Let the fun commence! Here are 10 ideas for throwing year-end festivities in your workplace. This time of year can be stressful, but also full of gratitude, wonder and joy! Set the tone with simple, impactful festivities that spread the spirit!
Not only do year-end festivities offer a way to have some fun, but they are a strategic way to show employee appreciation and enhance employee engagement. Be true to your culture — what would be authentic and enjoyable? Tap some creative minds and enjoy the process!
Top 10 Year-End Festivities
Volunteer together at a food pantry or host a holiday meal at a shelter. Bring employees together to give back to the community, offering unity, perspective and goodwill to all who participate.
Pre-Holiday Potluck. Invite everyone to bring a favorite dish to share, along with a recipe card so people can take photos and add new items to their holiday dinner menus. When the meal begins, ask leaders to kick off a roundtable discussion about what they’re grateful for and why.
Thank You Wall. Start a workplace tradition by dedicating a window or whiteboard to a collection of heartfelt messages. Supply colorful sticky notes and Sharpie pens. Ask employees to post at least 3 messages about anything or anyone they appreciate. Soon, the wall will be filled with a rainbow of positive energy that will brighten spirits.
Silent Auction for Charity. Give employees a chance to give back by leveraging fundraising strength from across your organization. Vote on a local program to support. Coordinate an online auction of goods and services contributed by individual employees. Low-cost online software solutions like BiddingOwl make it easy to manage.
Help each other. Nominate coworkers who could benefit from assistance with fall projects. Then let individuals or teams sign up to rake leaves, clean gutters, buy groceries, deliver a home-cooked meal or decorate team members’ front doors.
Give away fall flowers or plants that staff can take home for the holidays. For remote workers, arrange delivery or pick at a nearby Home Depot or nursery.
Winter Wonderland Virtual Photo Booth. Make it easy with backgrounds and a full-featured app like Snapbar. Or roll out your own on your meeting platform. Post images on the event chat board. Build an album to share at the party and beyond.
Gingerbread Contest. Host an in-office party and vote on which person or team created the best house. For remote teams, send pre-packaged gingerbread house pieces in advance. Ask everyone to post photos and vote for the online winner. Want guidance? Check specialists like Gingerbread Wars.
Holiday Bingo. Search online for holiday Bingo boards to send with invitations. Choose a coveted prize and announce it in advance, so everyone will be excited to participate.
Cookie Exchange. For an in-person party, be sure to note in invitations how many cookies to bring, so everyone can swap, taste and vote for their favorites. Prepare a special display table with signage for cookie and baker names. Order decorative boxes in advance so participants have a festive way to pack up their selections. And don’t forget to post all the recipes online!
We have many ideas for year-end festivities, as well as other events and gift-giving ideas in The Big List of Employee Appreciation Gift Ideas. Download it free today!
Learn More About gThankYou Certificates of Gratitude:
Organizations often shy away from celebrations when on a tight budget. We’ve all been there! But a small budget shouldn’t impede employee appreciation and recognition. Never forget that a “thank you” is free! But there are many ways to share gratitude that don’t end up costing a fortune. We have many ideas for how to celebrate with little time or money.
A wonderful idea is to organize a service opportunity for teams. By partnering with a nonprofit, there is often very little prep work to do but to bring people to help! Public Service Day is June 23, providing an excellent reason to start thinking about community relations. Not only is it usually good PR and goodwill, but the act of service really brings people together.
“America’s Charities Snapshot Employee Research found that 71% of employees surveyed say it’s imperative or very important to work where culture is supportive of giving and volunteering. When strategically integrated with your company’s business goals and values, involving employees in a mix of volunteer work, skills giving, workplace giving programs, and matching gift opportunities gives employees a sense of purpose, and makes them feel more connected to the community and your company-wide social responsibility efforts.”
A tight budget is an excellent reason to focus on spending TIME together. Tap into talented employees to offer special experiences for others. Ask staff with strong skills to share their gifts with the team. For example, arrange an employee talent show, art exhibit, origami demonstration or guided meditation session. The possibilities are as endless as your team’s talent and enthusiasm.
Quick, Easy & Impactful
For a quick solution, instead of focusing on fancy gifts, put what’s already at your fingertips to good use:
- Praise people early and often on email and on your collaboration platform.
