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Rewarding employees is an important way to increase their motivation and performance at work

As with any industry, recognizing employees in the hospitality industry is very important to maintain great operations and to stay ahead of the competition. Any business owner in the hospitality industry can really take note of the Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, for instance, in how they maintain unprecedented service to their guests.

The Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces Criteria and Examples

One key factor that distinguishes the Taj Hotels from others is how they recognize their employees. This organization have 93 luxury hotels throughout India and 16 more hotels worldwide. When they recognize their employees, they know that the timing to recognize employees is very important. It has been proven many times that a non-monetary award immediately given to a well-deserved employee is better than awarding him/her with a monetary award six months later. At this time, that employee may not care about being with the company for not being appreciative of his/her extraordinary work, the employee may have lost morale due to not being appreciated, etc. At least giving quick recognition without any money involved will show employees how they are appreciated, and thus, will be motivated to keep working hard for the company. This recognition will also encourage workers to work hard.

Another great observation about the Taj Hotels Resorts is that they have a Special Thanks and Recognition System (STARS). With this system integrated in their company, managers and other supervisors must recognize their outstanding employees many times to keep them happy with the company and to keep being productive for the company. And with this system being known throughout the organization, many employees definitely work hard for this awarding system.

The Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces also have a system where accumulated points are awarded to employees yearly in three areas: their own suggestions, compliments from colleagues, and compliments from guests. Even though one’s manager would be the most important factor in engagement and recognition, appreciation from peers, in this case, is powerful. In these cases, everyone would be more on their toes in work performance, and in many cases, it will be like iron sharpening iron amongst each other.

Other Key Factors to Effectively Recognize Employees

A recent study performed by MarketTools Inc. confirmed that showing a lack of sincere recognition to employees is a main cause of turnover. During the study, a solid correlation between the employee’s loyalty and the level of recognition delivered were identified. Therefore, the invested manager’s effort in getting to know employees and seeing what makes them tick to go above and beyond in performance can lead into a dramatic increase in loyalty as well as the guest satisfaction score. The positive energy will transfer from employees to guests as the guests notice how they are working proficiently in providing the best service possible for them.

Another thing to note is that leading by example is always imperative. To have employees to smile sincerely at guests, the manager must smile sincerely to the guests. Another great example to show them is to say please and thanks to the guests as well as to lend more of a helping hand to show the desire and concern of total guest’s satisfaction. Being sincere and heartfelt to employees and guests goes a long way.


By rewarding your employees, you ensure to increase their motivation and performance at work

With the amount of competition in businesses today, raising quality while keeping costs low is an absolute must. Especially pertinent for the smaller businesses, employee performance may make the difference in the survival of the business.

One way to motive employees without excessive spending is with the use of awards. By recognizing the employees’ abilities and contributions, the employees are given a sense of pride in their accomplishments. It is this pride that will push the employees forward into working harder, and with a greater sense of satisfaction than before.

Using awards as stepping stones if effective. Providing a set document stating what an employee needs to do within the business in order to be awarded gives some control to the employee. They can now decide they want to work harder and do more because of the sense of satisfaction provided by the award. Often, this will result in a marked improvement in an employee’s performance.

The Different Award Programs

Award programs can be developed to benefit either employees or teams. Variable pay is a program where an actual part of an employees’ pay is deemed to be at risk. This can be used to boost the performance of an employee or an entire team because the rewards are strictly performance based.

This programs can include benefits like options in stocks, awards for select accomplishments or even packages containing specialty benefits. The award goals should be a challenge to earn without being so difficult the employees will not even try to earn them.
Bonus programs work quite well in organizations concentrating on sales. They are given to employees by making a certain number of sales or increasing their total sales by a given percentage. Making sales in certain territories or in a specific period of time can also be criteria for achieving this award. Whatever bonus the company awards should be achievable or they will not work.

Stocks as An Award

Awarding employees stock options in the company has always been popular among some of the larger companies. This option means an employee can purchase a certain amount of company stock at a set price for a predetermined length of time. Although the time period differs, it is usually set at a period of about ten years. This is designed to make employees want to continue working for the company for an indefinite period of time.

This way, the employee becomes vested in the company and is not likely to quit. One of the strongest benefits to this course of action for the company is they receive a substantial tax deduction. This compensates the company for offering the stock options to their employees. Although there are risks for both the employee and the company, this method has been proven effective as long as the company’s assets continue to grow at a steady rate.


Rewarding employees has a huge impact on their motivation and performance at work

Research by Bersin & Associates has shown that companies recognizing their employees perform beyond and above those companies that don’t, and these companies that perform better have a 31 % lesser voluntary turnover rate. This is very important for companies because a lower turnover rate of valuable employees will assist greatly in the growth of the company. Also, a lower turnover rate will save the company tons of money that it would take to hire new employees.

