Category: Catalogs for Employee Recognition

What We Can Learn About Employee Engagement from the 2012 Presidential Campaigns

By John Schaefer, September 8, 2012 11:29 am

I don’t care which party or candidates you prefer, I think we all agree that the amount of negative campaigning coming from both Barak Obama and Mitt Romney goes from annoying to distracting to infuriating. We continue to be bombarded with information that we aren’t sure we can believe and it is both insulting and frustrating for those of us trying to make and intelligent and patriotic choice.

I personally think that both campaigns are guilty of stretching truths, covering past transgressions and over promising to a point where we, as the electorate, are left feeling like we can’t trust any of these folks. We’re left, once again, deciding on the better of two evils. Continue reading 'What We Can Learn About Employee Engagement from the 2012 Presidential Campaigns'»

Is Your Recognition Provider a True Recognition Professional or a Vendor from a Glorified Fulfillment House?

By John Schaefer, May 20, 2010 10:33 pm

by John Schaefer – America’s Employee Recognition Expert
I read an interesting article today questioning the validity of employee engagement and the companies who provide these services. The writing was asking about how you can tell the difference between a true recognition professional and a vendor who’s just peddling awards. Here’s what I responded:

In the highly vendor-structured, narrowly siloed recognition awards and incentives industries a lot of companies are trying to appear as consultants rather than suppliers. Is it working?

One way to find out is to see how quickly they begin pitching their favorite (or most profitable) products, rather than searching for how they can best help you achieve your organization’s goals and objectives. While creative and original awards are wonderful, they are only effective when put in the hands of educated, engaged and enthusiastic managers, then presented to employees who know they’re appreciated.

Just giving out stuff leads to an entitlement culture. A true recognition partner works with you to develop a strategy and a total solution that ties all of your communication goals into a single, managable platform. This approach saves money, maximizes results and yields provable ROI, so can be shown to be self liquidating, not just an expense.

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Catalogs for Employee Recognition

By John Schaefer, March 18, 2010 2:50 am

Catalogs for employee recognition are as old as recognition itself.  They used to be all custom-designed, featuring small choices of jewelry items for five year increments of service.  Today, many are offering hundreds of selections as a vast array of price points, featuring everything from crystal to gift cards and tons of stuff in between.

The question is, do these modern and exciting catalogs for employee recognition really yield recognition, or do they just buy people off and send them back to work?  It all comes down to how the items are perceived by your employees and that has a lot more to do with how your management team uses the catalogs than the stuff inside.  If the message is “you’ve earned a service award”, then a five year employee increment is seen as a performance achievement and the value of the gift will justify its benefit. Most company’s service awards budgets do not carry a highly motivating number when viewed by dollars alone.  That’s one of the reasons the increasing number of “lifestyle” or retail awards is dangerous – it’s just too easy to shop them on line and determine a dollar value for “what I’m worth to the company.”
Conversely, if your catalog carries symbolic, custom and creative mementos that are presented in a personally meaningful way to employees in front of their peers, the value is not the issue that drives their effectiveness.  Instead, they offer an emotional and genuine message of an employee’s value to the organization as a human being, not just a worker.  Properly presented symbolic mementos serve to recognize the have lasting value.  Cash equivalents just say, “Here’s a few bucks, not shut up and get back to work!”  Same budget, very different result and it is employee perception that makes all the difference.

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