• What’s Trending in Workplace Gratitude?

    What's trending in workplace gratitude? Read on to learn more.

    What’s trending? More workplace gratitude! (Image via FutUndBeidl, Flickr)

    As the value of workplace gratitude gets more recognition, leaders are exploring its impact and studying how to better implement it.

    The power of a positive, appreciation-driven culture is clear.

    Employees at organizations with positive cultures scored significantly higher scores in leadership caring, confidence and listening, a CultureIQ poll found.

    Business 2 Community’s post “10 Employee Recognition Stats You Can’t Ignore” drives home the point.

    The research shows that gratitude is what employees need to thrive. In one survey, 58 percent of employees said recognition is how leaders could do more to improve engagement. In another study, 69 percent of employees say they’d work harder if they felt their efforts were better appreciated.

    “When more than half your staff wants the same thing, you listen,” B2C’s Michael Heller writes.

    Companies are listening. More and more HR departments are deploying recognition and gratitude as engagement strategies. The majority see their employee recognition programs as a worthwhile investment, according to the latest WorldAtWork research.

    Emerging from all this buzz around workplace gratitude are best practices for employee appreciation and, ultimately, cultural change.

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  • Want a Happier Workplace? Practice Employee Gratitude

    Want to build workplace happiness? Share your employee gratitude with a sincere "Thank You"!

    Employee gratitude is the shortcut to workplace happiness. (Photo via Nogran, Flickr)

    What comes first, employee gratitude or employee happiness?

    Gratitude!

    We can “live for days on just a little gratitude,” as this adorable Gaping Void art illustrates.

    It’s tempting to let perfectionism and “happiness-chasing” get in the way of actual workplace happiness.

    Recall all the times you’ve thought to yourself, We’ll be happy as soon as we get through this project, or My team needs get better at A, B and C — then we’ll be happy!

    Those parameters for happiness keep shifting away, just beyond reach. It’s a trap.

    Break the cycle! Practicing gratitude is a shortcut to happiness, and it’s a practice you can start today with employees.

    The secret to a happier workplace really is gratitude. Are your employees hearing frequent appreciation? Are they empowered to share their own gratitude? Is gratitude part of the company mission as well as daily life?

    Read on for a primer on employee gratitude essentials. Later this week, look for a followup blog post here on the latest thinking and trends in workplace gratitude.

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  • Savvy HR: Training Managers in Employee Appreciation

    Your workplace recognition program starts with training managers in employee appreciation

    Training managers in employee appreciation gives your company a competitive advantage. (Photo via Kevin Dooley, Flickr)

    Training managers in employee appreciation ensures the success of your workplace recognition efforts and protects your business. It also solves a common organizational problem: employees who don’t understand manager directives.

    “Simply put, almost two-thirds of all employees are 33 percent as productive as they can be because they don’t understand what they are now asked to do,” according to a survey of 50,000 employees.

    Understanding and appreciation are codependent.

    “Training and educating employees in company values and objectives in a way that makes sense to them — through their daily work — is a mission-critical goal for organizations today,” Derek Irvine writes for Training Industry.

    “Strategic employee recognition is the most effective method for achieving that goal,” he adds.

    And it goes beyond simply thanking employees at the annual office party. Truly effective employee appreciation is not always self-explanatory or obvious. It’s a learned skill.

    The best appreciation combines clear, mission-driven communication, smart analytics, year-round development and strategic gifts and praise.

    Training managers in this level of employee appreciation isn’t just good for employees and productivity. It’s good for managers. It shows the company is willing to invest in their development.

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  • The Ice Cream Gift Your Employees Are Craving

    gThankYou makes giving an ice cream gift easy, affordable and fun!

    An ice cream gift is the perfect way to treat your staff this summer! (Photo via sussexcareers, Flickr)

    National Ice Cream Day is this Sunday, July 16! What better time to share an ice cream gift with your employees?

    Bring a little summer into your workplace with an ice cream gift employees will appreciate and enjoy sharing with friends and family.

    gThankYou! Ice Cream Gift Certificates allow you to share a fun, cool treat with staff anytime! Share an unexpected gift of appreciation, stock up your “on-the-spot” reward supplies, or throw and ice cream party and send virtual workers ice cream gift certificates so they can participate in the fun too!

