Category Archives: Fun with Gratitude

Employee Recognition: The Rise of Virtual Rewards

gThankYou! Employee TrophyA new study has shown that employees are increasingly favoring virtual rewards over those which come with a specific dollar value, according to research by gamification platform Badgeville, and employee motivation company Make Their Day!

What are Virtual Rewards?
Virtual rewards are ways of providing employee recognition without using financial incentives, and they’re currently thriving in companies nationwide. Virtual rewards can come in many forms, including but not limited to:

  • Praise and recognition from an immediate manager or peers
  • Opportunities for growth – such as leading a team
  • A better title/more responsibilities in the workplace
  • Reward for achieving workplace goals
  • Just plain fun!

Virtual rewards are often used through gamification; a process gaining popularity using the principles of game play in a non-game application. BunchBall provides a useful white paper on Gamification 101, if you are new to all this. Out of the employees surveyed, 88 percent said they find virtual recognition from their managers “extremely motivating”.

The Benefits
The report’s findings showed that 83 percent of employees felt that they got more satisfaction from recognition at work than particular rewards of monetary value. Not only that, but 71 percent claimed the most meaningful recognition they’d ever received cost nothing at all!

Cindy Ventrice, president of Make Their Day! and author of ‘Make Their Day! Employee Recognition That Works’ says: “The value of non-tangible recognition is clearly identified in our findings. Workplace technology today, such as gamification, provides many new opportunities for non-tangible recognition. With nearly one-fifth of meaningful recognition being delivered virtually, it is clear that these methods can be effective.”

Growing Popularity
According to Incentive Magazine, the research showed 70 percent of employees found rewards meaningful to them even though they did not come with a monetary price tag – that’s an increase of 57 percent from six years ago.

“It’s about status and employee recognition. They are giving meaningful virtual rewards for exceptional work. They deliver what employees and consumers actually want, which is emotional reward”, stated Gabe Zichermann, founder of Gamification Corp.

The study was conducted using responses from over 1,200 workers from a diverse range of industries to establish what drives and motivates them to perform well in the workplace.

Cryptocurrency for Employees
Perhaps you’ve heard of Bitcoin? It’s already been adopted by many merchants, and now companies are beginning to explore the possibility of using this cryptocurrency (digital currency) as a kind of reward system for employees.

One company, called Recognize, has already created a mobile app supporting Bitcoin as an alternative way to reward workers.

Mario Herger, the enterprise gamification scheme’s designer and Austrian Innovation Center’s CEO based in Silicon Valley, said: “Tangible rewards like  money can lead to disengagement.”

He went on to say: “Yet, there are a lot of scientific examples where giving people money rewards other than salary means that people are interested in going the last mile.”

That’s why Bitcoin seems to be one solution; it’s not really money, but it works well, if not better.

A Tool to Add to Your Recognition Program
Virtual rewards are proving a great way to yield satisfied and motivated employees in the workplace, so why not consider adding virtual rewards to your recognition program today?

Ken Comee, CEO of Badgeville said: “The results of the Make Their Day! study aligns to what we’ve seen across our customers deploying gamification solutions for workplace engagement, as well as numerous reports over the last few years on the changing face of what motivates employees today. Workers of all ages, especially the rising millennial population, are motivated by real-time feedback, fun, engaging work environments, and status-based recognition over tangible rewards.”

Remember, personal recognition by management should never be eliminated by virtual rewards. Instead, think of virtual rewards as an additional way to motivate and positively engage with employees within your company; and as a tool that’s particularly valuable for engaging millennials.

Does your company currently use virtual rewards?  How do they work in your workplace?

Want to learn more about the role of employee recognition for engagement and the long-term health of your business?  You’ll enjoy our FREE eBook 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.

