21 Dec

Good Chemistry Creates A Happy Team

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 21.12.12 by John Meloche

For the past couple of days, we’ve been blogging about ways to develop a strong team chemistry in the work place. Excited by the fact that the Toronto Blue Jays are building their strongest team in two decades, the members of the Synergy staff are motivated themselves to take things to a whole new level in 2013.

How do you plan on doing the same at your company? On eHow.com, a number of instructions are given to assist business owners in not only building a championship-calibre team the way the Jays seem to be doing, but creating great team chemistry. Let’s conclude our look on how to develop amazing “synergy” at your workplace.

Have Lunch Meetings. Enough can’t be said about the importance of building team chemistry outside of the work environment. Lunch meetings and company retreats are great ways to help for the building of rapport in relaxed environments. You’ll really get to know the members of your team when you allow them to let loose.

When a good time is had by all, it will also lead to a much more pleasant atmosphere when your team returns to the office. Sometimes team chemistry is about your staff members being able to get to know each other personally, more than it is about them getting to learn of each person’s talents on the job.

Include Employees In Organizational Goal Development. As mentioned before, giving your staff members individual senses of accomplishment will help build their confidence. With a strong sense of confidence that what they say matters, you will find that your employees will be quicker to lend a helping hand.

There’s nothing worse than having your workers not care about their jobs. Include them in on the development of new ideas. Be accepting of feedback. Truly take their suggestions to heart. Show them that what they have to say is important to you. This will help them to develop stronger senses of dedication to each member of the team.

Beware of Problem-Starters. Not everyone on your team is likely to be an all-star. Sometimes the old cliché “you’re only as strong as your weakest link” rings true. As a result, you’ll have to be very aware of who may be dragging the team down. A negative attitude, a reluctance to work with others and a lack of dedication are all bad traits to look out for.

As eHow.com points out, such “difficult employees can magnify problems and create confusion. Make it clear that while every opinion counts, it is imperative that employees share the company’s vision and work to achieve stated goals.” This way, you’ll be sure to have everyone on the same page, working towards the same objective – happily.

Finally, from our team to yours…have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Successful New Year!

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20 Dec

Good Chemistry Makes You An Industry Leader

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 20.12.12 by John Meloche

In yesterday’s blog, we discussed a number of ways in which business owners could create strong team chemistry within their companies. Establishing team-building concepts and planning off-site activities were two methods suggested by eHow.com. But it all starts with hiring the best individuals possible to build a strong team to begin with.

Hiring talented staff is one thing. The Toronto Blue Jays seem to be getting that right this off-season. But that doesn’t speak much to the team’s chemistry. Of course, the Jays will need to go through spring training and have chances to take the field together to see how the new team members, and even their new manager will gel with each other.

Your new season starts now – or more accurately, in the new year. Perhaps following the list of instructions offered by eHow.com will be the best way to start 2013. Let’s continue our look at the site’s list of team chemistry building-suggestions. It is our hope to bring about a greater sense of “synergy” to your brand.

Formulate Task Forces. According to eHow.com, there should be a number of teams already set up within your one big team at your place of business. This will help to encourage the completion of tasks as a group and will also take the pressure off of giving out individual assignments.

This, of course, calls for employees to work together in order to complete projects. Developing committees and teams also helps to build leadership skills among your employees. You may even want to establish a revolving team leader approach from time to time to give different people the opportunity to take charge and work with new faces.

Conduct Routine Staff Meetings. Although this instruction may be a no-brainer, it’s important to conduct your meetings in a welcoming way. This means that each employee should feel welcome to participate instead of just being expected to listen. Allow your team members to brainstorm and problem-solve together, says eHow.com.

Advises the website: “Be sure to plan breakout sessions during the meetings so smaller groups can have intimate discussions, drawing on their own expertise and building on each other’s ideas.” This way, the members of your team will find themselves feeling like what they each contribute will be of great consequence. Building individual senses of confidence will go a long way in strengthening team chemistry.

We’re not done yet! In tomorrow’s blog, we’ll round out the list of instructions provided by eHow.com. And, as always, we will provide our take on each one. At Synergy, our strong team is made up of very talented individuals. But we know that with out team chemistry, we’d never be able to be a leader in our industry.

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19 Dec

Good Chemistry Puts You In The Win Column

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 19.12.12 by John Meloche

With excitement brewing over the hopes of the Toronto Blue Jays in their 2013 campaign, there has been a lot of talk about “championship teams” around the Synergy offices lately. Our company, as you may know, is home to some of the most competitive individuals in our industry. So thankfully, we know what strong team-building is all about.

