• 8 Workplace Ideas for International Day of Awesomeness

    It's International Day of Awesomeness! Thank your staff for their awesomeness!

    On International Day of Awesomeness, give your employees a thumbs up. Celebrate how awesome your team is! (Photo via InfusionSoft, Flickr)

    Happy International Day of Awesomeness! Yes, this is a real (unofficial) holiday — and it’s awesome to celebrate in the workplace.
    A couple of coworkers started International Day of Awesomeness back in 2007. It was as easy as registering the domain “dayofawesomeness.com” and putting the idea out into the world.
    Held every year on March 10, International Day of Awesomeness has a simple premise: be awesome and encourage others to be awesome.
    Why? “Because everyone needs an excuse to be awesome.” Can’t argue with that!
    How we celebrate International Day of Awesomeness is open to creativity. The holiday’s founders suggest “feats of awesomeness.”
    Be inspired to celebrate the day with your team. And don’t forget to share your company’s International Day of Awesomeness activities on social media with the hashtags #idoa or #dayofawesomeness.

    8 Ways to Celebrate International Day of Awesomeness At Work

    Building an awesome workplace culture is an investment. It takes time, resources and full support from company leadership.
    Of course, we all want a better culture today. A recent headline from the satirical newspaper The Onion takes a humorous spin on this unrealistic expectation: “Boss Wants Friendly, Relaxed Company Culture In Place By Friday.”
    By Friday would be great, of course — but the reality is, you and your team have to be in it for the long haul.
    However, there are specific and effective things you can do right now that really will make your company culture just a bit more awesome. Best part is, you’ll see results right away.
    So start today, in honor of International Day of Awesomeness! Here are eight ideas of what your HR team and your employees can do together to celebrate:

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  • It's Almost Spring! Time for Easter Employee Appreciation

    Plan now for Easter employee appreciation — it’s a celebration of spring renewal and gratitude that everyone can embrace and enjoy.

    Now’s the time to start your Easter employee appreciation planning! Easter will be here soon.
    Why thank employees at Easter?
    Besides being a widely celebrated family occasion, it’s a springtime holiday with cultural, non-religious traditions that will appeal to everyone.
    Country singer Reba McEntire famously said that Easter is important to her because “it’s a second chance.”
    Easter employee appreciation is a great idea, regardless of employee religious affiliation, because it generally marks the beginning of spring and the sense of renewal and gratitude that accompany the new season.
    And, as is often the case, Easter coincides with Passover.
    In a diverse workplace where the majority of employees may not be Christian, focus on the secular aspects of Easter. Put employee accomplishments and community first!
    Read on for five reasons to include Easter employee appreciation in your spring planning this year.

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  • Employee Appreciation Day: How 2 Companies Make It Last

    Celebrate employee appreciation day in your workplace!

    How will you make your Employee Appreciation Day celebration last all year? (Photo via ufv, Flickr)

    Employee Appreciation Day is always the first Friday of March. It’s the perfect time to pause, reflect and show gratitude to your staff.
    Now, what about the other 364 days of the year?
    Not every day’s a party, but a day shouldn’t go by when your team doesn’t feel appreciated in some way.
    A strong, effective program for employee appreciation includes an Employee Appreciation Day celebration and lasts all year.

    Why Employee Appreciation Deserves More Than One Day

    The link between employee appreciation and its impact on engagement and productivity is well-documented.
    More than 35 percent of employees in a recent poll consider lack of recognition the biggest block to their productivity, according to Forbes’ contributor Karen Higginbottom.
    Appreciation isn’t just what employees say they want. Controlled studies show appreciation has a direct effect on employee behavior.
    For example, a study conducted by researchers at the Wharton School showed that university employees who heard a message of gratitude were more motivated and productive. Higginbottom explains:

    Researchers … divided university fund-raisers into two groups. One group made phone calls to solicit alumni donations in the same way they always had. The second group assigned to work on a different day received a pep talk from the director of annual giving, who told the fund-raisers she was grateful for their efforts. During the following week, the university employees who heard her message of gratitude made 50% more fund-raising calls than those who did not.”

    Notably, when a recent survey asked employees to describe what makes them happy at work, they named pride, fairness, respect and feeling appreciated. These are the kind of feelings that take ongoing effort to develop — in other words, you can’t hand out holiday bonuses at Christmas and expect employees to still feel the glow of appreciation six months later without additional effort.
    Ideally, your employee appreciation plan includes special celebrations as well as ongoing activities to engage and thank staff.
    The good news is that employee appreciation done right can work well even on a budget. Sharing gratitude is often as simple as a heartfelt “Thank You.”
    Read on for case studies in how two companies excel at making Employee Appreciation Day every day.

