The Roundtable is an open community that welcomes others to engage in discussions with the All Star panelists. Discussions are geared to create a better understanding of the role of incentives in today's marketplace. We invite you to read on and share your opinions and thoughts with us.
Posted by Kristie GalonekThursday, February 12th, 2015
Just because an employee is happy, does not necessarily mean they are productive; just because an employee is productive, does not necessarily mean they are happy. Despite generation or personality type, we should always be exploring our interests and passions to pursue our own way of life inside and outside of the workplace. That being said, our happiness and employment status are very much related. Our jobs provide opportunities for us to establish connections with others, to utilize and enhance our skills, and allow us the ability to capitalize on our strengths, which ultimately permits us to find meaning in society and achieve our goals. Studies show that happy employees achieve their goals 31% more often, are 36% more motivated in their work, and strive to do the best they can to help to make their organization more successful. In return, they anticipate recognition for the efforts behind their contribution and commitment to their company. Employers who recognize the difference between a happy employee and an engaged employee often create a positive work culture that supports a more creative, productive, and resilient work force.
The latest research finds that camaraderie in the workplace trumps compensation in motivating employees to go above and beyond. Unhappy workers withhold their best efforts, whereas happy workers are often willing to help out their colleagues. In addition, when able to recognize peers for good work, employees are 107% more likely to identify themselves as highly engaged. Business performance is a direct reflection of our employee’s loyalty to the company and each other.
Successful companies reward their employees for giving extra effort, problem solving and workload assistance, volunteering, providing motivation or inspiration to others. Many turn to All Star Incentive Marketing®, a third-generation family firm, for expertise in motivating and rewarding their workforce in meaningful ways, by developing dynamic incentive and recognition programs that drive employee motivation, sales, safety, and wellness.
Posted by Cindy DuncanTuesday, February 3rd, 2015
Posted by Gary GalonekWednesday, January 14th, 2015
For decades that Aquinnah tribe (Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head)of Martha’s Vineyard has been trying to assert their rights to develop a casino on the island. The appetite for gaming licenses seems to be waning with the granting of a license to MGM in Springfield, and a still contentious license to Wynn in Everett, with the 3rd resort casino license still to be determined in Southeastern, MA but being “held” for the Mashpee Wampanoags (no relation to the Aquinnah’s). In addition, the slots only license was granted to Penn Gaming for the now under construction “racino” at the former Plainridge Racecourse harness Race Track. This case remains in U.S. District Court. Stay tuned.
Posted by Cindy DuncanWednesday, January 7th, 2015
Yes, another new year is upon us but there’s nothing new about what’s hot for promotional product buying. Wearables make up more than 25% of the industry revenue. Polos, t-shirts (the industry staple!), outerwear and headwear with the ever enhancing performance features will still dominate apparel trends for 2015.
Wearable decoration techniques come in a variety of choices, the good old traditional methods and some newer, non-conventional options. Depending on your corporate brand design, garment, and the impact / impression you would like to make, there’s a perfect technique for you:
This age old method of apparel embellishment stitches, typically by programmable machine, the desired design onto a cloth garment. Usually a standard polyester or rayon thread is used but there are also metallic threads that will yield a less conservative appearance.
Embroidery with Sequins
This manner of adornment partners standard embroidery with the addition of stitched on sequins. The resulting appearance here is a step beyond what the use of metallic thread produces.
Laser patch / laser etch
A fairly new technique, it literally etches the logo into either a simple shaped appliqué patch or directly into the garment’s fabric. The process produces a tone-on-tone effect which is more subtle than most.
For small quantity imprinting runs, heat transfers are perfect. They can be made using simple output devices or ordered pre-made. Application is the process of using the right amount of heat and pressure to get the adhesive backed transfer affixed to the wearable.
Spangle / Rhinestone transfer
For a way out bling look, this heat transfer procedure adheres rhinestones and/or “spangles”, which are simply sequins without the holes, to the garment.
If you want a permanent, high quality look and your budget can bear it, this is the way to go. Your product is created from scratch. Using the thread colors of your logo, fabric is produced with your brand woven into it.
Using digital print technology and dye fusing, this imprint technique allows for full color, photo quality images and due to the nature of the process, allows for lower order minimums.
Dye sublimation to the nth degree, InFusion couples proprietary fabrics with the special technique which results in a totally breathable, lightweight garment with double the image resolution of screen printing.
Another tonal look but with a 3D effect, debossing is applied by using very high pressure and heat to actually re-form the fabric and press your brand right into the apparel.
