• 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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  • Summertime Appreciation: Ice Cream Vouchers

    Ice Cream Gift Certificates make the perfect ummertime appreciation gifts for employees and customers!

    Give the summertime appreciation gifts everyone will love: gift certificates for ice cream! (Photo via sharisberries, Flickr)

    Summertime appreciation gifts keep employees engaged through the distractions of the season.
    “Savvy companies maintain staff productivity and morale by embracing summer in the workplace,” says Brandi Britton of staffing firm OfficeTeam, which recently released survey results on what employees want most for summer engagement.
    The ability to leave the office early on Friday afternoons — “summer Fridays” — is a popular perk for employees this year.
    But showing appreciation with schedule flexibility just doesn’t work in all businesses and industries.
    “For those in the hospitality, construction, recreation and outdoor industries, the summer is actually a very busy season, so these workers have no time to be distracted by the lure of lazy summer days,” according to the Daily Herald of Provo, Utah.
    Many manufacturers, mom-and-pop shops and other small business owners must work nonstop through the summer months, too.
    So what’s the best way to thank busy employees in the summer?
    A dental clinic office manager tells the Daily Herald says she boosts employee morale with little treats throughout the season.
    “It can be as simple as bringing my team lunch one day, or having a candy bar for an employee who is having a tough time. I like to do those little things as pick-me-ups,” she says.
    gThankYou! Ice Cream Gift Certificates - the perfect summertime appreciation gift for employees!Ice cream gift certificates from gThankYou fit the bill perfectly as employee “pick-me-ups”! Everyone loves the cool treat of ice cream in the summer months, and gThankYou! Ice Cream Gift Certificates make it convenient and affordable to share this summertime token of appreciation.
    gThankYou! Ice Cream Gift Certificates can be redeemed for any brand of ice cream at major grocery chain stores in the U.S. Read on for why an ice cream gift is such a favorite summertime choice in the workplace!

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  • How Organizational Storytelling Boosts Employee Loyalty

    Organizational storytelling can build employee retention and loyalty.

    How do you tell the story of your company? Organizational storytelling is key to better employee retention. (Photo via ITU Pictures, Flickr)

    Data, numbers, graphs and percentages only go so far in engaging with employees and customers. Organizational storytelling fills in the gaps and actually connects with people. It provides the emotional context for why the organization does what it does.
    Tony Hsieh, CEO of online shoe retailer Zappos, has “a mental pantry of stories at his ready” to explain his company and business philosophies, according to Chief Executive magazine.
    “It’s possible for a leader to have a grand vision, but it’s not possible to turn that vision into reality unless countless others adopt it as their own and work tirelessly in concert to achieve it,” Chief Executive’s Bill Baker writes.
    Inspiring others requires good storytelling.
    Support your stories with data when necessary, of course. Data is an essential resource. But six months from now, what people will remember most clearly is the story, not the data.
    “When just about every fact on the planet is but one mouse click away, stories take on new importance in every business enterprise. From leadership to team building to branding to knowledge management, narrative has become a powerful — and essential — tool,” Daniel Pink writes in his New York Times bestseller, “A Whole New Mind.”
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  • Building Great Workplace Culture Through Public Service

    Building great workplace culture with your team

    Celebrate volunteerism on Public Service Day, June 23! It’s an opportunity for building great workplace culture with your team. (Photo via Rocco Rossi, Flickr)

    Building great workplace culture doesn’t just happen inside the workplace. Sometimes going out into the community with your team is the best way to strengthen company culture.
    The United Nations’ Public Service Day is June 23, and it’s an opportunity for this kind of culture-building community outreach.
    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon describes Public Service Day as a celebration of the individuals and organizations dedicated to “serving people and improving the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable.”
    What does serving the public good have to do with building great workplace culture? A lot, it turns out.
    A 2017 study from Deloitte revealed that employers who encourage and promote volunteering have better morale, workplace atmosphere and brand perception.
    Community involvement and public service are what employees want.
    Among the 1,000 employees Deloitte surveyed, 70 percent believe volunteer activities are more likely to boost staff morale than company-sponsored happy hours. More than three-quarters say volunteering is essential to employee wellbeing.
    Yet, according to Deloitte, most companies aren’t cashing in on these potential benefits. Less than 40 percent of employees surveyed said their employers provide access to company-sponsored or coordinated volunteer programs.
    “Employers have an opportunity to build on their volunteerism programs by creating a culture that celebrates volunteering and empowers volunteers to be more active,” Deloitte’s Doug Marshall tells Business News Daily.
    Start now on Public Service Day! Workplace volunteerism and showing gratitude to public servants are well-recognized for building great workplace culture.
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  • 4th of July Employee Appreciation Gifts Your Staff Will Love

    4th of July Employee Appreciation Gifts are sure to be a crowd pleaser!

