Halloween is just around the corner, and 2017 is gearing up for its final curtain call of the year: the holidays. It’s the season of shopping, celebrating, and gift-giving galore, and I’m already beginning to get anxious about finding the perfect gift for everyone on my list: My kids, husband, parents, and friends, and--perhaps most challenging--my clients and colleagues.

In the business world, it’s common to gift our colleagues and clients in light of the holiday season. And take it from someone who knows: Knowing how to choose a holiday gift for your client or colleague while following office gift giving etiquettecan be tough. Do they celebrate Christmas? Can they legally accept a gift? Did I choose something too personal, or simply too generic? Questions and confusion swirl your mind, and soon enough you’re standing paralyzed in an aisle filled with tinsel and talking Rudolphs, totally unsure of what to buy. We’ve all been there.

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Ruth Dean is the Associate Vice President of Hospitality at E Group. She’s passionate about fitness, mindful eating, and dogs. Ruth has been with E Group for over 25 years, is married to Pat Dean, and has 3 college-aged kids and 2 dogs. She's an alumnus of Shippensburg University and member of Grace Covenant Church in Chantilly, VA.

In 2013, the gamification industry generated about $420 million nationwide, and by 2018, that figure is expected to skyrocket to $5.5 billion. These figures come from a recent study by MarketsAndMarkets, which points out that the roots of gamification -- rewarding people with points and prizes, like in a game -- aren’t a new concept at all. But with the explosion of smartphones, social media, and other digital technology, gamification has now morphed into a powerful tool used by employers and marketers alike in order to motivate human behavior.

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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.

Halloween is just around the corner. Every year it sneaks up on me, marking the unofficial start to the holiday season. You know what that means: celebrations. And you shouldn't have to limit those to outside of the office. 

All over the world, companies are focused on ending 2017 on a positive note. Many are also focused on answering this question: Should we celebrate the holidays at work? If so, how can we celebrate in a way that will positively impact our employees? Luckily, your friends at E Group have some favorite unique office holiday party ideas in our arsenal to share with you and to hopefully answer these questions.

As you might know, E Group’s employee engagement and recognition experts are passionate about making the workforce happier and more engaged. So, let’s combine two of our favorite things--holiday parties and employee engagement--and explore how to celebrate them both during the holidays.

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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.

Every year, American employers combined lose an estimated $37.5 billion simply because their employees don’t understand their roles. This staggering, yet avoidable reality is often a result of poorly-planned new employee orientation and onboarding. Without ensuring that new employees have a smooth transition into your company, they can’t possibly perform to their fullest potentials. So, let’s explore how your company can avoid adding to this $37 billion deficit.

As an employer, your new hire’s first few days are crucial; they set the stage for your relationship to either flourish or flounder going forward. This is where the importance of employee onboarding programs truly comes to light, and unfortunately it’s where employers, HR leaders, and other members of recruiting/onboarding programs fail very often. At E Group, we’ve discovered a vital connection between onboarding and employee engagement in our work with Fortune 1000 companies, government agencies, and the like, and we’re here to help.

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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.

At 75.4 million Americans strong, Millennials are the largest generation in the nation, having eclipsed the 74.9 million Baby Boomers as of 2015. And they’re growing up fast. As the youngest Millennials currently hover around 18 to 20 years old (depending on which definition of “Millennial” you accept), this oft-debated generation is in the throes of early adulthood and professional life.

In the associations and nonprofit world, Millennials demand the attention of your member engagement programs. It’s crucial to understand what Millennials look for in an association and in life more generally, and luckily there’s an enormous body of research highlighting exactly that. Convenience, technology, value, health, and professional growth -- just to name a few -- top the list of Millennial priorities. So, what does this mean when trying to attract and retain Millennial association membersand ultimately increasing non-dues revenue?

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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.

Every June, the National Safety Council (NSC) observes National Safety Month in order to remind American workers and employers how vital workplace safety truly is. With more than 2.9 million workplace injuries that occur every year (source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics), maintaining a high standard of worker safety isn’t just something you should focus on in June. It should be a priority all year long.

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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.


A recent workforce engagement study says employers lose a combined $37.5 billion per year to low productivity and turnover -- simply because employees don’t understand their jobs. In addition, 22% of turnover takes place within the first 45 days of employment.

The hospitality industry is no stranger to high turnover. As of 2016, the average industry turnover rate is 72.9%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and it remains one of the most turnover-prone sectors in the world. As a newcomer, it’s crucial to begin learning the ins-and-outs of your role right away, but that can only happen with effective onboarding plans for new hospitality employees.

It’s not all bad news though, since the recent influx of social media in the workplace opens new doors for fun, creative, and effective onboarding plans for new hospitality employees, and many top industry brands -- Marriott, Hyatt, and Hilton, to name a few -- have taken note.

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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.

