• Interview with “Thanksgiving” Author Melanie Kirkpatrick

    Enjoy "Thanksgiving: The Holiday at the Heart of the American Experience" by Melanie Kirkpatrick.

    Melanie Kirkpatrick’s “Thanksgiving: The Holiday at the Heart of the American Experience” offers an accessible and fascinating history of one of our favorite holidays to celebrate at home and in the workplace — Thanksgiving!

    Melanie Kirkpatrick‘s new book “Thanksgiving: The Holiday at the Heart of the American Experience” offers an accessible and fascinating history of one of our favorite American holidays to celebrate at home and in the workplace — Thanksgiving!

    Award-winning journalist Melanie Kirkpatrick, a former Wall Street Journal editorial page deputy editor, explores the Thanksgiving story we all learned in grade school, and far beyond. She digs into the political, culinary and cultural history of America’s oldest tradition. She reflects on the holiday’s significance in the immigrant experience and its role in helping to develop and define American generosity.

    She even unearths the long-forgotten story of the “Godmother of Thanksgiving” — a longtime advocate whose fierce determination led to the creation of Thanksgiving as we know it today.

    Drawing on historical documents, private correspondence, newspaper articles, expert interviews and cookbooks, she discovers a rich history spanning four centuries.

    While the rites and rituals of Thanksgiving have evolved over the centuries, the essence of the holiday remains the same: family and friends feasting together in a spirit of gratitude, neighborliness and hospitality.

    “Thanksgiving” is available Oct. 11 through Encounter Books.

    Recently I had the pleasure of chatting with Melanie Kirkpatrick about the enduring traditions of Thanksgiving and why she hopes her book gives us a deeper appreciation of the holiday and what it has meant to generations of Americans.


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  • Boo! Plan Now for Halloween Team Building

    Take advantage of a favorite holiday and invest in halloween team building fun!

    Halloween team building is employee engagement at its best. Have fun! (Photo via r0sss, Flickr)

    Halloween is less than two weeks away! Are you ready? Make it easy on yourself this year. Plan ahead for a workplace celebration that energizes employees with Halloween team building.

    Games, a costume parade, themed potluck, or contest for best office decoration — Halloween team building activities turn the focus on play, laughter and connecting with coworkers.

    Play is a powerful tool to increase creativity and strengthen relationships. Employees will return to work with renewed enthusiasm and better ideas.

    Halloween team building is employee engagement at its best: affordable, collaborative and refreshing.

    Need another great reason to celebrate Halloween in the workplace? People love Halloween. According to a 2011 Harris Poll, it ranks third among U.S. adults for favorite holiday. (Christmas and Thanksgiving come in at #1 and #2, respectively, but Halloween outranks the Fourth of July, Memorial Day and even “my birthday”!)

    Read on for advice and inspiration to help you plan for a successful day of Halloween team building in your workplace.


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  • 8 Staff Appreciation Gifts that Won’t Break Your Budget

    Share your staff appreciation gifts with a thoughtful thank you note!

    Share staff appreciation gifts that focus on gratitude and personal connection, not money.

    Staff appreciation gifts that send a meaningful message of thanks don’t need to break your budget!

    In fact, budget-friendly staff appreciation gifts are more effective than even expensive bonuses because the focus is on your gratitude and on a thoughtful gift that has personal significance.

    “Bringing unengaged and detached employees back to the pack doesn’t have to be a pricey undertaking,” according to the employee feedback experts at Quantum Workforce.

    As HR becomes more strategic to business operations, cost-effective recognition is all the more vital to business success and a healthy workplace culture. The world’s top HR departments are already there. According to a new report by The Hackett Group, world-class HR departments are spending far less (and succeeding more) by choosing budget-friendly tactics.

    Read on for examples of staff appreciation gifts that will fit any budget and still send a strong “Thank You” message.


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  • Testimonial: ‘Importance of Giving Employees a Thanksgiving Turkey’

    Why it's important to give employees a Thanksgiving turkey gift.

    “On the Wednesday before every Thanksgiving, Dad would come home from work with a nice, big turkey.” — Lisa

    Last week we asked our gThankYou email subscribers to answer the question, Why is it important to give employees a Thanksgiving turkey?

    We entered the respondents in our giveaway of Melanie Kirkpatrick’s new book, “Thanksgiving: The Holiday at the Heart of the American Experience.”

    Lots of great responses came in, but one in particular stood out. It came from Lisa, an administrative assistant in California.

