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Hoodies or Donuts? The Employee Appreciation Strategy that Actually Works

Companies across the world are now understanding the importance of employee appreciation and recognizing the efforts that workers put in for the success of their organizations. Across the U.S., the first Friday of March is marked as the day when business owners celebrate the contributions of their workforce. Should you check this article on MarketWatch, you’ll learn about the various reward programs which include cash rewards and bonuses, celebratory events, and gifts carrying personalization in the form of company icons, brands, slogans, and logos.

But, Does Employee Appreciation Really Work?

It certainly does as these statistics revealed on Yahoo! Finance. Studies have shown that 86% of workers talked about how receiving gifts on the Holidays made them feel like their efforts were valued while 70% said that gifts acted like an incentive and encouraged them to work harder. Another 83% were happy and contented with their jobs. In an era where quick employee turnover can prove to be a downside for company success, offering gifts could be a simple move to promote loyalty and commitment. But, given a choice between apparel like custom hoodies, t-shirts, and caps or edible treats like donuts and coffee days, Starbucks cards, and pizza, what should be your choice as a company owner?

The Answer? Possibly, Both Giveaways and Edible Treats! – Let’s Begin with Apparel

Aside from employee recognition, ordering and presenting tees and hoodies that employees can wear has several advantages for your company. Here’s how:

  • Arriving to work in apparel carrying the company logo and brand name encourages the feeling of camaraderie and loyalty to the business.
  • People like to identify with other workers and that entices them to perform better. As a result, you’ll improve productivity levels and that contributes to higher sales and better customer service.
  • You’ll eliminate the boundaries of hierarchy with all workers sporting similar clothing. Without the impression of higher and lower ranks, employees have better interactions and team spirit.
  • Customers looking for information and assistance are able to locate people from your company who can help them. You build brand loyalty among buyers that ultimately translates into long-term sales and success.
  • Each time employees sport the brand name outside of work hours, they act as ambassadors for your company brand and slogan. You gain simple advertising points when potential customers become familiar with the logo because of increased visibility. As a result, when buyers are out shopping, they’re likely to gravitate toward a brand that they’ve grown to trust.
  • When organizing projects, you could give out hoodies and tees that carry the name of team assigned to the task. By instilling a sense of pride, you get workers to put in more effort for the completion of the project on schedule.


Food Gift Cards are Great for Individual Employee Appreciation

Experts on employee appreciation talk about how it is important to reward the achievements of individual workers. And, you can do that by presenting gift cards for a special dinner for two at a high-end restaurant. Or, perhaps, coffee at a well-known chain. Like the folks at The Muse explain, when a specific employee is single-handedly responsible for a task well done, rewarding the entire team may not be good enough. Applaud the extra effort with a pat on the back given at a company meeting or a notification on the company board.

Of course, pizza days, breakfast days with coffee and bagel, or donuts for everyone in the workplace are a great way to surprise and delight. These rewards are especially welcome after the completion of a project or at the end of a particularly busy week like, for instance, when your workers have been putting in extra hours to make deliveries on time for the Holiday season.

How About Combining the Two!

Employee satisfaction is all about showing your team that their efforts for the growth of the company are recognized by the management. A smart business owner would want to give out rewards all through the year, using formal and informal occasions as excuses. Here’s how:

  • Hoodies, t-shirts, business shirts, or other apparel carrying the logo are perfect for team building events like company sporting events and picnics.
  • You can use tees to identify company representatives at trade shows or in-store promotional programs.
  • When new recruits enter the workplace, welcome them with a hoodie or t-shirt carrying the company icon to instantly make them feel like a part of the team.
  • Give out apparel according to the change of seasons. Hoodies and long-sleeved t-shirts work perfectly for the fall and winters while cotton tees are ideal for summer wear. Choosing clothing that matches the weather ensures that the recipients are sure to wear them. Throw in a cold or hot treat and you’ll gain special employee appreciation points.
  • Order special apparel that marks a specific number of years that an employee spends in the company. Combine the gift with a bonus check to commemorate the occasion.
  • Has the company achieved a milestone like a record number of sales or the successful completion of an order? Reward your people with a share in the profits with cash rewards along with tees and cupcakes.
  • Have you received a large project that will need people to work extra hard in the coming weeks? A treat is the perfect incentive and creates anticipation for bigger rewards when the job is complete.

A Positive Workplace is the Best Reward

While tangible employee appreciation is essential for the long-term success of your organization, so are intangible rewards. Among the common pitfalls that Justin Bariso warns you about on Inc.com is the failure to create a positive workplace atmosphere. Remember to have open communication lines so your team can work closely with you and one another. Recognize achievements with words, encouragement, and gifts. Add other positives like flexible working hours in case of emergencies and provide an environment that is conducive to personal growth and development.

Your workforce is the living, dynamic element that is ultimately responsible for the overall, lasting success of your company. Investing in their satisfaction will be worth every penny you spend!

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