The role of branded products in employee engagement


Employment and onboarding updates by newcomers, complete with photographs of their welcome kits, are common posts that regular users find on social media, particularly their LinkedIn feeds. The question is, why do those simple water bottles, notepads, backpacks, t-shirts, and coffee mugs end up making such an indelible first impression on new employees, that they end up with thousands too? online impressions? The answer lies in what these examples of branded products represent and how companies can use them to boost employee morale and engagement.

Since the pandemic catalyzed the concept of working from home, remote onboarding has become the norm and a pack of branded goodies is the only tangible connection the employee has with the brand. In fact, a “surprise” home-delivered starter kit is no longer an option and has become an expectation of most employees.

Our recent research shows that freshmen and interns are 325% more likely to post about their new recruiting kits and are likely to attract the most engagement, with an average of 4,264 likes and comments . In terms of ROI, the most popular kits seemed to cost as little as Rs 2,500 and resulted in a high number of job recommendation requests in the comments section. Among the 111 posts analyzed, it was observed that employees with less than 10 years of experience received more than 25 times more likes and comments on new employee welcome gift posts compared to posts from employees with Over 10 years of experience. generate 8x higher engagement than male employees. However, factors such as good packaging, personalizations, greeting card insertion, and timing can increase the impact a welcome kit will have on a worker.

Why does this make a difference?

  • Sources of recognition and value

Employee awards and corporate gifts are gestures of goodwill and expressions of gratitude. Whether it’s a gift certificate or a personalized laptop bag, merchandise can go a long way in making your customers and employees feel valued. However, it’s not just the usual Diwali gifts that matter. Giving freebies during employee onboarding, exhibitions, and marketing campaigns, and even as appreciation for outstanding performance, can positively boost your workforce and build trust, making it a ideal workplace.

  • Create a lasting psychological impact

Let’s face it: hiring and onboarding is expensive, but an employee may not always see their true cost borne by the employer. Corporate gifts tell recruits that the company is spending a lot of money to get them on board. As employees begin to feel empowered, branded products reinforce a positive company culture and drive motivation and the drive to do better.

Everyone loves gifts. A surprise gift received in the mail will bring an adrenaline rush to the recipient. This physical contact with the gift will result in what is called the endowment effect. That is, a person places more importance on the object due to a sense of ownership that the physical object provides. This, in turn, will influence trust, reciprocity and, eventually, loyalty. For a newbie, it can also foster a feeling of being on par with existing employees.

  • Construction of the employer brand

Visibility is everything today, and investing in merchandise bearing the company name or logo creates an item that travels with your employee, whether it’s a bottle of water that an employee satellite drinks from a coworking space or from a bag bearing the logo that he “flaunts” when traveling to the office or in meetings with clients. Pens are also an amazing branding tool, as they are potentially always with the person receiving them. Pens are often borrowed and rarely returned, which means new eyes are looking at your brand logo, without intending to! This effect can be extremely useful when it comes to marketing and brand recall.

In many cases, a good quality branded product might even survive the employee’s association with the brand and continue to be a walking advertisement for it!

According to statistics, compared to those who are struggling, healthy people have a 35% lower turnover rate. Social, community and physical well-being are now the top priorities of every employee, without which they will not hesitate to find another job. This is even more true with the young Gen Z workforce that has more work options than ever now. Organizations can scale up and report on the wellbeing of their employees by creating employee wellness programs. For employees working remotely from home, corporate gifts in the form of Fit Bit Health and Fitness smartwatches and fitness bands. For employees working remotely from home, corporate freebies in the form of fitness smartwatches, gym bags, water bottles and headphones, as well as fitness app subscriptions could help them. motivate them to adopt healthy habits.

  • A best practice from the big leagues

Respect given is respect earned. In our research, some of the companies we found following the practice of a welcome kit were: Microsoft, Swiggy, Capgemini, Lowe’s, Nike, Piramal, LinkedIn, Unacademy, KPMG and Randstad. These kits have proven extremely popular in metropolitan cities, mainly Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru and Noida. Giving your employees gifts as part of a regular rewards program or even outside of it can instill a sense of pride in employees and make them truly believe that they work for a respectable leader in the industry. . Needless to say, this impacts the type of talent you attract and retain.

Last word: Whether they’re as small as a laptop sticker and keychain or as big as a headset or Bluetooth speakers, corporate gifts and branded merchandise drive engagement employees, adding elements of fun and surprise to the employer-employee relationship.

I firmly believe that everyone associated with your business – whether employee, customer, distributor or supplier – has the power to be a potential brand ambassador for your business, communicating your organization’s ethos and culture to its circle of influence. , online and offline. Thoughtful merchandise and personalized corporate gifts are a great way to build rapport with employees and boost their morale.



The opinions expressed above are those of the author.



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