Tag Archives: Employee retention

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.

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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.

Employee Gifts Beat the February Blahs

Did you know that February is National “Blah Buster Month”?gThankYou! Sad & Happy Smiley FacesWell, according to Oracle Education Foundation’s ThinkQuest it is.

For a lot of people, it’s true at home and it’s true at work. So as a businessperson, how do you help employees beat the blahs?

One great way is to create opportunities for physical activity.  Could be the flexibility for free time to allow employees to exercise, a workgroup party – bowling, laser-tag or outdoor skating, or a hands-on community service project.  Physical work is good for one’s spirit and one’s body.  Add some teamwork with it and you have a win, win for all.  That’s the key for some My Fitness Pal members.

Member “Scoobiesnax” posted “The February ‘Blahs.’ how do YOU beat them …?” saying:

“So the dreariest month of the year is upon us, and for many people (especially those who live in a colder climate as I do here in Ontario, Canada) it tends to be the hardest month to stay motivated … what [are] people … doing to stay motivated and fresh during this dull time of year?”

Fellow members answered:

  • I’ve started Vitamin D recently but not sure just how much it’s helped…
  • I take full advantage of every sunny and non-rainy day by going outside to run/walk and get fresh air.
  • I’m adding an hour to 2 hours every evening of Badminton … I love it!

Exercise is certainly healthy and uplifting, plus research shows it’s good for your your business, not just your employees.  Another great way to lift employees’ spirits is a small gift.  Indeed, at the American Express small business site Open Forum, writer and teacher Jacob Harper, formerly with Top Story Weekly, writes in “5 Easy Ways to Brighten Your Employee’s Days”:

“With all the responsibilities that come with being a boss, it can be tempting to overlook your role in maintaining your employee’s happiness. But some of the best leaders will tell you even small gestures can make a tremendous impact on company morale and, in turn, the success of the business overall. 

Give a small gift. Listen. Does an employee rave about a favorite lunchtime spot or coffee bar? Get them a gift certificate so their next few visits will be on your bill.”

What about a favorite food? Or an informal workgroup pizza lunch?  Showing your recognition and interest helps lift’s spirits; share your attention and thanks broadly so your whole organization benefits.

Whatever delights your employee, there’s likely a gThankYou! Gift Certificate of Gratitude to match.  Just add a smile, handshake, sincere thanks and watch your employee shed the blahs. Just like that.

Here’s an employer who knows how to give a gift. Watch “Kyle Goes to the World Series.”

Here’s the story: “If you’ve been to the UC Davis Coffee House at some point these past couple years, you’ve met Kyle. And I’m pretty sure he waved at you with the biggest smile, and greeted you like you were one of his closest friends. 

 With the help of his CoHo coworkers and their spontaneous donations, this goober got an extra special surprise after Game 1 … a ticket to see his favorite team play in the World Series, ticket and transportation costs covered completely.” 

You may not generate quite as much joy as University of California, Davis Coffee House, or CoHo, did with its expensive gift, but your employees will definitely appreciate an infectious smile and your appreciation. It’ll banish the blahs and make them think of you. Happy February!

How do you help your employees beat the February blahs? How do you chase away your own blahs?

About gThankYou, LLC

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

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

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

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

Research Shows Happy Employees Are More Productive

gThankYou! Happy Worker

Employee happiness is becoming a hot topic among CEOs and in boardrooms, notes Rob Markey in a Harvard Business Review blog post, “Transform Your Employees into Passionate Advocates.”

“[It’s] one more sign of the growing recognition that happy, engaged employees are more productive and generate better outcomes for their companies,” he writes.

But, he adds, only a few of the things that make employees happy result in real, sustained benefit for their companies. As Gretchen Spreitzer and Christine Porath note in one of a series of HBR articles on employee happiness, “It’s not about contentment, which connotes a degree of complacency.”

Timely, Meaningful Recognition

Markey and his colleagues have studied the links between employee engagement and customer loyalty for a few years, and have found that the only route to employee happiness that also benefits shareholders is through a sense of fulfillment resulting from an important job done well.

It’s about recognizing employees in a timely, meaningful way. Employees should be able to connect the recognition—whether it’s a personal note, a small gift, or both—with their hard work on the company’s behalf.

The Happiness/Productivity Link

Several other organizations weigh in on workers’ mindsets. A Businessweek article by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer,  “Employee Happiness Matters More Than You Think,” says, “Ultimately … the source of productivity is the individual knowledge workers who get things done every day. And the evidence is clear: People perform better when they’re happier.”

For 10 years Amabile and Kramer researched creativity, productivity, and the psychology of everyday work life. Their findings: “Whether we looked at entrepreneurial startups or large, established enterprises, the same holds true: People are more productive and creative when they have more positive emotions.”

