Employee Engagement: Is There a Problem Here?
According to the Gallup Organization, 70% of employees just aren’t that into their jobs. Hello? If that isn’t a wake up call, somebody is really sleeping soundly. Disengaged employees aren’t just unproductive — they are likely to turn away customers. They are more likely to leave, resulting in replacement and retraining costs. They are more likely to have an on-the-job injury, and they take more sick time. Some of the reasons mentioned for this disengagement are a lack of a sense of real contribution, a sense of connection on a purposeful and meaningful level. Frequently mentioned is that the job doesn’t provide them with any additional training or professional development opportunities.
Research shows that companies that make the “best places to work” lists outperform others in the financial markets. This isn’t just feel-good stuff. Engaged employees create happy customers who drive financial performance. An engaged workforce leads to:
- Satisfied and loyal customers
- A productive and profitable organization
- A high-performing workforce
- Committed employees
- Credible leadership
- Supportive co-workers
- Job and career satisfaction
- A high-performing organization
Where do promotional products fit into this discussion? While certainly not an answer by themselves, they are clearly a tool that can support programs designed by the organization to improve morale. Rather than thinking of branding in the traditional manner, understand that when viewed from an employee perspective, the company culture is really the brand. Promotional products can reinforce key strategic messages, and should reflect the things that employees value the most about their workplace. Recognition items can really make a positive impact. Turning again to Gallup, we learn that 60% of American workers report receiving zero recognition in the past year.
Company-branded gift items can go a long way in building good will and a sense of belonging. Shirts and jackets embroidered with the company logo can be a special treat, especially for a company without a formal uniform. Often such gifts are tied into a special event, perhaps a company picnic, or something more long-term and formal, such as a wellness program. They can be offered as incremental gifts for various stages of progress toward a goal. Another good place to integrate such products is the safety program. Completion of training courses should be rewarded and appreciated. Recurring programs like employee-of-the-month can be effective tools for building connections and rewarding progress — just be sure not to ignore everyone else. For more specific ideas on employee engagement, learn from the Enterprise Engagement Alliance. Or check out some of the case studies on successful engagement from Gallup.
APTCO has been part of recognition programs for businesses, non-profits, and schools of all sizes. We can help you to solve these very real problems, and build a stronger organization along the way. Give us a call.