Creating a winning team is not something strictly regulated to sports franchises, of course. The success of your business will often be predicated on how hard-working, resilient and dedicated the members of your staff are when completing their tasks with each other. Teamwork is regularly required for a job to be done well overall.

So what can you do to ensure that you not only have good players and hard workers…but also have a great “synergy” among them? On eHow.com, a list of instructions are given on how to develop strong team chemistry in the office. Following such guidelines could mean the difference between putting a winning team on your field of play…and losing your reign as champion!

Establish Team-Building Concepts. This comes with good training. It’s important to discover not just the individual talents of the people you hire but how well they are able to work with others. You can discover this by creating tasks or even games that require a unified group effort to pull off successfully.

Create challenges in the office that are both fun and rewarding. Setting up a point system or even providing literal rewards can be a great way to see who is the hungriest and who works with who the best. You’ll notice that the best production will likely come from those who work best as a unit. Teamwork is everything. Implement that as part of the culture in your office.

Plan Off-Site Activities. It’s great to establish team-building within the confines of your place of business. But perhaps, the best way to see who your team members will gel the best is to take them outside of the office. As eHow.com points out, “when individuals relate to each other in various settings, it helps them establish positive relationships.”

Now is an excellent time to group your team members together outside of your place of work. With Christmas just around the corner, you may want to organize a lunch or dinner party if you haven’t done so already. We’re not talking about your all-out Christmas party that may include friends and family – just an opportunity for your staff members to unite with one another in an enjoyable and festive setting.

In tomorrow’s blog, we’ll continue to take a look at this list of instructions. Building a strong team takes time. But creating a strong chemistry between the members of your staff can sometime take even longer. In 2013, will you be joining the Toronto Blue Jays in putting your company constantly in the win column?

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18 Dec

Excitement Abound As Jays Sign Dickey

Posted in News on 18.12.12 by John Meloche

It looks like the Toronto Blue Jays are giving Canadian baseball fans their Christmas presents early. Hot on the heels of the Toronto Argonauts winning the 100th Grey Cup on their home field at Rogers Centre, it appears as if the city’s baseball team is poised to follow suit and do the same by winning the World Series in 2013!

Okay, maybe we are getting a bit ahead of ourselves by making such a bold prediction (more of an optimistic hope actually), but lately, the Jays have certainly been making their biggest off-season moves in a very long time. Just weeks after securing pitchers Josh Johnson and Mark Buerle in a blockbuster trade with Miami, Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos has done it again.

As reported by The Toronto Star ‘s sports columnist Richard Griffin yesterday, the Blue Jays have acquired none other than this past season’s National League Cy Young Award winner, R.A. Dickey. Not unlike the trade made just before it, the deal bringing Dickey to Toronto involves several players – seven to be exact.

Griffin reveals that Dickey is headed to the Jays along with his personal catcher, Josh Thole. And just in case you’re wondering how and why a pitcher would have a “personal catcher”, you’re not alone. Seems strange, right? But Dickey is a special type of pitcher – a rare breed in professional baseball. His signature pitch is the knuckleball, which is not only hard to pitch, but hard to catch.

Getting last year’s breakout pitching star didn’t come easy. The Jays were forced to part with two huge prospects in Travis D’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard. Toronto also parted ways with John Buck, a former-Jay who came back to the Blue Jays in the same trade that landed Johnson and Buerle from the Marlins.

“This is fantastic news,” said one of our Synergy sales reps this morning, “If nothing else, it communicates that the Jays are ready to win now. We’ve been suffering for too long. It’s been 20 years, to be exact, since the Jays last won the World Series. We’re in a tough division that only gets tougher. No more waiting for next year. This is our year!”

As excited as our colleague is, he’ll have to wait until April for the Major League Baseball season to get going. The Jays lineup will certainly have a new look to it, but that’s no guarantee that a championship will be won right away. Their chances, however, do look much improved.

“I’m excited,” our rep continued, “I was just a kid the last time the Jays won it all. I have a whole new appreciation for sports as an adult. Maybe it’s because I’ll have the opportunity to party a lot harder the next time we win a championship. One thing is for sure, we’re in for a very good season. Thank you Blue Jays!”

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17 Dec

No End To NHL Lockout In Sight

Posted in News on 17.12.12 by John Meloche

Christmas is just eight days away! And for many Canadians, the return of NHL hockey is way up on their wish lists. With no end to the current lockout in sight, however, it would appear as if the season is doomed. Naturally, this angers many a hockey fan throughout Canada. But is the same feeling prevalent throughout the United States?