    4th of July employee appreciation gifts are the perfect summertime “Thank You” for your staff. Be sure to include the whole family in your celebration! (Photo via usembassyta, Flickr)

    Employee appreciation gifts for the 4th of July are the perfect summertime “Thank You.” Delight the whole family with gift certificates for ice cream, pie, or turkey or ham from gThankYou.
    It’s the perfect way to augment this summer’s hottest employee perk.
    “Summer Fridays” are all the rage this year, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
    One manager tells Businessweek she decided to join the trend and formally give her employees Friday afternoons off all summer because it just makes sense.
    “In the summer, we’re so happy to get out early and enjoy an ice cream. It’s not life changing but it’s so much fun to be able to get out of the office at 2 p.m.,” she says.
    Giving employees a gift certificate for that ice cream — or for a turkey or ham to grill over the weekend, or pie to bring to their family 4th of July picnic — is an added token of gratitude they’ll love.
    gThankYou Gift Certificates make it easy, convenient and affordable to share grocery treats with employees this summer!
    And it’s not too late to order in time for the 4th of July.
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  • 7 Employee Engagement Books to Read

    New employee engagement books for your summer reading list

    Put a few employee engagement books on your reading list this summer for fresh ideas and perspectives. (Photo via byrawpixel, Flickr)

    Make it a goal this summer to check out employee engagement books that will inspire and challenge you, whether you’re planning a major “think week” or just have 15 minutes a day to read over lunch.
    Get a head start on engagement planning for this year by exposing yourself to fresh ideas and perspectives. Spark your creativity!
    According to Kevin Kruse, consultant and NYT bestselling author of “Employee Engagement 2.0,” employee engagement is often misunderstood.
    That lack of understanding is holding back American companies.
    In an interview with Business Management Daily, he calls engagement “one of the secrets behind so many of my companies.”
    Yet it’s surprisingly rare.
    “Only about one-third of the workforce is truly engaged at work, and we’ve been stuck at this number for about two decades. This is really a shame as life is too short to be unhappy at work,” Kruse says.
    In short, effective engagement leads to a workforce that cares.
    “A sales person who truly cares about organizational results will sell just as hard on a Friday afternoon as she would on a Monday,” Kruse explains. “An engaged service rep will be just as patient and helpful at 4:59 p.m. as he would be at 9:00 a.m. An engaged factory worker will yank the cord to stop the line every single time a defect is noticed.”
    Want to see this level of passion and caring at your company? Make it a goal to read one or more of these employee engagement books, based on decades of experience and research into building vibrant, engaged workplace culture.
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  • Employee Welcome Gifts Help Your Company

    Share employee welcome gifts by gThankYou!

    Hang out your “welcome” sign! Welcome gifts for new hires and interns builds workplace gratitude from day one. (Photo via Bob Duran, Flickr)

    Employee welcome gifts for new hires and interns send a message from day one that your company values and appreciates its staff.
    Welcome gifts show your company is ready and excited for their contributions.
    At the San Francisco office of ad agency DDB, new employees on their first day are chauffeured to work in a Town Car. Flowers, a hoodie and a water bottle greet them at their desk.
    Plus, all new hires at DDB get a gift card to a local coffee shop where they can get to know their new coworkers.
    From the get-go, DDB is sending a welcoming message: We’re glad you’re here. Come and join us!
    First days on the job are nerve-wracking. Make it easier on your new hires with employee welcome gifts. And don’t forget your summer interns — give them the very best first impression of the “real world” and why they should consider working for you.
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  • Sharing Appreciation: The Heart of National Doughnut Day!

    Sharing appreciation is sweet on National Doughnut Day!

    Grab a doughnut! National Doughnut Day is the sweetest way to show employee appreciation. (Photo via Edwin Tee, Flickr)

    Sharing appreciation couldn’t be sweeter — share a doughnut today with colleagues, customers and friends! It’s National Doughnut Day — always the first Friday of June.
    There’s a doughnut for everybody. Doughnuts are the most “craveable” treat in America.
    Give your employee appreciation program a little boost to kick off the summer season — bring in doughnuts to share with your team.
    Or turn the day into a fun opportunity for community outreach. Doughnut shops like Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts always give away freebies on National Doughnut Day, so why not bring the celebration to those who are homebound and hand out doughnuts with your team at a local nursing home?
    Be sure to post photos of your celebration to company social media accounts using the hashtags #NationalDoughnutDay and #GivingIsSweet.
    Not that we need a reason to celebrate National Doughnut Day, but it turns out that among the unofficial food holidays we love, it’s “one of the more legitimate food holidays out there.”
    The history behind National Doughnut Day is pretty interesting, too.
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  • It’s Say Something Nice Day – Spread Workplace Gratitude!

    Spread workplace gratitude today! It's "Say Something Nice Day"!

    Spread workplace gratitude on June 1 — it’s Say Something Nice Day! (Created using Recite.com)

    Workplace gratitude spreads through small, everyday acts of kindness. Spread workplace gratitude in your place of work June 1 to celebrate Say Something Nice Day! It’s an easy opportunity to take time to engage with staff and share your appreciation.
    Saying something nice to employees (and doing it well) isn’t a squishy soft skill without hard benefits. It’s a critical aspect of leadership and business success.
    Even a quick look at recent headlines shows that civility, positivity and gratitude are sorely lacking in the workplace today.
    “Does HR Have a ‘Humanity’ Problem?” — that was the question an HR Dive headline posed earlier this week. It was prompted in part by the BackChannel essay, “Human Resources Isn’t About Humans.”
    The title of the BackChannel essay is tongue-in-cheek. In fact, author Karen Wickre argues, HR is about humans — or it should be. She makes suggestions for how HR professionals can cultivate a more humane workplace.
    She calls for an investment in emotional intelligence training and managers who consistently lead by example day in and day out. All employees need to get the message “that their culture rewards empathy and social skills.”
    People who are empathetic, inclusive and employ people skills to good effect should be recognized for progress and victories when they occur, and this recognition should matter for promotions and new assignments,” she writes.
    HR Dive’s Ryan Golden agrees. Employees need to be acknowledged for doing the right thing, he says: “In the scramble of the day-to-day, good deeds and Good Samaritans often get lost in the sauce. Executives who are serious about creating a pro-social culture won’t shy away from seeking out those stories. Thank You notes are awesome!”
    Thank You notes are awesome, and so is simply saying something nice!
    Sounds great, but you may be wondering … what does “nice” mean in this context? And are some compliments more effective than others?
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  • Engaging Employees in National Safety Month