    Mini-Case Study #1: Aveda Institute (Des Moines, IA)

    “We treat them how we want to be treated, and it just works,” Jana Van Polen, co-owner of Aveda Institute Des Moines, tells the Des Moines Register.  “We create this culture that allows employees to find their true worth and find potential they never knew they had.”
    In addition to benefits like paid volunteer time and a biennial wellness-and-development summit, the Aveda Institute throws a formal staff-appreciation party every January.
    The party is costly for the company, “but it’s such a morale booster that we can’t live without it,” co-owner (and Jana’s husband) Doug Van Polen says.
    Significantly, the company reinforces the theme of employee appreciation so it “carries through the rest of the year,” too.
    April King, Aveda’s director, attributes the company’s motivated culture to good communication and daily demonstrations of gratitude.
    “Daily, we shout out what we love, and we respect each other enough to have open communication. When you can have tough subject conversations in a light manner and work together to accomplish something, it’s meaningful,” she says.

    Mini-Case Study #2: Rivers Casino (Pittsburgh, PA)

    Rivers Casino has been named one of Pittsburgh’s top workplaces two years in a row and was also voted best for making employees feel genuinely appreciated, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
    How does the casino do it?
    It’s no easy task: the casino employs 1,700 and is open round-the-clock. So, showing appreciation is “not always monetary,” general manager Craig Clark says. “It’s a work-life balance.”
    One of the difficulties in managing the casino is being open 24/​7. Employees have to work nights, holidays and weekends. So, extra recognition at the holidays is key.
    “Recognizing the stress that comes with working during the holiday season, the casino offers employees traditional hams and turkeys to take home for their families,” the Post-Gazette’s Mike Danielewski reports.
    It doesn’t stop there. Year-round appreciation efforts include:

    • employee raffles
    • rewards for attendance and good work
    • a trained masseuse offering free massages
    • tuition reimbursement

    Listening is also a big part of the engagement strategy. Casino management encourages employee feedback through discussions and team-member surveys.
    Take it from one of the employees, who noted in a survey response: “The leadership team stays involved with the team members and shows genuine interest in the engagement of everyone, keeping them informed and listening to their concerns.”

    Ready to Start Recognizing Employees Year-Round?

    Download your FREE 2017 Day-to-Day Employee Recognition Calendar, your guide to building a successful workplace culture of positivity and gratitude.

    “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

    The gThankYou 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, absolutely free.
    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
    Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video — “Learn More About Us”

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

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  • Grow Workplace Positivity One Compliment at a Time

    It's easy to build workplace positivity! Take advantage of World Compliment Day and Employee Appreciation Day to share your sincere thanks.

    It takes just a few minutes a day to build workplace positivity with compliments. Start today — World Compliment Day!

    Building Workplace Positivity

    Workplace positivity grows through appreciation and, specifically, great compliments. Start practicing today, World Compliment Day, to get ready for Employee Appreciation Day later this week.
    Held annually on March 1, World Compliment Day has its origins in the Netherlands.
    World Compliment Day is not commercially oriented, “so everyone can afford to participate,” according to a history at WorldComplimentDay.info. It “simply addresses the basic human need for recognition and appreciation. … And therein lies its power.”
    Hans Poortvliet, a Dutch recognition professional and the driving force behind the annual event in the Netherlands, points out that compliments cost nothing but have a huge impact.
    “Nothing stimulates more, gives more energy, makes people happier and, as far as business is concerned, increases productivity and commitment faster than sincere appreciation,” Poortvliet says. Ultimately, if every person pays a compliment to at least three people, “we will definitely create the Most Positive Day in the World!”

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  • 3 Mini-Case Studies in Employee Appreciation

    Share your heartfelt thanks this Employee Appreciation Day!

    Celebrate genuine workplace gratitude and teamwork for Employee Appreciation Day on March 3. (Photo via AFGE, Flickr)

    Employee Appreciation Day is this Friday, March 3. To get ready, we combed the news for case studies in effective, original employee appreciation to inspire your efforts.
    What makes a good employee appreciation program?
    Hppy’s infographic Top 10 Best Workplace Incentives has three criteria for worthwhile employee appreciation.
    First, it reduces turnover. Watching coworkers quit in frustration is demoralizing. It feeds gossip and unhappiness among staff and slows down productivity.
    Unappreciated, stressed-out employees will eventually seek happiness elsewhere, “joining the 2.7 million people who quit their jobs each month,” according to Hppy. “And as any HR professional knows, turnover is the bane of corporate existence. It takes at least 20 percent of a person’s salary to replace them — not to mention the time and energy you’ll spend conducting interviews and reading applications.”
    Second, it saves money — but maybe not immediately: “Many companies hesitate to start incentives programs because of the costs it will incur. But these costs are relatively small compared to the money you’ll save in the long run.”
    Third, it generates good. Ultimately, employee appreciation is “about creating a better workplace — and a better world,” according to Hppy. “Take Facebook: they offer moms and dads four months of paid time off to spend with their new baby, plus pay adoption fees. By supporting parents, Facebook contributes to a more stable, family-oriented society.”

