Top 5 Myths About Employee Retention

Myth or Fact

We know a thing or two about employee appreciation at Paper Direct. Part and parcel with it is an understanding of employee retention. That’s why we’d like to share our thoughts on some retention myths. Recognizing these common traps is a great way to avoid them.

Myth #1: Pay is the Leading Factor in Retention

A 2014 survey by Bamboo HR interviewed over 1,000 professionals to see what makes them tick. Among the motivating factors that lead to resignation, salary concerns only placed at number three. Denied advancement opportunity and an unhealthy work/life balance came out far ahead.

There are two lessons here. First, retention means creating opportunities for worthy employees. Second, treating employees like office fixtures doesn’t promote a long tenure.

Myth #2: Resigning Employees Have Nothing More to Contribute

Wrong. Getting their honest feedback, especially utilizing a proper exit interview, can reveal inefficiencies and discontent you never suspected. That’s immeasurably helpful in employee retention.

Gathering frank opinions can be tricky. After all, no one wants to burn bridges or blow a potential reference. If you’re concerned about reliability, consider hiring sensitive professionals outside your organization to conduct the interviews.

Myth #3: High Unemployment Means High Employee Retention  

Doesn’t economic crisis mean prudent management can go out the window? Pile more work on your employees and kick your feet up- people are too afraid to say boo, right?

Nope. Common sense dictates that valuable employees will likewise be valuable to other organizations. And when there’s chaff building in the applicant pool, it makes perfect sense to treat your current employees as they deserve.

Myth #4: New Hires Resign Because They Can’t Hack It

Some believe that large pools of new hires bring in the lazy and shiftless, those only interested in punching the time clock. The numbers couldn’t disagree more.

Another survey by Bamboo HR reveals that the vast majority of new hires are concerned to receive more on the job training and reviews of company policy. The logical inference is that these people are interested in doing their jobs well and understanding their new environment.

Myth #5: Turnover Only Affects HR

Employee retention isn’t just a human resources concern. True, HR has to devote a lot of time, money, and training to replace departing workers. But to talk as if theirs is the only department affected is to ignore the unity of an organization.

A departing employee takes many things with them. Unique customer relationships are lost. Work loads are disturbed and often painfully redistributed. Productivity is diminished. And hard won expertise disappears, perhaps permanently.

Employee retention invariably affects your enterprise across the board.

We hope we’ve contributed a bit to your understanding of employee retention. We’re keen to hear your insights too. Skip on over to Paper Direct to share your thoughts, form a collaboration, or just say hi!


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Opening Day: How to Make to Most of your Business Opening

Opening Day

Diving off the entrepreneurial precipice for the first time? Making plans for another profitable jaunt? Either way, any new enterprise can seem daunting with a thousand threads to tie off. That’s why a business opening checklist is indispensable, and we’ve got a couple of suggestions to add to yours. Before you throw open your doors, make sure to scratch off these oft-neglected items.

Get Your Permits in Order

Anyone who’s ever filed business taxes has seen the labyrinth of state and federal bureaucracies. The same applies to the permits. New business credentials are often incomplete, oversights which cost dearly down the road.

Don’t fall into the trap. Daunting as the paperwork may seem, government entities want you to succeed. A great resource to double check yourself is the U.S. Small Business Administration. Among their many great resources is an easily navigable permits directory.

Respect the Web

We’re not just talking about Facebook updates. A dedicated business domain, reliable hosting services, and quality web design should be considered the minimum for your business opening checklist. Build an elite web presence now, not later.

But presentation isn’t the only thing to consider. Once your niche is established, discovery is the other half of the battle. Many firms can help you with search engine optimization, content writing, and other online marketing needs. Make some calls, set up meetings, and pick a group that impresses you. Their services pay off handsomely.

Create Separate Accounts

Creating a dedicated business account is a prudent stop on your business opening checklist. You’re less likely to entangle your personal finances with company capital, plus financial institutions are often more generous with lines of credit.

But perhaps most importantly, it’s much easier to track company expenses. This is especially useful at tax time, as you won’t be picking business wheat from personal chaff to justify deductions.

Perfect an Elevator Pitch

business opening

It’s not enough to offer stellar goods and services. You have to briefly and persuasively explain why they’re necessary.

Relax if that doesn’t come easily- none of us are born salesmen. Tap your friends, family, and network for practice. Give them your best shot and ask for notes. With some constructive criticism and a few revisions, you’ll be able to pitch with poise to anyone.