    Engaging employees in National Safety Month

    Engaging employees in National Safety Month in June promotes a “we’re in this together” mentality. (Photo via USACE, Flickr)

    Marc Flanders, principal at consulting firm WC Solutions Group, sees a common mistake in workplace safety engagement.
    The mistake is in how incentives are targeted, Flanders tells EHS Today. Companies may think they’re checking off all the right boxes by incentivizing safety, then reward the wrong employees.
    “I see some companies put all their budget into the people who are safe for a year,” Flanders says. “I tell them, ‘Wait a minute. You’re spending all your money on the people who are safe. What are you doing to change the behavior of people who aren’t safe?'”
    Successful safety incentives programs need to have an “everybody wins” mentality. After all, a workplace isn’t really safe until everybody is safe.
    That’s why safety incentive programs “should involve everyone in the safety process, starting with top management, going to supervisors, to the employees and to the individuals managing the incentives program,” Flanders says.
    June is National Safety Month. What better time to evaluate and promote your safety program? Engaging employees in National Safety Month is a great way to ensure your program is inclusive and reaching the right employees.

    5 Essentials for Engaging Employees in Safety

    When Marathon Petroleum bought an oil refinery from BP in 2013, it was as if they were buying “the world’s most expensive haunted house,” as Forbes put it.
    The refinery had a history of serious workplace safety catastrophes, the result of what federal investigators described as a “broken safety culture.” Marathon was determined to turn that culture around.
    The problems of the old safety culture were quickly apparent, according to Forbes staffer Christopher Helman. Managers had a “check the box” mentality that put paperwork ahead of actual safety. Workers perceived managers as “too worried about seat belts” and not worried enough about outright disaster.
    Marathon focused on bringing its own safety culture into the refinery. The company started prioritizing maintenance and empowering employees to call out unsafe conditions with a personal responsibility training.
    The success of Marathon’s safety culture was a subject of the Gallup analysis, “Engaged Workplaces Are Safer for Employees.” Here are tips based on the analysis:
    1. Have a strong company mission. A clear, purpose-driven mission “makes employees feel their job is important. … Employees who are aligned with the company’s mission are also more likely to approach their work with thoughtfulness and attention to detail, which contributes to a culture of safety.”
    2. Recognize employees for quality work. “When employees are dedicated to quality, they go the extra mile to do things right the first time.”
    3. Listen to employees. Everyone wins when employees feel that their opinions count. Listen to workers who are closest to the action — “these individuals offer a front-line perspective on organizational problems and often are well-versed in preventing and overcoming them.”
    4. Be responsive to concerns. It isn’t enough to just listen. “When leaders act on the information they receive, it demonstrates to employees that their opinions matter — and it can help companies avoid preventable safety incidents.”
    And, to reiterate …
    5. Incentivize Everyone to be Safe. According to EHS Today, about 80 percent of employees will work safely most of the time, regardless of incentives, and the other 20 percent need an incentive to work safely. That’s why a “one size fits all” rewarding system won’t work. Still, your goals should be inclusive — employee rewards need to incentivize all employees to be safe all the time.

    What’s New for National Safety Month 2017?

    engaging employees in National Safety Month

    The National Safety Council has Safety Month resources for home, work and on the road. Discuss on social media with hashtag #KeepEachOtherSafe.

    Observed annually in June, National Safety Month focuses on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road and in homes and communities.
    Each week of National Safety Month has a theme. For 2017, the themes are preventing falls, getting more sleep, preparing for an active shooter and improving ergonomics (“Don’t just sit there!”).
    The National Safety Council has a wealth of resources for engaging employees in National Safety Month, including posters, ready-to-go social media updates and tip sheets in English and Spanish.
    A free webinar on June 22 will explain “the scope of the preventable deaths epidemic” with a look at the latest trends, research and statistics.
    There are also hands-on, low-cost activities to engage and educate employees, such as NSC’s First Aid and CPR trainings (free with discount code NSM2017 when you register between June 1 and June 11).
    Safe+Sound Week, June 12-18, is another chance to promote workplace safety and engage employees in National Safety Month. Led by OSHA and supported by the National Safety Council, Safe+Sound Week “is meant to raise awareness and understanding of the value of safety and health programs that include management leadership, worker participation and a systematic approach to finding and fixing hazards in workplaces.”
    Wishing you a safe (and fun!) month of June. Let’s #KeepEachOtherSafe!

    Free Resource: Your Day-to-Day Employee Engagement Calendar

    We all need inspiration to make employee appreciation a daily habit. gThankYou’s 2017 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 safe and happy workplace in 2017!
    Click to download your FREE 2017 Guide to Building an Everyday Culture of Appreciation!

    About gThankYou, LLC

    Turkey Gift CertificatesHam Gift Certificates, and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou are America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any brand (Turkey, Ham, 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.

    To learn more about gThankYou, watch our “About Us” Video and visit gThankYou today!

    Learn More About gThankYou – Watch Our “About Us” Video:

    gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Contact: Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-609-2234.

    Follow the Company Blog — “Celebrating Work”
    Join the Conversation @gThankYou

    “G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

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  • FREE Summer Employee Appreciation Calendar

    Gain ideas and tools for building summer employee appreciation with gThankYou's free Employee Appreciation Calendar.

    Embrace summer employee engagement! Move meetings outside and let employees take their lunch and coffee breaks outdoors.

