Author Archives: gThankYou!

Employee Engagement – It All Starts with Happiness

Employee engagement is difficult to define, but you “know it when you see it” (with thanks to Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart for his much paraphrased quote).

“Culture trumps strategy, every time.”
Nilofer Merchant in Harvard Business Review Blog

“Get the right people on the bus.”
Jim Collins, from “Good to Great”

gThankYou! Happiness BillboardCompanies that genuinely cultivate strong employee culture know these things to be true.  They see the results; employees live it, customers know it, recruits know it.

How can companies develop a more engaged workforce by building a more customer-centric culture?  It all starts with happiness, and that’s great news!

Why?

You may think happiness is amorphous; that’s it’s a know-it-only-when-you-see-it thing, as Justice Stewart did (albeit about obscenity in a movie).

It is not.

In recent years an entirely new scientific field has developed — the study of happiness.  Pioneered by University of Pennsylvania psychology Professor Martin Seligman, this field has grown into the Penn Positive Psychology Center .  Dr. Seligman’s work has important implications for employee engagement.

Seligman and his team also have great news for businesses and other organizations:

  • Happy people are much more effective in many ways that are highly valued by organizations.
  • Happy people can be identified, so they can be recruited.  Believe it or not, one study shows individual’s long-term happiness can be determined by a photo!  It’s true; an “authentic” Duchenne smile is a valid predictor or many traits associated with happiness.
  • Happiness can be developed because it is a learned trait.  Your organization can teach it; colleagues can learn it.  (People can learn helplessness, too.)

Where does happiness come from?  How does it begin?  Two places:

First, it comes from using personal strengths.

Next, it comes from gratification; “calling on one’s strengths to meet a challenge”.  Gratification results from doing something meaningful; it is not just doing some pleasurable activity.

Let’s break this down.  What are the strengths managers should look for?  Strengths are virtuous.  They’re the personal traits we would admire in any setting, not just at work.  These strengths, these virtues, are universal, they are admired in any culture.  Among the strengths associated with workplaces are:

  • Wisdom and knowledge
  • Courage
  • Love and a deep sense of humanity
  • Appreciation of justice

Next, gratification; it comes from doing something worthwhile, something someone believes in.

For leaders, this breakthrough learning about happiness, strengths, gratification and successful management is crucial.  Ask yourself:

  • Do I know my team members’ strengths?
  • Do they know them?
  • Do we agree on those strengths?
  • Do we, together, agree what tasks and projects give them the best opportunities to develop, showcase, and create value from these strengths?
  • Do we identify and agree on the results from their projects that constitute success?

Then, do my team members similarly identify the strengths of their team members?

In coming posts, we’ll dig more deeply into employee engagement topics such as:

  • Workplace activities and behaviors that are likely to inspire happiness.
  • The value of collaboration in happiness.
  • How happiness can be learned, and taught.
  • Creating gratifying work.

Do you think of your employees in terms of their happiness?  What workplace efforts do you employ to inspire happiness?

Learn more about the relationship between employee satisfaction, engagement and recognition in our FREE Guide Below:

gThankYou! Ultimate Guide to Employee Gift-Giving

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

4 Reasons Turkey Gift Certificates Are the Ultimate Employee Gift

gThankYou! Roast Turkey

Photo via Indulgy.com

Turkey Gift Certificates are one of the very best gifts for employees in your organization. 

Here’s why:

1.  Meaningful.  Turkey is the ultimate American food.  As part of the Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving, turkey became the centerpiece of American history and American gratitude.  Everyone knows that turkey is a symbol of thanks, abundance and overcoming adversity.

Turkey is a family meal.  Just think of how many wonderful images you’ve seen of a proud chef bringing a turkey to a grateful table.

As an emotional symbol, no food is more prominent in the United States.  As the giver of the turkey, your workplace will be front-and-center in the minds of every employee’s family.

2.  Practical.  Everyone loves turkey; the turkey your company gives will be enjoyed by employees’ entire family.  Turkey is affordable; a $15 – $20 turkey feeds a whole party, and there are loads of leftovers for sandwiches, soups and casseroles.

