February 8, 2016
by Kelsey Rogers

What’s Your Corporate Philanthropy?

MotivationMondayToday’s Motivation Monday comes from Terryberry’s Wisconsin/Eastern Iowa Business Development Manager, Kelly Eger

In college I started a local chapter of Gamma Alpha Omega Sorority.  It was one of the best decisions I made in my 20’s.  I started it because it was more than just a sisterhood.  It was our mission to be mentors for the youth and other young women as well as volunteer hundreds of hours towards community service projects in our neighborhoods.  It is no surprise as our organization grew that our national philanthropy also became an important part of our identity and culture.

Many on-campus organizations have established philanthropies and students are providing countless hours and resources towards these relationships.  It gives students a sense of pride, ability to be passionate while helping others, establish their leadership skills, they feel bonded to one another over the work they completed and it all ties back to the organization they decided to be a part of.

Now these students are your employees.  They come to work and want those same feelings.  Remember culture is everything for millennials.  I would even say it trumps your corporate vision.  Millennials (and more so Generation Z who are now entering the workforce) want to work for an organizations whose company’s philosophy is around giving back and this must be integrated into your corporate mission.

There are several ways to support a corporate philanthropy.  Match Gift Programs, Volunteer Grants, Company Wide Day of Service Event but my personal favorite is the Paid Release Day.  Paid release days give your employees the opportunity to work along side other employees (and boss) on a community service project while being paid.

If employees are leaving because they had a bad or nonexistent relationship with their boss, lack relationships with co-workers, do not feel like they are contributing to the organizations goals or have a meaningless job  - consider adding opportunities for your employees to  volunteer and give back.  These programs have proven to deliver solutions to these issues, including bonding with co-workers, a strong corporate culture and meaningful work, employee recognition, establishing leadership skills and a sense of pride.


How is your organization doing when it comes to employee recognition?

Terryberry’s 360 Recognition Platform makes it easy to manage all aspects of your recognition program initiatives from one online hub. Modules work together to help you build a culture of recognition in your organization. Plug and Play one recognition module or more anytime to fit your needs as your business changes.

Get a Free Demo, here!


Kelly Eger, MBA

Terryberry’s Business Development Manager for Wisconsin/Eastern Iowa

February 1, 2016
by Kelsey Rogers

What Does HR Have To do With Branding?

Terryberry was pleased to team up with Elaine Fogel, author of Beyond Your Logo: 7 Brand Ideas That Matter Most For Small Business Successon a recent Terryberry Book Club webinar. Attendees from around the globe tuned in to learn how and why a company’s brand is the responsibility of not only a company’s marketing department but also of the human resources department.

Here are a few key learning objectives that Elaine presented:

  • What a brand is and why building a strong one is essential to business success
  • How to put customers at the center of every action
  • Why and how professionalism pays off
  • HR’s role in brand leadership

Elaine delivered an enlightening, informative and fun presentation. Did you miss it? View the archived recording.

Attendees were very eager to ask Elaine many of their burning hot questions, but unfortunately she was unable to get to all of them during the Q & A. Therefore, Elaine so kindly offered to address a few answers to some of the attendee’s questions right here on Terryberry’s blog. They are as follows:

Question: When half your staff work remotely, what is the best way to build a consistent brand?

Elaine: Although being in different locations can be challenging, it is not insurmountable. I strongly recommend that you collaborate with marketing to develop a written branding standards handbook and webinars that become part of the orientation process. These would not only include your brand identity (logo usage, colors, font styles, etc.) but your customer experience protocols as well.

You can share the handbook with remote staff as you would any other document. The key to success is reinforcing the standards (and the brand strategy) regularly.

You can include brand discussions and questions on periodic staff (or department) meeting calls and encourage staff to share their experiences so that the team can collaborate on solutions. I’d also recommend reinforcement through ongoing online education and evaluation, as well as a rewards and recognition program.

Question: Our high level execs are very focused on brand strategy for sales. How do we begin to make them understand that HR/Recruiting is a huge part of brand identity?

Elaine: First, let me define “brand identity.”

“It is how your customers perceive your brand, company, product, or service. However, in many marketing circles, it has come to represent the brand’s visual elements such as colors, typography (font styles), symbols, graphics, marks, and logo.

The identity should reflect your company’s brand personality and values, elicit trust, impart professionalism, and create a connection between the business and its target audiences.”
(© 2015 Beyond Your Logo: 7 Brand Ideas That Matter Most For Small Business Success)

In my opinion, every employee needs to “live the brand” every day. That means reinforcing the brand identity guidelines and brand strategy, no matter which responsibilities s/he has in the company. Without each employee understanding and believing in his/her role, it can be more difficult to develop a holistic approach to the company’s overarching brand and customer experiences – internally and externally.

