• Employee Engagement Tip: How to Re-Engage Employees

    the best employee engagement programs are prepared to re-engage employees

    The best employee engagement programs are prepared to re-engage employees. (Photo via SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget, Flickr)

    Employee engagement is not a quick fix or a one-time action that results in lifelong engagement. The work of engaging employees doesn’t end when everyone’s engaged in their work. Even the best, highly engaged employees can easily disengage — and your team should be prepared to help them get back on track.

    Forbes contributors David Sturt and Todd Nordstrom describe the situation of one formerly engaged employee, Clint.

    “Clint joined the team excited to contribute, eager to learn, and ready to share his unique talents and do great work… but a year later, his interest was winding down,” they write. Now, Clint is “always zoned out during meetings, making excuses to leave early and even staring out into space as his computer falls into sleep mode.”

    What went wrong with Clint?

    Clint is not a hypothetical person. He’s a real employee, managed by a close friend of Nordstrom’s. Workplaces are filled with employees like Clint — employees who were once “the best and brightest on the team” but have since lost their inspiration and motivation. You’ll recognize them by their obvious boredom, chronic lateness, lackluster performance and workplace burnout.

    The good news: re-engagement is possible, especially when you’re prepared for it. The best employee engagement programs are ready to re-engage employees, even before it’s needed. Get your company prepared! Read on for expert-recommended re-engagement strategies.

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  • How to Write Employee Thank You Notes

    A handwritten employee thank you is a keepsake and one of your best ways to show real appreciation.

    Handwritten employee Thank You notes are still one of the best ways to praise and motivate employees. (Image by ArteZoe, Flickr)

    It’s back to the future for employee Thank You notes! Even in the digital age, handwriting a Thank You note to employees is enjoying a comeback among HR professionals and business leaders.

    “I think the art of the handwritten note is still powerful. I try to write at least a few each month to members of my team,” American Cancer Society CIO Jay Ferro writes in his recent Enterprisers Project article, “3 Powerful Ways to Praise Employee Progress.”

    Regular, informal and low-cost employee recognition is on the rise, according to a survey at last month’s 2016 SHRM Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

    Employee Thank You notes fill the need for low-cost recognition — and they work.

    HR pros surveyed at SHRM report that Employee Thank You notes are among the top three recognition initiatives having the biggest impact on engagement. Nearly three-quarters of the 300-plus survey participants said they “plan to expand their recognition programs over the next year.”

    “The biggest takeaway is that HR understands the value of daily and ongoing recognition,” Cord Himelstein, VP of marketing and communications at Michael C. Fina Recognition, which conducted the SHRM survey, says in the Employee Benefit News article, “Seeing Results, More Employers Are Saying ‘Thank You’ to Workers.”

    If you’re intimidated by the thought of writing employee Thank You notes, you’re not alone! We’re all so accustomed to email and social media now that the “potential formality” of a handwritten Thank You note can be daunting, says Phoenix Business Journal editor-in-chief Ilana Lowery.

    But it’s worth it to develop a Thank You note habit. Read on to find out what makes a memorable employee Thank You note.

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  • The Hard Evidence for Employee Recognition

    What does employee recognition look like?

    What happens when companies commit to investing in employee recognition? (Photo via Maryland National Guard)

    Employee recognition feels good, but does it get results?

    We know most American workers still don’t get enough on-the-job recognition. Only one in three employees in the U.S. strongly agree that they received recognition or praise for doing good work in the past seven days, according to an analysis of Gallup’s latest employee engagement poll.

    “At any given company, it’s not uncommon for employees to feel that their best efforts are routinely ignored,” Gallup’s Nate Dvorak and Annamarie Mann write.

    Lack of recognition can have costly consequences. Ignored employees don’t wait around for a “thanks” from their bosses.

    “Employees who do not feel adequately recognized are twice as likely to say they’ll quit in the next year,” according to Dvorak and Mann.

    So what happens when employees are adequately recognized? Let’s dig into the latest research on employee recognition programs and their measurable effects on the bottom line.

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  • Get Inspired! Plan Your Summer Think Week

    Plan your summer think week now!

    Take a Think Week this summer and return with fresh ideas for employee engagement. (Photo via Giorgio Montersino, Flickr)

    Is your employee engagement and recognition strategy stale? Are you and your colleagues burnt out? Take a Think Week!

    First popularized by Bill Gates, a Think Week is time set aside for personal and professional development.

    Gates secluded himself twice a year for a week, “taking a helicopter or seaplane to the two-story clapboard cottage on a quiet waterfront” where he barred most outside visitors, disconnected from the Internet and spent up to 18 hours a day reading and pondering the future of technology, according to the Wall Street Journal. Some of Gate’s most innovative ideas came to him during his Think Week.

    But you don’t need a personal helicopter ride to a private cabin or even seven full days to experience a successful Think Week! Daily reading time and journaling on a family vacation or a new lunch-hour habit of walking while listening to podcasts will expose you to new ideas and inspire your own innovation.

    You’ll return to work and “real life” with a different perspective, fresh ideas and boosted enthusiasm. Read on for tips on how to plan your Think Week, plus a list of suggested Think Week reading and listening material.

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  • The Perfect Summertime Thank You: Ice Cream Gift Certificates

    Ice Cream Gift Certificates by gThankYou! delight summertime or anytime!

    gThankYou! Ice Cream Gift Certificates make everyone smile. (Photo via Kelly Reeves, Flickr)

    Share the summer treat everyone loves! gThankYou! Ice Cream Gift Certificates make great employee recognition or customer appreciation gifts.

    What better time to give the gift of ice cream than during National Ice Cream Month? Or if you want to make a fun workplace celebration of it, National Ice Cream Day is coming up Sunday, July 17.

    And yes, believe it or not, National Ice Cream Day is an official holiday! Both National Ice Cream Month and National Ice Cream Day originate in Joint Resolution 298, sponsored by Senator Walter Dee Huddleston of Kentucky and signed into law July 9, 1984 by President Ronald Reagan.

    So sit back and cool off with a cone or dish of ice cream, sorbet, frozen yogurt or ice cream novelty — all are covered by gThankYou! Ice Cream Gift Certificates. Better yet, share the experience! Ice cream is an easy, unique way to say “thanks” and a great way to celebrate together.

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  • Celebrate Intern Appreciation Day — July 9th!

    Give your interns the recognition they deserve on Intern Appreciation Day!

    Give your interns the recognition they deserve on Intern Appreciation Day! (Photo via NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)

    Intern Appreciation Day is coming up this Saturday, July 9. Show your interns the recognition they deserve!

    Interns don’t always get a lot of love. When the stereotypical intern isn’t fetching coffee or doing the grunt work no one else wants to, they’re overworked, underpaid or getting mocked behind their backs.

    Fortunately, many companies are taking a fresh approach to internships. According to TIME, employers are starting to change their policies to make internships more fair, educational and essential. Ross Perlin, author of Intern Nation, notes: “I think we may be at the very early stages of a significant backlash against an internship phenomenon that has gone off the rails.”

    Internships are now “the new first job.” It’s a symbiotic relationship: companies get to know and engage with potential employees, and the intern gets real-world experience with a company that’s actually looking to hire.

    This week, let your interns know much they mean to your organization! Read on for Intern Appreciation Day celebration tips.

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