Incentive Magazine recently shared new research showing that in today’s economy, employees especially appreciate practical gifts and prefer a gift certificate or gift card to cash.   What’s better than the gift of a Turkey?  It’s a gift that’s meaningful, affordable and appreciated by everyone.

3.  Super Convenient for the Giver.  At gThankYou! ordering turkey gift certificates is simple; just place your order online or by telephone at 888-484-1658; certificates can arrive as early as the next day, if you want.  (Not only that, we customize your certificates with both giver and recipient names if you wish, and provide FREE customizable enclosure cards too!)

Distributing turkey gift certificates is as easy as distributing any piece of paper.  Tuck them in payroll envelopes (or have your payroll service do it); hand them directly to recipients (or have the senior leadership team do it); or mail them to employees’ homes.

The convenience of turkey gift certificates makes them ideal for employees in more than one location.  If you have a distributed work force, gThankYou! can help make it easy for you to deliver your certificates to every location.

The simplicity of turkey gift certificates means nobody has to order truck-loads of frozen turkeys and hand them to employees in the parking lot on a bone-chilling November day. You may have Management that likes the tradition of handing out frozen turkeys; they can still hand out the turkey gift certificates and have a meaningful conversation with recipients at the same time.  When you choose to distribute gift certificates,  employees can choose the size and type of bird that works for their family and freezer space, and Management can decide when and how they would like to distribute their thoughtful gift.

4.  Flexible and Convenient for Recipients.  Selecting a turkey is easy for someone with a gThankYou! Turkey Gift Certificate.  They go to their grocery store, select the turkey they want and redeem their certificate at the check-out lane.

This means gift certificate recipients choose what they want –  the right size turkey, the right kind (organic or conventional, smoked, fresh or frozen), any brand they want – at the time they want (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, anytime).

A gift of a Turkey Gift Certificate to employees is a thoughtful, meaningful gift of your gratitude for their contributions to your business.  Holiday time or any time.

Enjoy our FREE eBook on Employee Gift-Giving for more tips and research behind celebrating employees.

gThankYou! Ultimate Guide to Employee Gift-Giving

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Employee Recognition – Creating a Comprehensive Strategy

Employee recognition is mission-critical in any organization.

gThankYou! Mission Critical StampWhy?  Today’s job market is highly mobile.  If employees don’t feel valued in their current job, they’ll find a new one where they do feel valued.

The respected Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) undertakes an annual in-depth Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Report that examines employee engagement and satisfaction.

The 2012 edition of SHRM’s Survey identifies important trends that highlight the importance of employee recognition:

  • The most important aspect of job satisfaction is “opportunities to use skills/abilities”.  Among the 600 survey respondents, no aspect of their jobs has grown more in the past ten years.  It was the fifth most important aspect ten years ago; today it’s #1.
  •  “Relationship with immediate supervisor” is the second highest growth aspect of job satisfaction, and fifth overall.

SHRM offers three implications for these findings:

  • Develop existing employees.  The difficult environment for identifying and hiring key candidates, particularly for manufacturing and service jobs, means the best way to fill tomorrow’s more demanding positions is with today’s employees.
  • Communicate about the total rewards package.  Knowing about compensation and benefits options and possibilities for growth are critical for creating a growth mind-set among employees.
  • Build a bridge between employees and senior management.  According to SHRM, two of the top five contributors to employee job satisfaction were “relationship with immediate supervisor” and “communication between employees and senior management”.  “Clearly, employees value their relationship with management, and they are looking for ways to make this relationship more effective…”

So, where does that leave your organization?  We’ve talked in the past about the “Employee Recognition: The #1 Best Practice, MBWA ; (management by wandering around) is a great starting-point for all managers.

But, how do you create a culture that ensures all departments and employees receive recognition to feel valued?

gThankYou! - MIT SealOne of the most appealing, comprehensive strategies we’ve seen comes from M.I.T., the renowned university in Cambridge, MA.  MIT’s Human Resource Department has constructed an Employee Recognition Program  that includes Baseline Practices and Best Practices.