    Have you downloaded gThankYou’s free Employee Appreciation Calendar yet? A summer chock-full of employee appreciation activities is your buffer against seasonal disengagement!
    The rising temperatures and increased distractions of summer have an inescapable impact on employee attention.
    Nobody wants to be like Gary Lumbergh, the despised Office Space boss who tells his employees to “go ahead and come in” Saturday (and Sunday), but what do you do on Friday afternoons when you can practically see employee motivation wafting away in the summer breeze?
    The trick is to work with summertime distractions, not against them.
    “From an HR professional’s perspective, summer provides a golden opportunity to mix up the workplace routine by providing unfettered access to outdoor activities — something not always available during other seasons,” Paul Falcone, HR exec and best-selling author, writes for SHRM.
    Fun summer holidays like Say Something Nice Day, 4th of July, National Ice Cream Day and Labor Day are an opportunity to enjoy the season together and build on everyday employee appreciation goals. Everyone enjoys an afternoon break for an ice cream party, outdoor games or an all-family picnic. There are loads of easy, affordable ways to engage with employees and make them feel valued.
    HR initiatives like employee appreciation are not a “nice to have” bonus — they are strategic. But a recent study shows organizations still don’t view HR as a strategic contributor, despite the proven success of these contributions.
    Now’s the time to put a plan into place and make sure your team’s strategy is as seamless as possible!

    Turn Goals into Reality: Free Employee Appreciation Calendar

    Plan now: Our FREE employee appreciation calendar is full of activities and tools to help!

    Download your FREE Employee Appreciation Calendar and plan now for summertime workplace engagement.

    gThankYou’s 2017 Day-to-Day Employee Celebration Calendar gives you the tools and inspiration to build a culture of appreciation every day of the year. Download yours today — it’s absolutely free.
    From special celebrations to everyday tips, our employee appreciation calendar has everything you need to plan a fun, engaging summer for workers.
    Plus you’ll learn:

    • How to give a sincere compliment
    • Why “reverse mentoring” upends assumptions about hierarchy and benefits inexperienced and experienced employees alike
    • How to build a peer-to-peer recognition program
    • How celebrating this unofficial holiday in July will perk up your IT department
    • What a “Think Week” is and why it’s crucial to better planning
    • How to meaningfully recognize remote workers

    Plus, every month, gThankYou’s employee appreciation calendar has mini-case studies, tips for celebrating key holidays and fresh ideas for anytime recognition.

    “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

    Download your employee appreciation calendar today, free! This is your resource. Use our guide to be inspired to create a unique and engaging employee recognition program every day of the summer — and into the fall and winter holiday season. Happy planning!
    Click to download your FREE 2017 Guide to Building an Everyday Culture of Appreciation!

    About gThankYou, LLC

    Turkey Gift CertificatesHam Gift Certificates, and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou are America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any brand (Turkey, Ham, 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.

    To learn more about gThankYou, watch our “About Us” Video and visit gThankYou today!

    Learn More About gThankYou – Watch Our “About Us” Video:

    gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Contact: Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-609-2234.

    Follow the Company Blog — “Celebrating Work”
    Join the Conversation @gThankYou

    “G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

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  • Turkey Or Ham Gift Vouchers for BBQ Season Fun!

    gThankYou Turkey or Ham Gift Vouchers for summer barbeque fun!

    ‘Tis the season for family cookouts and summer BBQ fun! Share a gift your employees can really use: gThankYou! Turkey or Ham Gift Certificates. (Photo via rdecom, Flickr)

    Turkey or Ham gift vouchers from gThankYou are the perfect way to reward employees during summer BBQ season.
    Memorial Day is almost here — ’tis the season for family cookouts, employee picnics and other opportunities for summer barbecuing fun.
    gThankYou! Turkey or Ham Gift Vouchers allow recipients the freedom to choose any brand or preparation of whole turkey or whole or half ham, at virtually any major grocery store nationwide.
    A turkey or ham centerpiece to a special meal is a meaningful, appreciated gift that employees can enjoy with family and friends. It’s always appropriate and always valued.
    Turkey or Ham gifts are convenient for your company, too! Ordering is easy either online or by calling 888-484-1658. Receive your Turkey or Ham vouchers as soon as the next business day — we ship same day on nearly all orders!
    And, all gThankYou gift certificates come with free customizable “Thank You” Enclosure Cards to fit any season or occasion.
    Need a large number of vouchers or have a distributed workforce? We can help! Not only do we offer volume pricing, we can create custom online ordering for your distributed workplace. Call us at 888-484-1658 to learn more.

    11 Perfect Occasions for Sharing Turkey or Ham Gift Vouchers

    Treat your employees to a summer time treat - Turkey Or Ham Gift Vouchers by gThankYou!

    gThankYou! Turkey or Ham Vouchers make great game prizes for your annual company picnic. (Photo via Just Jefa, Flickr)

    Celebrate summer BBQ season with a practical gift the whole family can enjoy — a gThankYou! Turkey or Ham Gift Voucher.
    It’s a great way to reward employees anytime for meeting performance goals, or for celebrating fun summertime holidays. When your employees sit down with family and friends and pull out the grill to barbecue a ham or turkey for Father’s Day or the 4th of July, your company and your gratitude will be on their minds.
    Here are 11 don’t-miss holidays to celebrate with Turkey or Ham gifts this summer:

    Let gThankYou help you with your summer employee appreciation gifts so you’re free to focus on engaging employees, sharing your gratitude and enjoying the season together.

    FREE Resource: Your Day-to-Day Employee Engagement Calendar

    We all need inspiration to make employee appreciation a daily habit. gThankYou’s 2017 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 in 2017!
    Click to download your FREE 2017 Guide to Building an Everyday Culture of Appreciation!

