Category Archives: Volunteerism

Employee Appreciation Best Practices: Zoosk Throws Holiday Parties

Zoosk works hard and plays hard – and that translates to employees feeling engaged and excited about working for the company.

gThankYou! Holiday Office Party

Thinking beyond — or in addition to — the checkbook when giving employee gifts lets staff members know they’re appreciated, writes Inc. Magazine’s Sara Hottman in “How to Choose a Holiday Gift for Your Staff.”

She quotes Paul Vagadori, senior human resources director for San Francisco-based, an online dating community: “We work hard, we play hard.”  Check out the blog – it looks fun to work there!

In his fast-paced company, Vagadori knows how important it is to show employees the company values and appreciates their stellar efforts. “We want to show them we’re willing to invest time and money for what they do,” he tells Hottman.

Parties help build a sense of team and boost morale, and Vagadori hosts several during the holidays:

  • A Thanksgiving potluck — the company springs for entrées and each employee brings a favorite dish.
  • A fun pub event in mid-December—everyone enjoys beer and snacks.
  • A formal gala at year-end — a professional photographer takes pictures as  employees and their dates play games and hit the gambling tables, and everyone gets a framed photo at the end.

The company gives other holiday gifts, too.

  • Extra paid time off — so employees can be with family and friends.
  • Bonuses — merit-based gifts for going above and beyond.
  • Small, useful gifts — nice travel mugs with the company logo, or gift certificates of gratitude.
  • Opportunities to give back to the community — a giving tree, where employees take tags and buy gifts for a family in need, and a food bank.

“We have a healthy competition over who can bring in the most weight in food,” Vagadori says to Hottman. “This way, individuals who work in a nice environment, and who are happy to have jobs can give back. It’s nice to be on the giving end.”

Be creative and make it personal when you give workplace gifts during the holidays and year-round. You’ll more than reap the benefits in employee retention and goodwill.

What’s your plan for holiday giving this year? SHRM’s annual survey says 72% of employers plan to host holiday parties this year – do 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 ( is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at or 888-484-1658.
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Thank You! – Gratitude to Volunteers

In case you missed it amidst all the green hoopla, last week was National Volunteer Week. The week, established by former President Richard Nixon in 1974 and now organized by the Points of Light Institute, this year gave gratitude to people who “take action and solve problems in their communities.”

Volunteerism is surging, according to institute CEO Michelle Nunn, who notes a 60 percent increase this year in the number of people volunteering in its 250 local organizations this year. According to Nunn, “As this year’s theme — Celebrating People In Action — suggests it is also a time of inspiration as we honor the thousands of individuals who take action all year round, to strengthen their communities.”

Nunn’s observations of this surge are evidenced in companies like General Mills, a former employer of mine. The Minneapolis-based company points out that a whopping 82 percent of its employees volunteer, a surprising increase of over the company’s previous figures. It provided the consumer packaged goods firm a reason to gather in the workplace and package 2,000 pounds of rice for the local Emergency Assistance Program. Many other companies, their employees and professionals of all stripes devote time to making their communities better through volunteerism. In this day and age, they recognize the value of giving thanks through solid action.

So, to all of those who volunteer, in whatever capacity, gThankYou wants to pause to say a heartfelt, “Thank You.”

gThankYou, LLC sells Gift Gertificates  that savvy companies give to show gratitude to employees and customers.  gThankYou® Ham Gift CertificatesTurkey Gift Certificates and Grocery Gift Certificates are its best known products.