It’s the Thought That Matters – Recognize Your People This Holiday Season

Guest post by Roger Burnett

It is always a pleasure to share knowledge with like-minded people.  Roger Burnett is a respected friend, writer, and lover of all things Promotional.  When he accepted our invitation to share his wisdom with our readers, we were thrilled.  We know you will be as well.


The Great Resignation.

The Great Reset.

No matter what you name it, it’s clear there is a major change happening in the United States Labor Market. 

Most Americans (55 percent) who are either employed or looking for a job – what economists would describe as “being in the workforce” – say they are likely to look for new employment in the next 12 months, according to Bankrate’s August 2021 Job Seeker Survey. Even more surprising, some 28 percent of working Americans who currently say they’re NOT looking for a new job are still expecting to search for a different position at some point in the next year. (Bankrate Blog, 8/23/21) 

Most, if not all employers in the marketplace would benefit from additional employees, and many companies generate a significant portion of their revenues in Q4 and Q1, so open headcount means lost revenue, plus, a dynamic job market suggests some percentage of your current workforce might be on the move to new positions in 2022.

How do you compete for the talent you need and retain the talent you’ve developed? How do you capture the lost revenue opportunity you KNOW you could get with more staff?


The statistics tell the story for themselves. 

Awards and Recognition thought-leader O.C. Tanner studied employee engagement and how managers can tailor their workplaces to promote it. An employee survey they conducted included the question “What is the most important thing your manager or company currently do that would cause you to produce great work?”

Respondents answered in their own words, providing a variety of responses, but a clear pattern emerged.

37% of respondents (the clear majority) made their desires for more and better recognition clear.

If this is true for your company, if you need to find more staff PLUS hold on to your existing team of winners, it’s high time you started thinking about the ways you’re going to recognize them and acknowledge their efforts. It will keep your people and bring more candidates to your door. Awards and recognition can take many shapes and work with a promotional marketing/awards and recognition expert is incredibly important this year for one VERY important reason.


If you’ve shopped anywhere this year, in a store or online, you’ve been witness to the disaster that is the shipping industry. We’re not immune to the fact there are millions of items in containers stuck in the ocean, waiting for the opportunity to unload. In the meantime, there are wild swings in product availability and shortages of things like black hoodies, blankets, and even screen-printing inks are wreaking havoc on our marketplace. 

I recently hosted a panel of participants from a cross-section of the promotional products supplier base, in an attempt to learn how best clients could navigate these product shortages and save their opportunity to recognize their staff and key clients this holiday season. While the discussion was realistic and a little somber, the following 3 things came to light as being incredibly important if you want to come thru for your people this year:

  1. Don’t Go It Alone: the internet is proving to not be nearly as reliable as in years past. Just because you ordered an item online that showed as being in stock does not mean the product is actually there. You may have an order, but it might be months before your delivery. Even if the product ships on time, there is no guarantee UPS, Fed-Ex, etc are going to deliver the said product in time. Work with a professional in the awards and recognition or promotional products industry to give yourself the BEST chance at a successful outcome.

  2. If You See It, Buy It: if you’re working with a professional, the products they’re showing you are available, TODAY. There’s no guarantee that the same product will still be on the shelf next week, so, if you like an item, it’s best to move forward immediately than to continue to shop in hopes of finding something better. Don’t delay. 
  3. Substitutes > Waiting: if you order hooded sweatshirts or any of a litany of categories where supply is constantly changing, don’t be surprised if you get more than one label in the lot. Don’t focus on the fact that you got a combination of Champion and Russell branded sweatshirts when the order arrives – be thankful that your people were able to know you cared about them; remember, it’s the thought that counts!

By navigating the complex waters of employee recognition this year, you’ll give yourself the best chance possible to grow your team in 2022 while holding on to your top talent. In what is clearly a rapidly-changing environment, your employees will appreciate knowing they’re working for a place that truly understands what 37% of the respondents in the survey made clear. 

Happy Holidays.


Promise Maker

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