It’s June, and the sun is shining, kids are out of school, and people are flocking to beaches and lakes to enjoy the spoils of the season. But for most of the adult world, our day-to-day routines remain unchanged, and we gaze longingly out our office windows at the summer-clad world outside. Let’s face it: Summer is a difficult time to stay focused at work. It’s so difficult, in fact, that productivity drops by upwards of 20 percent and employees are 45 percent more distracted, according to a 2014 Captivate Network study.

As a manager or HR leader, improving employee morale during the summer is crucial in order to avoid widespread disengagement and low productivity. Many employers have come to terms with this need in recent years, and in response, they’ve started to offer perks like reduced summer hours, lenient vacation policies, and company outings to work on improving employee morale during the summer. But realistically, not every company has the resources or ability to offer these summer-inspired perks.

Luckily, there are other realistic ways that employees can take a load off and have fun with coworkers during the summer months. This summer, consider bringing your team together for an office spirit week or to celebrate holidays at work. Your friends at E Group will guide you through how to host a spirit week, have a little fun, and enjoy the summer months while continuing to work hard.

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Christina Germano is the Content Marketing Coordinator for E Group. She's passionate about health and loves to cook, run, and read Harry Potter. Christina is an inbound marketer and a proud journalism and political science alumna of the University of Maryland, College Park.

The hands-on nature of manufacturing and transportation means accidents sometimes happen. In fact, they happen often enough that companies lose a combined $1 billion per week to accidents and subsequent costs, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Luckily, this enormous blow to American industry is curable, and many companies have seen progress as they heighten their efforts with safety incentive programs.

June is the National Safety Council’s (NSC) National Safety Month, which means your friends at E Group, along with our partners at WorkStride, have teamed up to share the latest trends and tips on workplace safety in manufacturing and transportation. To kick off National Safety Month 2017, we published an eBook titled: “An Introduction to Incentivizing Workplace Safety”. It outlines the essential steps to starting a safety incentive program, the difference between lagging and leading safety indicators, and much more. The ultimate goal is to decrease workplace injuries and encourage safety once and for all.

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Colin Eagen is Principal and Founder of E Group. Colin is a recognized expert in the strategic design of employee engagement platforms for large enterprises. Colin’s experiences include design and implementation oversight of enterprise programs for brand leaders such as BAE Systems, Textron, and ExxonMobil.

“Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.” -- Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Do-gooder activities, “just because”, paying it forward, and random acts of kindness. In the hospitality industry, each of these practices create a friendly, warm welcome for hotel guests in need. Every hotel associate knows that to provide great customer service, one must be pleasant, helpful, and courteous to all guests. But in this article, we’ll focus on the grander gestures that create a memorable guest experience for guests who might be facing difficult times.

When we consider the reasons that guests stay at a hotel, it’s typically to attend a special event, to travel for a quick work trip, or to have some fun with friends and family. The overall experience is generally positive as guests converse with helpful staff members and enjoy some of the hotel amenities. But the truth of the matter is, many hotel guests find themselves away from home for slightly less positive reasons.

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Amy Dagliano is a creative, a visionary, a writer, a leader, a businessman, a culture changer, and an idea generator. As Creative Marketing Director at E Group, Amy uses her passion and creativity to design innovative promotional content internally for E Group and externally for client programs. She's well known for thinking outside of the box and translating a simple idea into an inspiring reality.

In a 2016 poll by Fortune Magazine, 76% of Americans surveyed described their pets as “beloved members of the family”. This sentiment represents a rising trend in the United States and around the world: people treating their pets like family.

This trend also extends to hotels, where guests nowadays expect and rely on hotel services that cater to pet owners throughout their travels. In a 2014 survey by the travel-planning service TripIt, 43% of respondents said they choose hotels based on how friendly they are to pets, and 77% said their pets have significant influence on their travel plans.

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Amy Dagliano is a creative, a visionary, a writer, a leader, a businessman, a culture changer, and an idea generator. As Creative Marketing Director at E Group, Amy uses her passion and creativity to design innovative promotional content internally for E Group and externally for client programs. She's well known for thinking outside of the box and translating a simple idea into an inspiring reality.

“It’s not how we make mistakes, but how we correct them that defines us.”