Another great reason why recognizing employees with rewards is crucial for companies is due to the improvement of the team culture. Being in a relationship where one is ignored, run down, or abused will cause the person being harmed to want to end the relationship. This also applies with work relationships. Positive environments lead to great relationships, and a culture full of recognition leads the engagement of employees in a positive manner that will encourage employees to want to remain with the company while at the same time producing lasting impacts on their peers.

Awarding employees will also give them and others incentives to be and remain motivated in their work. These valuable employees will be driven to produce outstanding results for the company. Also, these traits will have infused them with a sense of passion, purpose, and mission. And they will take pride in knowing that their work means something valuable to the company’s goals and values.

Due to these reasons, it will behoove any organization to recognize their valuable employees. Recognizing employees in a great way is a main factor in staying ahead of the competition. Having a great brand is reachable to consumers, but poor customer service will drive customers away. And many times, poor customer service is caused by the company not recognizing their employees. In such cases, employees will feel like the company is not looking out for me, so they shouldn’t do their best for the company. Therefore, many of these employees will do just enough to keep the job which includes inferior customer service, for example.

Better Ways to Reward Valuable Employees

There are better ways to reward valuable employees besides having the “employee of the month” announcement and photo hanging up on the business’ wall. Acknowledgement of a job well done in this way or through other public display is appreciated sometimes by most key employees. However, more beneficial rewards are in order sometimes that will be an incentive to keep up the good work. Also, other employees will be even more motivated to utilized their skills with hard work and perseverance. Overall, this will be a win-win situation for the employees and the company because the hard work and skills of the employees will contribute to more company growth and sustainability.

With all of this said, the following are better rewarding incentives for employees:

  1. Peer to peer recognitions- having other employees to recognize their peers will build and strengthen office relations.
  2. Sharing success stories- during award ceremonies, the manager or higher ups should share the story of success of the employee. Handling out certificates and calling out names are not enough.
  3. A small monetary gift/promotion- whether it’s an appreciation gift/lunch or a promotion, these rewards are always great incentives to keep up the good work as well as encourage other workers to do their best.

Rewarding employees with a service award improves their motivation and performance at work

A service award is given to an employee based on the number of years they have been with the company. The Bureau of Labor states that the average employee only works for a company for just over four and a half years. Statistics have shown that anyone born in between the years of 1977 and 1997 are only going to commit to a job for just short of three years.

Since companies are choosing to honor their employees after five years of employment, this has become almost an impossibility. The most traditional of the service awards are given every five years. They begin with the employees first five-year mark and continue until twenty-five years have been achieved.

The theory is that if employers began giving these awards to their employees earlier, this may affect the length of time the employee chooses to stay with the company. By not beginning to give service awards for the full five years, some employees feel like their work does not have value.

Why Service Awards Work

Being recognized for hard work has a lot of meaning, especially if it has been personalized. When a company recognizes a person for specific achievements, that person feels appreciated and valued. This motivates them to not just work harder but to continue the same behavior that won them the award to begin with. When an employee feels that the praise given them was genuine, it becomes more meaningful.

It is helpful when an employer knows their employees well enough to decide if the award is better given in public or in private. Do not take too long a period of time to show recognition. An employee who is shown early on they are valued and appreciated will be more likely to stay with the company and be a model employee. Using social media to show an employee how well they are doing is also a great tool. The most important thing is to be certain your employees feel like their accomplishments are seen and appreciated.

How to Make Service Awards Valuable

A service award basically means you are saying thank you to an employee who has performed their job extremely well. To make a statement that has meaning, give them something they will always remember. Relate to the impact they have had on the company by accomplishing their tasks exceedingly well, and honor the achievement with a special award.

Offer different programs to your employees, each with some different criteria and set of tasks. This give employees a sense of determining their own path within the company, combined with the ability to be recognized for completing certain tasks effectively. This will show employees that you are openly trying to acknowledge their past, and hopefully future contributions to the company.
Simply put, if a person is happy with their job, they will remain with the company. If they are unhappy they will leave, and time and expense must be spent to train their replacement. This can be avoided with the proper recognition.


In order to keep your employees motivated and to give them the recognition they deserve, you can honor some of your best workers with a sales award.

Giving your employees the recognition they deserve in order to keep them highly motivated, and working hard is a key in business. Although money is always a possibility, sometimes finances are limited and it is not an option.