    About gThankYou, LLC

    Turkey Gift CertificatesHam Gift Certificates, and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou are America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any brand (Turkey, Ham, 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.

    To learn more about gThankYou, watch our “About Us” Video and visit gThankYou today!

    Learn More About gThankYou – Watch Our “About Us” Video:

    gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Contact: Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-609-2234.

    Follow the Company Blog — “Celebrating Work”
    Join the Conversation @gThankYou

    “G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

    Read Full Post
  • How One Company Does ‘Epic’ Employee Engagement

    'Epic' employee engagement

    The software company Epic Systems, located in rural Wisconsin, has a strong employee engagement ethic. (Photo via E. Nekervis, Flickr)

    The software company Epic Systems proves you don’t have to be located in Silicon Valley to attract tech talent or have a vibrant culture of “epic” employee engagement.
    Epic attracts employees from far and wide to its campus situated amid farm fields outside Madison, WI. The company has mushroomed in recent years and now employs more than 9,000.
    Epic has a reputation for good pay, great culture and a quirky, fun-filled campus that provides many on-site amenities to employees.
    A rare interview with Epic founder and CEO Judy Faulkner last month is an insightful look at her unique approach to employee engagement, development and management.
    Read on for takeaways from this interview on Epic’s strong employee engagement ethic.

    Case Study in ‘Epic’ Employee Engagement

    Judy Faulkner founded Epic Systems in 1979 with two assistants. Now she is one of the world’s richest women, with an estimated worth of $2.4 billion. The success of her company is built on her principles — and when it comes to employee engagement, her unique approach has fueled a distinct workplace culture.
    The following excerpts from her recent newspaper profile show how Faulkner’s employee engagement ethic is based on strongly held principles.
    1. Be Present and Engaged as CEO
    CEOs define company culture by example. It’s crucial that leadership is hands-on in engagement efforts, with employees or in the community. When Epic gifted a fire truck to the local town’s fire department, Faulkner was there and fully present (and even having a little fun with it).
    John Volker, the former mayor of Verona, remembers when Faulkner personally delivered a new customized fire truck to Verona’s station — a gift that would help the department respond to emergencies in Epic’s underground parking structures. She showed up with her white Samoyed dog covered in black cut-out spots to make it look like a dalmatian.
    2. Push for Creative Solutions, Motivate Excellence
    Faulkner motivates through high expectations and by always pressing for creativity, according to one employee.
    “She cares very deeply. She has very high, high standards and really no tolerance for ‘We’re not going to do it because it’s hard. … She is perfectly comfortable saying, ‘This is the right thing to do. Figure out how you’re going to do it,’ which pushes the company to do things it wouldn’t otherwise.”
    3. Have a Clear Mission
    The same employee reflects on the importance of a clear mission.
    “It comes down to the mission, right? I think that’s what keeps and sustains Epic. People buy into the mission, that they’re really making a difference by making the software that’s produced there. Judy paints a really strong picture of it … then you’re more likely to make some sacrifices.”
    4. Be Transparent and Honest with Employees
    Cultivating an honest culture and prioritizing transparency frees employees to do their jobs better.
    “Everybody knows that you shouldn’t lie,” said Faulkner. “But I think that to not omit something (is) important. To never mislead. To not allow someone to make a conclusion that is false without correcting it. Those are the things that we teach our people to do. And I think that really also frees them.”
    5. Have a Good Company Story and Tell It Often
    Behind every motivated employee is a good story.
    Faulkner said she absolutely believes in “the power of the story.”
    “A lot of people don’t understand that, especially in the tech field,” she said. “In the high-tech field, people think ‘Oh, who cares about the story, it’s just A-B-C-D. You’ve got to do it in this order.’
    “No, you have to tell the story. The ‘why’ behind it. And it’s really a challenge sometimes with tech folks to teach them the importance of the story. But then on the flip side, the story itself isn’t enough. You’ve also got to have the A-B-C-D.”

    'Epic' employee engagement comes from valuing workplace fun and creativity.

    Epic Cafeteria modeled after King’s Cross Station in London. (Photo credit: Katie Wheeler, Flickr)

    6. Never Forget to Have Fun at Work
    “Even during the hardscrabble early years … Faulkner valued fun. Back then, that meant themed picnics. Today, it’s the Epic campus’ Harry Potter-themed castle, Indiana Jones-styled hallway and a treehouse.”
    Workplace fun is not a frivolous pursuit. It sparks employee creativity and builds a cohesive culture.
    Faulkner is also a major patron of the arts and has filled the Epic campus with sculptures, paintings and imaginative furniture. The art and whimsy of the campus are intended to “contribute to an atmosphere of comfort that hopefully makes work more fun.”
    7. Yes, Even Work Should Be Fun!
    “It is not fun in that it’s a party. It is that you have to like the work you’re doing. Because if you don’t…it’s a big part of your life. It’s important to enjoy it,” Faulkner said.
    Faulkner expects the work itself to be fun, too. She doesn’t stress over meetings with potential clients, for example. Instead. she approaches these meetings as friendly get-to-know-you sessions.
    “I think of it as, ‘Whether they choose us or whether they don’t choose us, I want to have fun meeting them. I want to learn who they are. I want to learn what they do,’” she said.

    FREE Resource: Your Day-to-Day Employee Engagement Calendar

    Want to inspire your own vibrant culture of ‘epic’ employee engagement? We all need a little inspiration. Download gThankYou’s 2017 Day-to-Day Employee Celebration Calendar for 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 in 2017!
    Click to download your FREE 2017 Guide to Building an Everyday Culture of Appreciation!