Naturally, recruiting the “right” hires, who are a good fit with the brand, is a very important piece of this. So, sales people can close their deals, but without all employees supporting the brand and customer experiences along the customer journey, the company risks customer attrition.

If you remind high-level execs that it costs up to 5x more to acquire new customers than to retain existing ones, perhaps they can see the business case in involving everyone in the brand strategy and implementation. Check out the infographic below.

View supporting infographic

Question: I’m currently working with our employees on branding – the “employee brand promise” as we continue to work on a culture shift. What would you consider the most effective way to inject branding into the culture (i.e. monthly meetings, surveys, combination)?

Elaine: Developing a brand culture cannot happen without buy-in and support from the C-Suite and management. That’s where it must be adopted and modelled first.

I suggest developing company-wide (holistic) branding standards that include internal and external brand/customer experience protocols. This where your employee brand promise would go. I would also recommend that every department be represented in their development as all brand tactics need to be aligned for consistency.

If we think of the brand as the key to the company’s success, it should be woven into the very fabric of the company at every touchpoint. There are many ways to accomplish this.

Once the standards are ready, I recommend creating an internal rollout plan that includes workshops and contests to make it fun. Once everyone is able to “live the brand” instinctively, it can be reinforced regularly:

  • At staff meetings
  • In supervisory sessions
  • Through ongoing workshops that include role-playing and discussions of “real-life” experiences and challenges
  • In employee newsletters, celebrating employee brand-related accomplishments
  • On the website, paying tribute to employees whose stories exemplify ideal brand experiences
  • Through staff rewards and recognition for exemplary brand behavior and/or ambassadorship

As for surveys, they can play an important role in measuring the efficacy of internal and external brand experiences. You can also use qualitative research as well. For every brand strategy, develop the metrics that gauge your success.

It’s also important to recognize that a positive brand culture takes time, so celebrate every success along the way to keep people motivated.

elaine-fogel-webElaine Fogel is a professional speaker, marketer, brand evangelist, educator, and consultant. She is the author of Beyond Your Logo: 7 Brand Ideas That Matter Most For Small Business Success.

Visit Elaine’s Blog: Totally Uncorked on Marketing!

January 27, 2016
by Kelsey Rogers

The Employee Brand Promise

Be The BrandIt’s WOW Wednesday! HR leaders, execs, and managers: How do you WOW the people who go above and beyond for you in your business? Or, how have you been WOWed?

Today’s WOW Wednesday comes from Erika
She says: “I’m currently working with our employees on branding – the “employee brand promise” as we continue to work on a culture shift. We hope this is an effective way to inject branding into the culture.”

Share your own “WOW Wednesday” tip or story. Leave a comment here or post on Terryberry’s Facebook Page or Twitter using hashtag #WOWWED. Make it a WOW day!

Join hundreds of organizations that use Give a WOW to ignite a dynamic culture of recognition in the workplace.  It’s employee recognition, social-media style! Get the Free Trial!

January 25, 2016
by Jenny Watkins

We asked our Sales Force why they do what they do, and YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT THEY SAID!

Why we do what we do

by Scott VanderLeek

Recently, on our regularly scheduled company wide sales calls, we asked our sales force “Why do you do what you do? What is your purpose at work?” We didn’t know what their answers were going to be, but we had a pretty good idea….

Guess what? These WERE NOT the answers:

  •  “to sell more”, or
  • “to hit my numbers”, or
  • “so I can make money and win awards”.

Although those are certainly positive outcomes of “doing what we do” and especially of doing it well, it’s not the “PURPOSE” of what we do.

Here are a few of the responses we DID hear:

  • “I like being a part of the fabric of each of my customer’s companies”, and

  • “I really enjoy asking questions, understanding where their pain points are, and designing a recognition program to help them solve their issues”, and

  • “I love the impact of what we do on our customer’s employees”.

  • “We sell an experience that makes people feel valued”.

  •  “Because it makes a difference & we help our customers drive employee engagement”.

  • “Because if we do OUR job, our contacts and customers are recognized for doing a good job themselves!”

I must admit, I wasn’t surprised. It’s been a long time since our company has led with the “stuff” we sell. Don’t get me wrong, selling is crucial, and sales are the furnace of the company. But never before has the employee been more valued, and the employee experience and engagement level been a higher priority within companies.

The benefits of recognizing employees for their unique contributions, and the effect it has on culture (and productivity, profitability, turnover, tenure, and morale, to name a few) is significant. Any award a company decides to give their employee is the trophy for the attitudes and behaviors the employee has already exhibited. It is recognition.

This was a great exercise for us to go through with our sales force to affirm our PURPOSE. What is your PURPOSE and why do you do what you do?

