Tag Archives: Employee engagement

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.

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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.

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.

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.

Thanking Employees at Easter Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

But is it appropriate to celebrate Easter in the workplace?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About gThankYou, LLC

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

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

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

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

Are You Ready for National Employee Appreciation Day?

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

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

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

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

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

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

For other quick ideas, check out these helpful articles:

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

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

About gThankYou, LLC

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

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

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

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