Last but certainly not least, this method of imprinting is probably one of the most familiar and frequently used. Using stencils and inks, the screen process can print spot or full-color logos but typically in restricted placement areas of a garment.
So between the wealth of garment types and the ample decoration techniques available, you’re sure to find the combination that best fits your corporate brand and image.
Posted by Toni Carrozzo-StrazzaTuesday, December 16th, 2014
Posted by Jim DrakakisMonday, December 15th, 2014
Three simple yet powerful words.
As The National Sales Manager for All Star Incentive Marketing, it’s my job to help drive top-line sales via a MOTIVATED sales force. The “Motivation Equation” is a tough one to figure out. As recent work points out in, “What Motivates Me” by Adrian Gostick & Chester Elton, motivation is highly unique to each person. Many experts agree that motivating work needs to:
- Have purpose
- Carry a sense of accomplishment
- Allow the person to act autonomously.
I agree with these assessments and have always focused on the third point. Not only do I try to provide an environment for team members to have freedom in making decisions, I also empower them to make decisions which are in the best interests of our clients.
A couple of weeks ago I was rewarded for my actions when I was blind copied on communications from a client. The client was launching a new phase of their Safety Incentives Program and was planning on announcing the enhancements at their monthly Town Hall meeting. The majority of the audience are drivers who need to be on the road bright and early. The meetings were scheduled for 7:00 AM and two members of our team were scheduled to be on hand to assist with the exciting announcement.
Late the evening before, the client apologized in advance for the scheduling change but the meeting was now pushed up to 4:00 AM. Because of this sudden change the client did not expect us be on hand for the announcement. They simply wanted to catch someone before they headed out to the facility in the morning.
Two weeks after the event our client wanted to recognize the outstanding commitment made by two members of my team. To illustrate the point they forwarded me email communications that took place before the event. As I looked at the time stamp I noticed the email announcing the schedule change had been sent at 11:00 PM. The reply message was sent at 11:01 PM with those three powerful words, “We’ll Be There,” nothing more.
No mention of this ever came from my sales representatives. They simply did what I empowered them to do, act in the best interest of the client.
Much has been debated between intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation. Here is a classic situation of how two individuals had an intrinsic desire to do what was best for our client. For their outstanding efforts I decided to reward them with extrinsic rewards which were presented in front of their peer group. After the presentation I was told by one member, “I wasn’t going to make a big deal of this, but I’m glad you did!”
Posted by Brian GalonekMonday, December 8th, 2014
Yes, poorly designed recognition (or incentive if you prefer) programs can miss their target, but properly built programs always, and I do mean always, hit their target to the benefit of all. And they do so without the Dan Pinkesque, nefarious sounding, problematic result of turning the award into the sole objective.
Mr. Galloway’s last sentence starts off “Rather than starting with incentive and reward programs, first get to know the individuals…”. Most people, managers included (maybe especially) do not roll out of bed every morning with a burning desire to get to know everyone they see. And yet, creating a culture of engagement (getting to know people) is by far the best way to get safety messaging through to its intended audience.
My company has built countless programs that demonstrate that “starting” with a properly built recognition/rewards program is absolutely the way to go because it helps managers engage with workers. In fact, in every study done on the subject the only thing that approaches recognition in importance is compensation. So, offer appropriate compensation and then recognize (and where appropriate) reward the behaviors that lead to a more engaged and safer workforce.
To read the article, click here.
Posted by Kristie GalonekMonday, November 24th, 2014
Employee engagement within an organization is vital to a company’s ongoing success and profitability. Engaged employees are safer, healthier, happier – and thereby more productive in the workplace. Best-in-class organizations recognize their people as their most important assets and implement recognition and incentive programs to motivate them. Empowering employees with the tools, resources, and support they need to live healthy lives requires attention from leadership at all levels. If communicated and managed properly, these types of programs are used as powerful tools that always result in a positive return on investment and significantly reduce turnover, disability claims, group health costs, and workers’ compensation expenses.
Award winning occupational safety and health magazine, Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), recently revealed the list of 2014 America’s Safest Companies, an award honoring organizations for their commitment and dedication to promoting a superior safety and wellness culture. These companies range from small entities to multinational corporations and represent different industries across the country with unique business objectives. The common theme within each of these organizations is the institution of best practices that improve the overall effectiveness of workplace health and safety programs. It is important to recognize and reward employees for their performance and proactive behavior. Egan Company explains how their incentive program is used as an engagement tool by “encouraging safe activities and behavior by offering “safety bucks,” which are redeemable for merchandise in the company store. Employees earn safety bucks for participating in training sessions, submitting safety suggestions and reporting near-misses, and for individual and corporate safety milestones. All corporate officers and group managers also carry safety bucks to provide an on-the-spot reward for safe behavior.”