 

MIT’s “best practices” suggest each department:

  • Reinforce department and/or employee goals;
  • Provide a continuum of recognition activities from informal day-to-day to formal award events;
  • Awards criteria align with each department’s goals and values;
  • Group social events and awards are used.

The University acknowledges recognition can range from simple, everyday options (thanks, praise, respect), to the institutional (safety, providing a meaningful mission) and the formal (awards ceremonies).

As with any great University, MIT gives us the opportunity to learn.  MIT Human Resources provides a thoughtful series of outlines any organization can study, borrow and emulate.

Their advice provides a sound overall structure and suggests a broad range of considerations for your organization’s recognition program.  Here are some examples and a few of the most insightful suggestions from each:

MIT Human Resources – Designing Employee Recognition Programs

  • Maximize involvement in program design.
  • Ask employees how they want to be recognized.
  • Involve a diverse group in the design.
  • Announce the names of design team members.
  • Create a program that allows participation at all levels, including:
  • Peer-to-peer recognition;
  • Manager-to-employee recognition;
  • Employee-to-manager recognition;
  • Make “spot” award programs easy, informal and accessible.
  • Build buy-in and excitement
  • Involve senior leadership.
  • Share decision-making.

Maintaining Recognition Programs

  • Change nomination and selection committee membership each year.
  • On-the-spot recognition can take place every day, year round.
  • Be timely and spontaneous; give immediate recognition.
  • Encourage everyone to participate in on-the-spot recognition.
  • Awards ceremonies should be the high point in the year, a culmination…

Create a Continuum of Recognition 

  • “Managers and peers can provide ongoing, informal recognition on a regular basis at no cost by simply providing the type of feedback described above either in person, through email, at team meetings, or even on a sticky note…”
  • And, even MIT reminds us to use “Thank You” often.

That’s a great place to start, isn’t it?  Thanks to MIT for sharing their thinking. Where do you go for advice on developing an employee recognition program?




About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Employee Recognition – The #1 Best Practice, MBWA

gThankYou! Management by Walking AroundEmployee recognition is critical to the long-term success of your company, regardless of what business you’re in.

The folks at Gallup recently published the latest installment of their multi-year State of the American Workplace.  Gallup’s bottom line is pretty depressing: Only “30% of the U.S. workforce is engaged in their work…meaning the vast majority of workers are not reaching their full potential”.

Never mind that objective definitions of their critical measures (“engaged”, “not engaged”, or “actively disengaged”) are missing from the study, so it’s hard to know what they’re really talking about.

Regardless, let’s take Gallup at their word.  They’ve been sizing up worker engagement with this survey for more than a decade and companies are buying it; the survey has a gigantic sample size; and, most important, the survey asks some pretty good questions.

Here are a few of the statement the Gallup Survey asks employees to consider:

  • In the past seven days, I received recognition or praise for doing good work.
  • There is someone at work who encourages my development.
  • At work my opinions seem to count.
  • In the past six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.

Fair enough.  This is all basic stuff.

But if it’s not happening in your company/organization, it’s no wonder workers are “not engaged” or worse, “actively disengaged”!

Everyone deserves to know where s/he stands at work, to know their constructive opinions are valued and encouraged, and receive direction to become more proficient — at every level of the company, in every workgroup.

All this brings me to one of my favorite management “gurus”, Tom Peters.   I like Tom because he forces you to think, re-think, and think again.  You say “plan”; he says “planning is b.s.”  You say “focus”, he says “W.T.T.M.S.W” (whoever tries the most stuff wins).

Tom’s twitter bio includes “professional agitator” and “the Red Bull of management thinking”.  Check out his rants.

Nobody can carry on longer about being succinct; and nobody, but nobody can be more succinct.  Tom is devoted to Twitter (although he can take four tweets to express a thought); one of my favorites captures his entire bestseller “In Search of Excellence” in one tweet:

“Cherish your people, cuddle your customers, wander around, ‘try it’ beats ‘talk about it’, pursue excellence, tell the truth.”

So, how do we apply Peters’ Principles to Gallup’s engagement survey?

