedback you get from your guests. 

Use this data to understand the customer needs and tweak your services to match the requirements. Your guests are a representation of your other potential buyers. Consider this data the next time you want to launch a new product.

Adjust Your “Ideal Guest Profile”

Before the event happened, all your profiles were probably based on your idea of your “ideal persona.” Now you’ve met and interacted with your ideal buyer.

Now adjust your guest profile based on this information. You may desire to gear your campaign towards men or women. You may also use any demographic data.

You may have to plan your next guest profile. And with all this data, get started on your next event planning. With a good analysis, you’re likely to get more people to attend your next event using the insights. 

Encourage the guests to take the required action.

Give These Marketing Post-Event Ideas a Try

An event shouldn’t end once you part ways with your guests. It would help if you took advantage of the event-blues. Encourage your guests to boost brand management, spread the word to other potential buyers, and build a loyal community.

Use some of these marketing post-event ideas to stay on your guests’ minds long after the occasion. For more tips on holding successful brand events, visit our blog.

For more tips on using promo items to make your event a memory, check out this article.

Related:Your Brand Is Your Business – Market It!