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  • Gallup Report: Time to Reinvent Employee Recognition

    Employee recognition "wake up" call from Gallup

    Gallup’s latest in-depth report is a “call to action” for a more engaged leadership providing ongoing, effective employee recognition. (Photo via COD Newsroom, Flickr)

    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.

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  • 9 Free Resources to Inspire Workplace Kindness

    Want to inspire wworkplace kindness? Read on for free resources to help.

    First step toward a kinder culture? Smile! And take advantage of the many free resources to help your organization build workplace kindness. (Photo via Kamil Porembiński, Flickr)

    Are you inspired by Random Acts of Kindness Week to build workplace kindness in your organization? Great! We can help with free resources to inspire workplace kindness – everyday!
    Now’s the time to start. Only one in four employees feel valued at work, a 16 percent drop from last year, according to the TINYPulse Employee Engagement Report.
    “Managers are falling behind in their recognition efforts,” the study concludes.
    Worse, only 24 percent of employees feel connected to their peers — “11 percent lower than last year, and this gap is causing cross-functional frictions.”
    Where are the positive trends? Among the growing number of companies that 1) commit to improving culture, and 2) prioritize frequent feedback.
    “The top factors related to employee happiness turn out to be the intangible ones such as interpersonal relationships, culture and work environment,” TINYPulse researchers write. “Benefits, work-life balance and flexible schedules, surprisingly, don’t have a strong impact on employee happiness.”
    So building a culture of workplace kindness is no longer the “nice thing to do” — it’s a smart, strategic move backed by research as a driver of employee performance, motivation and retention. But it can be hard to know where to start — or, if your company is already working on an engagement strategy, how to move forward and constantly improve.
    Good news: from research analysis to podcasts, there are tons of free resources out there to inspire you. Read on for a list to help you and your team create a unique strategy for a better culture of workplace kindness in your organization — this #RAKweek and beyond!

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  • To Build Workplace Kindness, Try Empathy

    workplace kindness all starts with empathy

    Kindness is a powerful way to break up workplace stress, and it starts with applied empathy. (Image via Sean MacEntee, Flickr)

    Random Acts of Kindness Week is here! In honor of the importance of kindness, let’s build more workplace kindness together this week.
    Kindness is a powerful way to build engagement, encourage well-being and break up workplace stress.
    Celebrating kindness reminds us to incorporate it more into all aspects of our everyday life — with family, friends and our communities. Ever tried sharing unexpected kindness? It’s contagious and creates a ripple effect of shared goodwill and feelings of appreciation.
    But what exactly causes people to act in kind ways? It starts with empathy. And the effects of a more empathic workplace culture go beyond kindness and less stress.
    “In the workplace, empathy is often portrayed as a requisite tool for emotionally intelligent leaders. But perhaps more notable is the strong effect on performance,” Forbes columnist Jessica Amortegui writes in her post, “Are You Using Apple’s Secret Skill at Work?”
    Read on to find out what empathy is exactly, why it’s needed, and how one company is systematically and methodically using “applied empathy” to beat workplace stress and create a healthier, happier culture.

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  • Get Ready! Random Acts of Kindness Week 2017 is Feb. 12-18

    How will your organization celebrate random acts of kindness week?Random Acts of Kindness Week starts in just a few days! Are you ready?
    We love RAK Week as an opportunity for employee engagement: it’s fun, it’s positive and it connects people in a genuine, memorable way. Celebrate it in the workplace and also with the greater community using the #RAKWeek2017 hashtag on social media.
    Workplace kindness is something we all could use a little more of — incivility at work is “rampant” and on the rise, according to Christine Porath.
    Porath is associate professor of management at Georgetown University and author of the new book, “Mastering Civility: A Manifesto for the Workplace.”
    Lack of kindness has real psychological and bottom-line costs in the workplace, according to Porath’s research. It’s also commonplace. In 2011 half of surveyed employees said they were treated rudely at least once a week, up from a quarter in 1998.
    Porath’s findings are the result of 14 years of research polling thousands of workers at every level in a wide variety of industries about how they’re treated on the job. It’s eye-opening stuff.
    And it’s not all doom and gloom: Porath is also in a unique position to offer perspective on how to make our workplaces kinder. In anticipation of Random Acts of Kindness Week, let’s take a closer look at Porath’s work and the science behind building workplace kindness.

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  • Gratitude: The Secret Ingredient to Help Your Employer Brand Stand Out

    Does your employer brand communicate employee appreciation?