    Lisa’s heartfelt reflection on the employee turkey gift tradition goes back to her childhood. It’s about a lesson in appreciation she learned from her father and his boss. She’s been kind enough to allow us to share her story with you, our Celebrating Work blog readers!

    The holiday season is the perfect time to honor your team’s hard work and dedication with the gift of a Thanksgiving turkey. But don’t take our word for it. Read on for Lisa’s story on why it’s important to give employees a Thanksgiving turkey.


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  • Spanish Resources For Your gThankYou! Turkey Gift Certificates

    Say your gratitude in Spanish with new Holiday Enclosure Cards for your gThankYou! Turkey Gift Certificate Gift!

    Convey appreciation to your Spanish-speaking employees with our Spanish resources for your gThankYou! Turkey Gift Certificates.

    gThankYou is excited to announce our new Spanish resources for your gThankYou! Turkey Gift Certificates. Our “Thank You” Enclosure Cards and other free resources en Español make it even easier and more convenient to show your gratitude to all employees!

    We recently updated both the English and Spanish versions of our “About Your Certificate” letter for gThankYou! Gift Certificate recipients.

    In addition, we have new Spanish-language Enclosure Card designs for both Autumn/Thanksgiving and the Winter Holidays.

    And we offer Spanish-language customer service!

    Thanksgiving in particular is celebrated by all Americans. As we learned in our recent interview with Melanie Kirkpatrick — author of “Thanksgiving: The Holiday at the Heart of the American Experience” — it’s one of the first American traditions that immigrants learn about and embrace.

    Help the Spanish speakers on your staff embrace and celebrate the holidays (and their gThankYou! Turkey Gift Certificates) with personalized cards and resources they can easily understand. Read on to see our new Enclosure Card designs en Español and find information on all our Spanish resources for your gThankYou! Gift Certificates.


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  • The #1 Trend Shaping Employee Appreciation Today

    employee appreciation starts with building trust and being flexible

    Be flexible! Keep your staff smiling with employee appreciation techniques that work. (Photo via Graeme Maclean, Flickr)

    One word sums up trends in employee appreciation today: flexibility.

    It goes beyond allowing flexible hours or working from home. The flexible approach to employee appreciation is agile, personalized and focused on finding common ground.

    “Modern workforce management demands flexibility — a solution that can adapt easily to changing and varied needs while maintaining its core structure,” according to a recent HR Dive post by SumTotal senior product marketer Melissa Albanes.

    Transparency is driving the trend of the flexible workplace and flexible employee appreciation.

    “In an era of Glassdoor-driven transparency, every corporate decision can now be put on public display for all employees and potential employees to view and consider,” writes senior staff writer Sharon Florentine for CIO.

    “This kind of exposure is pushing organizational culture and employee engagement into the spotlight and making engagement a major competitive advantage, according to a recent Bersin report by Deloitte, ‘Culture and engagement: the naked organization,'” she writes.

    Flexibility is what employees want and have come to expect. It helps them do their work better by accommodating their personal needs, while also building company loyalty and job motivation.

    Read on for what this new focus on flexibility means for employee appreciation in your workplace, from daily recognition to workplace gift-giving.


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  • How to Buy Turkeys in Bulk for Employee Thanksgiving Gifts

    Click to Download Our Free Guide to gThankYou! Gift CertificatesTurkeys are meaningful, appreciated employee Thanksgiving gifts that honor a popular workplace holiday tradition going back generations.

    But what if you need to buy in bulk for a large workforce?

    It used to be the only way to share the gift of Thanksgiving turkeys in bulk in the workplace was to order and deliver them frozen. Today, you no longer need to deal with the hassle of buying, storing and distributing bulky frozen birds, plus you can provide a gift that recipients prefer more — the choice to choose the right size turkey for their family, when they want it.

    gThankYou! Turkey and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates make it easy for you to share the gift of a Thanksgiving turkey. And, recipients love the flexibility to choose the size, brand and preparation they want as the centerpiece of their holiday family celebration. That’s because gThankYou! Gift Certificates are good for any brand of merchandise specified and can be redeemed nationally at virtually all major grocery chain stores.

    Download our Product Guide to learn more about easy, affordable employee Thanksgiving gifts from gThankYou!

    To learn more about our customizing and delivery options for large orders, call us at 888-484-1658.

    Read on for a step-by-step guide to ordering gThankYou! Gift Certificates this holiday season and see for yourself why gThankYou is America’s Favorite Employee Gift!


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