Category Archives: Employee Recognition

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.

Trends in Employee Recognition Goals and Awards

gThankYou! Certificate of ExcellenceWorldatWork reports that more than 88 percent of organizations have recognition programs and 70 percent offer three to six different programs to recognize and reward employees. Their February 2013 Report, “Trends in Recognition”  surveys over 5,000 WorldatWork members and shows some very interesting trends in employee recognition.

The top three recognition programs in use in 2013 are length of service, above-and-beyond performance, and peer-to-peer. Programs to motivate specific behaviors are increasing and sales performance recognition is decreasing, having dropped out of the top five recognition programs.

Recognition – Top 5 Goals
WorldatWork’s survey reports the top five recognition goals as:

  1. Recognize years of service
  2. Create a positive work environment
  3. Create a culture of recognition
  4. Motivate high performers
  5. Reinforce desired behaviors

This indicates that employers’ top priority is to recognize loyal, long-term employees but also want to use recognition to improve their work environment and culture and drive motivation and behavior.

Recognition – Top 5 Types of Awards
The WorldatWork survey reports that the top five types of recognition awards are:

  1. Certificates/plaques
  2. Cash
  3. Gift certificates
  4. Company logo merchandise
  5. Food

This indicates that employers still believe that cash and cash equivalents are what mean the most to employees.  Research over the last several years supports that employees actually prefer gift certificates and gift cards, especially for practical items such as food. (For more, check out Incentive Magazine’s recent study: “Majority of Consumers Use Gift Cards for Necessities”.)

Growing Impact on Performance Management
In another recent study,  Society of Human Resource Management, along with Globoforce, surveyed 770 HR leaders who provided key insight into employee recognition trends. The survey found:

  • Employee engagement fueled by recognition is under utilized
    HR leaders say that employee recognition is key to employee engagement but engagement is underutilized and a top HR challenge. Less than half of survey participants track employee engagement levels, but those that do experience higher levels of employee and manager satisfaction from recognition efforts.
  • Employee recognition fills a feedback gap in successful performance management
    HR leaders feel that employee recognition programs effectively acknowledge employee performance even more than performance appraisals.
  • Employee recognition delivers ROI in key areas
    HR leaders reported that employee recognition increases productivity, customer and employee retention, employee engagement, return on profit margin, and return on equity. They reported increases of more than 50 percent in all these areas.
  • Employee recognition aligned with core values develops effective managers
    HR leaders see a strong correlation between recognition aligned with core values and more effective managers interacting with, engaging, and effectively recognizing the right behaviors.

Other interesting and important results of WorldatWork’s survey about trends in employee recognition include:

  • More than half the participating organizations have Human Resources administer recognition programs.
  • Less than 15 percent of organizations provide any training on employee recognition to managers.
  • Only 11 percent of organizations feature recognition in recruiting to attract candidates.

Opportunities
Trends show increasing awareness of the real value of employee recognition to business outcomes, although most employers still focus on recognizing and rewarding length of service the most. Continued improvements in employee recognition and reward are needed for the most effective impact on motivation and return on investment.

Recognition programs that motivate specific behaviors are the fastest growing, increasing by 16 percent since 2008. The most effective recognition opportunities that any company can take advantage of include implementing a written recognition program strategy, aligning that strategy with organizational strategies and providing training on employee recognition to managers.

Where does your organization fall in these numbers?  Does HR manage your recognition programs? Do you provide recognition training to managers?

Learn more about the relationship between employee recognition, engagement and your business bottom-line 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.

Employee Engagement: Summertime Best Practices

gThankYou! BBQ Workplace PartyAre you “in tune” with your employees? Summertime provides a wealth of opportunities for employee engagement. July and August tend to be more casual months when barbeque and beaches are in the forefront of everyone’s minds, so why not use that mindset to organize events and company fun to cultivate relationships with your employees?

According to Bob Aronson, CEO and founder of the Aronson Communications Group, “If communications is not your top priority, all of your other priorities are at risk.” Keeping that in mind, spend some time planning summertime events that increase the level of communications between you and your employees. Get-togethers that promote unity and team spirit should be at the top of the list. Here are some examples:

Host a Summertime Vision Group

Your vision for your company should be shared with those who work for you. Andy Parsley of Green Lion, in his publication titled “A Road Map to Employee Engagement” lays it out in three simple steps:

1. Have a vision of where you want to get to.
2. Clearly and persuasively communicate that vision to employees.
3. Be consistent in your behaviors as you strive to achieve that vision.

Summertime Vision Groups are great opportunities to review your company’s vision, discuss your goals and mission statement, and set employee and management expectations. It’s also a good idea to review year-to-date performance and get employee buy-in to proposed changes to increase efficiency and performance.

Promote and Participate in Company Sponsored Fun

Organizing the event is one thing. Participating in it is something else entirely. If you truly want to increase your level of employee engagement, be a part of the event you put together. Grill some burgers at the company barbeque. Be a kid again and play some games with the men and women who work for you. Get in the middle of it all and have everyone take pictures to decorate their cubicles or break room. Your smiling face and a pleasant memory of your fun workplace can go a long way towards helping them through a bad day some time in the future.

Invest in Training or Team Building Exercises

Ken Blanchard, author of “The One Minute Manager” and leadership authority, simplifies the team-building concept with the words, “None of us is as smart as all of us.” The summer months are typically the best time of year to do training and team building, provided it’s not your busy season. Encourage employee engagement by offering choices of exercises or seminars. Allowing workers to participate in the decision-making process gives them a sense of ownership that will increase productivity and employee retention numbers.