Employee Appreciation Best Practices: Datotel Delivers Thanks In Person

Datotel revamps its workplace gifting program to make it more meaningful. Learn how you can too!  

gThankYou! Employee Appreciation in Action

In “Building a Culture of Appreciation”, Nadine Heintz, a New York University faculty member and senior editor at Inc. Magazine, details how IT firm Datotel overhauled its employee appreciation, recognition and incentive programs:

 David Brown thinks it’s important to make his employees feel valued. So Brown, founder and president of Datotel, an IT services and data storage business in St. Louis with 38 employees, was dismayed when he realized his employee-of-the-month program wasn’t helping morale.

It seems like a simple concept: Make employees feel appreciated, and they will work harder and be more loyal. But there’s often a disconnect between the type of appreciation employees want and what their managers think they want.”

Create a Culture of Thank You

Heintz notes: Though a decent bonus will always be a highly coveted form of recognition, employers often underestimate the degree to which workers value kind words delivered face to face.

That may sound like good news for companies looking for inexpensive ways to show appreciation to employees. In many ways, though, it’s easier to hand out a bonus than to create a culture in which saying thank you is a regular occurrence, she opines.

Though Brown started the employee-of-the-month program as an easy way to ensure staff felt appreciated, he learned from employees during informal conversations that a less formal, more personal approach would be more effective.

Regularly Recognize Employees’ Accomplishments

To encourage his management team to regularly report employees’ accomplishments, Brown:

  • Made time during his daily morning executives’ phone call to discuss exemplary work
  • Designated 15 minutes of each weekly management meeting to do the same.
  • Encouraged managers to thank employees from other departments — in person — for extra efforts.
  • Set an example by thanking employees several times a week, often through handwritten, mailed notes.

“At a tech company, it’s all too easy to just write emails,” he tells Heintz. “It takes time to sit down and write out a note, but it goes a long way.”

A Handwritten Note Resonates

Last June, Brown mailed a handwritten note on Datotel stationery to engineer Stephanie Lewis’s home.  He thanked her for her hard work and mentioned that managers had praised her customer service efforts.

The personal, unique note from her CEO made her feel important and valued, Lewis reveals. All from a simple thank you.

How do you ensure your employees feel valued? How do you make your workplace gifting personal?

Download Your gThankYou!
Employee Gift-Giving Guide Now

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 Gifts for New Hires: A Good Investment

gThankYou! Ultimate Guide to Employee Gift-Giving

Click to Download Our Employee Gift Guide Now!

“An employee’s introduction to the company is equally important to the later success of both the individual and the company,” says an Inc. Magazine article, “Onboarding Done Better.”

“Welcoming employees with an assortment of gifts and activities help new hires get involved right out of the gate.”

The article quotes George Bradt, managing director at PrimeGenesis, an onboarding and leadership consulting company based in Stamford, Conn. He also blogs for Forbes.

“The way you manage the transition of somebody into your culture speaks volumes about the culture to the person coming in, because you’re making those first early impressions and they know what’s expected of them.”

Companies are realizing this philosophy is necessary, the article notes. It’s not just about the bottom line; the key is to make employees enthusiastic right from day one.

As Victoria Weinblatt of Demand Media writes at the Houston Chronicle’s Chron.com, in “Gifts for a New Employee,”

Entering the realm of the working world is a life-changing event.”

Make it easier with personal attention and a small gift. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive, but a thoughtful “welcome to the team” gift might be just the thing to build your company’s reputation as a great place to work. Your next search for the best talent will likely be that much easier.

Vera Leigh, eHow contributor, adds: “New employee gifts make people feel welcome and appreciated on their first day of work. They also set the tone for the work environment and let people know that you are glad they have joined your staff,” in her article, “New Employee Gift Ideas.”

Here are some popular gift suggestions:

  • Gift certificates or gift cards—preferably ones that enable employees to select their own items, shop at their store of choice and even share with their family.
  • Desk goodie basket—healthy snacks as well as treats.
  • Greeting card—a personal message from management and staff.
  • Lunch—catered in a conference room, in the company cafeteria, or a local restaurant.

HR software company TribeHR, contributes a few more ideas in “Make an Amazing Employee Welcome Package.”