M.B.W.A.  That’s it.  Period.

In Peters-speak that’s “Management By Wandering Around”.

If leaders were “wandering around”, Gallup’s Q Score would be wouldn’t be stuck with about 2/3 of American workers “disengaged”.

Company leaders must meet customers, must visit factory floors, must shop their own stores, must hustle suppliers and, in Peter’s works, must “cherish your people”.  If leaders do it, at all levels, subordinates will do it; and workers will do it.

“Cherishing” others’ work means we are engaged; they will be, too.  And it has to be continuous.  That’s employee recognition in action.

Jack Welch, legendary CEO of General Electric, famously budgeted his time at the beginning of each year — a set percent devoted to meeting customers, to meeting workers, to meeting suppliers, to training future leaders.  And he followed his plan.

That’s MBWA.

So, if you want engaged employees, engage them; it’s all about employee recognition.  Your company will be better for it.


About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Research Shows Happy Employees Are More Productive

gThankYou! Happy Worker

Employee happiness is becoming a hot topic among CEOs and in boardrooms, notes Rob Markey in a Harvard Business Review blog post, “Transform Your Employees into Passionate Advocates.”

“[It’s] one more sign of the growing recognition that happy, engaged employees are more productive and generate better outcomes for their companies,” he writes.

But, he adds, only a few of the things that make employees happy result in real, sustained benefit for their companies. As Gretchen Spreitzer and Christine Porath note in one of a series of HBR articles on employee happiness, “It’s not about contentment, which connotes a degree of complacency.”

Timely, Meaningful Recognition

Markey and his colleagues have studied the links between employee engagement and customer loyalty for a few years, and have found that the only route to employee happiness that also benefits shareholders is through a sense of fulfillment resulting from an important job done well.

It’s about recognizing employees in a timely, meaningful way. Employees should be able to connect the recognition—whether it’s a personal note, a small gift, or both—with their hard work on the company’s behalf.

The Happiness/Productivity Link

Several other organizations weigh in on workers’ mindsets. A Businessweek article by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer,  “Employee Happiness Matters More Than You Think,” says, “Ultimately … the source of productivity is the individual knowledge workers who get things done every day. And the evidence is clear: People perform better when they’re happier.”

For 10 years Amabile and Kramer researched creativity, productivity, and the psychology of everyday work life. Their findings: “Whether we looked at entrepreneurial startups or large, established enterprises, the same holds true: People are more productive and creative when they have more positive emotions.”

“In fact, we found that, if happier on a given day, people were not only more likely to come up with a new idea or solve a complex problem that same day but also to do so the next day.”

Gallup provides statistics linking employee feelings and corporate outcomes, Amabile and Kramer note. The organization reports that disengaged employees’ lost productivity costs U.S. businesses more than $300 billion a year. Another Gallup study by researcher James Harter and others concluded that employees’ past feelings about an organization can predict sales and profits at a future point in time.

U.K.-based research, too, suggests clear links between workers’ happiness and their productivity. Jamie Doward’s Observer/Guardian article, “Happy people really do work harder,” reports that a team of economists led by Andrew Oswald, a professor of economics at Warwick Business School and a leading authority on the relationship between economics and mental health, says its research has important implications for the worlds of politics and business.

“We find that human happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity,” the team says. “Positive emotions appear to invigorate human beings, while negative emotions have the opposite effect.”

The Warwick economists note: “Happier workers … were 12% more productive. Unhappier workers were 10% less productive.”

Employee Gratitude Done Right

If you show employees they’re valued, they’re more likely to have positive feelings about your company and their jobs. Here are three tips for effective employee recognition:

  1. Let line managers lead—Immediate supervisors are best equipped to observe when an employee thank you is warranted, or to review the results of performance metrics and recognize top performers.
  2. Keep it simple—Managers shouldn’t have to wade through complicated reports to determine who their top performers are.
  3. Customer feedback—What’s more powerful than hearing a customer’s thank you?

As Markey’s HBR article says, “When frontline employees and managers hear directly from customers — when they see how customers scored their experience, when they hear what went right and wrong in the customer’s own words — the effect is dramatic. Applause in the form of positive feedback inspires them to keep up the good work.

