• The Employee Perks That Candidates Actually Want

    Employees like the opportunity to engage with co-workers, but trendy employee perks such as alcohol are less appealing.

    Trendy employee perks like alcohol are less desirable than other extras. (Photo by U3144362, from Wikimedia Commons.)

    When It Comes to Employee Perks, Trendy Is Out.

    What kind of employee perks are you offering?

    A study from Oregon State University, cited in HR Dive, has found that at least one trendy workplace “extra” probably isn’t doing recruiters much good: Companies that tout in-office happy hours and other opportunities to drink alcohol can turn off certain job candidates.

    And those candidates who are fine having drinks on the company tab don’t care enough for it to make a real difference in whether they take the job. So unless there’s good reason for drinking to be a significant part of your corporate culture, there’s little benefit to plugging alcohol among your employee perks.

    In fact, research in general has shown that most job candidates aren’t interested in flashy, hip, or faddish employee perks. The savviest candidates — in other words, the ones you may well want working for you — see through the hype. Wellness programs, another fashionable perk, are often more popular with employers than with the employees who are supposed to take advantage of them, another HR Dive post notes. The post suggests that customization — finding ways to mold perks more closely to employees’ individual needs — is key.

    Indeed, what both current workers and job candidates want are employee perks that demonstrate an employer’s appreciation for them. As we’ve mentioned, appreciation is about seeing people as individuals and treating them as more than just their job titles. Really, your whole hiring process should be designed to show appreciation for candidates, HR Dive points out:

    If a recruitment process lacks personal interaction, applicants may assume that, once hired, they’ll be just another cog in the wheel. And that’s not a great impression to give if you’re looking for employees who can stand out.

    And the employee perks you offer should be in line with that philosophy, as well. Rather than trendy, your perks should be aimed at recognizing that employees have a larger life beyond the time they spend working for you.

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  • 4 Tips To Maximize Employee Recognition Time

    Maximize employee recognition time by being present in employee interactions.

    As a leader you’re probably getting pulled in a million different directions and your time is in short supply.  But the time you spend really being present in a sincere, mindful and purposeful way when interacting with your employees and recognizing them for their efforts and contributions is time well-spent.

    With a bit of effort you can break some bad habits and start embracing some new practices and ways of thinking that can help boost morale (and ultimately your bottom line). Read on for straightforward ways to maximize employee recognition time.

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  • Being a Good Citizen is Good for Business

    Being a Good Citizen Is Good for Employers and Workers

    Being a good citizen is good for the community and your business.Being a good citizen is good for business — in more than one way. Last year, Harvard Business Review reported on the beneficial effects when employees engage in “citizenship behaviors.” That’s another way to say going above and beyond: “helping out coworkers, volunteering to take on special assignments, introducing new ideas and work practices, attending non-mandatory meetings, putting in extra hours to complete important projects, and so forth.”

    Research has found that employees who voluntarily demonstrate citizenship behaviors tend to find their work more meaningful. They also perform better and improve their companies’ performance, as well. For all of these reasons, smart employers want to encourage being a good citizen at their companies.

    HBR’s recommendation is to promote “citizenship crafting,” or offering workers the opportunity to figure out how their own strengths and preferences can best be utilized to add value to the business. The idea is straightforward: When employees can help in ways they find personally satisfying and that align with their own values and goals, the help will be better and come more frequently. This is also a relief for managers, who don’t have to push so hard when extra help is needed.

    But we know that being a good citizen matters to employees in the more literal sense, too. HR Dive cites two different studies showing that workers overwhelmingly want to work for companies that make a positive difference in the world. Sustainable Brands shared similar findings in a 2016 post:

    Nearly three-quarters of employees (74 percent) say their job is more fulfilling when they are provided with opportunities to make a positive impact on social and environmental issues – and seven-in-10 (70 percent) would be more loyal to a company that helps them contribute to important issues. Corporate responsibility (CR) is also a significant consideration for candidates when deciding which job to take:

    • 58 percent consider a company’s social and environmental commitments when deciding where to work
    • 55 percent would choose to work for a socially responsible company, even if the salary was less
    • 51 percent won’t work for a company that doesn’t have strong social or environmental commitments

    Employers can use the same basic idea behind citizenship crafting to motivate employees to get out and serve their communities, too. By encouraging them to find their own ways of being a good citizen, and giving them the necessary time and support, you can enable your workers to help in places beyond the office — leading to greater satisfaction with themselves and with you. And for many businesses, summer is the perfect time to start thinking in this direction!