Awards that have been customized to represent your business, and designed to make employees feel good about themselves is the answer. When presented correctly, these awards will make your employees proud of where they work and the job they do. Offering a variety of awards is always a good idea. Categories like the company’s best performer, the employee who has shown the highest sales increase and the number of sales an employee has made are a few good examples.

Asking your employees what categories they think should be considered will make them feel good about giving their opinion and will probably gather good results. Starting incentive programs for the employees is simple because it does not require exhaustive planning or high expenses for the company.

The Reasons Awards Are Better Than Money

When giving awards, be aware that gifts are not subject to taxes and fees like cash. Awards also do not have all the obligations entailed when awarding cash. With a gift, the employee sees the award as a representation of how many years they have been with the company. It becomes a constant and happy reminder of the years past and the contributions made over those years.

The employee knows they have been a valuable asset to their employer. When an employer awards cash, the employee tends to break the amount down into years. He or she sees the cash as payment for each year served and there is a dollar amount attached. This is not nearly as effective as the actual award and can sometimes cause serious problems.
The most valuable thing a company can do for their employees is to make them feel appreciated and needed. An award showing the specifics of something that employee did for the company is a very effective way to accomplish this goal.

How to Customize Business Awards

Making business awards personable by adding information concerning the nature of the award is an effective technique. What the employee did to earn this award is critical and should be remembered. Options like including the date the contribution was made, the name of the employee and the company’s logo will make this an impressive award.

When employees look at their awards, they should remember exactly what it felt like when they received the award. This will strengthen their bond to the company. Including something positive that is a personal representation of the employee is a good technique.
Depending on the circumstances, shape and size are also important factors. For example, if an employee is being awarded for the largest sale made in a year, having a very large award makes perfect sense. These awards are about customization. The better the customization, the better the value of the award.


Acrylic glass, also known as, is an often used material for deal toys

Through the progression of technology, deal toys can be made in different types of ways with Lucite. Companies don’t have to settle for the traditional Lucite slabs with a sheet embedded with relevant details of a financial deal. Lucite deal toys can be of different shapes and designs. As a matter of fact, Lucite deal toys can now be made in custom made designs appropriate for construction, consumer retail, defense & aerospace, education, energy & power, finance, food & beverage, global, healthcare, media & entertainment, real estate & housing, sports, technology, transportation, and more. Also, some Lucite deal toys are eco-friendly.

The Effects of the Economy

Another great thing about Lucite deal toys is the fact that there is no restriction on what can be announced on them. After the crash of 1929, the federal government intervened with the Lucite tombstones which was the only type of Lucite deal toy created in that period. The Securities Act of 1933 placed strict requirements on banks in what advertisements they can run. By that time, the tombstone ad was the format that banks and other companies utilized in publicizing financial transactions, like initial public offerings.

The Lucite deal toys’ business has been booming quite well after the hardship of the Great Depression age, even though there was great anxiety in 2012. In late 2012, there was a fiscal cliff when spending cuts set in and taxes increased. However, the deal toy market started back growing as various mergers and acquisitions surged in 2013. According to the investment banking consulting and technology firm, Dealogic, the total US value in mergers and acquisitions for January and February 2013 grew 93 % in comparison to the previous year. Also, normally companies may order at least 20 Lucite deal toys for employees who were involved in the deal.

Other than that, the following are examples of how the Lucite deal toy market has gotten back on track since 2012:

  • GDN, a deal toy company located in Manhattan, stated that orders doubled in January and February 2013.
  • GDN now has deal toys’ orders for six deals that are worth $1.3 billion to over $20 billion.
  • The Corporate Presence, a deal toy company, has been having a significant growth in 2013 in orders throughout the US and abroad.
  • Refresh Creations, another deal toy company, stated that they have seen fewer orders for restructuring and bankruptcy deal toys and more orders for mergers and acquisitions.
  • Big banks still have strict budget regulations, but they are little more flexible in deal toys for some larger deals.

The Bottom Line

The deal toy business is still thriving; however, they are far from the pre-financial crisis budget or mentality. Smaller boutique firms didn’t have severe budget cuts as the big guys. These small companies utilized deal toys as branding tools and as a way to compete with bigger companies. Harsh lessons were taught from the Great Depression Age, and with certain economy fluctuations and nosedives, such as in 2008 and 2012. Therefore, there will be skepticism for some time to come when it comes to regulating budgets.


Deal toys can be made of different materials and designs depending on the matter of use.

Trying to come up with a creative deal toy by oneself can be a dilemma. For one, doing this can be a daunting task to no avail. Not to mention, trying to accomplish this can take away from the focus of the business. Also, facing the same predictable suggestions can be redundant and ineffective.