- Submit a LinkedIn recommendation or skills endorsement for a stellar employee.
- Gather your team together. Thank them and lead a hearty round of applause.
PRO TIP FOR A TIGHT BUDGET
For inexpensive gifts that keep on giving, consider buying subscriptions for information, services, entertainment and more, such as:
- Online music
- Industry publications
- Personal productivity apps
Check out our Big List of Employee Appreciation Ideas for ANY budget, any season, any industry, any time!
Learn More About gThankYou Certificates of Gratitude:
Looking for a team bonding activity that gets people talking, laughing and learning together? Share stories that inspire teacher appreciation! Stories about the teachers we appreciate are a window into our own values and aspirations, and telling and listening to these stories with coworkers helps us connect and builds a culture of gratitude. A broad interpretation of “teacher” can include anyone whose knowledge and influence had a lasting impact.
Broadening the Definition of Teacher
In an older, yet still extremely relevant, newspaper article in the LA Times, members of the newsroom shared their thoughts on teachers. Journalist Dexter Thomas calls for a broad interpretation of “teacher” to include anyone whose knowledge and influence had a lasting impact.
“We seem to view ‘teacher’ too narrowly. A lot of the people who made me who I am today didn’t have teaching credentials. Some of them I’ve never even met,” Thomas wrote. “So as we were talking about teachers in the Los Angeles Times newsroom today, I realized — we’ve all been influenced by a variety of people. You’ve probably got a favorite childhood teacher or coach. You probably owe your sense of fashion, or music sense, or interest in a hobby, to some influential person.”
Workplace mentors also count! We all have a coworker, boss or other influential person in our life who teaches us new skills, motivates us to do our best work and keeps us on track in moments of doubt.
Read on for three great stories to inspire teacher appreciation this week.
Who are you going to reach out and thank for changing your life?
gThankYou 2022 Employee Appreciation Calendar
It is our tradition at gThankYou to publish an annual employee appreciation calendar for all the hard working managers and staff trying to engage and appreciate employees and build vibrant, loyal workplace cultures. This 2022 Day-to-Day Employee Celebration Calendar helps you stay ahead of the game with holidays, celebrations, and monthly ideas to keep employee appreciation front-and-center. It’s the ultimate resource to inspire and help plan employee engagement and celebration activities for the new year!
After all, do you have the time to remember when to honor your admins, drivers’ fleet or the scientists in your workplace? We do! Do you know for sure when Employee Appreciation Day is? (Hint: it’s Friday, March 4, 2022.) Download this free Calendar resource and know for sure.
Dates and SO MUCH MORE…
Do you think we’d just give you a list of dates? Of course not! The 2022 Employee Appreciation Calendar is packed with valuable how-to information including monthly “Ready-to-Go-Celebrations” and “Don’t-Miss-Celebrations”, party ideas, examples, case studies, resources and more!
gThankYou’s Calendar is designed to include everything you need to keep you current, inspired and focused on day-to-day employee appreciation.
Take the time to flip through this gorgeous gift that is all yours! Share it with your colleagues and other leaders. Print it out or save it to your desktop! Share it with your social media gurus and the benefits team. Encourage everyone to think ahead for how to illustrate employee recognition in proactive and creative ways.
If there were ever a “one size fits all” approach to appreciation and recognizing workers, there definitely isn’t now. Too much has changed.
That’s why we’ve designed this calendar eBook. We want to inspire you to super-charge your engagement and find the recognition tactics that work best for your organization. After all, you know your company best.
This how-to guide walks you through planning for seasonal engagement and a wide variety of holidays, organized by month. You’ll also find important statistics, mini case studies, “anytime recognition” ideas, and tips for building a happier workplace through engagement and fun. (However things go this year, everyone can use more happiness and fun.)
This isn’t a novel that needs to be read front to back. It is intended as a year-round reference — so skip ahead, go back, reread, and return to it whenever you need a little creative juice. This is “choose your own adventure” engagement!
Happy New Year from Us to You!
Let us celebrate YOU! You’ve had a long, hard year and deserve a BIG thank you and inspiration heading into 2022. We sincerely hope this colorful, jam-packed, helpful resource makes your life easier — and more fun!
Be sure to check out our other resources for building a workplace culture of appreciation and gratitude – all FREE on our website!