In the hospitality industry, mistakes, unfavorable conditions, and other mishaps are known as “service failures”, and they’re very often unavoidable. Just as the saying above goes, it’s how hotel managers and property teams fix these mistakes that defines their success and customer loyalty.

Nowadays, planning service failure and recovery strategies is a topic that most managers and employees in the hospitality world deal with every day. The impact of service recovery in hospitality is immense; it can mean the difference between a customer who writes an angry letter to the general manager or who remains a loyal customer for life.

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Jenn Ventura is an account manager and idea generator for hospitality clients like Marriott, Hyatt, and Hilton. She is passionate about brand engagement. Jenn's main focus is on strategic sourcing and program implementation for key clients at E Group.

“To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.” -- Doug Conant, CEO of Campbell’s Soup

As a child, what was your dream job? Let’s say it was an astronaut. Think back on the passion, creativity, and drive you felt about being an astronaut. You probably read books and watched movies about astronauts, visited museums, and talked excitedly about going to outer space one day.

Our childhood dreams might seem naive in retrospect, but the unwavering enthusiasm children feel for their dream jobs is an ideal for adults to work toward. In a perfect world, it’s the excitement and happiness that every adult employee would feel for his or her job. It’s a lesson in employee engagement.

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Christina Germano is the Content Marketing Coordinator for E Group. She's passionate about health and loves to cook, run, and read Harry Potter. Christina is an inbound marketer and a proud journalism and political science alumna of the University of Maryland, College Park.



The alarm goes off at 5 am, and you slowly hoist yourself out of bed and throw on some crumpled workout clothes. You drag yourself out to the gym this early because your day is likely to be packed from start to finish, and you want to squeeze in a quick workout.

We take great strides in our personal lives to be well physically, emotionally, and mentally, but are we doing enough to ensure that flows over into our work lives? According to a recent happiness index poll by Harris, we aren't. As of 2016, only about one-third (31%) of Americans feel fulfilled and happy in their lives. As you can imagine, a lack of happiness overall is bad news for our engagement at work.

So how can you increase motivation and happiness at work and in life in general? How do you pull yourself out of monotony and shed new light on the same old tasks? We're glad you asked. 

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Amy Dagliano is a creative, a visionary, a writer, a leader, a businessman, a culture changer, and an idea generator. As Creative Marketing Director at E Group, Amy uses her passion and creativity to design innovative promotional content internally for E Group and externally for client programs. She's well known for thinking outside of the box and translating a simple idea into an inspiring reality.

In total, American employers pay an average of $1 billion per week, or roughly $50 billion yearly, for workers’ compensation (Source: OSHA). These burdensome costs come from the 3 workers in every 100 (or 3% of the workforce) who suffer from on-the-job injuries yearly, as of 2015. In hands-on fields like manufacturing, these injuries present a serious risk both for employers and workers alike.

Over the next decade, experts estimate the manufacturing industry will grow by at least 3 million jobs. At such a crucial turning point in this industry, manufacturing workplace safety is more important than ever before. As a result, many employers have opted to decrease workplace injuries and encourage safety by building a successful safety incentive program. These incentive programs encourage workers to practice safety by offering various types of recognition and rewards for doing so.

If you’re not quite sure what a manufacturing safety incentive program is, or how it would fit into your workplace, your friends at E Group are here to help.

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Colin Eagen is Principal and Founder of E Group. Colin is a recognized expert in the strategic design of employee engagement platforms for large enterprises. Colin’s experiences include design and implementation oversight of enterprise programs for brand leaders such as BAE Systems, Textron, and ExxonMobil.

There are roughly 12.3 million manufacturing workers in the United States, according to a 2015 report by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), and in the next decade, this figure will increase by over 3 million. Manufacturing remains a cornerstone of the American economy to this day. In fact, the NAM adds: “Taken alone, manufacturing in the United States would be the ninth-largest economy in the world”.

Of these 12+ million American manufacturing workers, they all bear one vital commonality: safety. Whether you put on a hard hat everyday or you manage those who do, safety is likely at the forefront of your priorities. Today, there are well over 250,000 manufacturing companies in the United States, all of which are focused on keeping their workers safe given the hands-on nature of their industry. With this increasing need for workplace safety in manufacturing jobs, many employers opt for incentive programs that help decrease workplace injuries and encourage safety.

