What really motivates employees?

Kirk Theriot - 2019

Employees are the most crucial asset of today’s organizations, and employee satisfaction is one of the most important drivers of continuous workforce improvement. Some companies are faced with a mammoth challenge to keep their people motivated, especially in environments that fail to make employee satisfaction a part of their core business strategy. So here’s the question: What really motivates employees to produce? Is it money? Recognition? Job satisfaction? Benefits? Opportunities? If you think you know the answer, you may be surprised by the facts.

Are we motivated by money?

Ask the average American worker, and I’ll bet that you’ll hear a resounding “Of course! Everybody knows that.” However, there is a great deal of disconnect between what business does and what science knows. The fact is the old 20th century “carrot and stick” extrinsic motivation won’t work on the modern workforce, and the research behind this science is strong. A paper Large Stakes and Big Mistakes, by D. Ariely, U. Gneezy, G. Lowenstein, and N. Mazar for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, stated that “as long as the task involves only mechanical skill, financial rewards worked as they would be expected: the higher the pay, the better the performance. But once the task called for even rudimentary cognitive skill, a larger reward led to poorer performance.” So unless you’re looking to hire people who are only expected to do robotic tasks that don’t require thinking and good judgment, motivating people with money won’t work. The London School of Economics went even further: “We find that financial incentives can result in a negative impact on overall performance.”

Most people are motivated by purpose and desire to make a connection to something good that is bigger than themselves

The science of human motivation shows that people genuinely want to have a lasting impact on their work—they just don’t know how. If an employee can first identify the impact that a project will have on the company, his or her team, and career, then that project will become much more meaningful than just busy work. Companies that figure out how to bridge this gap not only will have a workforce that knows how to impact the bottom line, but will also be more engaged in the long run.

Career analyst Daniel Pink, who delivered a TED Talk on the puzzle of motivation, outlines key factors necessary to engage and motivate our 21st-century American workforce. Daniel states, “People are motivated by the desire to do things because they matter, because we like it, because they are interesting, because they are part of something that is important.” Employers who incorporate purpose-driven strategies will create more engaged, motivated, and happy employees.


Selling more with animation

Kirk Theriot - 2019
Businesses big and small are capitalizing on the benefits of 2D and 3D animation to captivate their target audiences. To learn more, watch our video:


How to sell more products and services with animation

Kirk Theriot - 2019

2D and 3D animation have been mainstream for many decades — the entertainment industry has relied upon this medium to tell many legendary stories. Everyone has seen an animated movie, right?

Today, businesses big and small are also capitalizing on the benefits of 2D and 3D animation to captivate their target audiences. The greatest advantage of animation is the ability to keep audiences engaged through comprehensive and clear visual storytelling, even when the subject matter may be technical rather than entertaining. Bring intricate products to life with animation. Train students with animated scenarios that would otherwise be too dangerous to replicate any other way. Effectively demonstrate the benefits of products and services with dynamic marketing messages.

Looking to produce content that moves people to act? Consider the following:

Product or Service Launch

3D animation is, without a doubt, the most effective tool to visualize the features and benefits of a new or existing product or service. There is no substitute for a realistic portrayal in high resolution. With 3D modeling, you get digital replicas of real products. The 3D-rendered images can be used to create content displaying products from different angles and perspectives. 3D models are completely digital, making it possible to implement literally any imaginable change. Modular versions of 3D-animated products empower clients to gain a full and complete understanding of the functionality and quality of the product. 3D animations work to sell and market products and services because customers get it.

Advertising and Marketing

Make an impact with animated videos and videos with motion graphics. Animated content can increase the effectiveness of many types of marketing and sales activities such as website content, trade show displays, social media engagement, and all types of presentations and programs. Animated content can help increase web traffic and help potential customers find your products and services. Displaying technical 3D animations on your website, Vimeo, or YouTube channels will increase SEO organic searches, increase social media activity, and raise brand awareness.