  • Put a small gift on new employees’ desks each day during their first week. Try a gift certificate or card on Monday, chocolates on Tuesday, fresh flowers on Wednesday, a cupcake from a local bakery on Thursday, and Friday, a coffee mug with your company’s name on it.
  • If they’re new to the area, give them a stack of menus to popular local restaurants and coffee shops, and a bunch of brochures for local museums, theaters and other attractions.

You just spent $40 and did something your employees will always remember.

“Businesses spend tens of thousands of dollars a year or more on new hires, with the hope that they will become valued employees who add to the company’s success. It pays to do a few little, inexpensive things to welcome them aboard.”

How do you make new employees feel welcome?  Learn more about how employee appreciation helps your employees feel valued, keeps the workplace motivated and improves your bottom-line!

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.

Mother’s Day: How to Make Breakfast in Bed for Mom

gThankYou! Employee Gifts - Mothers' Day FlowersThere are a few secrets to giving mom a great breakfast in bed.  First, don’t make it too complicated.  A simple breakfast is better than a fancy one that’s difficult to do and risks not being all you (or Mom) hoped.  This is especially true if the kids in the house are making the meal.

Second, know what mom wants. If she loves the cranberry orange scones from a neighborhood bakery, head out early and pick one up rather than try to make one yourself (scones especially have a dangerous tendency to get rock-like if you don’t have much practice).

Third, nail the garnishes!  Put a single lily, Gerber daisy or Mom’s favorite flower in a bud vase. Arrange everything on a pretty breakfast tray. Maybe even put her orange juice in a wine glass, just for looks.

gThankYou! Employee Gifts - Artistic TrayAnd, don’t forget the hand-made Mother’s Day card from the kids.  It will make Mom’s day, no matter how breakfast turns out.

Finally, try one of these fun recipes for Mother’s Day brunch this year. They’re all simple and delicious, and at least one of them should hit the sweet spot between decadence (for her) and ease (for you).

Sumptuous Smoothies

8639164930_f00bfb2a15_cThere is a secret in these not-too-sweet, sophisticated smoothies from Joy the Baker. They’re actually pretty healthy (!) – but don’t tell the kids. A regular size pineapple smoothie from Jamba Juice will set you back more than 400 calories, which doesn’t leave much room for bacon (or Mother’s Day dessert).

But try the vanilla, blackberry, oat and almond milk smoothie from Joy. Almond milk is the healthiest alternative to cow’s milk (60 calories per cup, versus 86 for skim), but it’s full of flavor; sweet, lightly nutty and perfect for smoothies.  You’ll want to keep making these all year-long.

Wonderful Waffles

Waffles are such wonderful weekend food. If you do them up sweet, they can almost be like dessert for breakfast.

435340931_0487882d96

Photo by Deb Perelman from Smitten Kitchen

Mom would probably love these whole wheat Belgian waffles with mascarpone, thyme and fresh strawberries from the blog Happyolks. If you’re feeling ambitious, try them.

But if you don’t have yeast lying around, Deb Perelman’s recipe from Smitten Kitchen (above) made with buttermilk and vanilla extract should do the trick. Just make sure to top with powdered sugar and fresh fruit.

Perfect Pancakes

1fc1e62d03af7b13220daafa9f139b04If hauling out the blender and/or the waffle maker on a Sunday morning seems like just too much effort for early in the day, pancakes are the perfect fallback. Fancy enough for a special occasion but easy enough that your six-year-old can help, “flapjacks” can be sweet (chocolate-pecan pancakes from Martha Stewart Living), savory (butternut squash pancakes or sweet potato and kimchi pancakes from Lantern Restaurant via Epicurious.com) or somewhere in between (lemon-ricotta pancakes from CHOW).

There’s nothing better for breakfast than a stack of golden brown silver dollar pancakes with good maple syrup drizzled on them. Sprinkle in a few dark chocolate chips while they’re cooking, and it’s really a holiday.

Mom will be delighted!  So have fun and keep it simple. For more recipes and other Mother’s Day ideas – please check out our post: The Perfect Mother’s Day Gift!