According to recent research by the Harvard School of Public Health, workplace health and occupational safety programs, when combined, offer more benefits to employee health and quarterly profits than either can when implemented separately. Lifestyle habits such as inactivity, obesity, poor nutrition, tobacco and substance abuse, and even stresses not only lead to chronic illness, but puts employees at risk of unsafe practices.
One of the winning companies elaborated, saying “Safety is where business and family meet … Our objective is to maintain a safety and health program that will reduce the number of injuries and illnesses to an absolute minimum. By focusing on our employees and their health and safety, we are able to achieve this goal.” And another noted, “Injuries and illnesses can place a hardship on our ability to meet our customers’ needs if we have people unable to perform their duties because of injury or unwilling to perform their duties because of unsafe conditions”.
There is no denying that safety and wellness programs demonstrate positive results for the companies that implement them. For over 40 years, All Star Incentive Marketing has been partnering with clients to create branded safety and wellness incentive programs to build safe and healthy work environment while reducing costs. Click here to request a demo or for more information.
Posted by Heidi ChatfieldMonday, November 17th, 2014
All Star is once again a proud sponsor of the Pan Mass Challenge that has raised $455 Million for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute since 1980.
Posted by Gary GalonekThursday, October 30th, 2014
A corporate wellness program with strong incentives can go a long way towards supporting your employees in adopting new habits and managing their health. When these programs succeed, everybody wins. That’s why All Star encourages our clients to incorporate wellness into their employee-focused reward program — and to boost the effectiveness of their existing wellness efforts by adding attractive incentives.
Posted by Tara LintonFriday, October 17th, 2014
I am rapidly approaching my 10-year anniversary with my company. It’s a family-owned business so already has a friendly built-in quality about it that makes it feel familiar before you even get to know anyone. I have made lifelong friends over the years – some have left and keep in touch and some are still here alongside me.
I am part of the orientation process here so when new employees start – I have the unique opportunity to meet with them one-on-one to talk about my day-to-day and how it fits into the overall company puzzle. The one thing that has struck me about every new employee is that each of them has said the same thing to me — “everyone here is so welcoming, nice, and happy.” So when I stumbled across this article about how friends at work make for happier employees and positively impact the bottom line I found it to be an interesting and relevant read for our industry.
I think my company does a great job encouraging friendships among co-workers – at the very least an atmosphere of true teamwork and support. And it seems to make great common sense that a company should promote this amongst their employees, doesn’t it? After all, when employees are fully invested not only in their work but also the people that they work alongside each day – the entire experience is more meaningful.
While I believe that companies would be remiss to not embrace the opportunity to promote friendships it certainly needs to be genuine and not just about the benefits it brings to a company’s bottom line. There are many ways for companies to foster these relationships not the least of which is a rewards program.
Whether it is a peer-to-peer program or even wellness – these types of programs can inadvertently result in stronger friendships among co-workers. And while these programs are not typically put in place with the sole benefit of helping employees become friends – I think it certainly is an ancillary advantage with the potential for a significant return that pays out in loyalty, increased productivity, and good old fashioned happiness.
Posted by Joseph BorgattiSunday, October 5th, 2014
Improve your bottom line by better engaging your employees!!
Stop by booth #713 while at the ATA Management Conference & Exhibition in San Diego today through Tuesday, October 7th to learn how properly designed safety reward and recognition programs can help improve your company’s bottom line while reducing safety related claims.
Posted by Gary GalonekFriday, October 3rd, 2014
Channeling Jack Nicholson, Ronald Reagan with a dash of Clint Eastwood, Steve Wynn proved why he is truly a legend in the gaming industry.
A large crowd gathered for the keynote address at the gambling industry’s 2014 G2E Global Gaming Expo as he spoke of the industries challenges and the importance of creating unique experience to keep visitors coming back. He reiterated what we already knew to be the case that’s a non-gaming amenities have always been more important in keeping the industry viable than what he termed just slot boxes. “It’s about things that give people a chance to live big,” Wynn said. That’s why they come to Las Vegas, he said. “If you give it to ’em, you’re going to be OK.”