    Does your employer brand send a strong message of workplace gratitude? (Photo via thedailyenglishshow.com, Flickr)

    Want to attract top candidates who’ll stay loyal to your company through thick and thin? You need a dynamic employer brand that immediately stands out to potential employees — the kind of employer brand that not only attracts the right people for the job but gets them excited and keeps them around longer.
    Talent sourcing is an increasingly complex undertaking due to advances in technology and access to big data, as recent Bersin by Deloitte research shows.
    But there’s one aspect of attracting great employees that will never go out of style: great communication.
    “Today’s companies must market their brand not just to consumers but to potential hires, too,” according to TalentCulture.
    The magic ingredient in any employer brand communication plan? Gratitude. Potential employees need to know how much your company values and appreciates its workers.
    “Recruiting today needs to move from the ‘transactional’ to the ‘creative,’ and that means employers must ‘rethink how they can stand out to draw talent,'” according to a HR Dive brief on the Tech.Co article, “Storytelling Needs to Take Center Stage in Recruiting.”
    Storytelling is an effective, budget-friendly way make your employer brand memorable. Be sure you’re using it to communicate how much your company values workplace gratitude.

    How Recruitment Is Changing to Meet New Demands

    “Today’s recruiting is not your mother or father’s recruiting. The emergence of global markets, social media and analytic tools is transforming the business of hiring and retaining employees,” writes Meghan M. Biro in her TalentCulture article “The Old Ways of Working Are Not Working.”
    “Companies need to out-smart, out-innovate and out-hustle the competition if they want to have the inside track when it comes to attracting the highest quality candidates,” Biro writes.
    Hiring a new employee “is only the beginning of an extended process,” according to Biro. Companies need to live up to their employer brand to maintain a motivated workforce. That means developing:

    • a connected and collaborative workplace environment
    • open lines of communication
    • team-building tools
    • frequent, positive, useful feedback

    Next, these elements need to be communicated back out to potential hires. In this way, recruitment is a continuous process. The work of building an employer brand is never done. And it’s grounded in vibrant internal and external communication where “Thank You” and other words of appreciation are shared often.

    Love Your Employees? Let the World Know!

    Industries like technology and media were early adapters to employer brand storytelling. Now companies in a broad range of industries are discovering its power, particularly via social media.
    “Companies in hospitality, scientific research and beauty are all now turning to storytelling to help candidates get a more intimate view of working in their organization,” Amplify Talent founder Lars Schmidt writes for Tech.Co.
    Across all industries, social media recruitment has a come along way. It used to be “a sea of the same stock photos, boilerplate text and career sites with slogans like, ‘A world of opportunity,'” Schmidt writes.
    Of course, stock photos and generic slogans don’t let potential employees know what it’s really like to work for your company. And they don’t communicate authentic gratitude.
    Oracle is one company Schmidt points to for an example of an employer brand turnaround. He quotes Celinda Appleby, Oracle’s Head of Global Employer Brand:

    “When I joined Oracle, almost two years ago all of our content for talent attraction featured stock photography or graphics of robots. Our employees couldn’t identify with the personas we created. Enter a shift towards storytelling. We tapped into our employees and asked them what they loved about working at Oracle.
    We learned the common thread was the ability to pursue outside passions, as we foster a flexible, inclusive environment. These stories started out as quotes and over the past year have grown to videos. We learned by using their voices and images; they felt rewarded and acknowledged. Our external audiences started to see the passion come to life, as our #lifeatOracle hashtag grew organically. Now it reaches over 500 million people monthly.”

    What’s the common thread in this turnaround? Gratitude. It goes both ways. Oracle empowers employees to share their gratitude for the company and lets them — in their own words — express how they feel rewarded and acknowledged by the company.
    “Storytelling allows companies to humanize their culture,” Schmidt writes.

    What's Your Employer Brand?

    How does your company say Thank You? Wisconsin based Culver’s Restaurant chain proudly supports local family farmers.

    The Cost of Gratitude: $0

    The success of a gratitude-rich employer brand isn’t driven by how much you spend on developing it. That makes it “a great equalizer for smaller companies in competitive markets,” according to Schmidt.
    For example, San Francisco-based recruiting tech platform Lever used storytelling to get an edge in a highly competitive hiring environment.
    The company invested in storytelling workshops and training for employees and encouraged employees to share their work experience on blogs and social media.
    The results were dramatic, a company analysis found. Employees started blogging more and self-identifying as brand advocates, and 80 percent rewrote their LinkedIn profiles “to support internal narratives and added personalization so prospects researching them could get to know them beyond their resumes.” In addition, gender diversity — a challenge in the tech sector — increased directly because of blog posts from female staff members.
    Investment in building a gratitude-rich culture and employer brand has big payoffs — and the cost of investment often costs nothing beyond saying “Thank You” and expressing appreciation for employee excellence.

