I am a firm believer that business should be fun and doing business with people should be fun as well. Every now and again I will post off-beat humorous posts that hopefully will bring a chuckle to our readers.
I hope this puts a smile on your face as well.
– Carl H. Martens
NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES!
Due to the hard economic times and otherwise depressing state of the
world today, all personnel will now be required to at least look
happy while working.
Company-approved supplies will be provided to each employee at
little or no cost.
• Workloads getting to you?
• Feeling stressed?
• Too many priorities and assignments?
Here is the new low-cost, company-approved solution to cope with multiple priorities
Each employee will be supplied 2 paper clips and rubber bands. (See Fig 1.)
Assemble items as shown in Fig 2.
Apply as shown in Fig 3.
Enjoy your day. This new office equipment will help you to reach the end of
a productive work day with a smile on your face!
There was a very interesting article in the September issue of Incentive Magazine, titled “Don’t Show Me the Money” which talked about groundbreaking new research on the effectiveness of cash versus non-cash incentives provides scientific support for much of the industry’s accumulated wisdom. The research is an independent and academic study led by Victoria Shaffer, Ph.D. and Director of the Decision Making Research Lab at Wichita State University. The research lends long-needed scientific support that non-cash incentives are indeed preferable to cash.
The results of the study were quite interesting as they provided some insight as to why in some cases individuals may say they prefer cash over non-cash awards. The research showed that if you ask people how happy they would be with a cash vs non cash award – without comparing the two – they will be happier with the luxury item. However, if you allow them to compare the awards they will choose the cash. Thus, the study shows that people don’t necessarily choose what will make them the most happy…something many fail to understand.
Shaffer found that if you give people the choice between a luxury award and cash of equal value, people are going to choose the cash because she says, “they realize all of a sudden cash is inherently more fungible.” Fungibility simply means how easy an item can be exchanged for something else you need, and cash, which can be traded for any good or service, is the most fungible item in our society. When people get to choose between the cash incentive versus the non-cash incentive is when the issue of fungibility becomes highlighted.
My interpretation of the research is simply put as; humans naturally prefer to be in charge and have a choice, so when asked if one prefers cash or a non-cash award the person will choose the cash because it gives them the power of choice of what to do with it.
The research also touched on the concept of trophy value…the ability to talk about the award. I really liked the points made on this subject. It is in bad taste to talk about how large of a bonus or cash award an employee receives from their company, however it is acceptable to talk about a luxury award or trip the company awards the employee with. That being said, the benefit to the company is greater because the non-cash award will be more appreciated as the employee tells others about how great their company is for providing them with such an award or gift.
The article also touches briefly on a topic that I think should be expanded on. Times are tough…people have amounted large debt and thus it becomes hard to justify “splurging” with money provided as a cash award. Instead the money is spent to pay down debt or to help pay with a current lingering bill. In doing so, that award is, “here today, gone tomorrow”…it will soon be forgotten. Thus, cash has fleeting value and has little lasting effect.
I think the most important thing when determining whether cash or non-cash awards are more effective is the way the question is asked. I think that indisputably non-cash awards are more effective, however when given the choice cash awards are more preferred…rightfully so. For a company wanting to get the most return on their investment though, a non-cash award will always be more effective.
Contact us today to learn more about Award Concepts’ employee appreciation and recognition programs.
In these times, finances are on everyone’s mind. Matter of fact, they are the topic of many a speaker advertising seminars and teaching to help you get out of debt. All these experts will agree on one thing…to stay out of debt, you need a plan and a budget. A budget helps discipline ourselves to stay in the bounds to accomplish our plan…and a properly funded budget insures we will carry out our well thought out plan…remember a lot of rationale goes into a plan…why let a good idea be torpedoed because of a lack of funding!
You feel your company needs an employee recognition program as a very important component towards workforce development, retention, and loyalty. Perhaps you don’t currently have a program or you feel that you have a poorly funded program (which if anything, shouts how hypocritical and cheap your company is). How do you make the case?
This may mean that an advocate for recognition and incentives in your organization (Human Resources or Sales & Marketing) may need to apply some simple accounting and business principles to make a case…in most cases, selling the plan to the financial caretakers of your organization.
When it comes to recognition, too often the first question is, “how much do we want to spend?” This is an immediate question that looks for immediate answer…”how much do we have available?” This is not planning…this is reactionary. You need a plan that will sustain itself through the good and the bad business years. A recognition service award program budget should not be dependent upon the ebb and flow of business. It must be a funded budgetary line item in your business plan. Once a company makes a commitment to service recognition, you have made a promise to your employees. Your integrity as an organization depends upon follow through…it is a business liability. A recognition budget should be a funded liability…much like accruals for payroll and income taxes…accruals should be charged against operations to fund a self-sustaining recognition budget.
Let me present an example.