Training and Education

The field of training styles and methods has captured the attention of all types of industries. It is literally a lifeline for many industrial companies focused on safety. Safety training that incorporates 3D animations can tackle sensitive subject matter that cannot be filmed like confined space, fall protection, and chemical reactions on the job. Technical animations can be used in training modules to help explain complicated topics and make education more interesting and easy to understand. Education materials that incorporate animations help decode technical topics and bring life to dull or dry material with more engaging visual content without losing the details. 


How to mentor and coach productive workforces

Kirk Theriot - 2019

Is middle management an outdated concept? Some theorize that the act of managing productivity is a misguided, man-made concept. Supervising, overseeing, enforcing, and other “policing” acts sets up a hostile workplace that doesn’t support our human nature.

Management should be adapted to the particular demands of the situation, the particular requirements of the people involved, and the particular challenges facing the organization.

In a landmark 2000 Harvard Business Review study on leadership, Daniel Goleman and his team completed a three-year study with over 3,000 middle-level managers. Their goal was to uncover specific leadership behaviors and determine their effect on the corporate climate and each leadership style’s effect on bottom-line profitability. The research discovered that a manager’s leadership style was responsible for 30% of the company’s bottom-line profitability… and that’s huge.

Turn managers and supervisors into mentors and coaches.

In order to help your employees reach their full potential and thus become more valuable to your organization, management needs to mentor and coach team members for success. Investing time in your employees and giving them the tools they need to develop is incredibly important for output quality, morale, and retention. You spend valuable resources training employees in order to establish a well-informed, high-performing workforce. Coaching employees will help employees master tasks and increase performance. Mentoring employees will build strong work relationships and develop individuals not only for the current task, but also future leaders and talent pool. Mentoring and coaching works for both mentor and the mentee. Kim Ades, CEO of Frame of Mind Coaching, writes that when mentoring is done with the right intention, the mentor walks “lit up, inspired, and ignited with energy.”


Four ways to make safety personal

Kirk Theriot - 2019

Behind every worker is a family who is counting on them to provide financial and emotional support. Because safety can have life-altering consequences for generations of family members, it is one of the most important decisions a company can make — both for its workers and for its bottom line.

Studies show that when people have an emotional connection to learning, they perform better on testing. When employees connect on a personal level, they are more likely to relate, retain, and apply the material for longer.

Want to know how to translate a safety lesson into a culture where employees take personal responsibility for themselves and their family’s well-being?

Effective safety training must make a clear connection between compliance and the significance of injury. Make it personal by demonstrating how a serious workplace injury can provoke a major crisis in the family with major financial burdens and substantial time demands on uninjured family members. Show how family resources may be stretched to the breaking point. Human loss and suffering are immeasurable.

Customized training tools help make a real connection with workers in a personalized way

1. Children's artwork safety calendars
Custom safety calendars featuring children’s artwork are a great addition to your company’s safety plan by encouraging employees and their family members to actively participate in good safety practices on a daily basis. Custom safety calendars make it personal because they remind employees why safety is so important—their families are counting on them to work safely. Safety calendars encourage the whole family to participate in safety at work, home, school, and at play.

2. Microlearning safety messaging and videos
Statistics show that employees trained with video perform better than other traditional training methods. Video is by far one of the most effective, cost-conscious, and versatile safety training tools. Generic or canned instruction won’t cut it. Instead, make all content relevant to specific safety policies and practices. Make it personal with exact work and job site situations.

3. Top-of-mind safety awareness
Make it personal with custom safety messaging specific to each team or employee. Consistent, targeted communications help employees comply with all safety policies and practices. Incorporating relevant and consistent safety messaging on banners, posters, and flyers can help our brains to remember or “encode” information for longer.

4. Create a buddy system to watch over each other
Make it personal by incorporating a buddy system to help co-workers follow company safety policies and practices. Keep an eye on new co-workers and make safety a part of the conversation on and off the job.


See how blank walls come to life

Kirk Theriot - 2019


The ability to transform a formerly conventional or uninspiring environment into a powerful communication tool is a remarkable asset for any business or professional.


How to drive home safety

Kirk Theriot - 2019


Custom safety calendars featuring children's artwork is a great reminder of why on-the-job safety is so important.

