Tag Archives: employee appreciation

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.

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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 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 Tips | Workplace Valentine’s Day Gifts

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

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

gThankYou! Candy Gift Certificate

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

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

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

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

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

She suggests:

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

Swift adds:

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

And, concludes Warschaw:

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

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

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

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

About gThankYou, LLC

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

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

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

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

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.