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  • The Power of Shared Experiences in the Workplace

    shared experiences such as community service as a team is a great way for colleagues to engage and enjoy each other

    Community service is a great way to get your team out of the office and bond over a project that makes everyone feel better. (Photo via Rocco Rossi, Flickr)

    Shared experiences among co-workers are instrumental when it comes to building strong and effective teams.  Don’t forget to include remote workers when communicating, collaborating and creating shared experiences – they are an important part of your team too!

    In an article on shared experiential learning on HR Dive, author Tess Taylor explains the basics:

    Employees benefit from having a common experience during the learning process. This social interaction helps individuals digest new concepts and gives them an opportunity to learn from each other.

    When employees have shared learning experiences, this can create a common experience that generates conversation and learning even after the event has passed.

    Shared experiences give people a chance to learn about each others norms, emotional cues and working habits.  Apparently experiences that combine the right balance of meaning and stress seem to be the most effective.  For example “light meaning” and “light stress” events like a happy hour can produce small increases in bonding while others with “high stress” and “high meaning” like boot camp can quickly achieve exponential affects in bonding.

    Activities like team dinners, intense workout classes, improv classes and volunteer events can help team members learn about each other’s personalities and break down some of the awkwardness of working together. An engaged team is a strong team. They understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses and can problem solve more effectively.

    On the flip side, shared experiences that are high stress with little meaning like hazing are negative, not appropriate and should be avoided.

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  • It’s Summer! Throw an Employee Thank You Party

    July 4th is a great opportunity to host an employee thank you party! Break out the red, white and blue!

    July is National Picnic Month – making this the perfect time to throw a summer employee thank you party! (Photo via usembassyta, Flickr)

    July is the ideal time to throw an employee thank you party (and not just because it’s National Picnic Month). The key to making your company event genuinely fun so it generates both good times and goodwill is your authentic appreciation.  By clearly communicating a message of employee appreciation and making employees feel valued, you’ll promote happiness and loyalty. Both keys to a successful workplace culture.

    Why Summer Parties Rock

    In a blog post on Special Events’ website about why Fortune 500 companies are opting to host summer parties, Nicole Lavin points out:

    Companies are recognizing that their employees’ hard work should be celebrated all year-long–and they’re hosting exciting summer events to prove it…

    With a “Christmas in July” mind-set, companies are planning off-site corporate events to get their employees out of the office during the hottest time of the year. By hosting corporate events in July and August, companies can enhance employees’ year-round satisfaction and, in turn, increase employee retention.

     

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  • Small Workplace Gifts Can Have Big Heart

    small workplace gifts by gThankYou Employee Gifts

    Even small workplace gifts can be meaningful when given with heartfelt appreciation.

    With Small Workplace Gifts, a Personal Touch Matters

    Gifts don’t need to be large or expensive to be meaningful. Small workplace gifts can express your gratitude and make employees feel appreciated. But you need to give them in the right way. As a Balance Careers post on gift-giving etiquette explains:

    Adding a personal touch can give a small gift a much bigger impact. For example, if you hand-deliver your gift … instead of sending it in the mail, your gesture will give that present much more meaning. A card with a personal message and handwritten signature is more meaningful than a pre-printed card …

    With small workplace gifts, this personal touch is key. Of course you want your employee to value the gift itself, but often it’s going to be something they could afford on their own. What they should remember is that they felt recognized and cared for. And the best way to communicate that feeling is to put in a bit of extra effort.

    For starters, think about the intended recipients of your gifts. If your employee picks up coffee every morning at the cafe down the street, even a $5 gift card is going to be a treat for her. On the other hand, no matter how good your home-baked cookies are, they’re not a good fit for an employee with a gluten allergy. As we’ve noted before, the best workplace gifts of any size will bring meaning into the recipient’s life. A small gift they can use or share — or that they just treasure for its uniqueness — is a gift they’ll love.

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  • Don’t (Just) Recognize Employees, Appreciate Them!

    Don't (just) recognize employees, appreciate them with your heartfelt gratitude!

    Genuine appreciation and gratitude for employees really resonates. (Photo by Carl Attard from Pexels.)

    People tend to think of recognition and appreciation as the same thing, but knowing the difference and focusing on genuinely appreciating the employees working for you can impact morale, engagement and satisfaction in the workplace.  So don’t (just) recognize employees, appreciate them with your sincere gratitude!

