The Sweet Gift Of Employee Engagement And Strategic Brand Promotion

December 11, 2017 by

On the heels of being a motivational employee engagement keynote speaker for a client in Las Vegas, one of the key executives sent me the most unique post-event thank you gift. The gift so resonated with me since it leveraged three of the most impactful drivers of both employee engagement and brand promotion and recognition.

First, I’ll share the gift with you and then I’ll highlight the drivers it leveraged, such that you and your team can use them to make a difference for your employees and customers.

The gift was from Wendy Hamilton, the General Manager of SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia, but was assembled by Trish Smylie, the Director of Customer Service. Trish had creatively assembled a box labeled “Shoot For The Stars.” I opened the box with great curiosity and found a hand-written note with messaging that was interspersed and punctuated with well-known candy.

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This gift was most powerful because it leveraged three key drivers of employee engagement and brand promotion:

1. Strategic vision and mission. The candy in the gift was representing and promoting the organization brand, SugarHouse.
2. Communicating lasting impressions with the customer. The thank you gift was fun and unlikely to be forgotten. As such, others recipients, especially customers, would give their future loyalty to the casino.
3. Having fun. Fun in the workplace is the missing driver of both employee and customer engagement. So many organizations, managers, and employees forget to have fun while working, and as such, this engagement driver goes under-utilized, or not leveraged at all, when trying to reach world-class engagement levels.

SugarHouse Casino shows videos to interview candidates exhibiting how much fun they have at their property, and more importantly, illuminates how much fun you could have there and at your own organization.

Want to learn more about improving employee engagement for your organization through recognition? Check out our free guide, Recognition: Best Practices on the Most Impactful Driver of Employee Engagement.


Kevin Sheridan is an internationally-recognized Keynote Speaker, a New York Times Best Selling Author, and one of the most sought-after voices in the world on the topic of Employee Engagement. For five years running, he has been honored on Inc. Magazine’s top 100 Leadership Speakers in the world, as well as Inc.’s top 100 experts on Employee Engagement. He was also honored to be named to The Employee Engagement Award’s Top 101 Global Influencers on Employee Engagement of 2017.

Having spent thirty years as a high-level Human Capital Management consultant, Kevin has helped some of the world’s largest corporations rebuild a culture that fosters productive engagement, earning him several distinctive awards and honors. Kevin’s premier creation, PEER®, has been consistently recognized as a long-overdue, industry-changing innovation in the field of Employee Engagement. His first book, Building a Magnetic Culture, made six of the best seller lists including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. He is also the author of The Virtual Manager, which explores how to most effectively manage remote workers.

Kevin received a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School in 1988, concentrating his degree in Strategy, Human Resources Management, and Organizational Behavior. He is also a serial entrepreneur, having founded and sold three different companies.