Know Your Suppliers

We all need help to succeed. The best way to get it is to form good relationships with our suppliers. Whether you’re auditioning custodial services, equipment wholesalers, or telecommunication providers, choose professionals who take your business as seriously as you do. It’s the difference between resounding success and crippling delay.

Take Paper Direct, for instance. We know your business can’t exist in a marketing vaccum. That’s why we do our job so passionately. We know our timely, custom, and competent work helps you stand out from the crowd.

So put Paper Direct on your business opening checklist for business cards, promotional materials, and all the personal touches. Your new venture joined with our seasoned services makes a winning collaboration.

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Awesome Sunday School Recognition Ideas for Kids

Awesome Sunday School Recognition Ideas for Kids

Kids love praise. Knowing they’ve reached a goal or completed a task motivates them to continue doing well. Although Sunday School classes may seem like a fun place to socialize with friends, play games and listen to inspiring stories, there’s a lot of learning going on too. Let’s celebrate it!

Here’s four Sunday school recognition ideas to keep the youngest parishioners engaged and active in their religious studies.

Sunday School Growth Award

Progress should always be recognized and commended. The Sunday School Growth Award is ideal for students who’ve completed assignments and projects in a timely manner and shown a deep understanding and appreciation of the lessons they’re learning. These children are often eager to learn more, ask questions and have a genuine interest in growing within the congregation.

Heavenly Cooperation Award

Do you have students break into groups to learn songs and verses together? Take note of the children who work exceptionally well with others. They deserve a Heavenly Cooperation Award. Let them know how much you appreciate them being helpful and friendly to the other children in their group. This award will inspire others to be just as cooperative in the future!

Religious Leadership Award

As Sunday school students get older, they often take on leadership roles within the church. Some teach younger students, volunteer to be a teacher’s assistant or conduct special lessons for other classes. The Religious Leadership Award is for those students who go above and beyond to help others by being a mentor and role model to other students.

Finding Faith Award

Every Sunday school teacher knows of a few students who are working on finding their place in the church. This award should be presented to students who’ve experienced a defining moment and have newly accepted their faith. This award is perfect for presenting during the final class of the session or during a ceremony with family and friends present.

Do you need paper certificate to print your Sunday school recognition awards on? Paper Direct has a wide variety of festive, fun certificates to make your presentation perfect.


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10 Free Whimsical Wedding Fonts for Invitations & More

Grace Casual Invitations by PaperDirectOne of the best things about custom, designer wedding invitations is the fabulous calligraphy/ graphic designs the artists can do. While this truly looks amazing, it can get very expensive- very quickly.

Since wedding invitations are one of the first pieces of communication sent out, you want them to represent the entire look and feel of the wedding. Whether this is refined elegance or fun & flirty, you’ll want nice invitations no matter your budget.

If you’re printer-savvy, you can order DIY wedding invitations, download a free, whimsical font and presto- you’ve got a great-looking invitation on the cheap.

There are a number of fonts available for free download so you can create gorgeous wedding invites (and other things) for a fraction of the cost of custom written invitations.

Some of our favorite downloadable wedding fonts include:

free wedding fonts for DIY Invitations

See a font you really like? Find it below and download the file. Then, click into the file and press the “Install” button towards the top of the folder. It will automatically be imported into Microsoft Word where you can play with your wording and format. Undecided on which font perfectly fits the bill? Download more than one and compare before printing- that’s the beauty of PaperDirect’s print at home invitations.

wedding font 1

Download Always Forever

wedding font 2

Download Because I am Happy

wedding font 3

Download Cinnamon Cake

wedding font 4

Download Dextera

wedding font 5

Download I Love Me Some

wedding font 6

Download Lemon Yellow Sun

wedding font 7

Download Drawing with Markers

wedding font 8

Download Jasmine Reminescentse

wedding font 9

Download La Laboratoire

wedding font 10

Download Please Write me a Song

We hope your wedding invitations are not only stunning- but also easy to make and send out. For more wedding products, visit PaperDirect. We carry name tables, thank you cards, and more.

All fonts courtesy of

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Beautiful & Affordable Weddings: The Centerpieces

A limited budget does not have to limit the beauty or creativity of your wedding. In fact, having a limited budget enhances the creativity and helps to find beautiful alternatives to pricey centerpieces.

Weddings are one of the most memorable and important days of our lives and what better way to honor that than by having stunning centerpieces that reflect our true hearts—without having to drain the bank account?

We all know how easy it is to overshoot the wedding budget. All of those beautiful details add up and end up leaving a sizable debt if we’re not careful. That’s why budget friendly centerpieces are all the rage right now.