    An ice cream gift voucher by gThankYou is redeemable at virtually all chain grocery stores nationwide for any brand, flavor or style of ice cream or frozen novelty.

    That means your recipients get to enjoy exactly the kind of ice cream they like best: chocolate chip cookie dough, Neapolitan, coffee, pistachio, good old vanilla, perhaps a dairy-free frozen treat, or one of the trending ice creams that are hot this summer.

    Or they can take the “What Ice Cream Flavor Are You?” quiz for inspiration — a very scientific inquiry, naturally.

    National Ice Cream Day is always the third Sunday in July. If one day of the year just isn’t enough to do justice to your team’s love of ice cream, no worries. You have all month to celebrate, because July is National Ice Cream Month!

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  • Employee Thank You Gifts for Generation Z

    Employee Thank You Gifts for Generation Z - think inexpensive, thoughtful and something that can be shared!

    Meet the high expectations of your interns and youngest employees with employee Thank You gifts they’ll appreciate. (Photo via Maryland GovPics, Flickr)

    Every generation in the workplace appreciates employee Thank You gifts, and Generation Z is no exception — in fact, showing appreciation is even more crucial to engaging these young people.

    Several characteristics are emerging in the generation born after 1995: they have high expectations, they’re practical and they’re in a position to influence the workplace for years.

    The oldest members of Generation Z are graduating college now, so this is the year “Generation Z starts flooding workplaces,” according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and it’s happening “at the same time that there is a tight labor force.”

    Like Millennials, the Generation Z cohort cares about the environment and wants to have a passion for work.

    But today’s recent college graduates also saw, at an impressionable age, the effects of the Great Recession on their families.

    According to social scientists who study generational patterns, experiencing the recession at a young age created a generation of young people with entrepreneurial spirit and a practical appreciation of pay, benefits and mentoring possibilities.

    And there’s a lot of them.

    “Gen Z is larger than Generation Y, which has already made workplaces more entrepreneurial and pushed work/life flexibility issues more than ever before,” the Star Tribune’s Catherine Roberts writes. “That means these young adults will have an outsized influence on workplace culture for years to come.”

    What does this mean for your company’s approach to employee appreciation and employee Thank You gifts? You’ll need a strong appreciation program to usher them into the workplace and keep them engaged. As your organization begins to hire interns and new employees from Generation Z, be prepared!

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  • 10 Summertime Workplace Celebration Ideas

    easy ways to thank employees gthankyou

    Be inspired by our summertime workplace celebration ideas to plan your own employee appreciation event! Pictured here: the City of North Charleston honoring its Public Works employees with a cookout. (Photo via NorthCharleston, Flickr)

    The 4th of July is behind us. Up ahead: two months of summer — sunny, lazy, distracting summer, with vacation days and “summer Fridays” tempting employees at every turn.

    In other words? A recipe for disengagement. And your task is keeping employees engaged.

    It’s not as tough as you may think! Keeping up engagement levels through the summer months depends on a good balance that integrates fun, freedom, fitness and focus.

    If employees have opportunities for regular, low-key summertime celebrations that center on accomplishments, family and wellness, they’ll be more likely to be productive the rest of the time.

    This is the thinking behind the HR shift from “work-life balance” to “work-life integration,” according to the Limeade blog post “How to Keep Your Work-Life Integration On Track This Summer.”

    “We believe you need to focus on the whole employee, rather than separating who they are in the office and who they are at home,” the Limeade marketing team writes.

    “And it’s your job to find ways to connect and integrate the two. … Work-life balance implies a zero-sum game that says we can’t have it all. Work-life integration lets us coordinate, blend and bring elements of work and life into a unified whole.”

    Employees in organizations that focus on work-life integration initiatives like social support and wellbeing are more likely to be engaged, more likely to recommend their employer to others and more likely to “go the extra mile” for the company.

    Now’s not the time to pull out draconian rules or punish employees for wanting to enjoy their summer — that’s the old way of doing things and it didn’t work.

    Instead, be inspired by the following summertime workplace celebration ideas to plan your own engagement calendar for the season.

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