Happy Mother’s Day!

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.

10 Tips for Writing Employee Thank You Notes

The humble handwritten thank you note can boost your company’s bottom line, believe it or not.

gThankYou! Thank You Note

A recent Forbes article by Josh Bersin, founder and principal at Bersin by Deloitte, illustrates the point. His article, “New Research Unlocks the Secret of Employee Recognition,” cites his company’s comprehensive research project on employee recognition showing that organizations giving regular thanks to their employees far outperform those that don’t.

Companies scoring in the top 20% for building a “recognition-rich culture” actually had 31% lower voluntary turnover rates.

That makes sense to Geil Browning, founder of Emergenetics International. In an Inc. Magazine article,  “How to Thank Your Employees in Only 8 Words,” she writes:

“When you recognize the contributions of others, you reinforce the kind of behavior you want to see again. People who feel their efforts are noticed, and their work makes a difference, are more likely to go the extra mile in the future. Leadership is about empowering others to realize their own abilities. Communicate your belief in your people, and watch them rise to meet your expectations.”

Put another way, recognizing employee’s contributions shows you’re paying attention and that you care. It makes people feel valued. When you write a thoughtful note of gratitude, it’s also a permanent keepsake reminder.

Browning quotes business guru Tom Peters:
“People don’t forget kindness.”

Her research at Emergenetics suggests most employees appreciate personal thank you notes, if they’re personalized and meaningful. To be meaningful, notes should be specific and prompt. And to reward behaviors you want people to repeat, be sure to recognize efforts involving those behaviors.

Browning offers 10 tips for customizing thank you notes to celebrate employee strengths, according to brain-related research:

  1. The “gift of gab” is a work asset for gregarious people. You might write: “I celebrate how you share your enthusiasm,” or “Thanks for keeping the lines of communication open.”
  2. For quieter people you could say: “I prize your well-considered solutions,” or “I appreciate your respectful attitude toward everyone.”
  3. For assertive people, try: “Thank you for keeping the momentum going,” or “I appreciate your decisive action.”
  4.  More easygoing people who want everyone to get along might appreciate: “Thank you for helping to keep the peace,” or, “I appreciate your amiability more than you know.”
  5.  To flexible, change-seeking workers who don’t get flustered easily you might write: “I recognize your easy resilience” or “Thanks for how you handled [difficult client].”
  6. To focused staffers with strong opinions, try: “I depend on your support,” or “I honor you for your convictions.”
  7. Analytical thinkers might value: “I appreciate your penetrating questions,” or “I respect the depth of your knowledge.”
  8. For structural-minded, detail-oriented people, consider: “Thank you for transferring all that data perfectly,” or “You always meet your deadlines—impressive!”
  9. Social thinkers want to please you, so you could write: “I’m so grateful for your team building skills,” or, “I couldn’t have done it without you.”
  10. Conceptual workers who want to feel unique might value: “Your solution to the XYZ problem was stunning,” or “I treasure your creative long-term views.”

Bersin’s research also showed the effectiveness of rewarding employees for:
1.  specific results and behaviors and,
2.  making thank yous public.
Consider displaying a list of employees you’ve recognized in your company newsletter, on bulletin boards, or via social media.

The best practices his research project uncovered also recommended including peer-to-peer recognition and making it easy for employees to recognize each other frequently.  For more on new “social” peer-to-peer recognition, you might enjoy Incentive Magazine’s article, “The Pressing Case for Peer-to-Peer Recognition” by Andrea Doyle.

How often and on what occasions do you write employee thank you notes? Do you ever have peers write thank you notes to peers?

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 Gifts for Spring Just Got Easier!

gThankYou! is excited to announce new Spring Enclosure Card designs for your Certificate of Gratitude Gifts!

"Artful Flowers" by gThankYou! Employee Gifts

“Artful Flowers”

Whether you celebrate the spring holidays at your workplace, or just want to brighten winter-worn workplace spirits, it’s a great time of year to share your gratitude with employees and co-workers for their continued hard-work and contributions to your business.