Offer Reduced Hours and Flexible Schedules for the Summer

There’s no gift more precious than the gift of time during the summer. Everyone wants to spend more hours with family, go on vacation, or take a long weekend at the beach. Morale is important. Successful companies are those that have happy employees. Marilyn Carlson, former CEO of Carlson Companies, says it best, “On what high-performing companies should be striving to create: A great place for great people to do great work.” Is that what your company offers?

Learn more about the relationship between employee engagement, recognition and your business bottom-line 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.

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.

Motivating Employees – 3 Top Tips by gThankYou!

gThankYou! - Motivation SignAsk any CEO and they’ll tell you that employee motivation is a key factor when it comes to not just an individual’s performance, but also group productivity. A motivated team helps on many fronts; a more pleasant working office environment, supporting company values and increasing productivity to name just a few.

Justin Schuster, Vice President of enterprise products at MarketTools, Inc. says: “A strong correlation exists between employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction, and ultimately, a company’s revenue and profitability.”

So how do you keep your employees motivated? We’ve decided to help inspire you with the top three tips for employee motivation. And here’s a secret; employee recognition doesn’t have to cost you anything!

Tip 1: Involve Them in Your Business

Not Sure How? Here are a few examples:

  • Share Business Goals
    Make your business goals transparent and share these goals openly with your employees; that way they’ll feel like part of the bigger picture, and not just an unimportant cog in the overall works of your business.

In “Wake up and smell the coffee: how Pret A Manger motivates their team members, Richard Harpham, Head of Strategy for Pret A Manger explains:  “Every Tuesday morning sees the Head Office staff coming together for a “Team Brief”, where the Head of a particular department gives an update on their area, highlights the latest company figures, and talks about anything in “The Pret News” – most likely new shops that have opened or success stories from the week.”

This breaks down the information hierarchy common in many companies, as all staff leaves having the same understanding of everything that’s going on.

  • Involve Employees in Solving Business Issues
    Don’t just make them aware of your goals – actively involve them in solving business issues. This will be to your benefit as well as theirs, as they might be able to answer questions that you’ve been unable to solve yourself.
  • Provide Opportunities for Idea Sharing & Teaching
    Giving these responsibilities and open communication allow your employees to feel like they’re participating in improving their work and expanding their career horizons; in turn, they’ll feel better about themselves and be more motivated.
  • Make Routine Work More Interesting
    You many not be able to make everyone’s work more interesting, but you can find ways to make being at work more fun.  Crowd source the team building exercises for the next team meeting or give camera’s to employees and challenge them to take pictures of what’s “right” about work – then make a big collage of them and hang it in a public place. Get employees involved, they will be grateful.

Tip 2:  Celebrate Employees Regularly 

Dr. Bob Nelson, unofficial founder of Employee Appreciation Day, says: “There’s a big difference between getting people to come to work and getting them to do their best work. I believe employees should be appreciated on a daily basis when they perform well, so having this day in their honor is really meant to be a reminder to all managers to value their employees.”

You can do this by recognizing and rewarding good work and achievements when they happen.  Say ‘thank you’ often, and show you appreciate them face-to-face; be friendly and sincere. This will help you to build a culture of respect and employee recognition within your business environment.

At Pret A Manger, Harpham continues, “Head Office staff carry “Wow!” cards, which are handed out to any shop team member that has impressed. The top performing shops (measured against a number of factors, not all financial), are recognized monthly with a team event of their choice, and individuals that offer exceptional service can be picked out by our third-party mystery shoppers. For individuals or teams that have truly out-performed, recognition becomes a more public event, with the incumbents called to the stage at our quarterly off-sites, and congratulated before the whole company.”

And remember, it doesn’t have to take a big effort to say ‘thank you’ – it’s how you say it that counts. Natalie Grace, from Demand Media, says in “How to Celebrate Employees“: “Celebrating your employees can range from a simple thank-you card to an employee anniversary recognition event. Regardless of the extent of the celebration, as long as you deliver it in a thoughtful manner, it will positively affect your employees.”

Tip 3:  Enable Employees to Actively Participate in Recognition and Reward Schemes

gThankYou! Pret A Manger LogoMany companies recognize the power of engaging employees to nominate and reward their peers.  At Pret A Manger, “employees can nominate colleagues for our awards, and the participation is extraordinary” says Harpham.   Why not give new hires gift certificates or cash to gift back to those who helped them most to learn the ropes?

A good place to start is to provide managers with a “tool kit” of recognition items to use in the moment when the need to recognize great work arises.  It could be as simple as your own company version of “Wow” Cards and the ability to share nominal gifts for occasions of special effort.

If your team has certain goals, why not make a chart to help track these as they are gradually achieved? Have employees work out the “how” and “when” milestones and build in the recognition rewards they want along the way.

Jim Autry, author of Love and Profit reminds us, “finally, the greatest job enrichment of all is your attitude. If you pay attention, listen, be accessible, open-up, and provide your people with as many special treatments and celebrations and learning experiences as you can, you’ll be overwhelmed by the abundance of thinking all around you.”

With that in mind, why not get started motivating your employees today?

Download Your FREE Employee Gift 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.

4 Reasons Turkey Gift Certificates Are the Ultimate Employee Gift

gThankYou! Roast Turkey

Photo via Indulgy.com

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

Here’s why:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

gThankYou! Ultimate Guide to Employee Gift-Giving

About gThankYou, LLC

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

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

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

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

Employee Recognition – Creating a Comprehensive Strategy

Employee recognition is mission-critical in any organization.

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

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

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

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

SHRM offers three implications for these findings:

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

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

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

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

 

MIT’s “best practices” suggest each department:

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

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

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

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

MIT Human Resources – Designing Employee Recognition Programs

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

Maintaining Recognition Programs

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

Create a Continuum of Recognition 

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

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




About gThankYou, LLC

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

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

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

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

Employee 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.