    About gThankYou, LLC

    Turkey Gift CertificatesHam Gift Certificates, and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou are America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any brand (Turkey, Ham, 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.

    To learn more about gThankYou, watch our “About Us” Video and visit gThankYou today!

    Learn More About gThankYou – Watch Our “About Us” Video:

    gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Contact: Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-609-2234.

    Follow the Company Blog — “Celebrating Work”
    Join the Conversation @gThankYou

    “G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

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  • Incentives for Workplace Health & Fitness

    wellness incentives for the workplace

    Reward employees with wellness incentives like gThankYou! Certificates for Groceries or Fruits & Vegetables. (Photo via U.S. Department of Agriculture, Flickr)

    Wellness incentives help reward and encourage healthy employee choices like regular exercise, annual checkups, smoking cessation and nutritious cooking.
    If your company isn’t already using wellness incentives, now’s a great time to start!
    May is Global Employee Health and Fitness Month, with Employee Health and Fitness Day celebrated the third Wednesday of the month.
    All month, organizations across the country are raising awareness about the benefits of a healthy workplace.
    Healthy employees are better employees.
    A study of more than 20,000 employees at three large, geographically dispersed U.S. companies found that employees who exercised more and ate more fruits and vegetables had better performance and much lower absenteeism than their less health-conscious coworkers.
    This month, help equip your employees with the knowledge and tools they need to improve their wellbeing — and help them develop habits that will last year-round! Incentivizing healthy choices is a great way to reinforce the benefits and encourage longterm lifestyle changes.

    Employee Health & Fitness Month: How to Get Involved

    According to Health.gov, this month is the perfect opportunity to start or promote a workplace wellness program.
    What sets apart excellent wellness programs? CEOs who are committed to them.
    A blog post by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion explains that employers, as providers of workplace wellness programs, “have a tremendous opportunity to help their employees see the value of adopting healthier behaviors so they can live healthier lives.”
    But it isn’t enough for a wellness program to be an HR side project. It must have the full support of leadership: “Studies of employee wellness programs consistently find that executive leadership is critical to employee engagement. If employees believe creating a culture of physical activity is an executive priority, employees are more likely to be physically active.”
    The government office encourages company leadership everywhere to sign the “CEO Pledge” as an “evidence-based strategy” for improving employee wellbeing. The pledge states:

    For the betterment of my company, our employees, their families and the community, I pledge to improve employee health and wellness by providing opportunities and resources for physical activity before, during or after the workday, and to enhance my own health and wellness by engaging in regular physical activity.

    Molly Yatso Butz, USA Today columnist and Oshkosh Community YMCA health and wellness director, identifies big benefits for companies and CEOs willing to make the commitment.
    For companies, these benefits include:

    • Enhanced employee productivity
    • Lower overall healthcare costs
    • Fewer hospitalizations for employees with chronic illness
    • Reduced injuries and illness
    • Less absenteeism and “presenteeism”

    Employees also experience benefits:

    • Lower levels of stress
    • Increased wellbeing
    • Improved physical fitness and mental health
    • Healthier body weight

    “Now is the time to bring new life to an existing wellness program or start a new program at your workplace,” she writes. “During the month of May, employers should consider bringing an activity to their workforce that encourages movement, offers a health message, is fun, and that anyone, regardless of their current fitness level, can participate in.”

    The Best Wellness Incentives to Reward Employees

    Workplace wellness incentives by gThankYou are convenient, affordable and appreciated!Activity possibilities for Employee Health & Fitness Month abound! Summer is around the corner, and employees will be excited to participate in workplace activities that promote fitness, health and the outdoors, like Bike to Work Day.
    Wellness incentives ensure that the initial excitement of starting a new health activity will last and develop into a sustainable habit.
    Share wellness incentives that further enhance employees’ healthy choices — a gift certificate for groceries, or fruits and vegetables, redeemable at virtually any grocery store nationwide!
    The healthy and practical gift of gThankYou! Fruits & Vegetables Gift Certificates or gThankYou! Grocery Gift Certificates encourages employees to cook fresh meals at home or grab nutritious snacks to bring to work.
    Best of all, gThankYou food gift certificates are a gift of choice — employees get to decide what, when and where to shop. They’re wellness incentives that help build a culture of workplace wellbeing.
    Global Employee Health & Fitness Month is just the beginning. Here’s to year-round employee health!

    Free Resource: Your Day-to-Day Employee Engagement Calendar

    We all need inspiration to make employee appreciation a daily habit. gThankYou’s 2017 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 in 2017!
    Click to download your FREE 2017 Guide to Building an Everyday Culture of Appreciation!

    About gThankYou, LLC

    Turkey Gift CertificatesHam Gift Certificates, and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou are America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any brand (Turkey, Ham, 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.

    To learn more about gThankYou, watch our “About Us” Video and visit gThankYou today!

    Learn More About gThankYou – Watch Our “About Us” Video:

    gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Contact: Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-609-2234.

    Follow the Company Blog — “Celebrating Work”
    Join the Conversation @gThankYou

    “G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

    Read Full Post
  • Show Your Teacher Appreciation In the Workplace!

    Share your teacher appreciation this week!

    Show teacher appreciation in the workplace this week! (Image via NEA.org)

    Your organization doesn’t have to be a school to celebrate teacher appreciation in the workplace this week!
    This is the week to thank all teachers, from classroom teachers to your employee development leaders — anyone who spreads the joy of learning and sharing knowledge in your organization and community.
    Teacher Appreciation Week is underway and continues through Friday, and National Teacher Day is Tuesday, May 9.
    Engage all employees in showing gratitude to teachers this week and celebrating the gift of learning!
    In today’s demanding and fast-paced business culture, “leaders would be wise to develop a strong learning environment at the workplace,” Naphtali Hoff writes in a HuffPo article, “Build a Team of Workplace Teachers.”
    He quotes the celebrated CEO of General Electric, Jack Welch: “An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.”
    “But learning alone is not enough,” Hoff continues. “Leaders that want to stay ahead must make sure that their companies also place a premium on teaching.”