“Loyal, passionate employees bring a company as much benefit as loyal, passionate customers. They stay longer, work harder, work more creatively, and find ways to go the extra mile,” he continues. “They bring you more great employees. And that spreads even more happiness — happiness for employees, for customers, and for shareholders.”

How do you ensure your employees receive timely, meaningful recognition?  How do you keep workers feeling fulfilled?

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

How to Give Employee Gifts the Right Way

You don’t have to spend a lot on employee gifts, but to get full value for what you do spend, add a personal touch.

Wouldn’t it be great if all employers had the wherewithal to buy each employee a cashmere sweater, as The Huffington Post reports that president and editor in chief Arianna Huffington does every year?

The article, “Arianna Huffington Gifts AOL/HuffPost Employees Annual Holiday Sweaters,” notes that this year she had quite a few to give, as she now has several thousand employees across multiple offices and cities.

“But sure enough, members of the New York office arrived on Wednesday morning to find their cozy holiday gear wrapped up in beribboned boxes on their desks.  For the women it was soft, shawl-neck styles; for the men, fine gauge V-necks, all in a variety of jewel tones.”

Some people traded colors; some men and women even exchanged. As the article says, “the ladies in the men’s V-necks achieved that perfectly slouchy ‘boyfriend’ look.’”

Then everyone donned their sweaters and got together for a giant group photo.

What’s the point?

It’s not just that Arianna Huffington can afford to give cashmere sweaters. It’s that she:

  • Spent the same amount on each worker
  • Didn’t spend so much that recipients felt uncomfortable (Medzilla.com suggests $100 or less)
  • Gave the gifts all at the same time, so employees could enjoy them together
  • Gave appropriate gifts that weren’t too personal.
    Clothing can actually be a little tricky if you don’t know your workforce well—you might be better off with gift cards or gift certificates for something employees can buy at their convenience at the stores of their choice.

Meredith Lepore, contributor to The Grindstone, provides more details in “How the Boss Should Give Employees Presents.”

How could Huffington have improved the workplace gifting experience?

By making it more personal.

The gifts themselves are personal and doubtless appreciated. The employees clearly had fun trying the sweaters on, swapping, and gathering for photos.

Maybe Huffington included a personal note thanking each employee for his or her excellent work and the article didn’t say so. If so, the gifts were inestimably more valuable.

It’s the personal connection that makes all the difference.

If you can, give gifts personally, with a handshake, a smile and a thank you.

If that’s not practical, how about a thank you by video conference before employees open their gifts? Or at least a personal note.

As Catherine Adenle writes at Catherine’s Career Corner in “5 Gifts to Give Your Employees”:

“Employees don’t want to work for just a paycheck; they want to work with people and for people. To create positive employee motivation, as a leader, you have to treat your employees well to show them that they matter—they are your greatest shareholders.”

Try:

  • A kind word anytime
  • A short discussion about employees’ families (if they’re willing to share)
  • A brief compliment
  • Including employees in things
  • Checking in to see if they need anything
  • Asking them what they think

Organizations will engage and retain their employees if they can clearly make the link between people, their performance, and business results.

To learn more best practice tips to make your employee holiday gift-giving successful, you’ll want to download our free eBook below.

Download your free eBook “The Ultimate Guide to Employee Gift-Giving” Now!

gThankYou! Employee Gift Guide

Click Image to Download

How do you make workplace gifting personal and meaningful?

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Employee Recognition Best Practices: 5 Tips from Taj Hotels

Recognition is one of the top three creators of “workplace superheroes,” along with opportunities for growth and trust.

Kevin Kruse, serial entrepreneur behind award-winning companies and New York Times best-selling author of Employee Engagement 2.0, makes that observation in his book and in a Forbes article, “Employee Recognition: 5 Keys from Taj Hotels Resorts.”

He notes: Many best practices for recognition can be gleaned from a company many Westerners are unfamiliar with, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces.

