Filling The Needs of a Telecommuter / PromoJournal - The Take Away

Filling The Needs of a Telecommuter / PromoJournal - The Take Away

H.R. will always be a top market for our goods and services. With the trend holding steady for working at home, the challenges employers face will need creative solutions from their promotional consultants. All H.R. managers want to keep employees fully engaged in work, consistently attending and participating in online meetings, and enthusiastic about their workplace and career.

 Our goods and services need to expand into digital at a quicker pace. Not touting my own company, I have moved into digital greeting cards and developed the capability of creating P.U.R.L.S. as well as interactive programs on USB.  We need more. Those working remotely have only the internet for connectivity.

We are a tangible medium and will always be. “Things” will always have a role and “things” to specifically help address the needs of telecommuters need to be identified and cataloged by you and your distributorship.

Engagement is the key to a loyal, productive workforce. With a decentralized organization, there are challenges because what you don’t see and what you don’t know, cannot be addressed.

A pat on the back or slap on the shoulder is hard to administer from afar. Recognition is vital and recognition is motivation. So, what recognition can be done digitally, and can we make money on it? An email itself is not recognition, however, sending an award to arrive when the email arrives is a double hit. Recognition in form of a gift can be achieved digitally through one of our gift services and not a Visa gift card with which you make no money.  It takes creative, out-of-the-box thinking.

Recognition is for a job well done; appreciation is thanking a person for doing a job. Showing appreciation can be done in many ways, but the newest opportunity for telecommuting can be to identify and present ideas/items to “spiff” up a home office and bring some practical items to the workers’ environment. Think walls, desks, and accessories. They will have to be mailed, but aside from the in-your-face branding, they are functional. One coffee mug can lead to a continuity program of morning coffee deliveries. From traditional items such as a mouse pad to a hot link button for direct access to a conference, you have plenty to offer but you should catalog it. Once cataloged, it can open many doors if you join LinkedIn H.R. groups and display your capabilities

With remote workers, there is a need for frequent communications beyond the routine work product employees produce … newsletters, videos, and even digital games, not Super Mario but innovative trivia, and intellectual products. Get creative take a cue from online dating and conduct a take your child to work day. Celebrate special days like Lefty Day, Peanut Butter Appreciation, etc.

Thinking home safety and home fitness, a lot of products can be delivered digitally. October is Fire Safety Month. Sending a home fire safety program is a perfect idea. Stress comes with any job. What helps stress? Relaxation therapy, yoga, and aroma therapy. Your clients need to address employee stress for invisible employees. Even the best ergonomic chair and desk create a happy home workplace … this can be a recognition award, gift, or incentive.

You have many tonics in your medicine bag of promotional products and ideas. Build a tech network of stringers and freelancers. While the big guys have massive I.T., the smaller ones don’t. You can fill the void and at the same time look for suppliers who can offer solutions you never know you needed.

Joel D. Schaffer, MAS is CEO and Founder of Soundline, LLC, the pioneering supplier to the promotional products industry of audio products. Joel has 48 years of promotional product industry experience and proudly heralds “I was a distributor.” He has been on the advisory panel of the business and marketing department of St. John’s University in New York and is a frequent speaker at Rutgers Graduate School of Business. He is an industry Advocate and has appeared before the American Bankers Association, American Marketing Association, National Premium Sales Executives, American Booksellers Association and several other major groups. He has been a management consultant to organizations such as The College Board and helped many suppliers enter this industry. He is a frequent contributor to PPB and Counselor magazines. He has facilitated over 200 classes sharing his industry knowledge nationwide. He is known for his cutting humor and enthusiasm in presenting provocative and motivating programs. He is the only person to have received both the Marvin Spike Industry Lifetime Achievement Award (2002) and PPAI’s Distinguished Service Award (2011). He is a past director of PPAI and has chaired several PPAI committees and task forces. He is a past Chair of the SAAGNY Foundation, Past President of SAAGNY and a SAAGNY Hall of Fame member. He was cited by ASI as one of the 50 most influential people in the industry.

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