3 Tips to Help You in Motivating Millennials

Young employee

Photo Credit: citirecruitment via Compfight cc

They probably don’t remember life before the Internet, they know more reality stars than movie stars, and they are always waiting for the next smart phone release.

The millennial generation, now 18-35 years old and 79 million strong, is taking over the workforce and tossing out the established rules as they do.

Baby boomers have been known to refer to the younger generation as entitled, spoiled, and lazy, but Millennials are more likely to describe themselves as innovative, tech-savvy, and open-minded.

The truth is, members of the millennial generation, or Gen-Y, view employment, motivation, and recognition differently than any generation before them and businesses will need to adapt in order to thrive.


With that in mind, here are three ways you can harness the power of the Millennials for your business:


1. Make It More Than A Job

Prior generations saw employment as a necessity to earn a living. Millennials are looking for more than a paycheck (or a direct deposit notification). They want to feel passionate about the work they do.

Photo Credit: zetson via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: zetson via Compfight cc

Many Millennials have a deep desire to change their corner of the world (or the entire thing) for the better, are creative thinkers, and are ready to offer fresh perspectives and unique opinions.

Managers can harness these attributes by being open to hearing (and implementing) the innovative ideas of even entry-level employees. Not only can this bring positive results, it will also help Millennials feel they are a valued part of the organization.

However, it’s not enough for most members of this generation to feel good about their work. They also want to feel a connection to the company. Start off strong, by building this connection by giving top candidates a branded item such as a stylus pen or small token at the end of their interview.

After hiring a new employee, offer plenty of opportunities for them to meet and bond with their new work family. For this new generation of employees, working for a great company is a status symbol; so let them show off by greeting them on their first day with a swag bag including personalized apparel and other items they can be proud of.

These simple touches tell your fresh-faced employees that your company is the place to be.


2. Offer Frequent Feedback and Recognition

This generation was the first to embrace text messaging, fast food, streaming video, and high-speed Internet. Everything is fast-paced, and most respond best to quick, frequent feedback.

This means the traditional annual review and bonus probably won’t meet their needs. Instead, aim for feedback that is less formal feedback on a quarterly, weekly and even daily basis.

Photo Credit: rdubois via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: rdubois via Compfight cc

There’s no need to make this a time-consuming or expensive endeavor. Managers can provide drive-by reinforcement to employees by simply stopping by their desks for a word of praise and a high-five.

Not only does this serve as informal feedback; it further establishes the much-needed personal connection.

On a slightly less frequent basis, it’s a good idea to reward meeting quarterly goals or completing a large project with a tangible item. Look for tech-savvy items such as portable charging devices, or smartphone cases or electronics.


3. Get Social

It’s no secret that the Millennial generation has a love affair with social media. Though posting on personal Facebook account while on the clock might be a office issue, social media offers a powerful tool that managers can use to connect with employees.

This generation lives their lives on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Harness the trend by praising individual employees or teams on social media and tagging them in the posts.


Though it may seem daunting at first, these few tips should help you understand and relate to your Gen-Y employees, while boosting productivity.

What do you do to motivate your Gen-Y employees?

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Best Bamboo Cutting Boards Review

I don’t know about you, but I’m in the market for a new cutting board.

It wasn’t always this way. My mom bought me a beautiful, sturdy bamboo cutting board a couple of years ago and it served me well. It was solid and pretty and good to my knives.

But then along came my cat, swaggering along the counter where he’s not supposed to be. The cat decided the counter wasn’t big enough for both him and the cutting board, and I found the board in two pieces on the floor shortly afterward.

With the two resulting “mini” cutting boards tiding me over until I get a new one, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at our best bamboo cutting boards for every recipient or occasion.

Best Cutting Board for Football Season

Did you know there was such a thing? Well, there is! You can make game day so much more festive by prepping your veggie tray with a Football Cutting Board.

It looks so impressive, you can even use it as a serving tray and impress all your fellow football fans.

Not only does the football cutting board bring the game into the kitchen, but the bamboo is easy to maintain and naturally anti-microbial.

Just be sure to personalize your board with your name or your team’s name so everyone knows whose ball it is and there are no interceptions.


Best Cutting Board for the Master Chef

If you cookKona cutting board a lot—especially a lot at once—the best cutting board provides ample space for everything you’re chopping, as well as a groove to catch those veggie juices.

The Totally Bamboo Kona Cutting Board gives you plenty of space to work with at 18”x12” and has a groove running all the way around the board on one side to keep your counters nice and clean.

Laser engraved with text or artwork, it makes a great gift for yourself (if your cat destroyed your last board), or for friends and family who enjoy cooking.


Best Cutting Board for Space Savers

Molokini cutting boardI think we’ve already established that there isn’t enough room on my counter for both my fat cat and a big cutting board.

If you have a small apartment or a hefty cat (or both), the best bamboo cutting board won’t take up too much counter or cabinet space.

