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Improve Employee Retention With Custom T-shirts and Swag

If you surveyed your employees’ level of engagement, what do you think they would say? Would they be invested in their work? Are they happy? Are they planning to stay with your company long-term? 

Three people looking at a laptop in a plaza wearing matching navy blue polos that say Morello Consulting.

According to a 2022 Gallup Poll, employee engagement has declined since late 2021 after steadily increasing over the last ten years. Meanwhile, 17% are actively disengaged, which doesn’t bode well for employee retention. 

On top of that, in another Gallup Poll, only 12% of U.S. employees said their company does an excellent job of employee onboarding. Just 12%. Additionally, one in five employees either report that their most recent onboarding was poor or that they received no onboarding at all.   

It should be no surprise, then, that employee turnover can be as much as 50% in the first 18 months of employment, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). 


Before you get discouraged by these statistics, know that there are still ways you can keep your people happy and engaged at work, and Custom Ink is here for you! One of those ways to increase employee retention and improve employee onboarding is by focusing on the well-being of your team members, which includes fostering feelings of community and company pride. 

A great way to show that you’re actively invested in, and care about, the people who work at your company is through custom t-shirts and custom gear. It’s easy to feel like a team when you look like a team, and it can be especially powerful for companies that have adopted a hybrid or remote working style since the pandemic. 

Using custom apparel and accessories to recognize and reward employees for tenure, reaching specific goals, taking initiative on a project, or being a role model at work shows that you appreciate their efforts while encouraging other employees to step up their game. 

Here are some ways to use custom t-shirts and swag for your team!

Add Custom Apparel to Employee Onboarding

Many companies, including Custom Ink, give company apparel to new hires during their onboarding process. This seemingly simple act can have a huge impact on new team members’ feelings of belonging as soon as they join. We let new Inkers pick out their favorite color custom t-shirt with the Inky logo, a water tumbler, and a hat

The popular cloud-based file storage company Dropbox gives welcome kits to their new hires too. The kit includes everyday items, like a travel mug and notebook, as well more unconventional picks, like coffee beans and a tech pouch. However, the one thing all these items have in common is the Dropbox logo. 

Celebrate Work Anniversaries With Custom Gear

Celebrate your employees who have devoted years to your company by giving them custom gear and some fun benefits. At Custom Ink, we celebrate every year and offer different gifts and benefits for certain milestones. In addition to benefits like extra paid time off, we also gift custom t-shirts displaying their length of service. 

Two Custom Ink team members in their custom shirts show off rewards for employee tenure.

Rewards like these can give team members goals that feel worthwhile and incentivizes them to stay with the company long-term.

Recognize Good Work With Custom Products   

Giving custom products is also a great way to show your appreciation for a job well done. Perhaps a team member or department spearheaded an especially profitable or impactful project, took on extra work when necessary, or achieved an important goal for the company. 

Any of these would be great opportunities to celebrate your employees, and employees will be happier and more engaged knowing that they’re appreciated for their work. 

Host a Company Party and Give Out Custom Gifts 

Give every employee something to celebrate by hosting a company party and giving out branded gifts and custom swag. An end-of-year celebration or annual summer cookout are great ways to thank your employees, plus it gives them something to look forward to throughout the year. 

A company party is a great time to get creative with your custom gifts. Custom t-shirts and apparel are an excellent start, but consider adding other fun items, like custom hats, drinkware, notebooks, and backpacks. 

Custom apparel and accessories provide an excellent opportunity for keeping your teams engaged, happy, and satisfied with their work. Starting as early as the employee onboarding process can send the right message from the very beginning, but it’s important to continue showing appreciation throughout their careers. Which products do you think your team would enjoy most?     

Stephanie Self loves to tell stories and expose new perspectives through writing. When she's not typing on a laptop or buried in a book, she loves watching horror movies and pro wrestling, playing video games, and snuggling with her cat, CleoCatra. Lest you should think she never sees the light of day, she also spends time practicing hot yoga, hiking, and traveling.

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