“In fact, we found that, if happier on a given day, people were not only more likely to come up with a new idea or solve a complex problem that same day but also to do so the next day.”

Gallup provides statistics linking employee feelings and corporate outcomes, Amabile and Kramer note. The organization reports that disengaged employees’ lost productivity costs U.S. businesses more than $300 billion a year. Another Gallup study by researcher James Harter and others concluded that employees’ past feelings about an organization can predict sales and profits at a future point in time.

U.K.-based research, too, suggests clear links between workers’ happiness and their productivity. Jamie Doward’s Observer/Guardian article, “Happy people really do work harder,” reports that a team of economists led by Andrew Oswald, a professor of economics at Warwick Business School and a leading authority on the relationship between economics and mental health, says its research has important implications for the worlds of politics and business.

“We find that human happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity,” the team says. “Positive emotions appear to invigorate human beings, while negative emotions have the opposite effect.”

The Warwick economists note: “Happier workers … were 12% more productive. Unhappier workers were 10% less productive.”

Employee Gratitude Done Right

If you show employees they’re valued, they’re more likely to have positive feelings about your company and their jobs. Here are three tips for effective employee recognition:

  1. Let line managers lead—Immediate supervisors are best equipped to observe when an employee thank you is warranted, or to review the results of performance metrics and recognize top performers.
  2. Keep it simple—Managers shouldn’t have to wade through complicated reports to determine who their top performers are.
  3. Customer feedback—What’s more powerful than hearing a customer’s thank you?

As Markey’s HBR article says, “When frontline employees and managers hear directly from customers — when they see how customers scored their experience, when they hear what went right and wrong in the customer’s own words — the effect is dramatic. Applause in the form of positive feedback inspires them to keep up the good work.

“Loyal, passionate employees bring a company as much benefit as loyal, passionate customers. They stay longer, work harder, work more creatively, and find ways to go the extra mile,” he continues. “They bring you more great employees. And that spreads even more happiness — happiness for employees, for customers, and for shareholders.”

How do you ensure your employees receive timely, meaningful recognition?  How do you keep workers feeling fulfilled?

About gThankYou, LLC

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

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

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

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

This Year, Resolve to Thank Your Employees Regularly

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

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

Wrong—at least partially.

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

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

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

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

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

[Date]

Dear staff members,

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

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

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

Yours Sincerely,

[Your name]

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

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

About gThankYou, LLC

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

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

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

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

Employee Appreciation Best Practices: Zoosk Throws Holiday Parties

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

gThankYou! Holiday Office Party

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

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

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

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

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

The company gives other holiday gifts, too.

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

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

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

What’s your plan for holiday giving this year? SHRM’s annual survey says 72% of employers plan to host holiday parties this year – do you?

About gThankYou, LLC

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

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

gThankYou, LLC (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.

How to Give Employee Gifts the Right Way

You don’t have to spend a lot on employee gifts, but to get full value for what you do spend, add a personal touch.

Wouldn’t it be great if all employers had the wherewithal to buy each employee a cashmere sweater, as The Huffington Post reports that president and editor in chief Arianna Huffington does every year?

The article, “Arianna Huffington Gifts AOL/HuffPost Employees Annual Holiday Sweaters,” notes that this year she had quite a few to give, as she now has several thousand employees across multiple offices and cities.

“But sure enough, members of the New York office arrived on Wednesday morning to find their cozy holiday gear wrapped up in beribboned boxes on their desks.  For the women it was soft, shawl-neck styles; for the men, fine gauge V-necks, all in a variety of jewel tones.”

Some people traded colors; some men and women even exchanged. As the article says, “the ladies in the men’s V-necks achieved that perfectly slouchy ‘boyfriend’ look.’”

Then everyone donned their sweaters and got together for a giant group photo.

What’s the point?

It’s not just that Arianna Huffington can afford to give cashmere sweaters. It’s that she:

  • Spent the same amount on each worker
  • Didn’t spend so much that recipients felt uncomfortable (Medzilla.com suggests $100 or less)
  • Gave the gifts all at the same time, so employees could enjoy them together
  • Gave appropriate gifts that weren’t too personal.
    Clothing can actually be a little tricky if you don’t know your workforce well—you might be better off with gift cards or gift certificates for something employees can buy at their convenience at the stores of their choice.

Meredith Lepore, contributor to The Grindstone, provides more details in “How the Boss Should Give Employees Presents.”

How could Huffington have improved the workplace gifting experience?

By making it more personal.

The gifts themselves are personal and doubtless appreciated. The employees clearly had fun trying the sweaters on, swapping, and gathering for photos.

Maybe Huffington included a personal note thanking each employee for his or her excellent work and the article didn’t say so. If so, the gifts were inestimably more valuable.

It’s the personal connection that makes all the difference.

If you can, give gifts personally, with a handshake, a smile and a thank you.