Your Friends at gThankYou
Believe it or not, the holidays are just around the corner. Planning ahead is key to avoid scrambling and making the season more hectic than enjoyable. The good news is that we have the tools to help you succeed! Our new holiday appreciation planning checklist can be used year-round, offering ideas for ways to celebrate your employees.
Workforces are trickling back into office buildings and teams are rejoining in person after a long pandemic-related hiatus. It feels a bit like starting over, doesn’t it? While safety is the number one priority, it’s also critical to view this period as an opportunity for employee appreciation.
What is Reboarding? According to HR Daily Advisor,
“Reboarding is the concept of bringing individuals back who were previous employees but away for some period of time. The idea is to modify onboarding for someone who is already familiar with your company but has been away.”
Here at gThankYou, we are extremely optimistic about the potential for reboarding across all industries in businesses of all sizes. While there will be the necessary burden of policies, daily minutia, schedule conversations and so much more, there is also the gift of a restart — and employee appreciation.
What if NOW was the perfect time to shift your leadership mentality? What if you lead all efforts in the “return to normalcy” with a mindset of employee appreciation? We recommend welcoming employees back with a few things in mind that could shape or reshape your culture for years to come.
On-the-spot recognition = instant results. When you recognize employees right away, the benefits start right away. It’s simple and pays off. Try it today!
According to Indeed.com, “When people are offered consistent, actionable feedback, they can gain better insight into their successes and opportunities for improvement. Positive feedback is especially important because it increases morale, encourages good work and helps provide a sense of purpose.”
A once-a-year party is great for tradition, but it doesn’t ultimately affect day-to-day performance. Shift your paradigm from celebrating at the end of the year or on an anniversary to how can we keep appreciation and a culture of celebration alive all year-round?
It’s time to make recognition an ongoing, everyday activity. Read on to find out why on-the-spot recognition is so effective — and easier than you think!
Any time is a good time to say thank you to employees! Workers who feel valued and appreciated will be happier, more productive and more loyal.
The transition from spring to summer presents a wide variety of established opportunities to show appreciation that naturally fit into this season, but don’t lose sight of the impact of saying thank you and showing gratitude any day of the year.As American philosopher and psychologist Williams James astutely observed:“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”Saying thanks in the workplace matters really does matter to the success of your business! Check out these numbers from O.C. Tanner’s “The Business Case for Recognition”:
- O.C. Tanner revealed that 94% of regularly recognized employees said it motivates them to do great work
- WorkHuman shared that 89% of regularly recognized employees are highly engaged
- The Wall Street Journal reported that 81% of employees say they work harder for a grateful manager
- Glassdoor disclosed that 53% would stay longer at their company if they felt more appreciation from their boss
While some may pick the official Employee Appreciation Day to celebrate their employees’ contributions, really any day is the perfect day to thank employees for their hard work and dedication to your business! (more…)
Didn’t plan ahead for Employee Appreciation Day which occurs the first Friday in March? Or are you just looking for anytime employee appreciation ideas to help you and your team brainstorm for the coming months?
We’ve got you covered!
First, don’t worry that you haven’t planned ahead. A big appreciation dinner that takes months of planning — with catered food, entertainment and party games — can be a treat for employees, but it’s far from the only way to thank employees for their hard work.
In fact, spontaneous “Thanks!” are just as important. Everyday expressions of gratitude show employees that their efforts are noticed day in and day out, not just once or twice a year.
It gets to the heart of why employee appreciation is so meaningful: it communicates to staff that leadership is paying attention to them and cares about their performance. A few words of recognition from leadership mean a lot to rank-and-file employees, particularly in a distributed workforce, where face time with the C-suite is infrequent or nonexistent.
Bottom line: people love to be noticed for what they do. Everyday appreciation is a reminder that their work matters.
“Saying ‘Thank You’ encourages a gracious, polite and civilized workplace,” writes ChicagoNow’s Scott Huntington.
Over time, thanking employees fosters a culture in which gratitude is shared frequently and effortlessly. And that has a real business impact: 78 percent of employees say they would work harder if their efforts were better appreciated, according to Limeade.
Employee Appreciation Ideas: 10 Ways to Say ‘Thanks’ on the Fly
gThankYou’s popular Employee Appreciation Calendar for 2018 is here!
