My Best Promotion
Boosting employee morale is one of those critical-yet-intangible areas where promotional products absolutely excel. For this month's My Best Promotion, Hillary Feder, MAS, president and founder of Hillary's, Hopkins, Minn., shared an example of such a program, a week-long team appreciation event done for a client that was designed to not only improve employee morale, but also reinforce the management's values and company culture.
The values in question were growth, creativity and fun, complex abstractions that take care and thought to distill down and successfully represent through promotional products, let alone in a way that will properly mesh with the client's specific corporate culture and avoid feelings of insincerity or pandering. Feder and her team carefully chose items and designed a program to avoid such pitfalls, earning them a successful promotion that can hopefully prove instructive to your future employee appreciation efforts.
The Basic Facts
Hillary's was hired to develop an appreciation message, supporting the company's self-selected values of creativity, growth and fun, for its employees. The company decided on a week-long event, with different products being given to employees each day. All items were tied to both a daily and weekly theme that related to the above values. The program covered 290 employees in 23 locations. Going into planning the promotion, Hillary's goals were to make the appreciation message meaningful and to "touch the hearts of the team, makes them smile and create daily buzz."
Hillary's decided on and sourced products that reflected the company's desired values, tying them closely to the appropriate daily theme. They also developed product packaging, presentation and a process for daily distribution. The company handled message development for each day of the program, coordinating with the client's supervisors and department heads to have them personalize messages for their direct subordinates, the intent being to convey how each employee contributed to their departments and the specific business unit. A lunch event with theme elements was also held, and the week ended with a gift of a higher-value personalized item.
Products used included a ceramic egg with dirt and seeds (imprinted with the word "Grow"), sculpting putty in custom colors that coordinated with the event's theme and packed into customized tins with "create" artwork, novelty paper clips with "Grow, Create, Have Fun" decorations, and ceramic snack bowls personalized with individual names and filled with treats packaged in colors that coordinated with theme colors. The bowl also had a company logo on its bottom.
The promotion was quickly and noticeably successful in creating a playful environment of engagement. Before the week was even over, Hillary's began receiving photos of employees not only playing with the putty, but exchanging colors with each other and even incorporating it into more complicated structures that also included the ceramic seed-egg.
A Word Of Advice
Feder felt that using products without company logos, or ones with discrete logo placement, was critical in the promotion's success. She also noted the value of choosing less traditional products.
Submitted by Hillary Feder, MAS, president and founder of Hillary's
Want to be considered for a future edition of My Best Promotion? Contact Michael Cornnell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-238-5449 for a list of questions and other details.