The Molokini Cutting Board is nice and compact at 7.5” x 7.5”, and looks smart and sophisticated underneath all those veggies.  Add your artwork, text, or logo to the corner, and this could be the best little cutting board that ever graced your counter.


Best Cutting Board for Large Spaces

Dominica Cutting Board

Maybe you have the opposite problem and need to fill up as much space as you can! And don’t forget: the bigger the board, the more food you can put on it.

There are some pretty big cutting boards out there to meet your needs.  The Dominica Cutting Board measures in at 12.5″ x 20″.  That’s 250 square inches of space for all your slicing and dicing needs!

Plus, this board’s got a beautiful grain inlay and is customizable, making sure you never want to take it off your counter again.


Best Cutting Board for Wedding Gifts

Aruba Cutting BoardNow, I didn’t use to be great at giving wedding gifts. “You’re getting married? Uh…do you need any dish towels…?”

No offense to dish towels, but they’ve got nothing on bamboo cutting boards. They’re so useful and they can be so beautiful, especially after you add personalization.

The best cutting board for wedding gifts is something that is high quality and is going to last for decades.

The Aruba Cutting Board will surely impress the happy couple with its pretty end grain inlay, and years later, they will still be impressed because that board will look the same as it did when they first got it.

You know that item your mom always showed you and said, “I got that as a wedding present 30 years ago”?  This is going to be that present.

There are so many boards to choose from! But hopefully, this will help you narrow it down to the best in each category and make your choice a little easier. I know for me, at least, it’s time to go cutting board shopping.

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Laser Engraved Shield Plaques Given to Colorado State Senators

The age old plaque, an elegant and popular way to recognize, reward and motivate.

Colorado State Senator Kevin Lundberg, holding award (Photo By: Amy Nunnally), from the Patriot League

Colorado State Senator Kevin Lundberg, holding award (Photo By: Amy Nunnally), from the Patriot League

One of the best parts of being in the awards business, is we get to help make a difference in the lives of individuals and businesses as they further their goals, which is one of our goals as a business.

Watching the video below was encouraging for our team, as we got to see our work encourage others!

Watch as Colorado State Senators and Representatives receive Shield Shaped Plaques laser engraved by LazerDesigns, given by The Pillar Project. Thank you for letting us be a part of your event!

Plaques have been given for decades to commemorate special occasions and honor special individuals.  Whether an expression of gratitude, achievement, or reward, the spacious surface of a plaque offers more than adequate space to send your message.

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Cutter and Buck Discount Codes

Embroidered Cutter & Buck Polo

Embroidered Cutter & Buck Polo

Cutter and Buck clothing is high quality, comfortable, easy to care for and professional looking.

Are you looking for Cutter and Buck discount codes? We have several promotions going on for Cutter and Buck clothing – plus, this includes your logo or text embroidered on the clothing!

Free shipping for orders over $250 • Order Minimum: $250.
• Shipping to lower 48 in USA.
20% off for BLANK, non imprinted C&B apparel • Minimum order: $75
• Choose “Nothing” from “What to Embroider” box
CB20OFFBLANK (choose “nothing” from the “What to Embroider” box)
No Minimum Order when Personalizing • None! Already shown on website
Order more than 6 of any Cutter & Buck apparel item, and receive volume discounts based on qty! • All items must be ordered at same time. Just add them all to your basket to receive volume discounts on all items (as long as total quantity in basket is more than 6)

Now start purchasing and enjoy your Cutter & Buck Apparel at a lower price!

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Custom Laser Engraved Thor Hammer

Custom Engraved Thor Hammer

Custom Engraved Thor Hammer

When you need something unusual laser engraved, where do you turn?

If you’re Thor, you turn to Lazer Designs. With our state of the art technology, knowledgeable and friendly staff, the Sons of Odin deem us worthy.

Need your Thor hammer engraved? Or anything else for that matter? Visit our custom engraving page to learn more and get started.

See the video of the Thor hammer being laser engraved below.

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10 Great Ideas for Corporate Anniversary Gifts That Employees Will Love

When it’s time to find corporate anniversary gift ideas, it can feel impossible to come up with something that everyone will love. Traditional gifts are boring, predictable, and unlikely to inspire motivation. But, if you try to get creative it may come off as cheesy instead.

employee anniversary

Photo Credit: reynermedia via Compfight cc

There has to be a way to celebrate employee anniversaries with gifts that won’t get tossed immediately. The key is to find items that are practical enough to be used in an employee’s real life and luxurious enough to feel like a treat.

Keep in mind that not every anniversary merits the same gift. Employees who have been with the company just a handful of years will love seeing their tenure celebrated, but one and five year corporate anniversary gifts should be simple. Keep the budget for these items between $25 and $75.

Employees who have the dedication to stick with a company for 10 or 15 years need a larger gift to increase their motivation.  Look for something in the $125 to $250 range for these hard workers. Reward people who have spent the bulk of their careers with the company with a gift costing around $350 to $500.


