December '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 9 D E C E M B E R P R I N T W E A R 1 1 have an extremely low number of no- shows from day to day. • How much time together do your em- ployees spend with each other outside of work? Workers are often cordial to each other during work hours, but don't engage in after-work social or sports activities. It Factor shops have groups of workers that attend social, church, school, and/or community group meetings together on weekends and evenings. • When the end-of-the-workday whistle blows, do your people climb over each other to get out? If so, that is a strong example of a workforce that isn't fully committed to seeing the job gets done correctly, completely, and on-time. Many workers describe their jobs in terms of time, such as, "I work from eight to five with one full hour off for lunch." Employees at companies with the It Factor measure their jobs based on what they accomplish and/or who benefits from their toil."Today, we did this job for one of our best clients that was challenging, but turned out to be one the best pieces of work we've ever done." • When you have all-employee or de- partmental meetings, is there little to no debate on topics you expect there to be some discussion or differing opin- ions? Silence and patronizing head- nodding should not be interpreted as compliance or agreement. When no one says anything at an information- filled strategic or planning meeting, you can be assured nothing will come of what is decided. Why? Because no one is accepting the responsibility or believes they will be held accountable for the results. It Factor-rich businesses have spirited yet respectful dialogue about issues directly impacting the workers' productiv- ity, work conditions, purpose, job security, and compensation. THE IT FACTOR ENRICHED While there is no proven recipe to ensure your company can acquire the It Factor, there are many things you can do to cultivate what potential exists in your shop. Recognize, reward, and reinforce any behavior that promotes teamwork. When someone from another depart- ment or business function chips in to help another—no matter how insignificant a task—be sure to publicly express your appreciation for the effort. Float the idea of sponsoring a team, such as a bowling league or softball team in a local league. Not only will it give your company some exposure while building bonds, it is likely the other teams will need uniforms or other decorated gear and who better to get them from than you. Host a social event two or three times a year. Take your crew out to play miniature golf or race go-carts, or even host a pizza party. One of the most fun and memorable evenings I ever had was a private party function at a micro-brewery. The staff at the brewery explained and demonstrated how beer was made and then broke us up into small groups to create our own batch of suds. A couple weeks later, I received one bottle of each of the beers that was invented that night. Each group named their own concoction and designed its label. Finally, when you have a job opening, provide your employees an incentive—if they get a friend or family member to apply for and fill the position. If the worker making the recom- mendation happens to be one of your most productive and reliable people, there's a good chance the person they bring to you will have a similar work ethic. Good luck! PW Vince DiCecco is a dynamic and sought-after seminar speaker and author with a unique perspective on business de- velopment and management subjects, primarily in the decorated and promotional apparel industries. With over 20 years of experience in sales, marketing, and training, he is presently an independent consultant to various apparel decorating businesses looking to improve profitability and sharpen their competitive edge. Visit his new website at, and send email to

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