Recognizing that the casino competition continues to grow as more states have legalized casino gambling, an emphasis on non-gambling revenue sources including restaurants, shopping and entertainment is what will win the day for the industry.
He had tremendous praise for the folks in Massachusetts who he called brilliant minds in the application process that afforded him what he considers to be an amazing opportunity in Boston. His 1.6 billion dollar projects international players and provides non-gaming amenities the likes of which have not been seen in the region. He also took a strong position opposed to the expansion of internet gaming as does Sheldon Adleson, another pioneer in Las Vegas and international gaming locals.
Posted by Mike BalcomThursday, October 2nd, 2014
All Star’s commitment to Social Responsibility has earned the New England Promotional Products Association (NEPPA) 2014 “Humanitarian Award”.
The United Way of Southbridge, Sturbridge and Charlton was chosen by All Star as the beneficiary of a most generous gift of $500 made by NEPPA on behalf of the award winning company. It was a very special honor to represent All Star Incentive Marketing, along with 20–year veteran company Controller, Ms. Sharon Frazier, in receiving the award in a formal presentation at the Annual Meeting and opening reception of NEPPA’s Fall Trade Show.
The event was held on September 22nd in the Cabaret Theater at The Mohegan Sun Resort Casino in Connecticut.
We extend our gratitude to NEPPA for selecting us as one of their Humanitarian Award winners! Thank you! Below are just some examples of All Star’s commitment to Social Responsibility…
- Brian Galonek, our President and an owner, just completed his 6th PMC 2-day ride for Dana Farber and the Jimmy Fund. You can learn more about why Brian supports the PMC by clicking here: http://www2.pmc.org/profile/BG0129/
- All Star has been a financial supporter of The Jimmy Fund for over 30 years as well as helping to raise $1 Million+ over 26 years hosting/participating in a local golf tournament. See link above for additional information.
- Michael Balcom, VP of Corporate Identity, has been an active supporter and volunteer for the Jimmy Fund Golf Program for 30 years, currently serving as a committee member for the Stockbridge Jimmy Fund Golf Tournament.
- Our internal wellness program consists of 6 concentrations, one of which is Social Responsibility. The participants have hosted food drives, care packages for soldiers, hosted dinners for Ronald McDonald House, collected cell phones for soldiers, host an annual coat/hat/mitten drive, etc.
- The wellness team for Fitness & Exercise has put together teams to participate in many walk/runs including multiple years completing the Tornado Relay, BB5K in Sturbridge MA, Harrington Hospital 5K for Breast Cancer, etc. The teams consist of both owners and employees walking/running side by side in support.
- All Star offers a matching gift program where any qualified donation of $25 or more to a charitable organization will be met, dollar for dollar, up to $500 per employee per calendar year. In 2013 our employees took advantage in the amount of $640.00 and to date in 2014, we have matched $1,125.00. Charities include the American Cancer Society, Dana Farber/PMC, The Lupus Foundation, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, YMCA, National Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, etc.
- All Star allows employees to volunteer, during work hours for which they are paid, to support such things as volunteering time for the United Way Day of Caring, picking apples for the Community Harvest Project, donating blood to the American Red Cross, etc.
- All Star makes product donations to many charitable events such as MPTN Golf Tournament, we are a Silver Sponsor at the Stockbridge Jimmy Fund Golf Tournament, we also donate items for raffle to Residential Energy Assistance for Seniors, Kicks for Kaitlin, St. Mary’s Church to help the homeless, Relay for Life, Lions Club Character Breakfast, and many more.
- Our annual holiday cards go out to customers indicating a donation in their name to the Worcester County Food Bank. Each year this represents several hundred dollars.
- All returnable cans are collected and donated to The Boy Scouts which results in sending at least one scout to summer camp each year.
- We recently raffled a TV and Blue Ray player internally to employees, helping raise money for the Riel Brothers Fund to assist paying funeral expenses for 2 young brothers killed in a nearby car accident this past July. As of today, we have raised $382 in donations from employees for this family.
- All Star pays half the cost for employees to get pink hair extensions in support of Breast Cancer each October. We have a stylist come to the office during work hours.
- We have a donation box for Operation Care Package located in our cafeteria. Employees add change from the vending machine daily.
- We host a “swap party” annually for which all remaining items are donated to The Goodwill.
- Soda can tops are collected and donated to The Lions Club for eyewear.
- Team members have volunteered time on weekends for local soup kitchens, several road races for various charities, etc.