In yesterday’s edition of The Toronto Star, business reporter Morgan Campbell suggested that moving more teams into Canada may help the league. He writes that the NHL’s 12 money-losing teams are based in the United States. When Winnipeg welcomed back NHL hockey last year, they boosted the former Atlanta Thrashers from $135 million to $200 million in value.

Campbell does note, however, that although it has been proven that Canada supports their hockey teams, there are not enough NHL-sized markets in the nation to support the number of teams that are losing money. The lockout, he points out “revolves around propping up money-bleeding franchises in U.S. markets.”

So what to do? According to Campbell, experts don’t believe that the NHL’s bottom line will improve simply by moving more teams into Canada. Says economist Glenn Hodgson of the Conference Board of Canada: “You could take the three weakest teams in the league and drop them in Canada, but you still have a third of the league that’s not breaking even.”

Nevertheless, the weak U.S. markets for NHL teams are among the league’s most pressing issues. “It’s so annoying,” lamented one of our Synergy staff members, “We’re dying for hockey up here and so many people south of the border couldn’t seem to care less. Meanwhile, it seems like it’s those markets that are holding up the season from even happening.”

Drew Dorweiler of Dartmouth Partners would agree. “Some of these teams are just not viable in Sun Belt markets,” he said, “There are other areas waiting that are demographically much more appealing to hockey. The franchise could be significantly more valuable and more profitable in these other markets.” But what other markets in Canada could support NHL hockey?

Campbell writes that Quebec City has long been trying to secure the return of an NHL team. The proof lies in the construction of a new $400 million arena that is being built. There has even been talk of Toronto becoming home to a second team, although it would be very unlikely in the Maple Leafs-crazed city. So what is next for the NHL?

“Hopefully an end to this lockout,” exclaimed our rep, “No matter how you look at it, everyone loses when no hockey is played. The league isn’t making any money and the lack of games sure isn’t going to boost any interest in those U.S. markets that are already struggling. This is something they have to figure out really soon. It’s not fair to the fans.”

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14 Dec

The Four Categories Of Cash-Strapped Caring

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 14.12.12 by John Meloche

Yesterday, we offered a number of suggestions (as we often like to do in our blogs) on ways that people can provide some of the sweetest possible gifts this holiday season, without spending a lot of money. Sentimental value goes a long way when thinking of the perfect money-saving presents. It’s all about showing how much you care, even though you’re strapped for cash.

MoneyUnder30.com agrees completely. On the site, Amber Gilstrap writes that there are four categories of inexpensive gifts that people will actually want. The tie that binds them? They each carry strong sentimental value. The categories are Thoughtful Gifts, Handmade Gifts, Experiences and Love & Friendship.

Sound cheesy yet? You won’t think so when you see the looks on the faces of the recipients who receive gifts from these categories this holiday season. And if you’re looking to not go broke this year, the following suggestions may be well worth it to you. Let’s start off with the first category, shall we?

According to Gilstrap, “Thoughtful Gifts” are tailored to the receiver and can be just about anything that you feel the recipient needs or will make their life easier. This usually entails providing a gift that is specific to the needs, talents or interests of the recipient. They can be small, but still show that you have truly paid attention to what means the most to them.

Among Gilstrap’s suggestions are “an assortment of spices for a cooking enthusiast… fishing or hunting accessories for the outdoorsy people in your life, notebooks and pens for the aspiring writer, resume or job hunting self-help books for the recent college-grad, a scrapbook for a close friend (or a) fashion magazine subscription for the budding fashionista.”

“Handmade Gifts” are best left to the crafty types. But if you’re not much of an artist, Gilstrap recommends looking into Etsy or Pinterest. Etsy is an online entity that allows artists to sell their homemade creations via the internet. Naturally, these items will be one-of-a-kind and may hopefully mean a lot to your recipient.

Pinterest is a content sharing service that allows members to “pin” images, videos and other objects to their “online pinboard”. Gilstrap writes that you can find countless tutorials on how to make a variety of gifts including wall hangings, decorations such as wreaths and even desserts.

Presents don’t always have to be objects. Some of the best gifts are “Experiences”, Gilstrap notes of the third category. Babysitting for a friend, cooking a special dinner or going to gym classes with someone who may need the encouragement – these gifts all fall under this category. Just being with those you love doing just about anything falls under the “Love & Friendship” category. This way, you don’t need to spend any money at all.

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13 Dec

Sentimental Gifts Are The Sweetest

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 13.12.12 by John Meloche

In yesterday’s blog, we discussed the powerful advertising abilities of the promo gift. We mentioned, of course, that one of the greatest benefits to promoting your business with promo gifts is the relatively low cost of investing in them. Since the holiday season is upon us, it’s natural for most people to be in the gift-giving spirit these days.

