Recognition Creates Loyalty
By Andy Cohen

Another trait common to great workplaces is that management continuously recognizes the efforts and successes of its employees. It’s that recognition that deepens employees’ connections to the company and makes them feel valued. San Diego-based distributor firm Custom Logos (asi/173183), ranked number three on the Best Places to Work list, makes sure that it consistently recognizes and honors its employees.

In addition to its regular holiday parties (which all feature lots of food and an open bar, by the way), Custom Logos hosts quarterly events that in the past year have included a mountain hike, a roller-skating party and a bowling party. At one recent quarterly meeting, each staff member was handed a crisp $100 bill as a thank you for his or her loyalty and to celebrate the recent success of the company.

“We consistently make an effort to reward, praise and thank our staff for a job well done,” says Custom Logos’ Ryan Kaback. “The results can be found in the willingness by everyone to service our customers at the highest level possible and the fact that the majority of our staff has been with us for many years.”

It’s a sentiment that’s shared by the number-two-ranked company on the Best Places to Work list: Albrecht & Co. (asi/116308). Owner Fred Albrecht says that the company makes sure to recognize its staffers often and to show them the respect they deserve as valuable contributors to the organization. “Our main method to retain employees is to treat them with respect and include them in the overall goals of the company,” he says. “Our employees are treated like family and as valued individuals rather than interchangeable drill bits.”

Another distributor, MadeTo-Order (asi/259540), number 11 on the Best Places to Work rankings, holds an annual event that goes a long way toward recognizing its whole sales force. They have an annual sales banquet at Morton’s Steak House in Las Vegas where they celebrate in a private room with great wines, gifts and recognition for the sales force. This year was a Mont Blanc theme with fine writing instruments and watches for the top performers. The whole theme was carried over into their sales meeting the next day where each of the sales partners did a presentation for $5,000 in “VC” funding. They had to come up with an idea and ask the rest of the sales partners to vote on whether they get the funding for the idea. All funds had to be spent on projects by July 1, and the result was not only a fun event for everyone, but also an opportunity to recognize and share great ideas.

“MadeToOrder is a challenging yet comfortable place to be employed,” says MadeToOrder’s vice president Barbara Brown. “We work hard to encourage collaboration, and sales partners rely on each other and share ideas, skills and encouragement.”

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