An interesting article in Harvard Business Review, “The Ordinary Heroes of the Taj,” links the Taj’s employee service training to their heroic performance during more than one terrorist incident.

While most businesses luckily won’t have to deal with terrorist incidents, any service business can use these tips to successfully thank and recognize employees.

From the article, Kruse pinpoints the following 5 keys :

1. Expressions of gratitude must come from immediate supervisors, who are central to determining how employees feel about the company. This bears out the old saying suggesting that people join companies, but leave managers.

2. The timing of the recognition is usually more important than the reward itself. A verbal “thank you” at the time of exceptional work is better than a financial thank you six months later.

3. The Taj Group created a Special Thanks and Recognition System (STARS) that links customer delight to employee rewards. The important point here is that they have a system for thanking employees ongoing.

4. Employees accumulate points throughout the year for compliments from guests, compliments from colleagues, and their own suggestions. Appreciation from one’s peers can be more powerful than praise from management.

5. At the end of each day, a STARS committee reviews all nominations and suggestions. At the end of each day. Wow! That keeps the momentum going.

How do you provide recognition in your service business?  What makes a difference for you?

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

How to Carve a Thanksgiving Turkey: Good Tools and Confidence

Carving a turkey for the first time can be a truly imposing task. In the same way that little Cornish hens or poussins are like miniature versions of familiar roast chicken, a turkey looks like that chicken on steroids. All other considerations aside, most turkey is huge.

But the encouraging fact is, even though your Thanksgiving turkey is significantly bigger than a chicken, the process of taking it apart is largely the same.

Tools

To carve a turkey, you need a few basic tools:

  • A large cutting board, preferably one with drainage grooves or a “well” around the outside to catch drippings
  • A sharp knife — some like a long carving knife, others prefer a chef’s knife
  • A carving fork
  • A warm patter, to put the carved meat on
  • A warm pot of turkey stock nearby, to moisten the meat before it goes out (optional)

From Flickr.com

Tips

First, don’t carve your bird at the table. It’s messy. Present the bird to the dining room table if you must (although before dinner, doesn’t everyone hang around in the kitchen anyway?) and then return to the kitchen to carve.

Second, let the bird rest for around 30 minutes before carving. (Longer is usually fine; just stick the platter in a warm oven when you’re done carving.) Resting time is important because it allows all those good juices to re-infuse the meat. Carve too soon and you’ll have a dry bird (and also a very hot one, which makes it harder to carve).

Step-by-Step

These are just the basics, based on how we carve. Refer to the pros (see video below) for other methods, all of which work. For a photo step-by-step, check out this post on The Huffington Post.

1. Remove the drumsticks. My husband sometimes removes the thigh and leg pieces together, separating them after they’re off the bird. Holding the drumstick vertically, cut the meat off in bite-size pieces.

2. Remove the wings.

3. Separate the breast halves. Cut the breast meat horizontally, creating slices at whatever thickness you like.

4. With the large pieces you have, cut as much good meat off as you can. If you like, save the bones for stock and the drippings for gravy.

From The Huffington Post slide show.

Watch and Learn

Alton Brown at the Food Network presents How to Carve a Turkey

How to Carve a Turkey at Martha Stewart Living‘s “Everything Thanksgiving”

Cook’s Illustrated video: Carving a turkey

The Butcher Carves a Turkey” by Craig Duff, The New York Times

With the right tools and your new knowledge, carving your Thanksgiving turkey should be both straightforward and easy to manage.  All the best for a very happy Thanksgiving!
The gThankYou! Team

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

What Employees Really Want this Holiday Season

It’s simple, really. What all employees really want is your thanks, recognition and support — and, if they’re dealing with Hurricane Sandy, for instance — a thoughtful, meaningful, practical gift.

Say thank you.

A study by the Corporate Executive Board shows compensation is not in the top 10 factors that make employees stay at your company — rather, they want to know their jobs matter. So say thank you. Show your appreciation for their hard work and contributions.

As an employee, it’s always nice to be recognized with a gift or award from the boss.

Small surprises and tokens of your appreciation during the holidays — and spread throughout the year — help the people in your work life feel valued.