And just like business owners who are looking to promote their companies, holiday shoppers look for ways to give gifts without breaking the bank. What are some ways that we can save money and still avoid being Ebenezer Scrooge? Let’s look at a few gift ideas that won’t cost you and arm and a leg.

Now, Oprah Winfrey is not someone who is known for her inexpensive gift-giving. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Oprah is famous for having doled out lavish gifts to the audience members of her former talk show. But on Oprah.com, Robin Monheit writes that sentimental value counts for a lot. So if you’re not up on spending a lot this Christmas, consider giving gifts that will mean a lot.

Archive Photo Albums. There’s nothing like a thoughtful collection of joyous memories to put a long lasting smile on the face of a loved one. Especially with everyone taking digital pictures these days, it’s becoming more rare to find actual photo albums. Think about creating your own scrapbook and don’t worry so much about spending money on an extravagant photo album.

Cleaning Services. What do most people complain about doing? Chores. It would be quite the gift to offer to reorganize closets, sort through an attic or basement, dust, scrub, wipe or vacuum in the home of your loved ones. Taking on a big cleaning project will provide your friends and family members with some much-appreciated rest, in addition to a spic and span living environment.

Substitute Shopper. Some people, quite frankly, hate shopping. If you plan on going shopping anyway, offer to do the shopping for that mall-hater in your family. Naturally, as long as they pay you for the items on their lists, this will be a no-cost sweet thing to do. You can also be responsible for returning unwanted gifts and doing exchanges, says Monheit.

Be A Buddy. “Offer to be a buddy – If you know someone who is starting a diet, an exercise regimen, a meditation practice, a round of chemotherapy, or something that they might otherwise have to do alone. Even if you don’t need to diet, you can work out with the person, listen to their food diary, and encourage them,” suggests assistant editor of O (Oprah’s magazine), Polly Brewster.

Promise Certificates. Create your own little gift cards that represent a promise for the future. Perhaps, you can offer to help with the gardening in the spring to a homeowner friend. Maybe you can offer drives to important functions to someone without a car. Whatever you promise, be sure to follow through when the certificate is redeemed!

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12 Dec

Choosing The Perfect Gift To Promote Your Company

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 12.12.12 by John Meloche

Promotional gifts have been working wonders for decades for several reasons. The main reason is the fact that they help business owners promote their businesses through products that are useful. Unlike a business card, a promo gift is rarely tossed away and lost. The more useful the product, the more times the recipient will be reminded of the business that provided the gift.

Another benefit to handing out promotional gifts is the fact that they are so inexpensive when compared to other modes of advertising. Filming television commercials and taking out ads in magazines are two age-old methods of promoting a business – but they’re really pricey! Promo gifts definitely give more bang for the buck.

In addition, promo gifts actually last for longer durations of time. Your average commercial is about thirty seconds long. Even if you’ve managed to captivate the viewer in that short span of time, another commercial pops up right after yours. Or worse, the program that the viewer is watching returns and your product has already been forgotten.

Many promo gifts are used nearly every day. Unlike your average ad campaign, this method of advertising is actually useful. Pens, mugs, water bottles and key chains, for example, are all regularly used items. Think about how often you use these products. Now think about your customers using such products that bear your company’s name and logo.

This time of year is the perfect time to begin handing out promo gifts. After all, it is the season of giving. And customers will be piling into your store in greater numbers than at any other time of the year. What will you be handing them to ensure that they don’t forget about you long after the holiday season is over?

Pens. It doesn’t matter how popular computers and hand held devices get, there will always be uses for pens. At Synergy Marketing, we have a wide variety of pens that begin at only $1.29 each. Consider that each and every time one of your customers go to write something down that they’ll be reminded of your generosity and (hopefully) excellent service.

Drinkware. Mugs and water bottles are not likely to ever go out of style. As long as there’s a reason to drink (you know, such as staying alive!), there’s a reason to own items that you can drink from. This selection of gifts also happens to include an elegant Holiday Wine Charm Set. It’s perfect for the season.

Key Chains. Another product that is used just about every day is the key chain. As long as you have a home to put a key into, you may as well have a key chain to hold those keys for you. Our large selection of key chains may make it hard to decide upon which one you’ll like best. So be sure to speak to one of our experienced sales reps by calling 1-877-748-9884 to help you choose the perfect gift to promote your company.

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11 Dec

Office Fun Promotes Productivity

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 11.12.12 by John Meloche

In yesterday’s blog, we revisited the topic of having fun in the office and its ability to promote productivity. Synergy Marketing is home to a sometimes boisterous and energized working environment. The energy in the office each day helps to spawn a hard-working and competitive nature that is used as motivation to make sales and intrigue our customers.