At gThankYou!, we are committed to helping companies find easy, meaningful and affordable ways to celebrate employees and clients throughout the year.

What’s easier for you and your recipients than a gThankYou! Ham Gift Certificate or a gThankYou! Pie Gift Certificate to show your appreciation for employees’ hard work for you?  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude come in a range of popular varieties and are redeemable for any Brand, at nearly any Store in the U.S.  And, our popular Enclosure Cards  free with any purchase!

New Spring Enclosure Card Designs

Our new spring Enclosure Card designs make it easy for you to share your gratitude with recipients.  They’re customizable with your personal message and can even include your company logo – all at no charge with your purchase of any Certificate of Gratitude variety.  These new designs can be found on the gThankYou! website along with other popular Spring and Summer Enclosure Card Designs.

"Thank You Bubble" by gThankYou! Employee Gifts

“Thank You Bubble”

"Butterfly Stamp" by gThankYou! Employee Gifts

“Butterfly Stamp”

"Thanks Text" by gThankYou! Employee Gifts

“Thanks Text”

At gThankYou!, we work hard to make it easy for you!  We look forward to helping you with your employee gift-giving efforts.

 Happy Springtime!

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 Kiley, Chief 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.

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Thanking Employees at Easter Time

A sincere “thank you” at work means a lot, so it makes sense to find ways to show your employees you appreciate them throughout the year.

WateringCan 2013Whether you choose to celebrate the Easter Holiday or Springtime, your employees will be grateful for the recognition and the post-winter pick-me-up.

In fact, a Harvard Business Review (HBR) blog notes that saying thank you is vital. In “Do You Really Need to Say Thank You?” Peter Bregman, author of 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done, writes:

“When you offer a real thought-out “thank you” to someone, you’re acknowledging her effort, appreciating her thoughtfulness, recognizing her intent, and offering feedback on the impact of her actions.

Still, it’s more than that. Those things are rational, but saying “thank you” is mostly an emotional act. It connects one person to another. Saying “thank you” doesn’t just acknowledge someone’s effort, thoughtfulness, intent, or action. It acknowledges the person himself.

Acknowledging other people is … perhaps the critical responsibility … of a good manager, but … that’s understating it. Acknowledging each other is our basic responsibility as human beings living in community with other human beings.”

But is it appropriate to celebrate Easter in the workplace?

gThankYou! - 5 Easter Eggs Enclosure CardMost Companies say Yes! So says WorkplaceCommunications.com:

“Of course, not everyone celebrates the holiday, but this should not stop you from offering your employees a [thank you gift].”

An article by Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) staff in HR Magazine makes a great point about any workplace gifts or festivities for holidays: Make sure everyone feels included. If that means a more secular approach for your organization is a better fit, don’t loose the great opportunity to thank employees, just change your emphasis to celebrating the emergence of Spring.

“It can be difficult to stay religiously neutral during [holiday] celebrations,” according to SHRM member Melissa Fulwider of Augusta Iron & Steel Works Inc. in Augusta, Ga. Her tips include:

  • Thank employees for their work throughout the year.
  • Give everyone a small gift.
  • Share a meal with employees.

Here are a few employee appreciation ideas for your Easter or Springtime gift:

  • Homemade TreatsHot cross buns, carrot cake muffins, cupcakes with bright-colored frosting, or decorated sugar cookies say Happy Easter or Happy Spring.
  • Gift BasketsWhile they’re typically for kids, what adult wouldn’t want to receive basket full of chocolate and other goodies?
  • Items that Say “Spring is Coming”Try a flower-pot with a packet of seeds or planted spring bulbs that will bloom in the office.
  • Small Gift Certificates or Gift CardsEmployees will appreciate even a $5 certificate for pie or ice cream.  Something they can enjoy alone, or share with their family. There’s a gift certificate or card for every budget.
  • Office Party – Host an office breakfast or special lunch. Make it festive and everyone will enjoy the special break. It’s a great way to celebrate a team or work group.
  • Get Outside – Celebrate by planting flowers at a local shelter.
  • Write a Thank You Note – Personalized notes of gratitude are always a welcomed gift of recognition.