    What is the Difference?

    In an article for Ladders, Paul White described the reasons why employers should stop recognizing employees and start appreciating them. White shared that too often he has encountered employee recognition programs that not only don’t seem to be working, but are in fact generating apathetic, sarcastic and cynical reactions from employees.  White believes this is because recognition is different from authentic appreciation.

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  • Corporate Turkey Gift Certificates and the Power of Ritual

    Corporate Turkey Gift Certificates are a valued holiday gift that everyone appreciates.

     

    One of the most powerful things you can do for your employees is communicate in a sincere and heartfelt way that they are valued. And one way to do that is with Corporate Turkey Gift Certificates by gThankYou during the holiday season.

    When given with gratitude, the gift of a holiday turkey is a deeply meaningful gift that reminds staff they’re part of something bigger. Employees feel taken care of when they receive a thoughtful gift, and know they matter to you and the business. That’s important. Research by the American Psychological Association found a clear link between feeling valued at work and employees reporting better physical and mental health.

    But beyond that, the gift of a Thanksgiving or holiday turkey is imbued with ritual that’s associated with gratitude.

    The gift of a turkey has been a beloved and honored holiday gift for employees for over a century. Turkeys are closely associated with the annual rituals of Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter that celebrate family and friends, warmth and goodwill.

    These holidays revolve around the rituals of a special meal — and employees will be thankful for the gift of the centerpiece of their holiday meal to share with family and friends.

    For many, even the act of going to the grocery store to choose the turkey centerpiece for their family celebration is an important and meaningful ritual. With gThankYou! Turkey Gift Certificates, recipients select the turkey they want, any brand, size and preparation, at the grocery store they want to shop. All gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude are accepted at major grocery chain stores nationally.

    As the Harvard Business Review reported in 2013, rituals make us value something more. How? The researchers “found evidence to suggest that personal involvement is the real driver of these effects. In other words, rituals help people to feel more deeply involved in their consumption experience, which in turn heightens its perceived value.”

    Nothing says ‘Thank You’ like the gift of a Thanksgiving turkey. Click here for “10 Reasons to Give Employees a Turkey for the Holidays” for a useful 2-page document to share with your management team.

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  • In a Giving Culture, You Get a Lot Too

    Creating a giving culture means learning how to take sometimes, too.

    Creating a giving culture means learning how to take sometimes, too.

    Companies with a giving culture are more successful.

    They say it’s better to give than to receive. It turns out it could be way better!

    Beloved Wharton School professor Adam Grant’s 2013 bestseller, Give and Take, used groundbreaking research to show that giving can have a revolutionary positive effect on all kinds of businesses. Givers are employees who help others regardless of whether they’re getting something in return. And the best-performing employees and leaders inevitably turn out to be givers. By taking steps to foster a giving culture, companies can significantly improve their productivity and efficiency, and their employee engagement and loyalty. One consulting firm estimated that implementing a giving culture saved it more than $250,000 and 50 workdays. A pharmaceutical company credited its giving culture with saving over $90,000 and 67 days of labor.

    Boiled down, Grant’s discovery is simple enough: When people give freely, the co-workers they help want to reciprocate. Over time, givers amass a network of helpful colleagues and peers — in other words, givers inspire others to give. And in a giving culture, people are more apt to speak up and contribute. (The culture is critical, because it can be embarrassing to give if no one else is doing it.) Consequently, in workplaces with a giving culture, things get done faster by employees who are more personally invested.

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  • Cultivating Workplace Community by Doing Good

    Support your teams in cultivating workplace community by doing good

    When workplace volunteers come together it builds satisfaction, happiness and community engagement. Building workplace community is easy in the summer! Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

    Summer is an opportune time to cultivate workplace community by volunteering in the community as a team.  Just in the month of June alone there are two officially designated dates that you can celebrate: The United Way’s Day of Action 2018 which occurs on (or around) June 21 and United Nation’s Public Service Day on June 23.  It’s always great to recognize the good work that your staff does in the workplace, but doing good outside the office is likely to boost happiness, improve engagement and build workplace spirit.

    Why Volunteering As A Team Is Valuable

    A Huffington Post article exploring how workplace giving and volunteering can drive employee engagement explained that “prosocial” behavior, doing something for the benefit of someone else, positively affects the individuals participating in it, and in return, their workplaces.

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