Overlooked Inspirations

Because of these issues, business owners/managers could do further research, as with this article, in finding greatly suggestive ideas. There are innovative ways in obtaining a more memorable deal toy, and one sure way of coming up with a more memorable deal toy is by using some overlooked sources of inspiration, such as the following:

  1. Playing Off the Project/Code Name of the Deal- a customized and unique deal toy with the project or code name will resonate for years.
  2. Deal Toys including Relevant Locations, especially cross-border transactions- from a Lucite deal toy with a shape of a state, country, or city to flags or other national symbols will resonate if relevant to the deal.
  3. Basing the deal toy on the transaction type- it can be a Dutch auction, spin-off, swap, or others.
  4. Using an Inside Joke or Bond that Resonates with the Team- this will be meaningful for years to come especially when the inside joke or bond is the focal point of the deal.
  5. Highlighting the Deal’s Significance- the deal could be groundbreaking, a barrier, or record breaking, for instance.
  6. Playing off the Deal’s Distinguishing Feature- for instance, if the negotiation was grueling, a 3-D display of a Sisyphus pushing a giant rock uphill and bearing the logo of the opposing party is distinguishable in showing how grueling and arduous the negotiation was.

With these inspirations and perhaps more, as one’s imagination can take him/her, the inspiration can be presented in different ways that show significance to that specific deal. The deal toy can be presented at a closing dinner, for instance, and different materials can be used in creating the deal toy.

Different Materials for Every Wish

From the classical crystal bowls and Lucite tombstones to 3-D pieces, the sky is the limit of the different materials to use for deal toys. With the traditional Lucite, it has been used since the late 19th century. It’s a classic that is a translucent and clear material. Lucite is the only material in which something can be embedded in. Also, it’s 98 % recyclable.

The crystal is another classic in which the crystal bowl was the deal toy used back in the Gilded era. It’s now perfect for 3-D financial and etching tombstones into standard shapes. Glass and crystal are the most popular, non-Lucite gifts within the deal making industry. Other than these materials, the newer materials used for deal toys include the following:

  • Metal- a really strong material requiring a lot of techniques and tools to achieve the aesthetic desired.
  • Stone- a great material used for a more elegant looking design. It can be the base or the entire tombstone.
  • Wood- a fibrous and hard substance that can be used for custom and standard shaped deal toys. This material is great for customers with traditional tastes. Combined with crystal, it is beautiful, and it can be varnished into an exact shade match.

The history of financial tombstones lies far back in the 1930s.

Many professionals, such as bankers and other financial pros, have been displaying plaques and other commemoratives with engravings of their big company’s deal accomplishments in their offices for ages now. These deal toys are used by the upper echelon in the financial world.

The Transformation of Deal Toys

These commemorative trinkets included objects, such as engraved clocks, crystal bowls, and silver plates. Since the Gilded age, different deal toys were displayed in these financial professionals’ offices. However, deal toys started to change in the 1950s with the introduction of easy to mold plastics. And at that time, the commemorative object market shifted toward the use of Lucite tombstones.

Lucite Tombstones

Lucite tombstones are simply tombstone looking blocks of Lucite that has a sheet embedded on it with relevant details of a huge financial transaction. These details normally were newspaper ads’ reprints on heavier paper. The tombstone ads came from Wall Street executives in papers for the announcement deals until the intervention of the federal government.
After 1929, the Securities Act of 1933 took extra limits on financial companies about the way they can promote themselves. Since then, deal toys were the kind of method that banks and other companies used in making financial transactions public.

Eventually, designers learned to embed clear and printed acetate sheets in Lucite. The Lucite was sold in the 1950s in craft kits which gave home hobbyists the ability to encase mementos in polished Lucite, and coin collectors adopted this technique soon afterwards.

New Possibilities with New Techniques

Additionally, this meant that announcements could be applied in various ways besides the miniature or paper of deal books. And furthermore, Lucite tombstones didn’t have to be a block with these new techniques. For example, the principals’ names and transaction details are able to float in thin air. They could also be various shapes and have various textual details to fit each type of design. In the 1960s, banks and law firms created Lucite that encased tombstone ads announcing new partner classes. And by the late 1960s, the financial companies started to commemorate new partner classes with the partnership announcements engraved in Lucite.

One early form of the Lucite tombstone was cut in the form of the Liberty Bell with a realistic looking crack as a finishing touch. Another early form included two brass balls that are suspended in a clear block. With such toys, it was suggested that the financiers and bankers’ ambitions could be encapsulated in forms suitable to each unique accomplishment.