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Colin Eagen is Principal and Founder of E Group. Colin is a recognized expert in the strategic design of employee engagement platforms for large enterprises. Colin’s experiences include design and implementation oversight of enterprise programs for brand leaders such as BAE Systems, Textron, and ExxonMobil.

Our Earth’s environment is a precious and invaluable resource, and each of us needs to do our part to preserve and protect it. While it may or may not be on the forefront of your mind on a daily basis, hopefully you, your brand managers, and your hospitality property or venue are making sustainable and Earth-friendly choices through recycling, energy conservation, and use of post-consumer waste goods.

Today, environmentally conscious purchases and corporate social responsibility in the promotional products industry are growing exponentially as businesses realize the impact of using promo products for corporate social responsibility (CSR). We encourage you take a moment and read a bit more about how you can Help the World and Your Business with Socially Conscious Promotional Products.

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Amy Dagliano is a creative, a visionary, a writer, a leader, a businessman, a culture changer, and an idea generator. As Creative Marketing Director at E Group, Amy uses her passion and creativity to design innovative promotional content internally for E Group and externally for client programs. She's well known for thinking outside of the box and translating a simple idea into an inspiring reality.

Guest satisfaction is the number one priority of every hotel property. As an engagement agency that focuses on helping you enhance the hotel guest experience, we understand that it takes a village to ensure that your guests leave well rested and with a smile on their faces.

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Amy Dagliano is a creative, a visionary, a writer, a leader, a businessman, a culture changer, and an idea generator. As Creative Marketing Director at E Group, Amy uses her passion and creativity to design innovative promotional content internally for E Group and externally for client programs. She's well known for thinking outside of the box and translating a simple idea into an inspiring reality.

These days, business people carry a diverse toolbox, overflowing with a variety of the “nuts and bolts” they use to develop meaningful connections with clients: Inbound marketing, online communities or forums, knowledge sharing, hosting events, and more. And these techniques are all fantastic ways to connect with customers. But as I dug further into how businesses foster meaningful connections with clients, I asked myself, “What’s at the core of these methods?”

Answer: Building strong customer relationships through authentic communications transforms and solidifies lasting business partnerships. People don’t want to “be sold”, and they don’t want transactions. To help create the ultimate customer journey, people want a trusted partner in business, open and honest communications, and an emotional connection.

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Amy Dagliano is a creative, a visionary, a writer, a leader, a businessman, a culture changer, and an idea generator. As Creative Marketing Director at E Group, Amy uses her passion and creativity to design innovative promotional content internally for E Group and externally for client programs. She's well known for thinking outside of the box and translating a simple idea into an inspiring reality.

“Handwritten notes are a rare commodity. They’re also more important than ever.”

Those are the words of John Coleman, coauthor of the book Passion & Purpose: Stories from the Best and Brightest in Business. They’re also the title of an article he wrote for the Harvard Business Review in 2013, which hammered home one critical point: Handwritten notes are a game-changer, both in personal life and in business.

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Rob Madelmayer is a full time engagement strategist helping brand leaders like GEICO, Godiva, and General Electric. Rob is a popular blogger on topics ranging from brand disruption to engaging millennials.

Twenty years ago, how did guests select which hotel to book for a vacation or the ideal restaurant for dinner? Before TripAdvisor, Google, and social media, a variation of factors came into play, most commonly location, word of mouth, where they’d previously stayed, and loyalty to a certain hotel chain. In those days, it didn’t matter if ten guests who stayed there the week before had problems with the air conditioning, if the pool was “much smaller in person”, or if the chef wouldn’t accommodate a vegetarian diet. Without the Internet, it was unlikely that potential guests would be aware of those issues.

Fast forward to today, when things have completely changed, and it soon becomes clear why online reviews matter to hospitality management worldwide. When I go to a restaurant, I’ve usually decided what I want to order with the help of Yelp reviews before I even step in the door. When I make hotel reservations? I dissect reviews on TripAdvisor, read their Facebook pages, and scroll through guest photographs--all before committing to a hotel.

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Libby Horton is a Client Development Manager for E Group. She works on the hospitality team to make clients’ ideas a reality and loves an opportunity to help change the game, whether that’s within E Group or outside of the office. She is a proud Auburn University graduate and native of Atlanta, GA.