We’ve updated our annual day-to-day appreciation calendar with lots of new topics, new case studies and even more holidays and reasons to celebrate! Download your free copy of our “2018 Day-to-Day Employee Celebration Calendar” and jump-start your employee engagement and appreciation planning for the New Year.
Appreciation is a major factor in workplace happiness and functionality. And employees are more likely than ever to leave their company if they don’t receive it.
According to the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California at Berkeley, 66 percent of employees would leave their companies if they did not feel appreciation — up from 51 percent in 2012.
Everyone wins when company leaders prioritize employee appreciation.
“Recognizing the benefits we receive from others makes us happier and healthier, enhances trust and loyalty, and encourages people to connect and invest in the workplace,” writes Greater Good’s Amie M. Gordon.
Sounds great, right?
The challenge is finding ways to consistently and authentically show appreciation, day in and day out. Vowing to thank employees more often is a good start, for example, but it isn’t specific enough to be an actionable goal.
gThankYou’s 2018 Employee Appreciation Calendar helps you identify your company’s specific needs and develop a plan to share gratitude throughout the year (not just at the holidays or annual appreciation dinner). Ultimately, the goal is a happier workforce, higher retention and bigger profits.
Read on for a sneak peek at what our 2018 Calendar has in store for you!
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.
You don’t have to break the budget to show heartfelt receptionist appreciation!
National Receptionists Day is always the second Wednesday in May.
First launched in 1991, National Receptionists Day celebrates the role of professional receptionists. It’s a day set aside to recognize and appreciate all the work that receptionists do to help organizations run smoothly.
Why receptionists? They’re the face of your company. Receptionists are usually the first (and sometimes only) company representative your customers or clients interact with. Often, they’re the first to explain your company’s products or services, or hear feedback.
And they’re doing all that while fielding phone calls, coordinating schedules and handling deliveries!
Great receptionists are knowledgeable, friendly and fast.
Making sure your receptionists feel appreciated and included in your company culture is key to promoting a positive company image. Your gratitude makes the difference. Read on for 10 receptionist appreciation ideas that won’t break your budget!
10 Ideas for Budget-Friendly Receptionist Appreciation
Get inspired with these ideas for making your “Thank You” to receptionists count — on National Receptionists Day or any day.
1. Spread the Word
Alert the whole company about National Receptionists Day, or your receptionists’ birthdays or stand-out work. Encourage everyone to stop by reception to say “Thanks.” It’s especially important for company leaders to participate. Your receptionists need to hear gratitude from the C-suite the most!
2. Download the Official Poster
The official National Receptionists Day poster is free to download and can be posted in break rooms, in the lobby and anywhere else it will get attention.
3. Bring In a Personalized Cake
Everyone loves sharing cake! Personalize your cake with receptionists’ names, a short message of gratitude and a fun graphic.
4. Decorate the Office
Balloons, flowers, streamers … make the reception area of your company festive and celebratory. Enlist help in decorating from as many departments as you can. It feels good to show gratitude, so why not engage all employees in the process?
5. Make It ‘Casual Friday’
Invite receptionists to dress casually or wear their favorite (work-appropriate) costume.
6. Give the Gift of Flexibility
Receptionists are desk-bound all day. Give them the flexibility to come in late or take a longer lunch. Switch it up and send a strong message of gratitude from management: arrange for the company president to cover reception during lunch!
7. Share the Practical Gift of Food
Food gifts are practical and always appreciated. Share gift certificates for grocery-store staples and treats, like turkey, ham, pie, ice cream or pizza. It’s a meaningful gift your receptionists will be able to share with their family and friends.
8. Share ‘Thank You’ Cards
Nothing beats a handwritten note of gratitude! A handwritten note has even more impact now in the digital age. For tips on crafting your message, download our free guide, “How to Write a Thank-You Letter to Employees.” (The guide is geared toward Thanksgiving gratitude, but we think the tips are applicable year-round!)
9. Create a Receptionist Gratitude Board
Crowdsource messages of gratitude from the whole company. Invite employees to leave short notes of appreciation for your receptionist(s) on a bulletin board in a common area. Encourage specific instances of gratitude — “Thank you for organizing my mail while I was on vacation!” or “You made my sales clients feel so welcome when they visited last week. Thanks!”