Are they gorgeous? Absolutely.

Here are some stunning and money saving ideas we think you’ll love.

Leaf Centerpieces


If you are planning a tropical or garden wedding, this idea saves a lot of money. Simple purchase oversized leafs by themselves or with simple vases or candles. This will add a warm pop of color without the price tag of flowers. Pictured is a hosta leaf. 

Dessert As Centerpiece

If you are having cupcakes, make them do double duty as your centerpiece? Cupcakes are little works of art and look beautiful on stands. By using them as the centerpiece you can save on big floral arrangements and choose something small and beautiful to supplement the entire look.

You could also go the route of placing individual chocolates in a designed spread. Double purpose and pleasure!


If you need something for your centerpieces, consider borrowing them from others.  Assisted living facilities, service organizations, and clubs may all have just the item you need and will often lend them to local residents. Friends and family are also great resources.

Party & Gifts

Wedding Centerpiece CAH

If you’re seeking a more-casual wedding, place vintage board games or party favors as centerpieces. Browse Oriental Trading Company for some great inexpensive items you can buy in bulk.

Use What is Available to You

In planning your wedding centerpieces, don’t forget to consider things that are available to you right outside your home. Things like tree branches, wildflowers, sand, bark, fruit, lanterns, antiques, and drift wood are all lovely and can serve as wonderful centerpieces.

Check with Your Location Vendor

If you are renting a venue, find out if they have supplies you can rent. Many have vases that can be rented at a nominal cost.

Go Minimalist

Baby's Breath centerpieces

[photo via]

Flowers are one of the most expensive elements of the wedding. One way to save is by making a few flowers go a long way with a minimalist design.Try either one flower per vase or a bouquet of baby’s breath.

Go Eclectic

If you do not have a collection of matching vases or containers, you can go eclectic and tie the look together with flowers.  Another way to bring the look together dramatically is by spray painting the containers all one color such as silver, white or cream.

Designed Table Tents

Black and White Table Tent

If you’re going for as inexpensive as possible, consider ordering some plain table tents. Then you can design them yourself, print them at home and you’re done. Try using whimsical fonts to add the table number, or better yet, include an ice breaker conversation starter for the table.

The wedding of your dreams is within your reach, no matter the budget. Get creative and the beauty will come to life!

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15 Ways Schools Can Appreciate Their Teachers (on the Cheap)

Day in and day out, teachers go above and beyond. From staying late to help students with projects, to arriving early to perfect lesson plans, this profession isn’t celebrated enough. So on May 5th it’s time to say Thank You!

15 ways schools can appreciate teachers on Teacher Appreciation Day!

appreciation ideas on the cheap

1. Have the school secretary reach out to parents and students. Ask for positive comments and words of gratitude to share in the teacher newsletter or on the bulletin board in the staff break room.

2. Organize a staff potluck (or have it catered!) on a Friday afternoon to spoil and thank educators for their dedication all year long.

3. Allow teachers to go casual and wear jeans on a specific day. Be sure to get a group picture to remember the event!

4. Hold a drawing for an exciting weekend outing that includes tickets to a local ball game, dinner at a new restaurant, overnight stay at a luxury hotel or tickets to a show.

5. Coordinate a special assembly with the students and present each teacher a certificate of appreciation in honor of Teacher Appreciation Day.

Thank You Vinyl Banners by PaperDirect

6. Ask the students to write messages on a huge “Thank You” banner during their lunch break. Then prominently display the sign at the entrance of the school for all the teachers to see.

7. Feature each teacher on the school’s social media accounts. Post a photo and a behind-the-scenes look at what the teacher does each day for the children.

8. Email each student an anonymous questionnaire asking who their favorite teacher is and why. Print out these comments on colorful paper and post them around the school for everyone to read.

9. In a small school, have the students prepare a short play to present to the teachers that focuses on gratitude and the things they’ve learned from their teachers.

Personalized Mugs by PaperDirect

10. Present each teacher with a personalized mouse pad or mug for their desk that highlights Teacher Appreciation Day.

11. Coordinate a special assembly to honor a Teacher of the Year. Have the students and parents vote on who should win.

12. Tuck a note into each teacher’s paycheck paperwork letting them know they’ve earned a free PTO day to use as they wish.

13. Have fresh doughnuts and gourmet coffee delivered to the staff break room early on a Monday morning for a delicious surprise.

14. Have a key school supervisor, such as a principal or superintendent, hand write a Thank You card to each teacher and personally deliver it throughout the day on Teacher Appreciation Day.