Everyone knows the importance of good safety practices on the job, but organizations now consider off-the-job safety just as important to managing health care costs, productivity, and profits. Custom safety calendars are a great addition to any safety plan by encouraging employees and their family members to actively participate in good safety practices on a daily basis. When whole families participate in health safety practices, it reinforces the main purpose of all workplace safety programs - returning home safe and sound.


How to stop high employee turnover

Kirk Theriot - 2019

High employee turnovers cost the industrial market millions of dollars every year. Costs associated with employee benefits, administrative and operational work, lost training efforts, and lost productivity quickly add up. But that’s not all — studies show that companies spend the equivalent of six to nine months of an employee’s wages in order to find and train their replacement. Hiring and retaining quality employees is just a start to creating a strong work force. Consistent communications, mentoring and coaching for success, and recognizing and rewarding employees are great tools to help build workforces that are actively engaged, motivated by purpose, and happy with their jobs.

Consistent Communications
Helping employees become more invested in their work begins with honest and open communications. On-going communications and messaging can transform levels of engagement, drive up productivity, and produce a rewarding work environment. Show that the company cares about the well-being of each employee. Engage in social and philanthropic causes and events to build a connected and caring workplace.

Make Work Meaningful
Most people are motivated by purpose and desire to make a connection to something good that is bigger than themselves. The science of human motivation shows that people genuinely want to have a lasting impact on their work — they just don’t know how. If an employee can first identify the impact that a project will have on the company, his or her team, and career, then that project will become much more meaningful than just busy work. Companies that figure out how to bridge this gap not only will have a workforce that knows how to impact the bottom line, but will also attract and retain quality personnel.

Recognize and Reward Achievements
Social science and behavioral economics provide a wealth of insight on motivation, recognition, and rewards. In short, employee recognition, rewards, and gratitude work extremely well. Employees who know they are valued are more likely to be happy workers. Create loyalty by offering opportunities for advancement so that employees can visualize their career path in your organization.

In today’s knowledge economy, the overall strength of most organizations is human capital — the people that make it work. Companies who are trying to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage need to attract, motivate, and retain quality people. Make employee-centric values the center of your workforce development program to attract and retain employees, enhance performance, and build a vibrant, values-based culture.


How to sell more products and services with animation

Kirk Theriot - 2019

2D and 3D animation have been mainstream for many decades — the entertainment industry has relied upon this medium to tell many legendary stories. Everyone has seen an animated movie, right?

Today, businesses big and small are also capitalizing on the benefits of 2D and 3D animation to captivate their target audiences. The greatest advantage of animation is the ability to keep audiences engaged through comprehensive and clear visual storytelling, even when the subject matter may be technical rather than entertaining. Bring intricate products to life with animation. Train students with animated scenarios that would otherwise be too dangerous to replicate any other way. Effectively demonstrate the benefits of products and services with dynamic marketing messages.

Looking to produce content that moves people to act? Consider the following:

Product or Service Launch

3D animation is, without a doubt, the most effective tool to visualize the features and benefits of a new or existing product or service. There is no substitute for a realistic portrayal in high resolution. With 3D modeling, you get digital replicas of real products. The 3D-rendered images can be used to create content displaying products from different angles and perspectives. 3D models are completely digital, making it possible to implement literally any imaginable change. Modular versions of 3D-animated products empower clients to gain a full and complete understanding of the functionality and quality of the product. 3D animations work to sell and market products and services because customers get it.

Advertising and Marketing

Make an impact with animated videos and videos with motion graphics. Animated content can increase the effectiveness of many types of marketing and sales activities such as website content, trade show displays, social media engagement, and all types of presentations and programs. Animated content can help increase web traffic and help potential customers find your products and services. Displaying technical 3D animations on your website, Vimeo, or YouTube channels will increase SEO organic searches, increase social media activity, and raise brand awareness.

