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Public Recognition Goes A Long Way

When most buyers think of developing a recognition program they think about the recipients. What would they use and appreciate? What would motivate them to remain loyal to their employer? It's equally important to recognize employees in front of their customers.

CLIENT: Nationwide Chain of Restaurants
OBJECTIVE: To recognize employees for years of service in a manner certain to create good will.

For each year of service at a chain of restaurants, employees receive a lapel pin as a recognition gift. The pin is shaped like a chili pepper to match the company's logo and the year of service is printed in gold. The program was established shortly after the chain first opened.

As with most recognition gifts, the pins are presented to employees in front of their peers. The value of this gift, however, extends beyond the company showing its appreciation for length of service.

Ever since the program has been in place, the pins have become collectibles. Employees, especially those who interact with the public, often sport all of their pins at the same time. But because the pins don't state "years of service" they often prompt customers to ask the staff (in particular, the waiters, bar staff, and restaurant managers) the significance of the numbers. This, the company reports, usually leads to a conversation, and that affords employees the opportunity to establish a relationship with their customers, which typically results in repeat business.

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