15. Organize a staff outing, such as bowling or lunch, so the teachers can mingle and socialize outside school grounds.

What are you waiting for? Choose a few ideas and start planning! Paper Direct has festive paper certificates and decorative border paper to help you get started.


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Oh The Places Your Grad Will Go…

Oh the places your grad will go.

This wonderful book is a common and thoughtful gift for graduates. It easily connects the start of your grad’s education with the next stepping stone- succeeding in the real world after high school or college.

If you have a graduate that you’re honoring, include a famous quote from this classic Dr. Seuss book in their graduation announcement, card or invitation.

Some of our favorites include:

Oh the Places Your Grad will Go #1

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

Oh the Places Your Grad will Go #2

“You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So… get on your way!”

Oh the Places Your Grad will Go #2

“Kid, you’ll move mountains.”

Oh the Places Your Grad will Go #4

“And will you succeed?
You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed)”

Need more graduation inspiration? Whether you’re looking to make your grad’s party amazing, get the perfect gift or simply wish them well, browse PaperDirect’s selection of graduation celebration products.

Or simply grab a copy of the famous Dr. Seuss’s Oh the Places You’ll Go… Inspiring young students for generations.

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Why Your Relationship with Your Employees Matters

Most managers dream of a work environment that consists of collaboration, ingenuity, productivity, low stress and high employee morale.

If you manage a group of people, it may be easier to make that dream into a reality than you think.

It all starts with one thing: building a great relationship with your employees.

Why does this matter so much? Why put the effort into building a solid foundation of mutual respect and trust? Why not just issue orders and expect them to be followed?

Because we’re all human. And as humans, we naturally work harder for those who are fair, consistent and kind. The more positive interactions we have with our boss, the more productive we tend to be.

Creating a good relationship with your employees isn’t just for their benefit. It can have numerous perks for yourself and the company as well.

It frees up your time

Frees up Time If employees feel that you trust them to use their own judgment to solve problems as they arise, you’ll discover that they’re in your office a lot less.

When you’re dealing with fewer questions and crises, you’ll be able to concentrate on other, higher level issues.

It leads to less mistakes

If you consistently demonstrate trust in your team, you’ll also probably find that employees make better decisions because they won’t want to let you down. In addition, you’ll probably make fewer mistakes as well since you’ll have more time to concentrate on your own work.

It cultivates creativity and innovation

Creativity and Inspiration Fear-based corporate cultures suppress any urge to think outside the box for fear of being shut down.

But an encouraging, supportive atmosphere allows employees to take risks, offer opinions and generate ideas that help the department and/or company succeed.

It makes change easier

Employees who have a good relationship with their manager are far more likely to go along with any changes you need to implement, even if they’re difficult ones. While there still may be some resistance (after all, none of us truly likes change), their trust in you will help them make the transition more quickly.

It reduces turnover

The cost of keeping an employee over the long term has far less impact on the bottom line than constantly hiring and training new employees. Having a great relationship with your team members creates a sense of loyalty and dedication, drastically reducing turnover.

It makes you look good to your superiors

Business When a team is happy, productive and innovative, it’s almost impossible for upper management not to notice. No doubt, they’ll want to know what you’re doing that’s so different from your peers, and they may even put you at the head of the line for the next promotion!

Shop at PaperDirect for all your employee recognition needs!

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Office Award Ideas for Harry Potter Enthusiasts

Put a magical spin on your next employee recognition. Dive into the curious world of Harry Potter when dreaming up office award ideas. Here’s a few award categories to get you started!

Office Award Ideas for Harry Potter

Harry Potter Loyalty Award

Instead of naming an employee of the year, honor this clever, dedicated person with the Harry Potter Loyalty Award. Their determination and willingness to learn and move the company forward is evident in their daily tasks and accomplishments.

Hermione Granger Learning Award

We all know of that one person who picks up new skills quickly, and has to teach us what’s going on. This detail-oriented, conscientious employee deserves the Hermione Granger Learning Award.

Ronald Weasley Congeniality Award

When you have to team upon a project, you know that one person everyone wants to work with? He deserves the Ronald Weasley Congeniality Award for his cheerful, easy-going personality that meshes well with everyone in the office.

Patronum Award

Movement Certificate by PaperDirectThis award goes to the person in the office who is an extremely positive ray of light.

They can turn any poor situation into an energized one and even combat soul-sucking co-workers dementors.