Training and Education

The field of training styles and methods has captured the attention of all types of industries. It is literally a lifeline for many industrial companies focused on safety. Safety training that incorporates 3D animations can tackle sensitive subject matter that cannot be filmed like confined space, fall protection, and chemical reactions on the job. Technical animations can be used in training modules to help explain complicated topics and make education more interesting and easy to understand. Education materials that incorporate animations help decode technical topics and bring life to dull or dry material with more engaging visual content without losing the details.


5 benefits on environmental design in the workplace

Kirk Theriot - 2019

For some years now, marketers have been writing about the importance of branding — creating brands, brand management, and re-branding almost everything and everyone. We have strategically used all types of mediums to publish or deliver our branding messages and environmental graphics are no different. Graphic design is no stranger to environmental spaces — the retail market has been capitalizing on this powerful tool since the very first merchandising space. Environmental graphics or branding continue to trend as architects, interior designers, and the corporate world take notice of the wide range of benefits beyond adding a splash of color or adding the logo to the wall. Companies are re-thinking the role of the workspace to help employees truly live their brand. From wall décor and office graphics to decorative privacy film for conference room windows, interior graphics don’t just fill space — they communicate the soul of the company and impact the way employees engage with each other and guide the public experience of an organization. The workplace is constantly changing to accommodate a shifting workforce with various expectations and working styles. This accommodation is not only a trend in some workplaces, but in many, it has become a vehicle to attract and retain the best talent. Environmental graphics work hard. 

Reinforce Brand
Environmental graphics help to brand the company. Communicating the company DNA is hard to do in a mission statement, but a wall installation can reinforce company values. Having your values prominently displayed where employees encounter them frequently can be a good way to reinforce their usage in everyday work, increase organizational awareness, and establish credibility and trust within the organization. Environmental graphics give organizations an opportunity to connect with their target audience in a very public and impactful manner. Visitors are instantly engaged with visual communications that can guide, direct, and support a positive experience with the brand before any other type of media or verbal welcome.  

Increase Productivity
Environmental graphics can help employees feel engaged, valued, and connected. Finding the right balance between privacy and openness is the key to creating a productive environment. The architecture and interior design play a large role through the layout of the building and work areas, but success also relies on the experienced graphic designer to create the perfect balance of color, shape, and messaging to achieve harmony. 




In this example, branded vinyl with right balance of translucency, transparency, and opacity was used on the glass of conference rooms and boardrooms to ensure a level of privacy and productivity. This allowed the people inside the boardrooms to work undisturbed, but also not feel excluded from what was happening outside.

Connect People to Place
Environmental graphics can promote creativity. Many companies use traditional signs, directories, charts, maps, landmarks, and architectural treatments to identify buildings, levels, offices, and public spaces. However, incorporating inspired themes into non-traditional wayfinding solutions can connect people to place in innovative and exciting ways. Experienced environmental designers understand how individuals perceive and move through spaces, are adept at organizing information to communicate graphically in order to transform a dull office into a center for inspired creativity. We live in a time when the creative economy reigns supreme and most organizations view “creativity” as the most valued currency. Companies spend billions of dollars on recruiting, training, and personnel development, but spend very little on environment. 

Improve Employee Health
Environmental graphics can help improve employee health. According to a recent Gallup poll, American adults employed full-time report working an average of 47 hours per week, nearly six days a week — that’s longer than our counterparts in the world's largest economies. With the increasing number of hours spend indoors in bland, uninspired spaces, company morale and productivity can plummet and employee health can be affected. Many companies are incorporating a sense of nature and the outdoors into their interiors through biophilic environmental design.  Biophilia deals with the innate relationship between humans and nature and the basic human need of continuously being connected to a natural environment. As it has been shown to improve employee health, biophilic design works to enhance the individual’s connection with nature in the environment in which we live and work every day. Other creative environmental design decisions can also help encourage healthy behaviors by making the stairs a more attractive option than an elevator.

Impacts the Bottom Line
Environmental graphics can serve as a powerful sales tool, making it that much easier to sell a specific vision to potential clients as they walk through a space or talk through ideas. The positive visual appeal of a space can help create a profound connection between people and place and the connection between brand and success. The ability to transform a formerly conventional or uninspiring environment into a powerful communication tool is a remarkable asset for any business or professional.