Managers don’t always get it.

A recent study by the International Association of Administrative Professionals and OfficeTeam, a staffing company in Menlo Park, Calif., shows managers don’t always get it:

  •  Managers ranked promotions and cash bonuses as the two most effective ways of recognizing employee accomplishments.
  •  Workers preferred an in-person thank you or having a job well done reported to senior management.

Everybody wants to feel valued and appreciated — and that includes your employees. Recognition is among the top 10 things employees want from you, according to the CEB study.

Support employees during tough times.

Helping employees during a crisis shows them you respect them, their loyalty and their hard work on your company’s behalf, and they’ll repay you with their best work going forward.

In his article at  Business News Daily, “Employers Divided on Dealing With Sandy-Stricken Workers,” contributor Chad Brooks quotes Laura Kerekes, chief knowledge officer at ThinkHR Corporation:

“Deciding how to handle employees in times of a disaster usually comes down to both finances and the company’s culture.”

Those companies that pride themselves on a family-type atmosphere are the ones that generally go above and beyond for their employees in times of crisis, Brooks notes. But Kerekes says those companies tend to be the exception rather than the rule.

One of those exceptions is TechMediaNetwork, which had all 70 of its Manhattan-based employees affected by Hurricane Sandy.

As soon as the storm hit, company CEO Jerry Ropelato asked management to help employees in any way they could.

“It’s just basic human concern for our workers,” DeLonie Call, chief people officer, told Business News Daily. “We have the resources and don’t want our employees to struggle if they don’t have to.”

The company offered employees reimbursements for everything from meals and cellphone charges to gym pass memberships (so they could take a hot shower) and hotel stays.

Brooks also quotes human resources consultant Paul Hilton, who says the steps companies take during a disaster like Hurricane Sandy can have long-lasting ramifications:

 “If you take a hard line, the employees are going to come back [and] do what they need to do to keep their jobs, but they’re also going to be looking for a new job. It’s a shortsighted approach.”

Human resources consultant and Strategic HR, Inc. president Robin Throckmorton observes that showing compassion in difficult times can help businesses’ bottom lines in the long run.

Gifts motivate employees to work harder.

Robert Bradford, president and CEO of CSSP, Inc., writes on his website:

 “Rewards — whether monetary or not — for performance that’s consistent with your strategies are extremely powerful tools for creating alignment between your employees’ motivations and the strategic direction of the company.

Give creative, meaningful, convenient gifts for the holidays

And what better time to reward your employees than during the holidays?

A blog post at TargetMarketing.com advises: Almost everyone appreciates gifts of food. Holiday turkeys consistently fall in the top of the best employee gifts list in the “food as family perk” category.

Inc. Magazine contributor Sara Hottman writes:

 “While every employee enjoys a cash gift, business owners say creative gifts earn more bang for the buck. Gift cards to local businesses can make good employee gifts at the holidays, as long as you choose the right business.”

Gift cards or certificates are meaningful and convenient.

Gift cards or certificates that allow employees to choose where they shop and what they buy may even be a better idea. A gThankYou.com gift certificate of gratitude for a holiday turkey or ham is the ideal way to thank and recognize employees.

  •  It’s convenient: Employees can use them at any store, for any brand of turkey or ham in the size that fits their families, and can shop anytime.
  •  It’s meaningful: What says “Happy holidays!” better than providing the foundation of employees’ holiday meals?
  •  It keeps your company front and center: You’re top of mind at the holiday table as employees and their families enjoy the meal your gift made possible.

Give back to your employees at the holidays.

As Society of Human Resource Management member and human resources expert Susan Heathfield notes:

“Frequently saying thank you goes a long way. Monetary rewards, bonuses and gifts make the thank you even more appreciated.”

We agree. Make your employees’ holidays happy and they’ll reward you with engagement and productivity.

What creative holiday gifts will you give your employees?

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Why Give Employees a Thanksgiving Turkey?

gThankYou! Turkey Gift CertificatesThanksgiving Turkey is the centerpiece of the holiday meal – it represents family, thankfulness and American tradition.

