Employee Engagement – The New Paradigm for Rewarding Excellence (and why Starbucks gift cards don’t always do the trick)


Over the course of the nearly 30 years we’ve been operating our company, I’ve often remarked that employee recognition programs are one of the most popular aspects of our business. They range from the more complex, one-of-a-kind awards that are designed by one of our talented artists, like a hand blown, glass sculpture – to the equally impactful, turnkey awards that are beautifully custom wrapped, packaged and presented to a ballroom filled with successful salespeople. So, why is employee recognition so important? Instinctively, as human beings, we know that the recognition of another individual (or team’s) performance, behavior and effort simply feels really good. And, by recognizing these efforts, you’re not only encouraging your colleagues to continue to work just as hard (or harder!) as before, but you’re motivating the rest of the team to continue to strive for similar recognition. These are often employees who successfully execute the companies’ mission, goals and values and go “above and beyond” what’s expected of them by management.

With the emergence of thriving tech companies and other startups with a younger employee base, combined with the natural evolution of recognition programs and the rising millennial generation, corporations are faced with becoming more creative in how they recognize their employees. While some companies reward their teams by allowing them to accrue points (which can be cashed in to buy car washes or to buy lawn furniture) and others simply rely on cash bonuses as the sole method of recognition (because it’s easy), many of our customers, both longtime and new, consider a blend of digital points combined with traditional ones to create a culture of recognition and acknowledgement. Receiving a gift card brings instant satisfaction and instantly becomes forgotten when used. It doesn’t compare to something iconic that is a reminder of a job well done by peers and management. A beautiful, personalized and relevant item that can be displayed on your desk, bookshelf or at home is a reminder of success. This truly honors the achievement of your employee and captures the experience with family, team and peers.

Contact me today directly by email at diana@dianamartin.com or by phone at (949) 631-2727 (extension 202), and let’s start working on new ideas for employee engagement that inspires, rewards and motivates excellence. -DM