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5 Ideas To Boost Employee Retention

Imagine you spend 4 months interviewing and searching for the perfect candidate for an open marketing position. After fielding through nearly a hundred resumes and interviewing a dozen people, you are delighted to find someone who not only is qualified for the position, but is a perfect culture fit as well.  You think everything is going great, until 6 months later your awesome new hire leaves your company for another position…

Let’s face it, sometimes there is no avoiding this situation.  But chances are if this is happening to you (and happening frequently) you may not be putting enough emphasis on recognition and retention of your employees.  Although it varies by industry, you should aim for a 90% retention rate year over year.  So if your turnover is higher than 10%, it may be time to make some changes.

Although retaining top talent can be expensive, the cost of losing your employees to competitors could be much higher.  When an employee walks away, they are taking with them valuable knowledge and expertise.  And between the cost of interrupted work flow, and the time and resources it takes to hire a new candidate, it could end up costing you anywhere from 50-200% of their annual salary!

So how can you move the needle on employee retention?

Offering competitive salaries, focusing on career development, and providing a good work/life balance are important.  However, at the end of the day how your employee feels about your company is going to be the biggest factor.

Making your employee feel like they are a valuable part of the team is huge in retention, and using promotional products to solidify those warm fuzzy feelings is both cost-friendly and effective.  With that in mind, here are 5 ideas to use promotional products to improve employee retention in your organization!


1. New Hire Kits

In a recent study conducted by BambooHR, 31% of survey respondents reported having quit a job within the first six months, citing a poor onboarding experience as a major contributing factor.  Setting the right tone with your employee and letting them know that they are valuable and welcome from day one is critical to retention.  And having an awesome and creative welcome kit can make all the difference!

You can use a welcome kit to give new employees the essentials: pens and journals for meetings, apparel to wear around the office, and drinkware to stay hydrated and caffeinated.  Additionally, I suggest adding a creative touch and infusing your company culture by adding fun products that embody who you truly are.

Do you have an office dog that’s your unofficial mascot?  Maybe get a custom plush toy made, or create a vector of the pup to put on shirts and mugs.  Or perhaps if your core values are super important to your company you can include a tip-in page highlighting them in a journal.  Your new hire kit should be a mix of office essentials and branded products that embody the spirit of what you are all about!

2. Branded Apparel

A big part of feeling like you are a part of the team is looking the part, and nothing says “I’m a team player” like matching branded apparel!  You could give out traditional t-shirts and polos, but don’t feel limited to that.  Comfortable and high-end jackets are perfect for chilly offices, and backpacks, scarves and custom socks are just, well… fun!

When you have employees actively sporting your brand, it says that they are proud to work for you and helps foster a welcoming culture for new hires.  It is really important to give your employees branded apparel, after all, they are the biggest advocates for your brand.


3. Incentive programs

Everyone is motivated differently.  Some people are self-motivated, while others need a bit of encouragement to meet their goals.  Recognizing accomplishments with a reward can play a huge role in retention, and this is where incentive programs come into play.

If your office is in a competitive industry, chances are your employees will be highly motivated by an incentive program.  And believe it or not, the promotional products industry is set up to deliver these programs to scale across your organization.  You can set up tiered prizes for meeting and exceeding goals and these can range anywhere from brand name sunglasses to high-end luggage (and more!).  Employees who feel rewarded for their hard work are definitely more likely to stay.

4. Corporate gifts

You know that feeling you get when a friend or family member gives you a thoughtful gift?  You feel all warm and fuzzy inside and grateful to have such a thoughtful person in your life.  Well, gifts from your company can have the same effect.  Too often we get overwhelmed at work and showing appreciation takes a back burner to deadlines and budgets.  But remembering to show appreciation is even more critical when things get busy.  Corporate gifts are incredibly useful in boosting morale, and are especially appreciated around holidays, birthdays and work anniversaries.  When you take the time to acknowledge special occasions and give a gift to your employees it helps them feel valued and in turn want to stick around.

5. Awards


Never underestimate the power of a plaque.  For many employees there is nothing better than being recognized in front of their peers for their accomplishments. For those who crave public recognition, a custom award will forever be a physical reminder of that proud moment in their past.  A lot of promotional products may end up being discarded, but an award is emotional and carries significance and tends to be kept for years, or even decades.  Awards are a great way to acknowledge your employees long-term and let them know how valuable they are.

Generating those warm fuzzy feelings (or what we call, Brand Love) is not only essential with your customers, but with your employees too.  These are just a few broad ideas, so contact us today to start brainstorming ways to increase retention in your organization!

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