In “Easter Activities for the Office,” SmallBusinessFreeForms.com suggests an Easter office party:

“An office Easter basket lunch party always put a smile on [workers’] faces. … Take some Easter Baskets and fill them with a sandwich, Easter hard-boiled eggs, chips, and don’t forget the Easter cookies and candy. You can also add some Easter-themed pens and notepads, etc. to the baskets. Have some refreshments to go along with these and maybe a large fruit and vegetable tray … with a little Easter decor and have some fun. …”

If you go the party route, SmallBusinessFreeForms.com offers a free Easter party flyer.

If you choose homemade gifts, Workplace Communication.com, in “Easter Basket to Make for the Workplace,”  suggests a fun way to make them. If your staff is small, maybe a group could have a (paid) work party and make them for the rest of the team.

 How does your business thank Employees at Easter time? Do you celebrate the Easter holiday or make it a Spring-theme event?

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.

Are You Ready for National Employee Appreciation Day?

World Complement Day LogoMarch 1st is the Perfect Day to Celebrate Employees!

Here’s Why:  It’s both National Employee Appreciation Day AND World Compliment Day!  Wow, how perfect is that!

Celebrating employees should be a regular event at any workplace, but sometimes there are days that are fun and are so well suited to tie in your recognition events, it’s hard not to take advantage of them.  This Friday, March 1st is one of them.

Don’t despair if you don’t have any plans yet.  Making employees feel valued can be a simple as a heartfelt “thank you”.  Make your thanks public – thank employees as they walk in the door Friday, over lunch at the cafeteria, in the plant and posted on your internal internet. You can even post your gratitude on the World Compliment Day tweet stream at: @complimentday.

Time permitting, a handwritten note delivered personally really shows you care.

It’s a great day to host that workgroup breakfast or lunch you’ve been talking about.  Make it easy and fun.  Order in pizzas or welcome all to a spread of ice creams and toppings, a sure way to brighten everyone’s Friday afternoon.

For other quick ideas, check out these helpful articles:

And, if nothing else, be generous with your gratitude and appreciation.  It will be appreciated!

What’s your favorite way to show employees they are valued? 

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.

Simple Valentine’s Day Dinners for Two | Favorite Recipes

RoseGoing out on Valentine’s Day sounds romantic — wine service, beautifully composed courses, flowers on white tablecloths. But in execution, it’s often less than perfect. Expensive. Crowded. Babysitters are booked, servers are stressed, and if you didn’t plan ahead, you may not get a reservation at your favorite place before 9 pm.

This year, make it a simple romantic dinner for two with one of these easy main course ideas.  Pair one of these with a simple salad (such as Boston bibb with radishes and buttermilk dressing, citrus, celery and fennel, or Lidia’s radicchio, goat cheese and raisin salad), a bottle of sparkling wine and a purchased pastry dessert.

Now that’s romantic.

MN0612H_asian-marinated-pork-chops_s4x3_lg

Asian Marinated Pork Chops
These beautiful chops have as much going for them as a delightful first date. Marinated with brown sugar, rice vinegar, ginger, Sriracha, sesame oil, garlic and orange, these chops are rich and flavorful, but inexpensive enough to allow for a box of artisan chocolates for dessert.

Flank steak

Grilled Flank Steak with Watercress, Blue Cheese and Tomato

This simple flank steak becomes more tender with a lengthy marinade, at least eight hours (but overnight is fine too). The ingredients in the marinade, including rosemary, garlic, balsamic vinegar and red wine, are usually on hand.

Recipe writer EmilyC writes on Food52, “When you cut your steak into bite-sized pieces, a little juice spills out and creates a delicious, impromptu salad dressing. Plan to buy extra steak and salad ingredients when you make this dish — leftovers make a fabulous steak sandwich on toasted ciabatta.”

