Find Little Risk in Company Rewards
THERE IS NO soon-to-be-dropped crystal ball hanging in Times Square. Washington is not setting up for a gigantic fireworks display (Congress not included), and Mr. and Mrs. Joe Q. Public aren’t ardently making New Year’s resolutions, but none of that means businesses and organizations aren’t getting ready for the new year—a time when corporate gifts and award programs usually reach a triumphant end or enlightened launch. Yes, distributors, it’s time to start thinking about the season of giving.
Get with the program
A 2008 survey by Scottsdale, Arizona-based WorldatWork, a nonprofit organization focused on knowledge leadership for human-resources diciplines, stated nearly 90 percent of organizations polled have a company-wide employee recognition or giving program in place. Further, the organization found only 8 percent of companies eliminated such programs, a figure down from a 2005 level of 11 percent. With its members being human-resources professionals, i.e., those likely to run corporate gift and incentive programs, it is good news for promotional product distributors who may face economy-related slowdowns.
Heather McCloskey, president and founder of McCloskey Partners, a full-service human-
resources firm located in Perkasie, Pa., sees such programs as vital pieces to a company’s overall management strategy. “Recognition programs of any kind are a great way for employers to retain employees,” said McCloskey. Plus, they communicate messages of both support and respect to staff members.
For distributors, the task is to couple these sentiments with a quality gift or award program that will back the goals of the company. McCloskey noted distributors are trained to sell products or services, but finds many times, a distributor will approach her (or one of her clients) without knowing what the company does or even what industry the company serves. She looks for distributors who have done his or her homework and can answer the question: “How will this gift-giving program motivate [an] executive staff all the way down to line employees?”