The global pandemic in 2020 has resulted in many companies suddenly pivoting to their staff working from home and outside meetings with customers and partners being done online. This operational shift has been especially challenging for businesses that pride themselves on strong company culture and personal connections.
For those who thrive on the energy of collaborative work, the last 7 months have been a serious slog, and workers who have had to adapt to remote work are feeling increasingly disconnected from their teams. As a result, executives everywhere have been left scratching their heads trying to find new ways to promote connection and unity, company culture, and corporate values, even as we’re increasingly working apart.
While we don’t have a silver bullet for all of these challenges, we do have some tips for maintaining employee relationships and connections with other key stakeholders this holiday season. In this post, we’ll explore how you can add a personal touch to employee connections or client/supplier outreach that reinforces company culture and values while also furthering your relationships.
The problem of the impersonal
If you’ve spent time in a corporate setting, you can probably recall more than a few company-branded token gifts ranging from T-shirts and mousepads to mugs and water bottles. You know, the kind of branded items that look as if they were picked from a catalog that had a generic picture of the item with the words “your logo here” on it.
On the one hand, these are perfectly functional gifts that recipients will use for a while, but on the other, they lack emotional resonance and do little to reinforce personal connections. The reason for this is that a mug or water bottle with a company logo on it simply doesn’t evoke a strong emotional response.
If a gift or corporate gesture feels insincere or simply lacks emotional resonance, it will almost certainly soon be forgotten. However, coupling a functional gift with a meaningful, personalized gesture (a 3D holiday pop-up card, for instance) is a great way to ensure that your team is talking about it well into the new year. Of course, this is easier said than done amid the pandemic and social distancing!
If your budget this year doesn’t include gifts, a pop-up holiday card alone is a cost-effective way to express gratitude and appreciation. The key to this, though, is that the card must be meaningful and heartfelt, and it needs to capitalize on the “micro-experience” opportunity to make an emotional connection.
While nothing can replace the camaraderie of office parties and face-to-face time with your team, customers, or strategic partners, sending a personalized holiday pop-up card from Awesome 3D Cards can go a long way toward strengthening business relationships and making everyone feel valued and connected to your company.
Fostering connection and reinforcing company culture
Something that good executives understand is that connecting with employees and others who are stakeholders in their businesses is an opportunity to reinforce company culture and further a sense of connection. In the case of employee connections, it is also a way to foster unity among the team.
The same principles that hold for connecting and reinforcing company culture with employees also hold for relationships with external parties such as clients, suppliers, and strategic partners. After all, people in these roles are also critical to your overall success, and outreach that expresses your gratitude and appreciation for them can go a long way toward strengthening these key relationships and keeping you and your business top-of-mind.
Relationship-building gestures are what distinguish a good company gift from a great one. That is to say, the most memorable and best-appreciated messages are those that make your connections feel recognized and connected to both leadership as well as the company as a whole. Remind folks why they came to work for you or choose to work with you!
Something that good executives understand is that connecting with employees and others who are stakeholders in their businesses is an opportunity to reinforce company culture and further a sense of connection.
Tips for successful holiday cards
- Make the card impactful – It goes without saying that your holiday card needs to be visually appealing, but to elevate it above the run-of-the-mill, it needs to stand out from any other card the recipient might receive. A 3D pop-up card is a great way to accomplish this. Imagine the surprise when a flat holiday card unfolds to display a spectacular 3D icon or symbol of the season or your company!
- Focus on the sentiment, not the branding – First and foremost, your holiday card is about the connection between you and your stakeholders. Instead of focusing on company branding and featuring your company logo prominently, think about what will inspire and bring joy. At one dog-friendly company, the IT team included a photo of the beloved office hound in their company-wide holiday card, which created quite a buzz and a whole lot of laughter.
- Make your cards non-denominational – Unless you work for a religious institution or faith-based organization, you might be best off with a non-denominational holiday card. Sending a Christmas Card to people who practice a different faith could work directly against the goal of fostering connection and team unity. “Happy Holidays” and “Seasons Greetings” provide more versatility for businesses.
- Personalize your cards – when possible, Including a handwritten note and signature with each card will further solidify the emotional connection. The goal of your card is to tell the recipients that they are important and appreciated, and this is a great opportunity to let them know you appreciate their hard work and that you value them, even if you don’t often have the opportunity to connect in person. Personalizing each card takes only a few moments, but the return on that time investment will help build trust and credibility with your team members.
Schedule a consultation and plan your order
With the 2020 holiday season rapidly approaching, now is the time to make sure your stakeholder appreciation initiatives are in place, and there’s still time to order the perfect 3D holiday card to send to your employees, customers, supplier, or strategic partners! Using one of our pre-existing 3D pop-up card models, you can have holiday cards produced and delivered to you in about 30 days – just in time for holiday mail-outs. There’s still time to delight, impress, and surprise people this holiday season who are critical to your success!
For more information about our 3D pop-up card design process, please visit our FAQ and Design Process pages where you’ll find info on everything from the design process to card specifications and dimensions. Ready to schedule your consultation or order your Awesome 3D Holiday Card? Click here to visit our scheduler page, where you can pick a time that works for you.