Mussels, Clams and Shrimp Saffron Risotto

Photo by Noel Barnhurst

Seafood is a classic for a romantic dinner. This lovely recipe from Epicurious resembles paella, with lovely mussels, clams and shrimp. Even a simple risotto with just shrimp would be a lovely weeknight dinner, made with whatever wine you’re pouring (ideally a dry white).

Posters rave about the olive relish, and though it’s technically a one-pot dish, recipe testers recommend cooking the seafood separately from the rice to make sure everything comes out right.

food52_01-24-12-0809

Photo by James Ransom

Melissa Clark’s Really Easy Duck Confit

Duck is a bit of a splurge, but it’s worth it for a special occasion. This recipe from Food52 takes the French bistro classic, duck confit, and simplifies it for an easy weeknight meal.

“This is not the confit they teach in cooking school, or the kind served at restaurants,” writes the editor who adapted the recipe from Clark’s “In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite.” “It’s the kind you can make any time — all you need are a few good duck legs, a skillet and some very basic spices. And it’s just as good.”

So find a plan for the kids and take the time to enjoy your own special Valentine’s meal at home.  We hope you enjoy these simple yet special recipes.  All the best for a Happy Valentine’s Day!

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 Tips | Workplace Valentine’s Day Gifts

Or…Valentine’s Day—It’s not just for romance anymore.

It’s a great day to show employees, coworkers, and customers how much you appreciate them, notes Megan Smith, eHow contributor, in
Valentine Gifts for Coworkers.”

gThankYou! Candy Gift Certificate

A gThankYou! Candy Gift Certificate
is an easy way to say “thank you” anytime!

Persis Swift , in HR resource Capital Associates Industries‘ Workplace Insights blog, “9 Ways to Show Your Employees Some Love, writes:

“Demonstrating to your employees that you value and appreciate the work they put in each week will yield a positive outcome. Employees are more satisfied in their job when they know their efforts are appreciated and are making a difference for the company. High job satisfaction rates lead to more engaged workers, and more engaged workers increase business productivity.”

Cathy Warschaw of the Warschaw Learning Institute, at writers community SearchWarp.com shares a similar thought in “Valentine Ideas for the Workplace.”

“Bosses, managers, supervisors,” she writes. “Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity for you to demonstrate how much you appreciate all the hard work your employees put in for the business throughout the year. Many employees love to feel valued by a boss who can express his or her thanks in many ways. Research shows that employees who feel appreciated by their boss work harder and are happier in the workplace than the employees who don’t feel valued.”

She suggests:

  • Host a Valentine Day’s luncheon—blow up balloons, pass out candy, and munch on savory and sweet goodies.
  • Distribute gift certificates or gift cards in small denominations to employees.
  • Write each staff member a thank you note telling them what they do to make the workplace special.
  • Hand out little goodie bags filled with treats to each staff person.
  • Suggest an after-work get-together at a local restaurant or pub to share food and drinks.

Swift adds:

  • If you hold a Valentine’s Day lunch, provide the main dish, but encourage your staffers to bring in Valentine’s Day themed desserts.
  • Plan a group outing for all of your employees. Whether it’s bowling or volunteering, the outing will be a good bonding experience.
  • Decorate your facility with holiday decorations, such as red and pink streamers and paper hearts.
  • Treat employees to a family-friendly get together, like a weekend pizza party or Friday evening movie.

And, concludes Warschaw:

  • Don’t forget about vendors and businesses that you work with on a regular basis—a simple thank you card should do just fine. 
  • Coworkers can also get in on the Valentine Day’s fun by letting colleagues know how much they appreciate being able to depend on each other. 

Above all, remember to show Valentine’s Day appreciation to customers, Warschaw indicates .

“[They’re] at the heart of every business—so what better time of the year to celebrate them?…Your customers will be flattered and pleased that you remembered them on such an amiable holiday.”

What are your employee recognition plans for Valentine’s Day?

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.