10. Say ‘Thanks’ and Pay a Compliment
Face-to-face gratitude builds camaraderie and goodwill, plus it’s motivating to hear words of encouragement directly. Pay your receptionist(s) a compliment or two — read our blog post “Grow Workplace Positivity One Compliment at a Time” for tips on giving awesome compliments!
Free Resource: Your Day-to-Day Employee Engagement Calendar
We all need inspiration to make employee appreciation a daily habit. gThankYou’s Day-to-Day Employee Celebration Calendar gives you the tools and inspiration to build a culture of appreciation every day of the year. Be inspired; download yours today, absolutely free.
“In life, one has a choice to take one of two paths: to wait for some special day — or to celebrate each special day.” – Rasheed Ogunlaru, coach and author
Here’s to a happier workplace!
Grab your coffee, Gallup is serving business leaders a wake-up call.
Employee recognition needs to be a top priority, according to Gallup’s massive State of the American Workplace.
Experts at Gallup are calling the report a “call to action” for companies, starting with a complete overhaul of employee recognition and engagement strategy.
The old ways of managing employees just aren’t working, and change isn’t optional.
Released last week, the 214-page report is Gallup’s first comprehensive survey of the U.S. workplace in four years. Gallup bases its research on data collected from more than 195,600 U.S. employees, 31 million respondents through Gallup’s Q12 Client Database, and insights from Fortune 1000 companies.
It’s a lot of data to unpack — but it’s incredibly useful. The report gives HR leaders and managers an in-depth look at how they’re doing across the board. It’s not a rosy picture.
If you’ve been following Gallup’s excellent month-to-month workplace research, some of the report’s data won’t be surprising. Engagement numbers are still dismally low — only 33 percent of American workers are engaged at their jobs, and productivity continues to decline. More than half are looking for work elsewhere.
But the report also provides new data and insights into why employees aren’t more engaged or productive. Again and again, the data points to a need for more engaged leadership and much better employee recognition.
The once-a-year model of employee recognition just doesn’t cut it anymore.
The new year will be here before you know it! Staff appreciation gifts for the New Year are the perfect way to celebrate the successes of the prior year and get energized for what’s ahead.
New Year’s is widely celebrated and non-religious, making it a good choice for a workplace celebration.
“Focus on thanking employees for a successful year and encouraging the same enthusiasm and dedication to the company for the approaching New Year,” according to the SHRM article “HR Pros: Make Year-End Celebrations Inclusive.”
Thanks, a small gift and shared meal were among the most common year-end employee celebration suggestions from HR pros in a recent SHRM poll.
The New Year is a time of reflection — we look back at the past year and make decisions about how to approach life and work in the coming year. Are you doing this with your employees? It’s a great chance to get motivated and focused together.
Simply celebrating together is a powerful way to build workplace spirit.
“Taking a little time to bond socially and relax can benefit your employees and motivate them to keep coming back for more,” Cynthia Measom writes in the Chron article, “5 Things to Motivate Employees in a New Year.”
What makes a great employee gift for the New Year? Read on for ideas of staff appreciation gifts that communicate gratitude, share in the celebration of company achievements and — most importantly — delight employees!
5 Staff Appreciation Gifts to Kick Off the Year
Why share a New Year’s gift in the workplace? Because New Year’s is…
- celebrated by all.
- an important milestone.
- a time of reflection and goal-setting.
As always, focus on gratitude, however you choose to celebrate and whatever gift you choose for employees.
We’re all excited by the potential of the New Year and a “clean slate,” but don’t be quick to brush last year into the past. Taking time to recognize the wins of the past year is key to motivation and inspiration for the next 12 months.
Choose a gift that shares in the fun, aspirational nature of the New Year. Here are five ideas:
1. ‘Happy New Year’ CEO letter
Any gift should include a short Thank You note or “Thanks” in person, but take it a step further with a longer letter from the CEO or other top brass. Now is a great time to go over what worked well for your business in the previous year and and inspire even better results in the upcoming year.
Don’t know where to start? Download our free ebook on how to write a holiday Thank You letter. You’ll find specific how-to’s and inspiration from real-life examples of CEO holiday letters. (The ebook is geared toward Thanksgiving, but we think the advice is great for writing a New Year’s letter, too!)