If that’s not practical, how about a thank you by video conference before employees open their gifts? Or at least a personal note.

As Catherine Adenle writes at Catherine’s Career Corner in “5 Gifts to Give Your Employees”:

“Employees don’t want to work for just a paycheck; they want to work with people and for people. To create positive employee motivation, as a leader, you have to treat your employees well to show them that they matter—they are your greatest shareholders.”

Try:

  • A kind word anytime
  • A short discussion about employees’ families (if they’re willing to share)
  • A brief compliment
  • Including employees in things
  • Checking in to see if they need anything
  • Asking them what they think

Organizations will engage and retain their employees if they can clearly make the link between people, their performance, and business results.

To learn more best practice tips to make your employee holiday gift-giving successful, you’ll want to download our free eBook below.

Download your free eBook “The Ultimate Guide to Employee Gift-Giving” Now!

gThankYou! Employee Gift Guide

Click Image to Download

How do you make workplace gifting personal and meaningful?

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.

The Secret to Successful Employee Gifts

So you bought your employees gift certificates for a holiday turkey or ham, or maybe a pie or some ice cream. Don’t just stuff them in workplace mailboxes. The way you give employee gifts is even more important than what you give.

Employee gifts should be given in person whenever possible.

Make your gifts as meaningful as possible by distributing them personally, with a handshake, big smile and “thank you!”.   An employee who feels valued has better morale, productivity and loyalty.  Make sure your personal delivery conveys your sincere gratitude for employees’ hard work for you.

Recognition only has meaning when it comes from someone who benefits from employees’ performance: their managers.

  • If you have human resources staff distribute your gift certificates, it’s impersonal and a poor use of resources.
  • Human resources can order your gThankYou! gift certificates, but managers should deliver them personally, with a smile and a handshake.
  • If that’s not possible, managers should write a personal note to include with each employee’s gift certificate.

Public recognition
Most employees appreciate public recognition, too. You could host a gathering with simple refreshments and call employees up to the front of the room, one by one, to receive their gift certificates along with your personal thanks — and maybe deliver a positive anecdote about the employee’s performance.

Writer Brock Boser’s article at online self-improvement community SelfGrowth.com, “Are Corporate Awards and Corporate Gifts Beneficial in the Workplace,” notes that a company’s success depends on its employees and their abilities. Gifts help you attract and retain talented employees. They also reassure employees that you appreciate their hard work and dedication. Boser writes:

 “These kind gestures will not only build your relationships but will help you build the company by utilizing its maximum potential.”

But the Seattle Post Intelligencer’s Workplace Wrangler blog, in an entry titled “Motivating Employees in the 21st Century,” cites author Daniel Pink’s  TED conference talk. Pink wrote the acclaimed “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.”

In his speech, Pink notes that “when it comes to motivation, there is a huge gap between what science knows and what companies do.”

So it’s not surprising that, as reported in Toronto’s Globe and Mail, a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers and OfficeTeam shows that 33 percent of workers in North America believe their manager fails to recognize them.

Remember—the interaction between a manager and an employee is more important than the gift itself.  It’s an opportunity to show your sincere gratitude and build long-term trust and loyalty.

How does your workplace distribute employee gifts?

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.

What Employees Really Want this Holiday Season

It’s simple, really. What all employees really want is your thanks, recognition and support — and, if they’re dealing with Hurricane Sandy, for instance — a thoughtful, meaningful, practical gift.

Say thank you.

A study by the Corporate Executive Board shows compensation is not in the top 10 factors that make employees stay at your company — rather, they want to know their jobs matter. So say thank you. Show your appreciation for their hard work and contributions.

As an employee, it’s always nice to be recognized with a gift or award from the boss.

Small surprises and tokens of your appreciation during the holidays — and spread throughout the year — help the people in your work life feel valued.

Managers don’t always get it.

A recent study by the International Association of Administrative Professionals and OfficeTeam, a staffing company in Menlo Park, Calif., shows managers don’t always get it:

  •  Managers ranked promotions and cash bonuses as the two most effective ways of recognizing employee accomplishments.
  •  Workers preferred an in-person thank you or having a job well done reported to senior management.

Everybody wants to feel valued and appreciated — and that includes your employees. Recognition is among the top 10 things employees want from you, according to the CEB study.

Support employees during tough times.

Helping employees during a crisis shows them you respect them, their loyalty and their hard work on your company’s behalf, and they’ll repay you with their best work going forward.

In his article at  Business News Daily, “Employers Divided on Dealing With Sandy-Stricken Workers,” contributor Chad Brooks quotes Laura Kerekes, chief knowledge officer at ThinkHR Corporation:

“Deciding how to handle employees in times of a disaster usually comes down to both finances and the company’s culture.”

