Category Archives: Gratitude Research

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.

Make Workplace Thank You Notes Work for You

gThankYou! Enclosure Card

Making your employees feel appreciated is more than just employer generosity or good will. It is good business, and it involves more than just employee gifts.

The link between employee recognition, appreciation, engagement, retention, and business success is well documented. Globoforce reports that 55% of respondents to their recent survey said they’d leave their current jobs to work for a company that recognized its employees. A little appreciation goes a long way, as does employee dissatisfaction, which has a definite impact on customer service and productivity. Everyone wants and needs to be appreciated, especially the employees who show up to work every day to contribute to your business and take care of your customers.

The Power of a Sincere “Thank You”
The 2012 SHRM/Globoforce semi-annual survey shows that simply recognizing employees improves employee performance and retention rates. A Forbes research project in 2012 that studied the effects of saying thank you to employees found that employers who regularly thank employees substantially outperform those that don’t.

What kind of recognition creates value and has a measurable impact by lowering voluntary turnover? Well-designed recognition programs that include targeted and personalized recognition and build recognition into the company culture lower voluntary turnover by up to 31 percent!

Delivery Matters – Make It Personal
A sincere, personal thank you, either verbal or written, means as much as or more to your employees than a gift or reward. Saying the words “Thank you” and being specific about why you are thanking the employee show that you care and that you noticed the level of performance that went into whatever it is you are appreciating.  Putting your gratitude in writing shows you took the time to make an employee feel valued, creating a lasting memory of that appreciation.

Fast Company article, “Affordable Ways to Make Your Employees Feel Appreciated – Or Else” describes how Chris Patterson, CEO of Interchanges in Jacksonville, Florida, goes out of his way to make his thank you’s personal and meaningful by investing in getting to know employees. He even sends handwritten notes with gifts to employees’ spouses thanking them for being supportive when employees have to work late or overtime.

Many Ways to Show Appreciation
There are many ways to use workplace thank you notes to recognize a good job, extra effort, and outstanding performance.

  • The most meaningful appreciation recognition is timely, taking place as soon after the activity being recognized takes place. Don’t wait to show an employee that you know how hard they worked on your project or how well they treated your top customer. Write a thank you note as soon as you see exceptional performance or effort and be sure to deliver it personally if you can.
  • Thank you notes and recognition don’t have to come only from the boss or as part of formal recognition programs. Peer-to-peer notes of appreciation mean just as much as when the boss writes them. With the rise of social media, social recognition has a huge impact, and letting co-workers and employees across the organization publicly recognize and reward effort with electronic systems as alternatives to written thank you notes also fuels retention and performance.
  • Story telling is an exciting and engaging way to recognize and thank employees. Extend the life and goodwill of thank you notes by telling the story of how they took care of that big customer, or sold the biggest order in company history, or saved the day by catching an error in a shipment. Use stories of gratitude at employee meetings and annual events like summer picnics or New Year’s parties for a bigger impact on employees than a plaque or gift card.

Not sure how to craft a workplace thank you note? You’ll find good suggestions and references in our post, 10 Tips for Writing Employee Thank You Notes.

So remember the power of a sincere thank you and make it a habit to regularly write personal thank you notes when you really appreciate performance and effort at work. Take a few minutes to make it personal and consider your delivery to make an impact. Your employees will be grateful for the attention and recognition and your workplace will benefit too.

Click Below to Download your FREE Guide to
Employee Gift-Giving 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 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 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.

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.

Employee Recognition: Sincerity Counts

If your gratitude doesn’t feel sincere to your workforce, it won’t yield the positive results you’re hoping for.

gThankYou! Employee Gifts - Trust Photo “When you recognize your employees and show thanks to them, do you fake it?”

That is the question, says the intro to “Gratitude and Employee Recognition,” a #TCHAT Radio show by TalentCulture World of Work Community on BlogTalkRadio.

“Maybe or probably not, but does it seem like you do, to them?” the intro continues. “That’s a conundrum, how organizations can project genuine gratitude and authentic recognition. We’re not saying you don’t mean it, but your employees need to know you mean it.”

Positive Feedback Delivers Outstanding Results

TalentCulture founder Megan M. Biro hosts the show with co-creator Kevin W. Grossman. The expert guests are author and blogger Ted Coine, along with Rob Catalano of Achievers.

TalentCulture community members participating in the related discussion articulate their strong belief in “the value of simple, sincere interaction, and a culture that encourages recognition when it’s deserved.”

“ … Acknowledgement keeps employees on a path for engagement and productivity. Positive feedback fuels individuals and teams to continue delivering outstanding results. And in the aggregate, it keeps organizations focused on key success factors, and drives business momentum,” the TChat summary says.

Biro echoes the sincerity theme in her Forbes article, “5 Ways Leaders Rock Employee Recognition.”

“[That need makes] the human touch so important to effective recognition,” she writes.

Recognition Drives Productivity and Revenue

And Gallup researchers contend that employee recognition is a powerful driving force behind employee engagement, notes Roy Saunderson, co-host of Real Recognition® Radio in “Engaging Employees with Recognition.”

Gallup found that as its scoring methods found differences in the amount of recognition employees received, productivity and revenue—even retention of loyal customers—changed by 10% to 20%.

“It is an amazingly simple concept to give people the praise and recognition they deserve,” Saunderson writes.

It’s Simple: Mean What You Say

Take the time to think through what you’re going to say so it comes from your heart. If you mean what you say, look employees in the eye, and give specific, timely examples of accomplishments you’re grateful for, employees will know you’re sincere.

Then, advises Saunderson, simply:

  • Thank them for doing good work.
  • Express concern for their well-being.
  • Demonstrate respect in day-to-day activities.
  • Celebrate their successes.
  • Acknowledge their achievements.
  • Honor those who have made significant contributions to your company.
  • Appreciate the little things people do for you and others.