What percent to sales cost does your management feel comfortable with? What can you sell them on? Perhaps 1/100 of a percent to sales might be palatable, that’s .0001 x your sales! That shouldn’t get the shareholders too excited! Let’s take a look at some numbers.
Say the annual sales of your organization are $50 million and you have 400 employees. A rate of 1/100 of a percent to sales would yield $5,000 per year towards recognition (can you afford more??).
Your company has 400 employees. An industry average shows that if years of service recognition are given at five year intervals of employment, approximately 10% of your workforce will be recognized per fiscal year. Therefore, in this case study, 40 employees will be recognized per fiscal year. Subsequently, a $5000 yearly budget for years of service means about $125 average spent per employee recognized in a fiscal year.
What about the accrual? You should be accruing as an expense against monthly sales approximately $417/month, or stated another way, $1.04/month per employee ($417 / 400 employees)!
You see, when you break information down into numbers you are speaking the language of the business managers of your organization. I don’t know about you, but I think the numbers presented above are embarrassing if you are trying to make the statement to your employee “we value you”! If you just increase the accrual per employee up from $1.04 to $2.00/month, you increase your pool of funds for recognition to $9600 (only 2/100’s of a percent to sales!) and your average per employee spent on recognition in the year goes to $240! How much more of a statement can you now make to the employee you want to recognize for their contribution for the past five years! Still seems small doesn’t it!
You see, sometimes it’s not what you say, but how you say it. Speak management’s language and you very well will be able to get a recognition service award program or more adequately fund your current program to achieve higher value impact for the morale of your organization. You’ll be a champion for your co-workers!
Obviously, this is a simplified presentation. You may not enjoy crunching numbers to justify a proposal, but I guarantee if you make the effort, your management will listen to your proposal with much more interest…and that is the first hurdle to pass. Plug in actual numbers for your organization and you can present a pretty good recognition proposal for your management.
Some of our clients have adopted a comprehensive program theme of encouraging health fitness in their organization. They have asked us to incorporate lifestyle health fitness gifts into the award programs for their employees. Expanding a health fitness theme into a recognition award program does seem consistent in the philosophy of recognition. It conveys, “we care about you”, “we value you”, and “we want the best for you”. An award gift often is selected by an employee because it is something that they would not normally purchase on their own. Something special or out of the norm becomes something that has an attached association…in this case, their time of recognition.
When one thinks about anniversaries, special events, or moments of recognition in their own life, they will admit these are times of reflection. Often time reflection leads to personal assessment. During a time of recognition, a person may be ready to take a first step they have procrastinated upon.
For our clients we have assembled product ideas consistent with encouraging and supporting a fitness theme. In searching for health fitness products suitable for a recognition awards program, we look for broad base appeal and price points that will fit various budget levels. These health fitness gifts are interspersed in our award selection catalog along with other selection choices of heirloom gifts like watches, clocks, and crystal, lifestyle items like cameras, electronics, tools and jewelry. Following are some health fitness recognition awards that we have found for our clients.
At the lower level of budget spectrums there are items like the Oregon Scientific Pedometer with panic alarm. I know of two personal friends who have made a practice of daily wearing their pedometer and track a daily goal of 10,000 steps.
The “Biggest Loser” food scale by Taylor can help a person get started on a path of healthy food preparation in food portions for their personal diet.
How about items for active lifestyles like this Dunlap Golf Putter or the CamelBak Hydration Pack for walkers, hikers, bikers, or runners.
Oregon Scientific makes a few different models of heart monitor watches. The watch shown below also comes with a chest strap.
At the higher end of the budget spectrum a Columbia Northway Comfort Bicycle can be offered. When was the last time you rode a bike? When was the last time you owned a bike? A moment of recognition can mark a start of getting back to fun and fitness.
Lastly, another example we have seen good redemption in is exercise service awards. Here we show a Stamina recumbent exercise bicycle.
A comprehensive mission and value statement of an organization can be integrated into a recognition award program. At Award Concepts our first step in working with you is to listen, listen, and learn, learn. The better we know you, the best we can serve you and your organization.
In 1953 Juan, José and Vicente Lladró make their first creations inspired by an experimental vocation in a Moorish furnace built in their own home in Almàssera (Valencia, Spain). Today, the creations of Lladro are known worldwide and valued for design and styling and innovative crystalline finish. All figurines are produced and imported from Spain.
We have gleaned over the collections of Lladro to give you some very nice ideas for heirloom gifts to recognize your healthcare professionals.
– “Making Rounds” is a 13.75” high figurine that depicts a dedicated nurse working her floor.
– The depiction of the tenderness of a nurse is captured in “Nurse” which is a 13” high piece by Nao by Lladro.
– A “Male Doctor” is caught in pose contemplating a diagnosis in a 12.25” high porcelain figurine. (8188)
– Ready with her stethoscope, Lladro has captured a 12.25” high porcelain figurine, “Female Doctor”, tending to her patient.
– The attentive 14.25” high “Nurse” looks upon her patient with understanding and compassion.