With that in mind, here are 10 corporate gift ideas to ensure your employees are happy and loyal (and their trash cans don’t start filling up with all your past gifts):


Wine Box

Customized Wine Box

Wine Boxes:  Unique and unexpected, wine boxes are a fun way to celebrate accomplishments. Plain boxes are perfect for the early anniversaries. More elaborate boxes, complete with corkscrews and other tools, are nice upgrades for longer-term employees. For a fun addition to this gift, add a bottle of wine from the year the employee started with the company.


Time Away:  After their years of hard work, what better way to reward your employees than by giving them time off?  Consider presenting your employees with a paid day off, a travel voucher, a stay at a hotel, or a plane ticket. A gift like that, and your employees will not only understand your appreciation but come back from their vacation feeling refreshed and ready to go.


Outdoor Gear: Maybe your employee is a lover of the great outdoors and enjoys hiking or camping. Consider presenting them with a nice jacket to keep them warm on trails and camping trips. Or try giving them a Trek Light hammock that they can carry with them and string up wherever their heart desires. Just don’t be too surprised if they love it so much that you find it hanging in their office or cubicle.


personalized flashlight giftQuality Flashlights:  Everyone needs a reliable flashlight, but no one thinks to purchase a nice one until they really need it. The beauty of this gift is that it can grow as the employee does. Miniature and key-chain lights are excellent gifts for newer employees, while full-sized lights in gift packaging are nice gifts for those who have been around longer.


Coffee Gift Cards:  Long workdays depend on caffeine. With many employees forking over a chunk of their paycheck to the local coffee shop, a gift card for the latte or espresso of their choice is a welcome gift. Start with a small denomination and increase the amount the longer an employee serves.


Cold Weather Comfort: With colder seasons just around the corner, keep your employee warm and cozy by giving them high-quality boots or gloves from a well-known brand like Ugg or Sorel. If you don’t know their style or size, make it a gift card and let them get in on the fun of choosing an item. Every time they slip on those boots or gloves, they’ll remember their years of service.


cutting boardsQuality Cutting Boards:  Chopping vegetables and prepping food is a chore that is made easier with nice tools.  Not only is a quality cutting board a practical and beautiful gift, it is also a blank slate for your company’s logo, and will be in use for years, if not decades.


Movie Gifts Cards:  Maintaining work-life balance is one of the keys to staying motivated on the job. However, grueling schedules and long workdays often have employees forgoing fun activities. Gift cards to a local cinema allow employees to take their mind off the office. Rather than just including enough for a single ticket, consider gifting enough to make it a family outing.


Digital Camera:  Even in the age of the smart phone, there are certain images that just have to be captured with a high quality camera. Show your employees how much they’re valued by giving them a digital camera to help them commemorate everything from family vacations to birthdays. No matter the picture, such a gift will surely remind your employees of how much they are valued.


Tablet or E-Reader: Does your employee spend their spare time or lunch break with their nose buried in a book? Try giving them an e-reader or tablet! Such a gift will help them feel special, and it will also let them know that you pay attention. Make the gift extra special by giving them the tablet preloaded with a couple of popular books or something you think they might enjoy.


As hard as it seems to come up with good gifts for corporate anniversaries, a little out-of-the-box thinking and personalization goes a long way. And, hopefully these ideas will give you a little inspiration and a head start!

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4 Ways Your Small Business Can Maximize Facebook on a Budget

Because your small business is on a budget, you don’t have thousands of dollars to throw at advertising. You do have Facebook, though. It’s an effective tool that helps you engage your existing customer base, attract new customers, and build your brand. And you can achieve all these goals on a budget when you maximize Facebook in these four ways.

1. Create a fan page.

Most of your customers are active on social media, so join them and create a Facebook fan page.

This is the most basic step, and you should get started right away so you can start building a fan base.  Then you can request your custom URL (IE, facebook.com/lazerdesigns).

You have to get to 25 fans before you can request it, so get started today! (Click here for step by step on how to setup custom Facebook URL’s, and here for how to setup a Facebook account)

2. Post engaging content.

You might manufacture a very technical widget, but that doesn’t mean your content has to be dry or boring. Instead, use everyday language and write short posts that:

  • Answer common customer questions.
  • Invite conversations about daily life.
  • Share staff stories.
  • Tell a story about your brand.
  • Focus on sales only 20 percent of the time.

3. Post regularly.

Even your most loyal customers grow bored easily. Keep them engaged when you post content at least three to five times a week. These posts can include:

4. Focus on the relationship.

Sure, you want to increase sales, but customer service comes first. To do that, stay active and answer questions and concerns quickly.

Stay up-to-date on comments, posts, and questions with a service that automatically emails you updates, such as Hyper Alerts.

When you maximize your small business Facebook account, you build your brand and engage new and existing customers. Get started today!

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