Don’t Take Employees’ Efforts for Granted

“This simple act of acknowledging and recognizing people is so taken for granted that nearly 20% of employees leave organizations because of insufficient recognition,” Saunderson writes.

How do you know when someone’s workplace thanks are sincere?

gThankYou! Ultimate Guide to Employee Gift-Giving

Click to Download your FREE Guide to Employee Gift-Giving by gThankYou!

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.

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.

This Year, Resolve to Thank Your Employees Regularly

The holidays are over, and we’ve embarked upon 2013. You likely threw an employee party or handed out gifts to recognize your employees’ year of hard work.

So now you can relax, knowing your employees feel appreciated, right?

Wrong—at least partially.

Your workforce did and does appreciate your holiday thank-you. But employee gift-giving isn’t a one-time thing. Experts say recognizing workers regularly is an important part of improving and maintaining engagement, retention and morale.

You’re busy. All managers are. So here are some suggestions to make regular employee recognition easy:

  • Come up with a “thank you theme” for the year. Brainstorm with other managers and develop messages that reinforce the behaviors you want employees to demonstrate. Maybe it’s “ultimate customer service,” or “done-right-the-first-time order processing.”
  • Schedule regular recognition. Decide how often and on what occasions you’ll thank employees. Put reminders on your calendar so you don’t miss the dates.
  • Identify the rewards you’ll give. Whether it’s a gift certificate for pizza or ice cream, extra time off, or a free lunch, make sure managers know what employee gifts they can give, and that the gifts are easy to find and award.
  • Talk it over. Allow time for management to discuss positive employee behaviors they’ve observed so you can mention specifics in your thank-you announcements and letters.
  • Let employees reward each other, too. Set aside certain small gifts that employees can give to peers who’ve helped them meet company goals—it reinforces your culture of appreciation and giving.

And remember to make your thank-yous personal, with a smile and a handshake or a signed note. Give recognition publicly when possible, so it motivates the whole team.

To get the ball rolling this year, how about a personal New Year letter to each employee, along with a small gift, such as a gThankYou! Pizza Gift Certificate – perfect for all those football games coming up!  Letters.org offers sample employee letters for many occasions:

[Date]

Dear staff members,

As the New Year begins, I want to take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt greetings for the season and my appreciation for your accomplishments and achievements in 2012. Last year was a great year as far as achieving our targets are concerned. I thank one and all for your support and dedication and for the extra hours you worked to achieve goals and complete our projects.

We have many more projects lined up this year and I am sure, with your dedication and determination, we will again be able to complete them on time and with top quality. I look forward to a long and prosperous relationship with you and the entire team and I know we will achieve continued success together.

My best wishes to you and your family for a very Happy New Year.

Yours Sincerely,

[Your name]

A signed letter like this, plus a small gift, given to all employees at a gathering, makes for a highly motivated start to 2013.

And to you and yours from all of us at gThankYou!, a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

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.

It’s Not Too Late to Share Your Gratitude with Employees!

Your employees work hard for you all year. The holidays are almost upon us, and if you haven’t planned a holiday thank-you for them, you still have time.

gThankYou! Winter Thank You NoteAfter all, as Harvard Business School professor and author Rosabeth Moss Kanter writes in a Harvard Business Review blog post, “12 Gifts for Cash-Short, Recession-Weary Workplaces”:

The gift of workplace caring keeps on giving, by providing energy and motivation for the hard work ahead.”

Give Gift Certificates and Gift Cards

CareerBuilder lists gift certificates and gift cards in the top three most appreciated employee gifts in “Top 10 Last Minute Employee Gift Ideas”:

“Other than cash itself, the gift card is an always appreciated office gift. It also gives you a way out from having to become too personal with your decision.”

And gThankYou Certificates of Gratitude are fast, easy, affordable and easy to deliver on time. You can order online, and we ship nearly 100 percent of orders the day we receive them.  You can choose amounts from $5 to $30, and we’ll never miss your deadline—ever.

Celebrate

You might order in lunch for employees and hand them their gift certificates personally. You might have executives cook and/or serve the food.

Kanter’s article suggests having bosses serving employees is a gift in itself:

“Senior executives could cook and serve breakfast, deliver the mail, or do valet parking.”

Party

Or you could throw a party for your employees, if you’re so inclined, as the Long Beach, Calif., Press-Telegram illustrates in “Bottom Line: Company holiday fetes a thank you to employees,” by staff writer Karen Robes Meeks:

“After an eventful year that included a feature in Sunset Magazine and the installation of the city’s first parklet at his business, Lola’s Mexican Cuisine owner Luis Navarro wanted to celebrate the restaurant’s success with his employees.

So he made room in his budget, and thanks to a friend and customer, the Retro Row business owner hosted a holiday party this past weekend at the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club. It was an intimate, family-style celebration with barbecue and a jumper for the kids.

‘We really had this phenomenal year and I wanted to do something really nice, so that our employees understand that they’re appreciated,’ Navarro said.

Regardless of circumstances, Navarro said thanking his employees is important. ‘We’ve got to take care of our people and let them know that they’re doing a good job,’ he said. ‘You don’t have to break the bank; at least you’re doing something to let them know they’re appreciated.’”

A recent survey by CareerBuilder of 1,150 hiring managers nationwide shows 56 percent will spread holiday cheer around the office this year by giving presents to their employees. While a third plan to spend $10 or less per staff member, 20 percent expect to spend more than $25, and nearly 10 percent expect to spend more than $50.

Shouldn’t you be part of the 56 percent giving workplace gifts? The gesture will repay you all year.

How do you plan to reward your employees this 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.