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Who doesn’t like to receive some sort of recognition, a touch of admiration, for what they work so hard to accomplish? 11/14/2019 | PromoJournal Staff, Product Feature
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Who doesn’t like to receive some sort of recognition, a touch of admiration, for what they work so hard to accomplish? Such a person, no matter how humble, truly doesn’t exist.

So, why are some of your clients going about their business without having some sort of employee recognition/awards/incentives program? It doesn’t matter if it’s a local landscaper or pizza/sub hub. People who work not only want their paychecks, when they work hard, a “thank you” in the form of an award or logo’ed merchandise will make them feel even more loyal, work even harder, and feel like a valued teammate.

Make no mistake -- when you incorporate recognition programs suited for every single client of yours, you will likely be met by some resistance in the form of “Oh, a cash bonus or gift card is really what they (employees) want.”

It’s also what their parents or grandparents bestow upon them during birthdays and holidays. How will he or she recognize your Visa® gift card from Grandpa Clark’s?

Additionally, recognition is increasingly desired in front of peers, according to Recognize (, an employee recognition and staff rewards program. Extrinsic rewards are outshining intrinisic rewards as popular motivators. More companies are also using such employee recognition rewards as part of their overall retention protocols. is an end-to-end awards and abstracts management experience, which may serve as a foundational resource for promotional products distributors charged with pitching in for creating or refreshing awards and recognition programs. In her blog (found on the website), Judgify expert Irene Byvalkevych acknowledges that “developing award criteria and approving the list of applicants for awards is far from an easy task, but this work justifies itself. The loyalty of the awarded employee increases notably. It is clear that the reward is not an ultimate appreciation, but the one whose work was noticed and recognized as significant cannot help but experience positive emotions. During the daily work of the company, if the employee had been deprived of attention or praise from a manager, public recognition and the congratulations of colleagues will smooth out many past issues.”

Criteria for awards and recognition, she writes can include Employee of the Month, Employee of the Year, and others, such as:  

  • “Length of service
  • Excellence in performance
  • Peer-to-peer communication and association
  • Leadership qualities
  • Personal accomplishments
  • Team accomplishments
  • Milestones reached
  • Number of points earned according to a point system
  • Attendance, punctuality, results achieved, etc.”

Of course, the reward should be somewhat commensurate with the achievement – it can be a logo’ed leather jacket, picnic basket, chocolate tower, etc.

In his New York Times best-selling book, Payoff: The Hidden Logic that Shapes Our Motivations, social scientist Dan Ariely asserts, “When we are acknowledged for our work, we are willing to work harder for less pay, and when we are not acknowledged, we lose much of our motivation.”

When motivation is lackluster, typically, so is performance and output, reflecting on the business in numerous ways: poor service, miscommunications, mistakes that go unfixed or unresolved – you get the picture.

An article by Incentive Research Foundation (August 21, 2017) based on its IRF Incentive Benchmarking Survey commented, “top performing companies statistically much more likely to use their non-cash rewards and recognition programs to reward their sales people (90%), employees (88%) and channel partners (81%).”

The report also noted that 93% of companies surveyed said their executives were open to employing the concept of non-cash rewards and recognition to be competitive.

However, when it comes to helping your clients create and implement a recognition program, remember that one award product doesn’t’ fit all.

In his Feb. 28 2018 Forbes article, “Recognition in the Workplace: It’s Not What You Think It Is,” Rob Danna, senior vice president of sales and marketing for the ITA Group which specializes in events, incentives and recognition programs, explains, “No two people are motivated in exactly the same way -- and probably not in the way you would expect. And because no two people are motivated the same way, they should not be recognized in the same way. “

And as the economy continues to strengthen, and businesses are growing, many of your clients may be seeking to attract top talent.

“In a competitive labor market, more businesses are developing recognition programs to entice top talent and enhance company culture,” says Carrie Lewis, marketing and communications manager for BIC Graphic North America. “Today’s recognition/awards programs don’t solely focus on sales goals and can build a sense of camaraderie within teams working together to achieve goals. Investment in non-cash awards and recognition is a great way to motivate and engage employees, plus is a way for workplaces to stand out from other employers.”

She advised to help clients implement successful recognition/awards programs, be sure to understand their company culture to provide customized suggestions. Knowing their goals will help guide the development of the program and can help spark great ideas. Once distributors have a winning program concept, it is crucial to follow-through with the next steps to launch it successfully. Staying up on latest trends and new products and updating the program accordingly is also important to service your clients well 

This all means that the widespread all-encompassing and exciting world of promotional products and garments is at your fingertips to present and tailor for your clients. As one example, BIC Graphic can provide clocks, high-end coasters, high-end wheeled duffle bag, crystal art awards, sleek Bluetooth speakers and more.

Through time, your clients that implement an appropriate and suitable awards and recognition program will see the results in improved productivity, greater number of customers/patrons/clients/patients, and the nurturing of a loyal, quality staff. And, let’s face it, it is super fun and exciting to hunt through all the amazing products our industry offers to customize an awards program!


Carrie Lewis, marketing and communications manager for BIC Graphic North America: “A software company held a sales incentive contest for reps to win a trip to the Caribbean, and they wanted to include an award recognizing the achievement that earned the salesperson their trip in a welcome basket at the resort check-in. The distributor’s client selected the Wave Award (#36502), which perfectly tied into the beach theme and was a compact enough size to easily fit into luggage for the trip home. The sales reps appreciated the warm welcome and felt the award complemented with the other vacation theme items in the basket while also looking good on their award shelves and desks at home.”

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