    Download Your FREE 2017 Employee Recognition Calendar

    “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 the gThankYou 2017 Day-to-Day Employee Celebration Calendar for resources and advice to help your organization thrive this year. Our calendar guide gives you the tools and inspiration to build a culture of appreciation every day of the year. Download yours today, absolutely free!
    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
    Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video — “Learn More About Us”

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

    Read More
  • How to Have a Productive Super Bowl Monday in the Workplace

    Super bowl Monday in the workplace doesn't need to be unproductive

    Plan now to help employees re-engage and be productive this Super Bowl Monday. Everyone benefits!

    You and your team can survive Super Bowl Monday in the workplace — thrive even!
    Turn this notoriously unproductive day around with the right leadership and employee engagement. Like other holidays (official or unofficial), Super Bowl Monday is a great chance to let your employees know you care about them and appreciate their work.
    Super Bowl LI in Houston on Sunday is bound to be the talk at work on Monday, from the winning plays to the advertising hits and flops and Lady Gaga’s half-time show.
    A January 2016 survey by the Workforce Institute at Kronos forecast that about 16.5 million employed U.S. adults, or one in 10 workers, would skip work the day after last year’s Super Bowl.
    An additional estimated 7.5 million employees “may show up late,” researchers found.
    That’s not a lot of enthusiasm to work with — and if you don’t manage your team right, you could end up with a half-full workplace of distracted employees. According to one analysis, employers typically lose $820 million to $850 million in lost productivity the day after the game. Stunning numbers, but true.
    Wake everyone up from their nacho dip hangover this Super Bowl Monday! It’s possible to be productive at work and celebrate the big game.

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  • Make Your Workplace Thank You a Commitment for 2017

    workplace thank you gthankyou

    What is your team thankful for? Make a commitment in 2017 to the workplace Thank You. (Photo by Sadie Hernandez, Flickr)

    In a memorial tribute to Mary Tyler Moore this week, Baltimore Sun TV critic David Zurawik recalls an iconic example of a workplace Thank You on her show in the 1970s.
    The brief speech Moore gives to her newsroom coworkers during the show finale, in character as the “groundbreaking, professional, working-woman” Mary Richards, still resonates with Zurawik.
    After asking her boss if she can say a few words, she tells the assembled employees:
    “I get to thinking my job is too important to me. And I tell myself that the people I work with are just the people I work with, and not my family.
    “And last night I thought, ‘What is a family anyway?’ They’re just people who make you feel less alone and really loved. And that’s what you’ve done for me. Thank you for being my family.”
    A lot has changed in the workplace four decades later. Zurawik writes that he’s become more cynical in many ways — but he’s still softened by the sentiments of Moore’s character, Mary Richards.
    “I thank Mary Richards and Mary Tyler Moore for showing me how rewarding the workplace can be when you don’t think of the people you work with only as co-workers and the work you do only as a job,” he writes.
    Make your workplace thank you frequent, specific and sincere.January is National Thank You Month. Where does the workplace Thank You rank? Rock bottom.
    A study by the John Templeton Foundation shows that the workplace is one of the last places people regularly thank each other. Study participants reported that they love gratitude — who doesn’t? — but they hold back from expressing it in the workplace.
    Let’s change that! This year, make a commitment to the workplace Thank You. Help your team, from the CEO on down to entry-level employees, be inspired to thank each other every day. It’s easier than you think. Read on to learn how to bring gratitude and Thank You back into the workplace.

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  • Take Fun Seriously on National Fun At Work Day!

    Have fun a work! Celebrate National Fun at Work and engage your workplace.

    Celebrate National Fun at Work Day this Saturday, Jan. 28. It’s easy — everyday celebrations that recognize small wins are a great way to pump up your workplace culture of fun. (Photo via Mike Bryan, Flickr)

    Fun in the workplace doesn’t get the credit it deserves. That’s why we’re celebrating National Fun at Work Day this Saturday, Jan. 28!
    Fun at work — besides being, well, fun — is what sustains us and keeps us motivated in our jobs long-term.
    Yet not enough employers and employees take fun seriously, according to a New York Times article this week by Ayelet Fishbach, “In Choosing a Job, Focus on the Fun.” Fishbach is a professor of behavioral science and marketing at the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago.
    Fun is serious business, Fishbach argues. It drives retention, productivity and overall happiness.
    Oddly enough, we’re naturally wired to de-prioritize future workplace fun, according to Fishbach. It’s a “basic insight from behavioral science” that people care about the present mainly in the present and not in advance.
    “We fail to realize that the person we are in the present — the one who values intrinsic benefits — is awfully similar to the person we will be in the future,” she writes.
    So jobseekers tend to overestimate the value of good pay and underestimate the value of whether they’ll actually enjoy the work.
    “When envisioning themselves in the future, [employees] predicted that they would almost solely be driven by delayed benefits like salaries,” Fishbach writes.
    The result? Two out of three working Americans are disengaged, according to Gallup. It isn’t that financial benefits aren’t important, Fishbach writes, but nobody wins when money is prioritized over other factors like meaning, impact and day-to-day appreciation.
    HR departments in planning mode do best to recognize the power of fun and help employees engage in their work on a daily basis.
    Read on to find out why celebrating National Fun at Work Day matters and tips for prioritizing workplace fun in 2017!