We would like to show you a broader racial diversity in the depictions, nonetheless, these are the only healthcare theme figurines we could discover in the LLadro collections.
Process of creation
Every Lladró piece of work is the result of a laborious artistic process. Sculptors follow their own inspiration but also perform, if the work requires it, a meticulous process of research and documentation. This is often the case with pieces or collections that reflect other cultures.
Every Lladro creation begins with an artistic inspiration. The sculptor then makes the first sketch of the new figure in clay, which is examined and approved by the Creativity Committee, made up by many members, one of whom comes from the Lladró family. The sketch, in clay, is reproduced in plaster to provide the first mold, which will in turn become the definitive mold for the porcelain figurine.
A mid-sized figurine may need between 15 and 20 molds and up to 300 for complex pieces. The fragments coming from these molds are joined by liquid porcelain paste to obtain an exact reproduction of the original model.
Once the figurine is reconstructed, the decoration process starts. In compliance with the sculptor’s instructions, and the surface of the piece –so far smooth– it is carved with delicate motifs that will give it its final appearance. It is at this point that the face on the sculpture gets its expression and the tiniest details are delicately crafted. In addition, the figurine is painted and if it requires a glossy finish is later covered with a coat of varnish, which grants it that crystalline look that is so characteristic of Lladró.
Many Lladró sculptures display one of the most valued and differentiating features of the brand: flowers. Each one is fully made, petal by petal, following a very delicate process in order to obtain unique, unrepeatable creations.
The test of fire
Finally, the sculpture is put to the test of fire: it remains for approximately 24 hours in a kiln at over 1300º C. Porcelain vitrifies, varnish crystallises and Lladró’s true colors, so far hidden, come to the surface.
Once the crafting process finishes, the sculpture goes through several quality controls. Most pieces make their way successfully to the end of the process, and those that do not comply with Lladró’s quality standards are destroyed.
A large team of craftsmen contribute to developing Lladró sculptures, making each of them unique: painters, ornamentalists, flower artists… All of them pool their knowledge and expertise to create a piece with the highest artistic and technical quality.
Perhaps you are a manager within your Human Resources or Sales department, maybe its another department within your organization…you notice one major problem; employee disengagement. Maybe you have fallen victim and have become a disengaged employee yourself. Its OK…it happens. It is one of the biggest problems facing the American workforce. However, it doesn’t need to happen.
According to The Gallup Organization, “There are 22 million disengaged employees that cost the American economy up to $350 billion per year in lost productivity, including absence, illness and other problems that result when workers are unhappy at work.”
Below are statistics that illustrate the extent of this problem.
- 25% of America’s workforce are employed in industries that report 100% turnover
- 70% of employees feel no obligation to stay with their current employer
- 19% of employees are very negative about their work. These employees are considered actively disengaged – also known as “out to lunch”
- 55% of employees are apathetic or uninterested
- 90% of voluntary resignations are due to feeling under appreciated by their manager
Disengaged employees don’t just hurt themselves, they drastically affect your company and other co-workers.
- Disengaged employees cause customers to do business elsewhere
- Top producing employees can quickly become disengaged for lack of recognition and thus their productivity drops as they become disengaged
- 40% of today’s top talent is preparing for retirement, a lack of appreciation from their managers and the company these individuals become disengaged.
- Lack of energy within team meetings, brainstorming sessions and other company activities.
- Other employees are directly or indirectly affected by a disengaged employee’s actions.
What Do the Best Companies Do About Disengaged Employees
Recognition programs have been proven to increase employee satisfaction and overall morale, which is the key predictor of employee engagement. So, the best organizations use recognition programs to strategically manage employees and keep them engaged in their work. The recognition programs are linked to the overall business strategy and have a direct effect on the bottom line.
Does your organization have disengaged employees? Contact us today for a free consultation on how implementing an employee recognition program can help engage your employees, increase their overall satisfaction and boost your staff’s morale.
Source: The Gallup Organization; US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Hudson Institute, Walker Information & The Economist
Plain and simple – non-cash incentives are good for business. A properly designed incentive program can impact a company’s bottom line in many positive ways.
Research shows that the effectiveness of non-cash awards is three times greater than cash-based award programs. According to the Incentive Research Foundation, in a cash-based program a company must spend 12 cents to achieve one dollar in incremental profit (revenue generated by the incentive program—increased purchases, cost savings, increased sales).
In a program using non-cash awards, the investment is 4 cents for every one dollar of incremental profit.
In today’s difficult economy, companies are seeking ways to save where they can and to maximize the results from every dollar they do spend. Incentive programs can benefit a company from many perspectives with different initiatives targeted to its employees. While an investment in these programs is required, the results and benefits will outweigh the costs and benefit the bottom line.
Award Concepts can help your company or organization with its non-cash incentives employee recognition program. Call me at 678-231-3615 or contact me through this website. It all begins with a conversation!
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