Long before anyone at Selco, Inc. knew what the Recognition Industry was, we were selling corporate recognition. Corporate secretaries shopped at our store in the 1950s because we had a great variety of products that could be easily personalized. Recognition became its own division of Selco in 1965, then, in 1980 (see history), it became the main industry for the company.

The recognition business has changed several times since the ’60s.  In the ’90s, the business was all about structured programs. As technology became more affordable, choice programs and gift cards became more popular.  Even with the emergence of different types of programs, the structured programs still work and are a big part of Selco’s business.

Structure Pays Off

Structured recognition programs become automatic reorders making them great annuities. These programs can be structured so that you get periodic orders that cover multiple achievers for a period of time or an order is placed each time an employee hits their target.  I have noticed that in tough times, these programs tend to continue. There might be fewer recipients for an award in years after a recession starts but unlike other programs, there is usually a lag. Proven recognition programs usually stay in place even when corporations pull back on other purchases.

Companies might start reviewing all expenditures, and recognition is not bulletproof, but a 5-year watch is a fraction of the cost of the employee’s benefits. Companies are reluctant to discontinue the program in an environment where so much around the company is negative. Other companies will be looking for an effective way to reassure employees that the worst is over. A recognition program provides a strong statement to make that point.

Flexibility Built In

In the unique situation during COVID-19, the program administrator has all the information necessary about each employee to deliver the reward at home.  In a world where it is easy to get disconnected, receiving your service award at home shows that your employer is still engaged and appreciative.   Many companies, including Selco, are offering free drop shipping during these unusual times.  Although the program is structured, we can still be flexible to make sure employees are properly recognized no matter the situation.