How These Transformation Influenced Today

Deal toys in these types of forms work like that today. Each piece is meticulously designed in the reflection of key players, the importance and nature of a financial deal, and the essence translating into physical form. Acrylic and Lucite can be poured at room temperature; therefore, deal toys can have practically anything embedded on them. Also, these plastics can be made in tons of shapes, thus giving deal toys the ability of being chameleons. From downright traditional to the hottest design trends, the abilities are now limitless in creating deal toys.


Deal toys are customized gifts which will be assigned at a great business deals

Deal toys are also referred to as a financial tombstone. This name is common in the world of banking and finances. These are gifts that has been customized to suit the recipient and say “thank you” for a job extremely well done. Often, this gift is given in celebration of the conclusion of an important financial or business deal.

These gifts usually come in the form of a plaque or trophies. These plaques are given as souvenir’s during the celebratory closing. Sometimes they can also be referred to as a deal gift or a Lucite tombstone. These specialized rewards are made to be adaptable for all different shapes and sizing. There are also different types available to encompass a wide selection of industries. These keepsakes are important to their respective recipients as they let them know they are appreciated for the contributions they have made.

The History of Deal Toys

The actual term deal toy goes all the way back to the 19th century. This started because of some of the terminology used by printers at that time. After the big crash in 1929 occurred, very strict limitations were placed on any advertising done by the banks. This meant the banks could no longer advertise transactions of a financial nature. Both the banks and law firms made slabs of Lucite that went around their ads.

These ads were usually in commemoration of having reached certain criteria. The announcements for these events were being placed in Lucite. They very first deal toy made was around 1970.
A Mr. McDonald figured out Lucite was perfect for crafting deal toys as it was light ad inexpensive. Although he initially has some reservations, the banks and law firms were quite enthusiastic about his idea. This also save the companies a lot of money by eliminating the need to shop for these gifts in expensive, high end stores.

What Is on A Deal Toy?

Deal toys are usually engraved with a firm’s logo or name. The type of transaction being commemorated is included along with the name of the awards recipient. Depending on what type of a deal is being celebrated, both the type of deal and its financial implications may be included on the award as well.

Since this type of award typically goes to financiers, it becomes an effective marketing tool for long after it was presented. Investment bankers took so much pride in these awards, they were in constant competition over them. This resulted in the creation of gorgeous new designs as they each tried to outdo the others.
Mostly made of acrylic, deal toys are beautiful mementos. Some are made of stone, glass, wood or metal although they do not have the versatility of acrylic.These beautiful keepsakes are customizable in a variety of shapes and sizes and will be around for many years to come.


Deal toys were the result of the banking industry’s need to create a lasting memento of its achievements. Previously, banks would place tombstone advertisements in newspapers to publicize their achievements. Unfortunately, the newspapers were not visually appealing and were often discarded. The deal toys were in response to the need to develop a more lasting and attractive means of celebrating the completion of a deal. The ads were placed into Lucite blocks and eventually evolved into more complex designs. When the financial industry was at its peak deal making, deal toys were highly popular.

The Fall of the Deal Toy

When the economy was doing well, the deal toy industry did well. At one point, some businesses were spending hundreds of thousands of dollars annually on the tombstones. When the financial crisis occurred, spending on these toys decreased. In 2007, JPMorgan Chase no longer commissioned deal toys. The hard times faced by the financial industry also affected the deal toy industry. Both industries struggled to survive during the financial crisis.

Post-Crisis Banking

It has taken several years, but Wall Street is starting to rebound. The industry that was rather sluggish on deals seems to be making a return to investments. Mergers and acquisitions are at its highest levels since 2007.

In 2014, the banking industry made $1 billion in fees just from initial public offers (IPOs). By March of the same year, Blackstone Group & KKR & Co. negotiated $19.6 billion dollars in transactions. With the market on an upswing, will this mean that there will be a resurrection of the deal toy?

The Return of the Deal Toy

The Corporate Presence is one of the major toy deal companies. Despite the market doing better and an increase in deals, David Parry, director of digital strategy at The Corporate Presence, does not believe that the use of deal toys will return to pre-crisis levels. Parry believes banks are slowly returning to using deal toys to celebrate their accomplishments. In 2014, The Corporate Presence saw a 23 percent increase in revenue. Deal toys may not have the prominence they once had, but they are making a comeback. Deal toys do not only publicize mergers and acquisition. They also highlight the accomplishments of the firm involved in the acquisition.

Deal toys are making a comeback. However, it is unknown if they will return to the level of use they were at before the financial crisis. While the banking industry may be returning to using deal toys, they may not spend as much money as they had in past years. However, there is something to be said about that intangible element that deal toys bring that is worth more their actual cost.


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