Team engagement and company culture are more important than ever. The Great Resignation is still raging, and teams everywhere want their places of work to improve.
A strong company culture increases team engagement — and vice versa. In fact, when teams believe their organizational cultures are positive, they are almost four times as likely to be engaged than teams who believe the opposite.
Flexibility, hybrid work, competitive pay, and strong benefits keep your teams happy and working hard. If you’re looking for a unique way to take your culture and brand to the next level, though, start giving away company swag.
How Company Swag Boosts Brand and Culture
People want to belong to a team, and few things in the workplace can accomplish that better than swag. Clothing, gear, and homeware items with your company’s logo, colors, or slogan signify a strong brand identity. When your teams use these items, they demonstrate workplace pride and loyalty, contributing to the community of the company.
Strong leaders know how to recognize value in their teams, and company swag is another tool you can use to demonstrate that recognition. Whether you award it to employees on their first days of work or after important milestones, the positive feelings it engenders boosts company culture, which in turn boosts long-term productivity, retention, engagement, and success.
Now that you understand the importance of company culture and how company swag can enhance it, here’s some advice for gifting swag:
1. Do Your Research
It’s imperative that you understand what your teams like. Yesterday’s corporate polos may not be the hot item of today — especially if your teams belong to the younger generations. Styles change. People get older. New hires get younger.
Find key items that everyone will love. These might include beanies or water bottles. If you have a bigger budget, consider zip-up jackets. Ask for ideas. Don’t be afraid to survey your team members about what they want, like, or dislike. It’s crucial to choose swag items that have universal appeal.
2. Make Sure You’re Being Inclusive
Once you’ve decided on the item or items you want to gift, make sure that everyone can use it. For example, if you choose athletic apparel, the size offerings must cover all your teams. So, choose brands that are size-inclusive.
3. Decide When and How to Gift the Swag
Many companies give out company swag on their teams’ first days to make them feel welcomed and valued. Other occasions to gift swag include birthdays, anniversaries, and instances of exceptional performance. Swag can be mailed or delivered in person, depending on what the item is and where your team members are located.
Maybe you want to foster a sense of unity at a big off-site event your team is going to. Perhaps you want to give out awards at a company party. Whatever the occasion, pick the opportunity that would most boost engagement.
Bottom Line: Swag Boosts Retention
Company swag is worth the investment. It may seem minor when compared to pay raises and paid time off policies, but it’s the little things that make up the team experience. When teams are happy, productivity, engagement, and business success increase.
Additionally, the costs of recruiting, hiring, and onboarding are significant. It’s one of many reasons to take team retention seriously. When swag makes teams feel appreciated and recognized, they’re more likely to value their work, which should motivate them to stay.
If you’re proud of your workplace, it’s nice to show off the company brand — whether it’s on your shirt, your hat, or your cell phone cover. When you present people with swag for their loyalty and hard work, it’s earned pride. When teams feel pride, they produce better results.
Company swag plays a big part of workplace culture, and culture plays a huge role in team retention. Regular swag gifts remind people that they’re at your organization for a reason. When they feel like they belong, they stick around. Ultimately, spending a little bit on swag will likely save you a lot on turnover.