    Prioritize Teaching & Show Teacher Appreciation in the Workplace

    Share your teacher appreciation with workplace mentors and trainers

    Share your teacher appreciation with workplace mentors and trainers.

    Leaders and HR are moving away from a mindset of “managing people” to a mindset of coaching and developing employees. There’s a premium now on workplace leaders who are able to coach employees and help them learn, instead of just managing their work duties.
    “Learning and development is one of the most important strategies a company can have, but it often gets forgotten or put on the back burner,” according to Business.com article “How to Master Employee Coaching.”
    It may be the employee’s job to put their best foot forward, “but as a leader, it’s your job to give them all the tools they need to do so.”
    Peer-to-peer coaching is another valuable route for prioritizing workplace learning and teaching. According to Harvard Business Review, “effective peer-to-peer coaching can offer the encouragement people need to overcome the fear of starting something new.”
    Developing a workplace culture that values learning and teaching takes time, but there is something you can do right away to help build this culture and show that your company values teachers: celebrate National Teacher Day and Teacher Appreciation Week!
    One of the best ways to inspire teacher appreciation in the workplace is to ask everyone, from the CEO to the interns, to recall their favorite childhood teacher — could be a grade school teacher who helped them overcome a fear of math, a piano teacher who introduced them to the world of music or a coach who pushed them to be a stronger, smarter high school athlete.
    These are the kinds of memories that remind us why learning is worthwhile and meaningful, and get us excited to continue learning.
    Sharing these memories — at the start of a meeting, for example — will help spark an important conversation among employees and foster team-bonding.
    Be sure to thank a teacher in your life this week and share your gratitude on social media with the hashtag #ThankATeacher!
    For more ideas and practical resources for celebrating teacher appreciation in the workplace, visit the National Education Association and National PTA. Both organizations offer free resources like downloadable posters and Thank You cards that you can share with employees.

    Free Resource: Your Day-to-Day Employee Engagement Calendar

    We all need inspiration to make employee appreciation a daily habit. gThankYou’s 2017 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 in 2017!
    Click to download your FREE 2017 Guide to Building an Everyday Culture of Appreciation!

    About gThankYou, LLC

    Turkey Gift CertificatesHam Gift Certificates, and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou are America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any brand (Turkey, Ham, 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.

    To learn more about gThankYou, watch our “About Us” Video and visit gThankYou today!

    Learn More About gThankYou – Watch Our “About Us” Video:

    gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Contact: Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-609-2234.

    Follow the Company Blog — “Celebrating Work”
    Join the Conversation @gThankYou

    “G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

    Read Full Post
  • 10 Affordable Receptionist Appreciation Ideas

    How will you share your receptionist appreciation this week?

    Your receptionists are the face of your company! Do you have a receptionist appreciation plan for National Receptionists Day? (Photo via Michael Coghlan, Flickr)

    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!

    Read Full Post
  • It’s Time to Improve Your Employee Development Skills

    Investing in employee development skills is critical in today's changing work environment.

    Want to improve your employee development skills? First, start an open discussion with staff. (Photo via US Army Corps of Engineers, Flickr)

    New research analysis by Gallup shows only two in 10 employees “strongly agree that their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work.” Are you sure your management team’s employee development skills are working effectively?
    Even if your company is above average at employee development, there’s an “immediate disruption” happening in the workplace that is a game changer for everyone.
    That’s according to Gallup’s new research paper Re-Engineering Performance Management. The old ways of handling employee development and recognition simply aren’t working, the paper explains, and it’s time for HR to reevaluate and overhaul.
    It starts with management developing a new outlook and new skills.
    In other words, if you want employee development that drives results, your team needs to be willing to develop, too!
    Ultimately what we all want is the same: a happy, creative, productive and dedicated workforce in which employees feel recognized and appreciated for their work and have a sense of belonging to the company culture.

    What Happened, and Why Is Change Necessary?

    Time for a reality check.
    Just 20 percent of employees “strongly agree” that their company’s performance management system motivates them.
    Meanwhile, organizations are making overly confident assumptions about the effectiveness of their employee development and management systems — and wasting “tens of thousands of hours and tens of millions of dollars on activities that not only don’t work but also drive out top talent,” Jim Harter, Gallup’s chief scientist, writes in the latest Gallup paper.
    Moreover, Harter writes, “the future of work is being shaped by extraordinary changes in technology, globalization and overwhelming information flow.”
    In this climate, employee development is more effective than employee management, Carter explains:

    “Workers are asking for something different. They want a coach, not a boss. They want clear expectations, accountability, a rich purpose, and especially ongoing feedback and coaching.”

    The price tag for not pursuing what workers want is steep. Gallup estimates that poor management and lost productivity among disengaged employees costs between $960 billion and $1.2 trillion per year.
    So what’s the solution? Gallup has some answers. Their valuable Re-Engineering Performance Management report “presents our best analytics and advice for our clients or anyone considering transforming their performance management system.”
    Let’s take a look.
    (more…)

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  • 5 Ways to Thank Administrative Professionals

    Be sure to thank Adminstrative Professionals this Week!