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  • Pie Gift Certificates Make Any Day a Happy Pie Day!

    Happy National Pie Day!

    Let’s be honest, any day is a good time for pie. But if you need an excuse… enjoy National Pie Day today and share a sweet treat with your at-home or work family. It’s an opportunity to engage and celebrate each other.
    Don’t worry if you missed today, create your own “pie day” or celebrate the next PI Day – March 14th! This is a celebration of the mathematical constant known as pi, or π, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, commonly approximated as 3.14159. Mathematicians love pi because “it puts infinity within reach” and has a “tantalizing” tension between order and randomness, according to the New Yorker article “Why Pi Matters.”
    What does math have to do with the pie we eat? Nothing! But Pi Day around the world is celebrated with pie — because why not? — and it’s a great day to have a little fun with coworkers, play math games, celebrate learning and share pie. You can even make your pie in a pi-shaped pie pan.

    Plan now and share your workplace appreciation with a pie celebration and distribute gThankYou! Pie Gift Certificates for any brand, flavor and preparation at favorite grocery stores.

    Thanks Sandra Boyton for the Pie inspiration! Happy #PieDay!

    Read on to find out how gThankYou! Pie Gift Certificates work and how you can share them to show gratitude to employees on Pie Day, Pi Day or anytime!

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  • 365 Everyday Ways to Build Employee Happiness

    Download Free 2019 Employee Appreciation Calendar by gThankYou
    Happy New Year!

    The celebration-filled holiday season is over, party streamers down, gifts shared and game prizes won. Now what? How will you sustain that workplace spirit and employee happiness into the new year?
    If increasing employee happiness is one of your workplace goals this year, you’re not alone.
    Organizations big and small are re-evaluating their strategies as Gallup continues to report low employee engagement across industries. Gallup data shows Millennial workers in particular aren’t responding to traditional engagement.
    We know workplace celebrations are a reliable way to engage and motivate employees. A celebration honors excellence, fuels innovation and strengthens teamwork. It gives everyone a chance to fully appreciate individual and team successes.
    But celebrating employees goes well beyond parties and prizes. Sustaining everyday employee happiness, 365 days a year, takes a comprehensive approach and a cultural shift.
    That’s why we here at gThankYou created a “Day-to-Day Employee Celebration Calendar.” It’s a guide to each month, with practical tips for everyday engagement and appreciation, as well as seasonal and holiday-specific employee recognition ideas and inspiration.
    Read on for a peek at what each month of the calendar offers and how it can help you build a sustainable culture of appreciation.

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  • Ring in the New Year! The Best Staff Appreciation Gifts

    Start the new year right with staff appreciation gifts everyone enjoys!

    Ring in the new year and celebrate the successes of last year with staff appreciation gifts! (Photo via glasgows, Flickr)

    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.
    2019 Employee Celebration Calendar - Free Download from gThankYou Employee Gifts

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  • Our Holiday Thanks to You: FREE Holiday Ham Cookbook

    Download Free Holiday Ham Cookbook by gThankYou!
    Happy Holidays from gThankYou!
    As you’re preparing for holiday celebrations with family and friends, download our gift to you — a FREE holiday ham cookbook.

    Did you receive a gThankYou! Ham Gift Certificate or gThankYou! Turkey or Ham Gift Certificate for the holidays? Our ham guide has everything you need to pick and prepare the perfect ham for your family.
    Did you give gThankYou! Gift Certificates for the holidays? Share this link with your recipients so they can make the most of their gift from you!
    We know the thoughtful gift of a family-friendly ham is just the beginning. The joy of your gift continues and multiplies as you prepare your ham and share it with others. Nothing beats the great feeling of sharing a delicious meal with the people you care about!

    What You’ll Find in gThankYou’s FREE Holiday Ham Cookbook

    Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou are a gift everyone appreciates!A big ham is a holiday treat that most of us only get once or twice a year. Even if you’re a pro in the kitchen, you may not have a lot of hands-on practice at preparing ham.
    We created our free holiday ham cookbook to be as user-friendly as possible. You’ll find valuable information in it whether you’re a kitchen pro or beginner.
    For starters, we go over what ham is exactly and how to choose the type of ham you want at the grocery store.
    Would your family prefer a dry-cured or wet-cured ham, or city ham or country ham? Our cookbook has easy-to-understand definitions and explanations.
    Plus, it has expert tips every step of the way to make your holiday ham as delicious as possible. You’ll find answers to common questions, such as:

    • What are the pros and cons of bone-in vs. boneless ham?
    • How do I bake (or boil, smoke, grill or deep-fry) the perfect ham?
    • What does “water added” mean and how does it taste?
    • How much ham should I plan on preparing per person?
    • When do I need to start thawing a frozen ham?
    • What are my options for glazing?
    • How do I carve a ham?
    • What dishes are good for using up leftover ham?