Those companies that pride themselves on a family-type atmosphere are the ones that generally go above and beyond for their employees in times of crisis, Brooks notes. But Kerekes says those companies tend to be the exception rather than the rule.

One of those exceptions is TechMediaNetwork, which had all 70 of its Manhattan-based employees affected by Hurricane Sandy.

As soon as the storm hit, company CEO Jerry Ropelato asked management to help employees in any way they could.

“It’s just basic human concern for our workers,” DeLonie Call, chief people officer, told Business News Daily. “We have the resources and don’t want our employees to struggle if they don’t have to.”

The company offered employees reimbursements for everything from meals and cellphone charges to gym pass memberships (so they could take a hot shower) and hotel stays.

Brooks also quotes human resources consultant Paul Hilton, who says the steps companies take during a disaster like Hurricane Sandy can have long-lasting ramifications:

 “If you take a hard line, the employees are going to come back [and] do what they need to do to keep their jobs, but they’re also going to be looking for a new job. It’s a shortsighted approach.”

Human resources consultant and Strategic HR, Inc. president Robin Throckmorton observes that showing compassion in difficult times can help businesses’ bottom lines in the long run.

Gifts motivate employees to work harder.

Robert Bradford, president and CEO of CSSP, Inc., writes on his website:

 “Rewards — whether monetary or not — for performance that’s consistent with your strategies are extremely powerful tools for creating alignment between your employees’ motivations and the strategic direction of the company.

Give creative, meaningful, convenient gifts for the holidays

And what better time to reward your employees than during the holidays?

A blog post at TargetMarketing.com advises: Almost everyone appreciates gifts of food. Holiday turkeys consistently fall in the top of the best employee gifts list in the “food as family perk” category.

Inc. Magazine contributor Sara Hottman writes:

 “While every employee enjoys a cash gift, business owners say creative gifts earn more bang for the buck. Gift cards to local businesses can make good employee gifts at the holidays, as long as you choose the right business.”

Gift cards or certificates are meaningful and convenient.

Gift cards or certificates that allow employees to choose where they shop and what they buy may even be a better idea. A gThankYou.com gift certificate of gratitude for a holiday turkey or ham is the ideal way to thank and recognize employees.

  •  It’s convenient: Employees can use them at any store, for any brand of turkey or ham in the size that fits their families, and can shop anytime.
  •  It’s meaningful: What says “Happy holidays!” better than providing the foundation of employees’ holiday meals?
  •  It keeps your company front and center: You’re top of mind at the holiday table as employees and their families enjoy the meal your gift made possible.

Give back to your employees at the holidays.

As Society of Human Resource Management member and human resources expert Susan Heathfield notes:

“Frequently saying thank you goes a long way. Monetary rewards, bonuses and gifts make the thank you even more appreciated.”

We agree. Make your employees’ holidays happy and they’ll reward you with engagement and productivity.

What creative holiday gifts will you give your employees?

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.

How to Use Employee Gifts like a Pro

gThankYou! Team PhotoEmployee gifts are an important part of any employee recognition program, and the leading Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) provides guidelines for utilizing workplace giving to build employee satisfaction.

In its downloadable PowerPoint presentation,Employee Recognition Training for Supervisors”, SHRM shares the goal of employee recognition:

“To show appreciation for an employee’s achievement and motivate employees to continue with good performance and loyalty to the company.

Successful employee recognition will help the organization retain key employees and keep employees happy along the way.”

Recognition can be public or private, and involve a monetary or non-monetary reward. Here are some best practice occasions the Society for Human Resource Management cites for recognition and employee gift-giving:

  • Years of Service
  • Safety
  • Attendance
  • Certifications or Degrees
  • Customer Service
  • Public Service
  • Employee of the month, week, year
  • Retirement
  • Suggestion Program
  • Performance

In addition to attracting and retaining key employees, research shows that appreciation and “thank-you” gifts:

  • Motivate employees to perform at higher levels.
  • Increase employee productivity.
  • Can increase employee competitiveness.
  • Can increase company revenues and profitability.
  • Improve business quality and service.
  • Improve safety.
  • May lower stress.
  • Reduce absenteeism and turnover costs.
  • Foster employment longevity.
  • Encourage employees to continue education and training.

To ensure your workplace gifts are successful, SHRM suggests you identify what’s meaningful to your employees and offer reward options to fit those needs.  Be sure to:

  • Recognize all levels of employees.
  • Make sure recognition is given consistently.
  • Keep it simple.
  • Keep it adaptable.
  • Make it timely.

So what are you waiting for? If you haven’t developed a plan to recognize and reward employees for their hard work and contributions, there’s no better time than now. SHRM is a wealth of information on this topic if you would like to learn more. Your employees will thank you!

What employee gifts and recognition strategies work best in your workplace?

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 Kiley, Chief 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.