While traditionally promotional merchandise is used to motivate clients and encourage additional revenue flows many organisations use branded merchandise to motivate and encourage their staff. A staff rewards program is one of the most cost-effective marketing efforts any company can consider as the benefits of these campaigns are significant for all aspects of organisational performance. If your staff are doing their jobs to the best of their abilities and dealing with clients in a professional and friendly manner the benefits will flow right through the whole company.

The reasons for considering a staff promotional campaign are manifold, but ultimately profit and organisational cohesion are the main drivers of all HR management. The important thing in considering the development of a program is that it brings together the needs of the organisation and the expectations of the staff. Importantly the exercise should not simply be an across the board offering to every member of staff but must be specifically targeted to each level of the organisation and be seen to incentivise additional efforts and activity.

While many staff members are regularly given bonuses comprising cash and salary additions, this is not necessarily the best option for an organisation. One of the major problems with cash bonuses for staff is that the expectation of a bonus can settle in the employee's mind and it is merely considered a normal part of their salary package. It is always important to ensure the rewards on offer stand apart from normal remuneration and are therefore sought after and considered both a reward and a "thank you" from shareholders and senior management.

Consider for instance the advantages in handing out something as simple as t shirts printed with a company logo or message. The cost would be less than $10 per person however the flow-on opportunities can be substantial. Firstly, people will be grateful for the personal gift bestowed upon them. It's rare that organisation do anything or their staff and even a small gesture will be appreciated. The second advantage is the branding on the t shirts will be seen by many people and every time one of your staff is walking the streets or engaged in recreational activities they effectively become a walking billboard for your brand. Finally, there is also the opportunity for the staff to use this gift as part of their workdays which makes the promotional offering a business tool as much as a personal incentive. Think about these and the other opportunities which may emerge from running a staff promotional campaign and you'll realise there are few better ways to spend $10 of your marketing budget.

The cost of finding, training and retaining quality staff is amongst one of the greatest a business faces in the modern economy. A valid promotional staff rewards program featuring products which are of interest personally and relevant from an organisational point of view is a way to both motivate and retain staff while seeing a spill-over effect into the general marketing mix. While many of us are used to incentivising our clients and business contacts too often the people who sit around us and comprise the business itself are overlooked.