    Ready to begin? Download the gThankYou Free Holiday Ham Guide now — and happy cooking! From all of us here at gThankYou, we wish you a joyful holiday season.


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  • Holiday Ham Gift Certificates: Order Today, Delight Tomorrow!

    Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou make your holiday gift-giving easy!

    Give the gift of a traditional holiday ham! gThankYou! Ham Gift Certificates are meaningful, affordable and convenient!

    Need a holiday gift to share with your staff, fast? Order gThankYou! Ham Gift Certificates today and get them as soon as tomorrow!
    gThankYou! Ham Gift Certificates are good for any brand of half or whole ham and for any preparation, allowing recipients to choose what’s best for their family. And our Gift Certificates can be redeemed nationally at virtually all major grocery chains stores in the U.S.
    Best of all, they’re a quick and meaningful way to show your gratitude at the holidays. With less than two weeks ’til Christmas, we know time is running out — and we’ve got you covered!

    5 Reasons to Order gThankYou! Ham Gift Certificates Today

    Here’s why gThankYou customers keep coming back for our Ham Gift Certificates year after year:
    1. Ham Gift Certificates are a crowd-pleaser.
    Everyone appreciates the gift of food during the holidays, especially one that’s the centerpiece to their holiday celebration. It’s a meaningful gift they can share with their families and build memories around.
    2. It’s convenient — for all.
    gThankYou! Ham Gift Certificates - the perfect Christmas Ham Gift! Convenient for you: by sharing Ham Gift Certificates and not actual hams, you’ll save your team the hassle of distributing a
    bulky gift that needs refrigeration. All our Certificates fit in standard business-sized envelopes, so they’re easy to send with company holiday mailings or distribute in person.
    Convenient for recipients: Employees love the convenience of being able to redeem their Gift Certificates when, where and how they want!
    3. Large and complex distributed orders are stress-free.

    Have a large order or a distributed workforce? Call us at 888-484-1658 for volume pricing or to discuss your order requirements so we can make your Christmas ham gift-giving stress-free.
    4. Orders ship today and arrive next business day.
    Did you procrastinate on your employee holiday gifts this year? No worries. gThankYou offers same-day shipping so you can have your Ham Gift Certificates as fast as tomorrow.
    Share your Ham Gift Certificates with a personalized Card of holiday cheer and thanks!5. Every order comes with FREE Enclosure Cards.
    All gThankYou orders come with Enclosure Cards that can be personalized with your message of “Thanks” and even include your organization logo — all FREE!
    We have dozens of designs to choose from and for winter holiday inspiration, download our Catalog of Winter Holiday and Christmas Card Designs. Want personalization? We’ll send you a proof of your card so you can be sure it looks just the way you want it.
    Your employees will love the extra surprise at the end of a busy year and start to the exciting holiday season. To order your Christmas ham gifts today, call us at 888-484-1658 or online here.

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  • How Would Santa Choose Employee Holiday Gifts?

    When it comes to employee holiday gifts, who knows better than Santa?

    Still deciding on the right employee holiday gifts? Learn from the ultimate gift-giving pro: Santa Claus!

    Feeling stuck trying to pick the perfect employee holiday gifts to share? You’re not alone — workplace gift-giving can be intimidating, especially if you’re new to it.
    Forget all the do’s and don’ts that are stressing you out and imagine for a minute …
    How would Santa choose employee holiday gifts?
    Santa delights children around the world year after year, right? He’s a gift-giving authority!
    It’s easy to imagine that he would approach workplace gift-giving the same way he does for the millions of children who set out cookies and milk for him, hoping to catch him shimmying down the chimney. (That sneaky Santa — he always manages to fly away on his sleigh before anyone sees him.)
    Great employee holiday gifts are key to building a culture of workplace engagement that motivates and retains star employees. Let’s take a closer look at how Santa would go about choosing and sharing these gifts. Be inspired to jumpstart your company’s holiday gift program!

