Tag Archives: Fast Company

Make Workplace Thank You Notes Work for You

gThankYou! Enclosure Card

Making your employees feel appreciated is more than just employer generosity or good will. It is good business, and it involves more than just employee gifts.

The link between employee recognition, appreciation, engagement, retention, and business success is well documented. Globoforce reports that 55% of respondents to their recent survey said they’d leave their current jobs to work for a company that recognized its employees. A little appreciation goes a long way, as does employee dissatisfaction, which has a definite impact on customer service and productivity. Everyone wants and needs to be appreciated, especially the employees who show up to work every day to contribute to your business and take care of your customers.

The Power of a Sincere “Thank You”
The 2012 SHRM/Globoforce semi-annual survey shows that simply recognizing employees improves employee performance and retention rates. A Forbes research project in 2012 that studied the effects of saying thank you to employees found that employers who regularly thank employees substantially outperform those that don’t.

What kind of recognition creates value and has a measurable impact by lowering voluntary turnover? Well-designed recognition programs that include targeted and personalized recognition and build recognition into the company culture lower voluntary turnover by up to 31 percent!

Delivery Matters – Make It Personal
A sincere, personal thank you, either verbal or written, means as much as or more to your employees than a gift or reward. Saying the words “Thank you” and being specific about why you are thanking the employee show that you care and that you noticed the level of performance that went into whatever it is you are appreciating.  Putting your gratitude in writing shows you took the time to make an employee feel valued, creating a lasting memory of that appreciation.

Fast Company article, “Affordable Ways to Make Your Employees Feel Appreciated – Or Else” describes how Chris Patterson, CEO of Interchanges in Jacksonville, Florida, goes out of his way to make his thank you’s personal and meaningful by investing in getting to know employees. He even sends handwritten notes with gifts to employees’ spouses thanking them for being supportive when employees have to work late or overtime.

Many Ways to Show Appreciation
There are many ways to use workplace thank you notes to recognize a good job, extra effort, and outstanding performance.

  • The most meaningful appreciation recognition is timely, taking place as soon after the activity being recognized takes place. Don’t wait to show an employee that you know how hard they worked on your project or how well they treated your top customer. Write a thank you note as soon as you see exceptional performance or effort and be sure to deliver it personally if you can.
  • Thank you notes and recognition don’t have to come only from the boss or as part of formal recognition programs. Peer-to-peer notes of appreciation mean just as much as when the boss writes them. With the rise of social media, social recognition has a huge impact, and letting co-workers and employees across the organization publicly recognize and reward effort with electronic systems as alternatives to written thank you notes also fuels retention and performance.
  • Story telling is an exciting and engaging way to recognize and thank employees. Extend the life and goodwill of thank you notes by telling the story of how they took care of that big customer, or sold the biggest order in company history, or saved the day by catching an error in a shipment. Use stories of gratitude at employee meetings and annual events like summer picnics or New Year’s parties for a bigger impact on employees than a plaque or gift card.

Not sure how to craft a workplace thank you note? You’ll find good suggestions and references in our post, 10 Tips for Writing Employee Thank You Notes.

So remember the power of a sincere thank you and make it a habit to regularly write personal thank you notes when you really appreciate performance and effort at work. Take a few minutes to make it personal and consider your delivery to make an impact. Your employees will be grateful for the attention and recognition and your workplace will benefit too.

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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”.
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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 Praise Made Easy

After reading Robert Palmatier’s research on relationship marketing and hearing so much about how companies are now using this in the B2C marketplace, I ran across an insightful piece from Fast Company. Written by columnists and Made to Stick authors Dan Heath & Chip Heath, the article poses a really good question: “Why do companies make it so hard for us to say thank you to the right people?

The Fast Company article predates the hoopla created when Hyatt Hotels created its customer thanks program this year. Heath & Heath push (hard) for the idea of bringing active thankfulness a step further.

“Suppose there were some way to lower the transaction costs of a thank-you so much that praise became effortless?”

They continue, “Think of those obnoxious engaged couples who skip around Macy’s with UPC scanners, zapping waffle irons and cutlery for their registry. What if there were some ways to zap the cup holder in your car, or the quesadilla on your plate, and instantly deliver a thank-you to the people who count?”

Aren’t there a zillion times you’ve walked out of a meeting with colleagues, or suppliers, or customers, when someone really, really lightened your load, and you want to show your gratitude?  Give them a *huge* “Thank You!”?

Guess what? There are companies that have it figured out.

These companies make it easy for customers to praise their employees.  Doesn’t that makes sense?  If customers show their gratitude for a job-well-done it means a lot.  The employee’s boss finds out in the process.  The with-it boss piles on the “thank you”, and what do you have?  The perfect storm that makes employees feel great.

Exhibit A:  American Airlines runs a program called “Rounds of Applause.” The Program enables American Advantage frequent flyers to give a personalized certificate to AA employees who go the extra mile.

Exhibit B: Anyone who travels by highway has seen those signs on trucks asking, “How’s my Driving? Kelmar Safety runs this “How’s My Driving?” for companies with driving fleets in industries including trucking, law enforcement, education and delivery services. It encourages feedback from the public, which in turn provides some positive comments for employees.

Exhibit C: Internet appliance and electronics retailer ElegantAppliance.com is using social networking site Twitter to get customer feedback about its customer Web experience.

Some business to consumer companies, through their culture and way they relate to customers, generate feedback without even solicitation. One  example is Wisconsin-based Lands’ End ( part of Sears Holdings) which at one time had a band of employees who volunteered to read and respond to customer letters and emails. The benefit was mutual for the customer and employee in creating loyalty and that intangible feeling that one gets from making a difference.

Know of any other company that has a good customer praise program for employees?

We’d love to hear about it!

Rick Kiley is President of gThankYou, LLC, based in Madison, WI.  gThankYou® Certificates of Gratitude™ are one way savvy companies demonstrate commitment to employees’ great work. The company is best known for its Turkey Gift Certificates, Ham Gift Certificates, and Grocery Gift Cards.

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