The objective in our office is to introduce to our clients the many ways that our promotional products can help to increase their customer bases. These conversations are often pretty enthusiastic. This helps to develop friendlier relationships between our reps and their clients. Not to mention, it showcases that when one is having fun at work, he or she is likely to accomplish more.

On FastCompany.com, Tom Stern writes that implementing “fun-inducers” at work will get everyone’s minds going. He notes that the increase of productivity is often the result of injecting fun within an office setting. To help business owners to do this at their places of business, Stern lists a number of helpful ways to accomplish fun at work.

Fun Email Subject Headings. It’s okay to poke fun at yourself. Stern suggests that you do so when sending inter-office emails that feature the subject heading, “FEEL FREE TO IGNORE THIS USELESS DRIVEL.” There’s not a whole lot you can lose by giving your employees a reason to chuckle every now and again. This is not to imply that you shouldn’t be taken seriously, of course.

Be Specific When Exchanging Pleasantries. Instead of asking “how was your weekend?”, ask questions like “did you gamble away your first born again?” or “say, did your boyfriend ever find out what you did?” And while Stern’s examples certainly may not be appropriate for everyone, he reiterates his point that simple joking around in the office can help to lighten things up and make for better work days.

Movie Matinees. In a suggestion that we’ve never seen before, Stern suggests that once a month, the entire office takes a long lunch and goes out to a movie matinee. And although he recommends that “this suggestion on hold until Hollywood actually makes some good movies again”, it makes for a very original way to help your employees enjoy coming to work for you.

According to Stern, “there is no limit to the ways in which you can inject some fun into the workplace.” Obviously, not every working environment is the same and not every tip will work for every business. Think of the likes and interests of the people that make up your staff. Come up with ways to put smiles on their faces that will last throughout each and every work day.

With the holidays coming up, more people will be thinking of their times off work more than the actual days of work leading up to the break. Make it so that your place of business is a fun place to work. This will work wonders for your company well into the new year and beyond. Here’s hoping you have some fun at work today!

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10 Dec

Inject Some Fun Into Your Office

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 10.12.12 by John Meloche

With the holiday season fast approaching, many people are going into work each day with a new sense of purpose. For some people, working extra hard and putting in more hours to make a few more bucks for Christmas shopping is the goal. For others, wanting Christmas to hurry up and get here over takes the responsibilities of the business day.

No matter what, this time of year should be a fun one. Even though most of us are about to go on holiday, there’s no reason why the time leading up to the year-end break shouldn’t be enjoyable. Keep in mind that the happier a staff is, the more productive they usually are. Want to end your year of well? Consider the many ways in which working can be made more fun.

On FastCompany.com, Tom Stern (ironically) writes that “research at California State University Long Beach showed that people who have fun at work are more creative, more productive, work better with others and call in sick less often.” To help your office reap the benefits of such findings, Stern offers up some tips on how to make your office a more fun place to be.

Casual Dress Days. “Casual Friday has been done to death,” writes Stern. So why not implement this once-a-week tradition during varying days of the week each week? This will shake things up a bit and give your employees a little bit more of a sense of enjoyment by being able to express their individualism at unconventional times. Create a more relaxed working environment, and you’re bound to have better workers.

Set Up Workout Equipment. Stern isn’t saying to turn your office into a gym. But he is saying that a section of it should be dedicated to fitness and health. Giving your employees opportunities to get in a bit of exercise at different points of the day will help them to get up more energy. Get their blood flowing and spirits up with the option to take small exercise breaks. This is highly beneficial for both productivity, happiness and well-being.

Bring In A Karaoke Machine. Things seem to just work out better when all things at work aren’t always about work. Stern recommends setting up “American Idol”-like contests during the lunch breaks. Perhaps, the machine would also be of great use to liven things up during morning meetings. Reverse the roles and make bosses contestants while employees judge. Fun is inevitable!

Parking Spaces Up For Grabs. Introduce an incentive for timeliness, says Stern. On certain days of the week, you may want to offer the parking spaces of upper management to any employee who gets to work before them. This will inspire the friendly competitive nature that often works to increase productivity in the workplace. Not to mention, it gives employees another chance to light-heartedly get one over on the bosses.

It’s no secret that the Synergy Marketing staff enjoys having fun in the office. It has definitely helped to develop the competitive nature that drives our productivity. Our Vice President of Marketing, John Meloche is no stranger to having fun in the office. This is evidenced by his role in the recent “Work To Do” video by Toronto hip-hop duo, Perfeck Strangers. Want to have some fun? Check out the blooper reel below!

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