    7 Santa-Approved Tips for Better Employee Holiday Gifts

    Santa has one gift-giving advantage the rest of us often think we don’t have.
    He knows exactly what millions of children really want. But he’s not a mind-reader. He’s just really good at listening and paying attention.
    And the same can be true for you! Ultimately only you and your team are able to choose the employee holiday gifts that are right for your company. If you’ve been engaging with your staff all year, you know your employees, your company culture and everyone’s favorite traditions. Use this information to your advantage! And follow Santa’s lead.
    So how would Santa choose employee holiday gifts?
    Santa would…
    1. Choose a gift to delight everyone.
    Here’s a quick trick: pick something that’s 1) meaningful and 2) practical. That’s why food makes a great employee gift. It’s meaningful because we associate so much cultural significance with our food and in sharing it. It’s also practical: the holidays are filled with special meals and traditions around food that are shared with family and friends.
    Take milk and cookies, for example. They’re meaningful (Santa appreciates the thought!) and practical (he needs a pick-me-up to get through a long night of gift-delivering).
    2. Want free personalization.
    Remember the thrill of seeing your name on a gift under the tree? Santa loves personalizing gifts and he believes it shouldn’t cost extra, no matter how large your workforce.
    Gift Cards you can customize for your employee holiday gifts3. Include a personal holiday gift note.
    The note that accompanies a gift makes it even more meaningful. Expressing gratitude and holiday wishes is essential in the workplace. It’s important to let your employees know how much you value their hard work. And by celebrating the holidays with them, you’re recognizing them as people first, not just employees.
    4. Choose a gift that’s easy to buy.
    Santa doesn’t have time for gifts that are a hassle. He’s used to delivering millions of gifts in a single night — so efficiency matters to him!
    5. Want overnight delivery.
    Overnight delivery is what Santa does best and he knows how valuable it is for companies. Santa believes overnight delivery should be an option even if you’re ordering a large volume of gifts.
    6. Make sure gifts are easy to deliver.
    Gifts that need refrigeration or complex wrapping or expire within a few weeks? No thanks! Santa is all for workplace gift-giving that’s easy for you (and your employees, too).
    7. Share gifts in the joy of the season and with gratitude for a great year — with a big smile, a twinkle in his eye and hearty “Thank You.”
    Says it all, doesn’t it? Santa delights children the world over because his choice, delivery and presentation of gifts spreads joy. Do the same for your employees!
    We bet Santa would love gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude for a holiday Turkey Or Ham, Groceries, or treats such as Pie and Ice Cream — and we think you will, too!
    You still have time to share holiday gratitude with your exceptional team. Call us at 888-484-1658 or order online; we are happy to help!

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

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


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  • Why a Workplace Holiday Party Is Still a Good Idea

    workplace holiday party gthankyou

    Plan a workplace holiday party that sets the foundation for a more engaged workforce in 2017! (Photo via USACE-Europe District, Flickr)

    The new comedy “Office Christmas Party” is every HR team’s nightmare of a workplace holiday party gone bad. The movie has every poor-taste cliché going: drunken debauchery, regrettable social choices with bosses and coworkers, and a big mess of property damage to clean up the next morning. It’s enough to make any HR department want to cancel the workplace holiday party, immediately.
    At the same time, we’re reading a lot about the trend of continuous feedback and how once-a-year parties aren’t enough anymore to truly engage employees. But don’t be deterred from celebrating the holidays with employees — as long as you have employee appreciation top-of-mind, it’s a great idea to host a holiday party.
    In fact, celebrations that honor popular holidays and company achievements should be an integral part of year-round employee engagement. In this post, you’ll learn how to plan a workplace holiday party that works for your company and sets the foundation for a more engaged workforce in 2017.

    Throw the Workplace Holiday Party Employees Really Want

    The workplace-gone-wild scenario depicted the movie “Christmas Office Party” makes for good comedy, but in the end, it’s not what employees actually want at the holidays.
    Bottom line: employees want your heartfelt appreciation. If your workplace holiday party doesn’t communicate genuine gratitude, you’re in trouble.
    A workplace holiday party typically goes one of two ways — something the employer has to do, or wants to do, according to writer Jake Kilroy’s Entrepreneur article, “The Nicest Party I’ve Ever Been To: A Christmas Story.”

    workplace holiday party gthankyou

    Employees want your heartfelt appreciation. Show it with a memorable workplace holiday party! (Photo by Andrea Allen, Flickr)

    Kilroy reflects on a Christmas party he attended years ago while working for J&M Promotions, a uniform and screen-printing company in California.
    It was a formal affair at an upscale restaurant. The lavish presentation, expensive dinner and generous open bar totally wowed Kilroy and his coworkers, most of whom were young and used to a casual environment.
    But what stood out most to Kilroy was how much his employer wanted to throw the party.
    The company owners “welcomed us like family” at the door and asked employees to write down their favorite holiday memory on a piece of paper.
    Later, after dessert, employees took turns reading aloud a coworker’s name and favorite memory. As an employee’s favorite memory was shared, the company owners invited the employee to get up and choose a wrapped present underneath the Christmas tree in the dining room, in addition to a $50 gift card.
    The J&M Promotions owners worked hard to make it a special party, and it was effective.
    “I had never had such warmth and respect at a job before,” Kilroy writes.
    What makes for a great workplace holiday party? Read on for the three elements of a truly engaging workplace holiday party — keep them in mind and your party is sure to be a welcomed event!

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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.