Longbottom Progress Award

Present this honor to the person in the office who has shown great improvement over time. The Neville Longbottom Award celebrates an employee whose newfound leadership skills and confidence are noticed by the entire staff.

Helpful Hagrid Award

Is there a nurturing staff member who’s always ready to help someone else out? The winner of the Rubeus Hagrid Award is a kindhearted teacher who’s friendly with everyone they collaborate with and a joy to have on your team.

The Seeker

The Snitch

This award should be given to the employee that has a lot of responsibility-but always delivers. They finish the game, add serious value to the company and are light & nimble.

Sirius Black Identity Award

Every office has someone who is the voice of the company. They’re loyal and will protect the identity of the company at every turn. The Sirius Black Award recipient likely works in the marketing or public relations department and always has a positive comment ready.

Professor Minerva McGonagall Leader Award

This leading office lady is looked up to by many. Although she rules with an iron fist, she’s fair and intelligent. The Professor Minerva McGonagall Leader Award should go to a natural leader, whether she’s taken on a new supervisory role or is being honored for years of dedication.

Professor Albus Dumbledore Leader Award

Deathly Hallows - Harry Potter

We haven’t forgotten about the men! An equally intelligent, wise man in the office should be honored with the Professor Albus Dumbledore Leader Award. He sets solid examples and the interns look to him for inspiration and guidance.

Severus Snape Teaching Award

Sometimes it takes awhile to see where a new employee fits into the office mix. But when a shining star emerges with an immense loyalty to the company and is willing to share their talents and intelligence to benefit everyone, they deserve the Severus Snape Teaching Award.

Gryffindor House Award

If there is an entire team that works well together to get the job done, present them each with a Gryffindor house award. #BestHouse

Wingardium Leviosa Award

IsDiaphanous Certificate by PaperDirect there a friendly know-it-all among yourselves? Reward them for their knowledge- someday they may save you from a troll.

Ready to create your awards? Paper Direct has several certificates to make your Harry Potter office award ideas true keepsakes. Browse the collection of online certificates today!

[images courtesy of Harry Potter Wikia]

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An Administrative Professional’s Day Gift That Motivates

Administrative Assistant Certificate and Jacket by PaperDirectDuring any given weekday, an office’s administrative staff provides constant support to every other department, usually taking on the tasks and duties no else wants to complete.

Sometimes it does not occur to management how important it is to motivate administrative professionals, even though these individuals provide invaluable work to the company as a whole.

With Administrative Professionals Week and Administrative Professional’s Day right around the corner, businesses can take a few minutes out of their hectic schedules to show appreciation for and continue to motivate their administrative staff.

Let’s Go Back

Sixty-three years ago, the combined efforts of the leaders at the National Secretaries Association (now called the International Association of Administrative Professionals), Dictaphone Corporation, and Young and Rubicam helped launch theAdministrative Assistant Certificates by PaperDirect celebration of National Professional Secretaries Week and National Secretary’s Day.

Since 1952, National Secretaries Week and National Secretary’s Day has evolved into Administrative Professionals Week and Administrative Professional’s Day.

According to the International Association of Administrative Professionals’ website, “Each year, administrative professionals are recognized for their skills and loyalty, attributes almost every office depends upon. Administrative Professionals Week celebrates and sheds light on administrative professionals’ devoted, valued work.”

“We all appreciate being thanked, but why not go the extra mile and make a point of using gift cards, hand-written thank you notes, and other gestures to recognize achievement,” contributor Caron Beesley advises in a U.S. Small Business Administration blog post.

This year, Administrative Professional Week begins on Sunday, April 19, and Administrative Professional’s Day falls on Wednesday, April 22.

Beesley also notes in her SBA blog post

“There’s little doubt that employees are...

How to Show Your Appreciation

An office can demonstrate its gratitude to the administrative personnel in a variety of ways: flowers, gift cards, lunch out, and so on. However, a gift that motivates the recipient long after Administrative Professionals Week has ended, a certificate serves as a reminder of how much their work is appreciated by their co-workers and bosses.

awardTake the gift one step further by placing the certificate in a jacket to make the effort last that much longer. When your office awards the administrative staff with customized certificates recognizing their dedicated efforts, you’ll be amazed with how positively they respond to the gesture.

Picking up a Starbucks gift card or signing an off-the-rack greeting card are easy ways to recognize your company’s admins during Administrative Professionals Week. Yet these gifts don’t serve as ongoing motivation. Celebrate your administrative professionals while motivating them with a present that speaks directly to their hard work and ongoing efforts, such as a certificate in a jacket.


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