First impressions truly matter. In a 2016 Harvard Business Review article titled “How to Make a Great First Impression”, several psychologists assert that the first few interactions are crucial turning points in a relationship. “First impressions matter so much because they happen fast”, according to the article, and they’re incredibly hard to bounce back from when mishandled.

In the associations world, the need to forge deep and lasting bonds with members is omnipresent. And like any relationship, the roots of membership are planted in the very first impression: joining and onboarding. When members first join your organization, they don’t want to get handed a receipt and soon after be forgotten about. They want to feel valued, welcome, and important. Newcomers are hungry to get involved and hit the ground running, but that hunger can fade if not satiated by an effective member onboarding program.

New member onboarding means different things to different associations, but it all boils down to one common goal: making new members feel valued and excited from the moment they join. In the long run, positive first impressions with newcomers will pay dividends for your organization’s ability to retain loyal members.

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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.

Paying tribute to people and achievements using decorated coins has been a beloved American tradition for decades. Folklore traces the practice back to World War II, when an American pilot flashed his unit’s signature coin to French troops, thus proving that he wasn’t an enemy spy. His story quickly became a legend, and soon enough, every branch of the military used personalized coins to showcase their pride and victories. These cherished tokens came to be known as “challenge coins”, and their adoration lives on.

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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 our final blog of our three-part series on summer promotional products for the hospitality industry, our experts at E Group have selected some great products to engage guests and employees who are traveling. These items are presented for a range of budgets and would be helpful in many summer travel scenarios.

If you missed our first post on water-friendly summer promotional items, check out "Summer Giveaway Ideas for Hospitality: Products that Engage Guests and Employees" or if you need summer gifts for your employees geared toward outdoor activities that aren’t so wet, check out our second post, "Sizzling Hospitality Summer Gifts for Your Employees and Guests".

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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.

“You may not be able to control every situation and it’s outcome, but you can control your attitude and how you deal with it.” – thegoodvibe.co

It may be a little early for beach season, but it isn’t too early for tidal waves. In nature, recurring, shallow waves crash down on the shoreline again and again. In the workplace, when projects repeatedly face hiccups or clients continually find issues that need to be addressed, it might feel like you’re drowning in an endless fury of tidal waves. Sometimes it’s hard to stay positive when work gets you down and the current consistently pulls at you. So, how do you move forward? How do you stay positive when there’s turmoil in the office? Though these challenges are unique to every person and workplace, there are a few ways to shift your outlook and stand tall against the tidal waves crashing around you.

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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.



For years now, social media has acted as a vehicle for change, revolutionizing the way people live and interact with one another. These days, its effects are permeating the working world, as platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook change the way we work and do business. The hospitality industry is no stranger to the business side of social media: The bigwigs of the industry -- Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, Disney, to name a few -- are active on social platforms and maintain a strong following of loyal brand champions. Marriott Hotels & Resorts, for example, has over 250,000 followers on Twitter and over 200,000 on Instagram.

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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.

This week, our hospitality experts at E Group teamed up to bring you some great summer products to engage guests or employees. Whether you want to say thank you or you need something for your property’s service recoveryplan, these ideas fit any budget or summer-related need. If you missed last week’s post on summer promotional items, check out "Summer Giveaway Ideas for Hospitality: Products That Engage Guests and Employees".

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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.

School is out, temperatures are climbing, and lightning bugs are glowing. That can only mean one thing: summer is officially here. As a kid, that meant swimming all day, spending time with friends, and just having fun. Although summer entails quite a few more responsibilities in our adult lives, we can still tap into carefree summertime fun, especially in the hospitality industry.

This summer, let’s take a moment to extend small gestures to our employees and our guests to show them how valued they truly are. Chances are, they already have personal summer plans in mind, so we’ll take a look at a collection of summer gifts for your employees and products to engage guests.Our hospitality experts at E Group have curated this list to fit any budget, whether you’re looking to spend under $10 or you have more flexibility. In fact, we came up with so many fun ideas that we’ve opted to split this list into a three-part series. This week, we’ll focus on summer giveaway ideas that have a water theme.

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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.

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. This week, we’ll help you make a strong business case for safety incentive programs and also highlight important steps to take as you decide on the best program for your company.

Earlier in the month, our blog “National Safety Month 2017: Incentivizing Workplace Safety in Manufacturing and Transportation” laid the initial groundwork and facts needed for building a successful safety incentive program. If you read it and downloaded the accompanying eBook, you already know the essential steps to starting a safety incentive program, which includes learning/embracing OSHA guidelines and knowing the difference between lagging and leading safety indicators. But you’re just getting started.

Now, you’re probably ready to dive deeper into your pursuit to decrease workplace injuries and encourage safety at your company once and for all. In our pamphlet, “Leading with Safety: Safety Incentive Programs with E Group”, you’ll discover your guide to building a successful safety incentive program with the help of E Group’s incentive experts.

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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.

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.

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