"No company can afford not to move forward. It may be at the top of the heap today but at the bottom of the heap tomorrow if it doesn’t." — James Cash Penney, founder, JC Penney

What does it take to grow a business? How can you make your business stand out from the crowd in today’s fiercely competitive markets? As James Cash and other successful moguls say, businesses that hope to prosper in today’s economy have to keep “moving forward” as a company. But in a modern day business context, what does “moving forward” really mean?

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Christina Germano is the Content Marketing Coordinator for E Group. She's passionate about health and loves to cook, run, and read Harry Potter. Christina is an inbound marketer and a proud journalism and political science alumna of the University of Maryland, College Park.

Imagine this scenario: You love your job, your colleagues are great people and trusted friends, you are challenged and excited with the work you do, you have great leadership support an amazing company culture. This is an awesome scenario, one that most of us strive for throughout our careers.

But what if someone threw a wrench in this perfect scenario? Now, imagine this: Your same company was bought out by a big corporation. Suddenly, you fear your company’s comfortable and supportive culture is at stake. Your work-life balance could shift, and the insightful guidance you’ve always received from leadership could fade.

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Amy Dagliano is a creative, a visionary, a writer, a leader, a businessman, a culture changer, and an idea generator. As Creative Marketing Director at E Group, Amy uses her passion and creativity to design innovative promotional content internally for E Group and externally for client programs. She's well known for thinking outside of the box and translating a simple idea into an inspiring reality.

James had a pit in his stomach as he pulled into the office parking lot. He didn’t want to enter the building. He knew what was going to happen. His boss was going to criticize him for the big project he’d been working on. He’d been so thorough and triple checked everything, but he knew she would find reasons to yell at him. How did things go so wrong? He loved what he was doing but it seemed like his boss came down on him for literally everything he did.

James is experiencing something that unfortunately is not that uncommon in today’s work environment. He is being bullied at work by a coworker. Forbes sites that:

“In the U.S., where the practice is being studied, an estimated 37% of workers, or about 54 million people, have been bullied at the office, or repeatedly mistreated in a health-harming way, according to a 2007 Zogby International survey. The percentage balloons to 49% of workers, 71.5 million people, when witnesses are included.”

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Amy Dagliano is a creative, a visionary, a writer, a leader, a businessman, a culture changer, and an idea generator. As Creative Marketing Director at E Group, Amy uses her passion and creativity to design innovative promotional content internally for E Group and externally for client programs. She's well known for thinking outside of the box and translating a simple idea into an inspiring reality.

We hear it all the time. Our clients tell us, “We have an upcoming company-wide conference, and we want to use it as an opportunity to grow stronger as a working team and as a company all together. We’re looking for ways to engage and bond with our employees and build morale for the company.”

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Christina Germano is the Content Marketing Coordinator for E Group. She's passionate about health and loves to cook, run, and read Harry Potter. Christina is an inbound marketer and a proud journalism and political science alumna of the University of Maryland, College Park.

It’s the final countdown of 2016. How did you spend the past year at work? According to health experts, 86% of us spent the majority of it sitting at a desk. The act of sitting all day is deeply ingrained in our work habits and cultures. It's reinforced by towering cubicles and our dependency on email, computers, and smartphones. It’s an unhealthy cycle that’s far too easy to fall victim to these days.

So, in anticipation of
new year goals for professionals in 2017, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why it’s so important to form healthy habits for desk job workers , as told by the experts.

According to the
Bureau of Labor Statistics , the average American spends about 9 hours per day at work, which amounts to roughly 50 percent of our waking hours during the week. Being physically active and healthy is important in every aspect of life, but seeing as we spend so much time working, it’s especially important at the office.
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Christina Germano is the Content Marketing Coordinator for E Group. She's passionate about health and loves to cook, run, and read Harry Potter. Christina is an inbound marketer and a proud journalism and political science alumna of the University of Maryland, College Park.

 
It’s that time of year again: gift-giving season. We’ve all been on either the giving and receiving ends of both bizarre and memorable holiday gifts at work . This time of year, offices everywhere are bustling with holiday parties and gift exchanges. Buying holiday gifts for your coworkers doesn’t need to be stressful. Instead, follow some simple office gift giving etiquette, and you’ll feel the ensuing holiday cheer radiate through your office.
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Rachel Niebeling, our Director of Workforce Engagement and Performance Management, is a Certified Recognition Professional dedicated to building best practice engagement programs. Her passion lies in making your work day better.

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