2. Flowers or potted plants for the office
Bring fresh oxygen into your workplace with bouquets or a few pretty, easy-to-maintain potted plants. During these short winter days, a little greenery and color goes a long way to brighten everyone’s day.
3. ‘Culture book’
Take a cue from Zappo’s and create a “culture book” with input from employees. Think of it as a high school yearbook, but for your staff — highlight personal and team achievements from the past year with photos and quotes. Focus on appreciation and on how employees define your company’s unique cultural identity.
A culture book is a great add-on gift and helps keep your company model alive, relevant and fresh. As Gaping Void points out, culture is fluid: “Culture isn’t a set of laws. It can’t be imposed — culture is shared.”
4. End-of-year potluck celebration
On a budget? Decorate the break room with New Year’s streamers and balloons and host an end-of-year potluck. Provide the plates, napkins, table clothes, utensils, etc., and invite employees to bring their favorite holiday dish. If budget allows, share a $5 gift certificate for candy or ice cream with each employee. Have management talk about the year’s successes and challenges and what to look forward to in the year ahead.
5. Treats for staying healthy in the new year
Share a gift that encourages healthy habits. It will jumpstart your wellness initiative and help employees keep their get-healthy New Year’s resolutions. Be sure the tone of your gift is positive, not critical. It should promote healthy eating and staying active, not specifically weight-loss, which could be a downer for someone already struggling to lose weight.
A gThankYou! Fruits and Vegetables Gift Certificate is a great way to thank employees and help them keep resolutions to eat better this new year, for example. Even better: when you share the Gift Certificates, bring in a local chef to teach a class on how to incorporate more fruits and veggies into meals.
Have You Started Your Employee Recognition Planning?
“In life, one has a choice to take one of two paths: to wait for some special day — or to celebrate each special day.” – Rasheed Ogunlaru, coach and author
We have a New Year’s gift for you! Download the gThankYou Day-to-Day Employee Celebration Calendar. It gives you the tools and inspiration to build a culture of appreciation every day of the year. Download yours today, absolutely free, and get your planning started for the New Year!
Make a commitment today to better workplace engagement. Download our “how-to” planning guide to building an everyday culture of appreciation.
Veterans Day is Nov. 11. Wondering how to thank veterans in your workplace and beyond?
If you aren’t already, now’s a great time to start incorporating celebrations of giving and honor (like Veterans Day) into your employee engagement calendar!
Thanking the veterans in your workplace isn’t just a nice thing to do for them, it’s also an excellent opportunity to engage all employees with gratitude and a good cause. Employees now more than ever are embracing workplace volunteerism, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and giving back to their community with coworkers.
Here are five tips for how to thank veterans in your workplace and community as a tool for employee engagement.
Roll out the red carpet! Welcome gifts for new hires are trending as a way to help employees feel appreciated from day one.
“First days are tough. You haven’t made ‘work friends’ yet so you feel alone, you don’t know the company culture or jargon yet so you feel confused, and you are quite literally lost (‘Where’s the coffee and bathroom?),” writes Forbes contributor and employee engagement expert Kevin Kruse in his article, “1 Thing Every New Hire Should Get On Their First Day.”
Welcome gifts — accompanied by a nice introduction letter, as Kruse suggests — are essential to effective onboarding and making a good first impression. They send the message right away that new hires are welcome, needed and appreciated.
Summer hires count, too! Start them right with a small gift that says “Thank you for joining us.” Read on for tips and best practices for sharing new hire welcome gifts.
Happy Administrative Professionals Day!
Today we’re celebrating the people who make our lives easier and our offices run smoothly day in and day out: administrative assistants, receptionists, secretaries, personal assistants, data managers and other administrative support professionals.
WHSU Public Radio Group columnist David Bouchier praises admins in an essay this week.
“The essential fact about administrative professionals,” Bouchier writes, “is that they actually do most of the real work in any office and, in my experience, they usually run the place. Imagine the chaos if hospitals were run by doctors, or universities by professors.”
Administrative Professionals Day is a reminder that our admins deserve daily appreciation: “Flowers and gifts are all very well, but a few words of sincere thanks might be even better,” Bouchier writes. “As Gertrude Stein remarked, silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.”
So how are companies celebrating Administrative Professionals Day? Read on for five real-life examples of standout admin gratitude this month.