The Gift of a Thanksgiving Turkey is a truly Meaningful Gift.

Holiday Turkey packs emotional impact –
it’s the symbol of Thanksgiving

It’s About Family
Thanksgiving holds a special place in people’s hearts and lives.  It’s the time  we stop our everyday lives and surround ourselves with family and friends to give thanks.  Everyone has fond memories of this family centered holiday – the smells of  turkey cooking and a wonderful array of favorite family dishes, the joy of family and friends, the sense of belonging, the giving of thanks for those who came before us and the sharing of blessings.

It Embodies the American Thanksgiving Tradition of Giving Thanks
Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday dating to the origins of our nation and the celebration of shared community and bounty.   Our modern-day Thanksgiving dinner celebrates that original Thanksgiving — and the centerpiece is the turkey.

Why Companies Give Turkeys at Thanksgiving

It Shows You Care.
If you give employees holiday turkey, your business is an important part of their holidays. Thoughts of you are front-and-center as employees and their loved ones enjoy Thanksgiving. That’s priceless.

It has Universal Appeal.
Everyone appreciates the gift of a holiday turkey.  It’s a valuable contribution to a family’s Thanksgiving dinner.  These days, that’s an especially appreciated gift.

It’s Affordable.
A Thanksgiving Turkey has more emotional impact for the price than anything else. A Thanksgiving turkey costs just a few dollars, but its meaningfulness makes the return on investment incalculably high.

Why gThankYou! Turkey Gift Certificates are a Better Choice

As an employer, is it really practical for you to buy and distribute fresh or frozen turkeys to employees?  And how do you know what size turkey fits each family? How would you know what will fit each family’s holiday plans and available refrigerator space?

Consider this cautionary tale—a true story about Hughes Aircraft—related by author Brooks Mitchell, Phd., professor emeritus of management at the University of Wyoming and the founder of Snowfly Incentives. Writing at Human Resources IQ, he relates how Howard Hughes and his right-hand man had delighted employees with holiday turkeys in the company’s first two years.

By year three, the process was getting unwieldy and expensive.

By the fourth year, Mitchell writes:
“[World War II] was on and Hughes Aircraft had grown to several thousand people. Getting turkeys to everyone was a logistical nightmare. Things got even worse when the union got involved and accused management of giving bigger turkeys to some favored people and arrogantly ignoring the fact that some employees would rather have a ham. Howard and Scott were dumbfounded! How could such a well-intended holiday gesture become so twisted and acrimonious?”

Do you want to share the gift of a Holiday Turkey, but don’t want the logistical hassles of distributing turkeys to your workforce?

 gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude can help!

At gThankYou! we are committed to meaningful, affordable and convenient ways for Companies to celebrate employee holidays.  A gThankYou! Turkey Gift Certificate allows recipients to choose Any Brand and size Turkey, at virtually Any Grocery Store in the U.S., when they want.

Our Gift Certificates are easy to insert with payroll or hand-delivered with a smile and a big “thank you”.  A better choice for you and your recipients!

If Choice is Important: Choose gThankYou! Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates

Many companies want to provide recipients the choice of a holiday turkey or ham.  It’s a thoughtful choice if you want your gift to be for the holiday season – that way recipients can choose to buy what they want, for the occasion they wish to celebrate.

We Make it Easy For You!

gThankYou! Gift Certificates can be personalized with recipient and giver names (and your logo).  Our popular Enclosure Cards come free with any purchase.  You choose your design, personalize your message and add a Company logo.  All free with your purchase!

Download our free Catalog of Thanksgiving Enclosure Card designs to see all the designs at once and share with management and co-workers.

What’s more, virtually all orders ship the day they arrive.

If you have a large, spread-out workforce we can help you with that too.  Our custom web ordering system (“SLOOP”) allows locations to order directly from your custom selection of products, your negotiated prices and free enclosure cards.  To learn more, call us at 888-484-1658.

Share your Thanksgiving gratitude with employees with the thoughtful gift of a Thanksgiving turkey.  gThankYou! looks forward to helping you with your gift-giving plans this holiday season!

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.