    Don’t forget to thank your receptionists and other office support employees during Administrative Professionals Week! (Photo via Byron Villegas, Flickr)

    Happy Administrative Professionals Week! Administrative Professionals Day is April 26, but many businesses celebrate all week. Be sure to thank administrative professionals in your organization; even if it’s just a personal “Thank You,” you’ll make admins feel valued and appreciated.
    According to the International Association for Administrative Professionals (IAAP), there are more than 22 million administrative and office support professionals in the United States.
    “Administrative Professionals Week celebrates and sheds light on administrative professionals’ devoted, valued work,” the IAAP states.
    Chances are, your organization depends on the organizational help of admins to run smoothly — or run at all!
    Your Administrative Professionals Week celebration doesn’t need to be fancy. Your gratitude for employees is what counts.
    At Ridge Crest Elementary in Idaho this week, for example, the school’s administrative staff was honored with cake and Thank You gifts. But the school principal’s public announcement of appreciation was the most important part of the celebration.
    “The school secretaries have the most important job in a school … [their] welcoming smiles communicate to parents and students that Ridge Crest is a place of love and respect. I could not ask for better help in the front office. They are the heart and soul of my school,” he said.
    (more…)

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  • 5 Fun, Easy Employee Activities for Earth Day

    Easy activities for Earth Day - Get everyone involved!

    Plan easy, fun employee activities for Earth Day — such as recycling bottles to raise money for charity like these Cydcor employees are doing! (Photo via Cydcor, Fickr)

    Earth Day is April 22 — did it sneak up on you? No worries, we’ve got last-minute ideas for fun, easy employee activities for Earth Day!
    Everyday employee engagement is built through rewarding, everyday activities. Even the simplest team-building activities can energize and bring people together.
    And celebrating Earth Day in the workplace isn’t just good for the planet, it’s good for people, too — and your business, according to USA Today columnist Steve Strauss, a lawyer specializing in small business and entrepreneurship.
    Some benefits are obvious, as Strauss writes in a recent USA Today column.
    Reusing and recycling are money-savers, there are tax benefits for going green, and green practices are good branding and popular with consumers.
    But there are other benefits that are more behind-the-scenes.

    “Healthier work environments work better,” Strauss writes. “According to the Green Business Bureau, there is a 20 percent decrease in number of sick days for companies that actively promote a healthier workplace.”
    Last but not least, “going green will boost employee morale,” he writes. “Having a green workplace is increasingly an important consideration for employees. In-demand millennials especially will appreciate your efforts.”

    Read on for employee activities for Earth Day that are fun for your staff and easy for you to coordinate. You may even be inspired to make Earth Day every day!
    (more…)

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  • One Ham Bone, Three Great Soup Recipes

    Just like I’ll fight (nicely, of course) the other cooks at the Thanksgiving table for possession of that flavorful turkey carcass — such a great way to make stock — I do the same at Easter for the leftover ham bone.
    These rainy April days are the perfect time to take that ham bone out of the freezer and put it to good use for some great tasting and heart warming comfort food.
    Bean soups especially benefit from a long simmer with a leftover ham bone, whether or not there’s much meat left on it. If there is, that’s just a bonus; slice it off at the end and add it to the soup.
    Allow at least two hours for each of these home cooked soups, and know that they’re just as good reheated for lunch.

    Ham Bone Soup Recipes

    SPLIT PEA SOUP

    One of my favorite spring soups is split pea, that hearty staple, even better when it’s studded with bits of ham. Ina Garten’s recipe for split pea soup, taken from the original Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, is a simple and delicious way to start.JI_33100_s4x3_lg

    To use your ham bone in this recipe, submerge it in the soup during the last 40 minutes of cooking. Depending how much meat comes off the bone, you may be able to reuse it if you refrigerate it between uses. Salt and pepper the recipe to taste.

    NEW ORLEANS RED BEANS AND RICE

    Red Beans & Rice
    John Besh’s beautiful, coffee table-worthy cookbook, “My New Orleans,” is 384 engaging pages of stories, recipes and Southern inspiration.
    I first made this fragrant pot of red beans and rice on Super Bowl Sunday, with the justification that the game was being played in New Orleans, and so red beans and rice were perfectly appropriate.
    This simple recipe starts with the trinity (green pepper, celery, onion) and gets flavor not only from smoked ham hocks, but also from bacon fat, cayenne pepper and, of course, Louisiana-made Tabasco sauce. The red beans freeze well, too.

    HAM BONE SOUP

    Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

    Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

    Everything is better with bacon, and that includes Melissa Clark’s simple ham bone soup, adapted from an old Junior League cookbook. According to Clark’s piece in The New York Times, “The soup was simple: boil a bone with beans and a bay leaf, and dinner was done.” This one’s a good choice for using a slow cooker if you prefer. Add a green salad and some crusty bread and you have a wonderful meal to share and savor!

    FREE Ham Cookbook

    For everything to know about buying, cooking, serving and storing ham, be sure to download our FREE “Ultimate Holiday Ham Guide”. Inside you’ll also find recipes, resources and expert cooking tips for serving a juicy, delicious ham centerpiece for a special meal.

    Click the image below to download your free cookbook from gThankYou now!


    The Ultimate Holiday Ham Cooking Guide by gThankYou

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How gThankYou Certificates Work

Step 1

Order Certificates

Choose the gThankYou Certificates you want and order them online or by telephone.

Step 2

Ship directly to your business

Your order is delivered by UPS. Nearly all orders ship the day received. Overnight shipping is available.

Step 3

Distribute to your employees

Personalize your gThankYou Certificates with Recipient and Giver names (optional) and give them to employees.

Step 4

Redeem at any grocery store

Recipients redeem Certificates at major U.S. grocery stores and select the items they want.