The first Friday in March is National Employee Appreciation Day, and hopefully you have big plans to show your workers how much you value each and every one of them. If you haven’t made plans, don’t worry, it’s not too late! Use some of these last-minute ideas to inspire your gratitude.
Remember that, as Forbes contributors David Sturt and Todd Nordstrom write in “4 Commonly Asked Questions About National Employee Appreciation Day,” while it’s great to celebrate the day, the most important thing is that you acknowledge it, and the meaning behind it.
“We hear from companies who throw parties, have lunches catered, and do special things for their employees on National Employee Appreciation Day. But, we also know of companies who simply acknowledge the day by communicating to their employees that the goal isn’t just to celebrate once a year but instead build a culture of appreciation.”
Employee Appreciation Day is the perfect time to reinforce your culture of recognition. Recognize employees’ efforts on Friday and remind them that you’re grateful for them year-round. It can be as simple as a thoughtful visit to share your personal thanks, a note of thanks, or something to brighten the day and make employees feel valued.
Read on for easy ideas to energize your Employee Appreciation Day in your workplace!
Last Minute Ideas for Employee Appreciation Day
Share Your Personal Thanks
- Spend Friday walking around the office and personally thanking everyone for their contributions. Call reports who are not in the office.
- Write and hand out thank you notes.
- Gather everyone and thank them as a group, even have them give themselves a round of applause.
Give Everyone Prizes, Because They’re All Winners
- Hand out tickets for a free lunch.
- Maybe even better, tickets for a half-day off.
- What about a gift certificate for pizza that they can enjoy with family or friends?
- Distribute bags of gold chocolate coins, fortune cookies with thank you messages or some other treasure.
Host a Surprise Party
- Bring in breakfast.
- Have lunch catered.
- Enjoy an ice cream sundae making party.
- Take everyone out bowling.
- Hire a balloon artist.
Bring Services to Work
- Hire on-site car washers.
- Bring in a juice bar and staff it.
- Have massage therapists come to the office.
There are so many fun and creative ways to recognize your most valued asset, your employees!
“Show love and say thank you to your colleagues with an ‘Appreciation board” says Niklas Jansen, cofounder of Blinklist. What a great idea!! Why not kick-off your celebration dedicating a gratitude board so employees can post notes of thanks for each other whenever they are inspired or see great work?
However you choose to commemorate Employee Appreciation Day, make sure you remind people of why you’re celebrating, and that it’s just one of the many times you plan to thank them. And, be sure to remember all your employees who work third-shifts or outside the office. Include them in the appreciation fun too!
We wish you and your colleagues workplace love and appreciation on Employee Appreciation Day and everyday!
Want more practical tips to build your everyday culture of appreciation?
Download gThankYou’s FREE Day-to-Day Celebration Calendar for tips on how to plan daily recognition and organize regular celebrations throughout the year. This one-of-a-kind eBook will help you to build an everyday culture of appreciation with month-by-month guides, case studies, research highlights, how-to recognition advice and celebration ideas for specific holidays and anytime.
Download your free copy now!
It’s critical to recognize frontline employees—servers, cashiers, delivery people, customer service representatives—they are truly the face of your company!
Ironically, frontline employees are often a company’s lowest paid staff and are treated as expendable, yet transactions between customers and frontline employees make or break your business’s image. They can affect your future relationships with customers.
In fact, Dennis Snow, president of Snow & Associates, Inc., writes that “The frontline equals the bottom line.” Treating frontline employees well, he says, is hugely important to a company’s success!
“We should honor [frontline employees] for the work that they do because they are the ones that make the world turn. All of our strategies, visions, and corporate goals are only as good as the execution of those plans, and execution ultimately comes down to frontline people doing things.”
To improve your company culture and customer relationships, remember to treat frontline employees well and express your appreciation often!
“When they do their jobs with pride and enthusiasm, the likelihood of company success is exponentially increased. When they do their jobs with boredom and skepticism, the greatest technology systems in the world won’t help,” Snow observes.
The way company leaders treat frontline employees has a huge impact on how these employees feel about their jobs. It can be as simple as saying hello when walking by work stations, and taking time to ask how things are going or thanking employees for their hard work. Frontline employees who feel valued communicate that in their interactions to customers – it’s easy to tell when people love what they do!
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