ScottVanderleekScott VanderLeek is the National Sales Manager for Terryberry, a global provider of employee recognition solutions. Other claims to fame include surviving a train crash and his budding career as a movie extra.


January 20, 2016
by Jenny Watkins

How has Employee Recognition Changed in the Last 70 Years?


 A Brief History of Employee Recognition

In 1948, Arthur Parker Terryberry wrote, “It has been my opinion that a man should be rewarded for the work he does — both as to quality and quantity — this is fundamentally the American principle.”

A.P Terryberry wrote that letter as the 2nd generation owner of the employee recognition provider Terryberry (that’s us) exactly 30 years after the company had been founded by his father H.R. Terryberry. Today, Terryberry is renovating and expanding company headquarters in Michigan, and the build project has unearthed a good deal of Terryberry history about employee recognition from yesteryear.  Join us on a journey back in the annals of time!

Over the course of the next 68 years since A.P.’s note, the company would remain on the forefront of the dynamic employee recognition industry. Many innovations have taken place in that space of time.

 Employee recognition, which began as a North American concept, in recent decades has been embraced by businesses in Europe, Asia, South America and around the globe.

And Terryberry, which began as a small custom jewelry shop in Grand Rapids, Michigan, now operates 28 locations around the world.

Early on, employee recognition providers including Terryberry focused on the manufacture and distribution of awards, and specifically custom jewelry awards.  Using an organization’s logo, a custom emblem would be made in silver or gold to be worn as a lapel pin, charm, or as a ring.  These jewelry awards would be given to employees for reaching significant milestones,…tenure, safety or sales achievements typically. Often gemstones were added to signify varying levels of achievement: 1 diamond for 10 years of service, 2 diamonds for 15 years, and so on.

Emblem jeweling sequence

Today, award recipients still tour the Terryberry manufacturing facility to see their company’s custom jewelry awards being produced by jewelry artisans using time-honored methods. Award rings are cast using the venerable lost-wax process and stones are still set by hand.  Many organizations today continue to provide their award recipients with custom jewelry, an award that honors tradition and creates a lasting symbol of the achievement.

As business evolved into the 1980s and 90s the makeup of a typical workplace evolved too, new generations of workers were added into the job pool, and the marketplace began to look for additional award options to appeal to diverse lifestyles and preferences.  Employee Recognition providers responded by incorporating merchandise awards: clocks, sporting goods, electronics, kitchenware and so on.  Often employees were given a choice of awards from a selection of similarly valued items.  Merchandise awards could be customized with the organization’s corporate symbol to reinforce the recognition.

The new millennium brought a period of uncertainty.  Y2K, the dot.com bubble, Enron, and of course the tragic events of 9/11 had the population reeling and many employers struggling.  Joblessness climbed slowly during the early 2000′s and then skyrocketed to a peak during the great recession.  While pay increases tapered and perks were cut, many employers looked to employee recognition as a way to show appreciation to their hardworking and loyal employees during tough times.

On the flip side, technology continued to advance, and employee recognition programs benefited.  In the late 90s, award selection websites debuted making the process of redeeming awards quicker and simpler for recipients and program administrators.  Soon Performance Points programs were developed, allowing employers to issue award points for specific achievements.  Points could be banked and redeemed for incentives.

employee wellness programs

In recent years, the tides have turned in the job market, and the war for talent has resumed.  At the same time, workers are more mobile, changing jobs more frequently than in previous generations.  In preceding decades it wan’t until the 10 year milestone that employees were first recognized for their years of service in many cases.  Today 3 years of service today is often considered by employees to be long term. Employers acknowledge the importance of bringing recognition into the onboarding process and reinforcing service recognition early on.

Social media has played a role in virtually all aspects of business and personal interactions, and employee recognition is no exception.  Social media-style recognition sites, like Terryberry’s Give a WOW program provide an interface – available on desktop and mobile – where employees can recognize each other for great work in the moment.  Recognition is posted to the company’s recognition feed, where peers can comment and applaud.  A reflection of how personal and work life intertwine: some social media-style programs post a note of recognition on the individual’s personal social channels like Facebook and LinkedIn so that friends and family can participate in recognizing achievements.


More recent advancements include gamification, language and translation features, and advanced analytics.  Reporting dashboards enable business leaders to understand objectively how employee recognition impacts their business over time and by department or location.  Systems integration is also an important innovation, allowing employee recognition programs to be linked to existing HRIS platforms and enabling features like service awards, points, and peer recognition which previously existed in their own silos to be connected as one system.

At the end of the day, maybe the critical point isn’t what has changed over the years, but rather what hasn’t changed in employee recognition.   70 years later, Arthur Parker’s statement still resonates.  Men and women still desire to be rewarded for the quality and quantity of their work.  Fundamentally, employee recognition is still about communicating to others that they are valuable and valued.