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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
Employee Incentives Aren’t Just a Nice Extra Anymore
Do you take employee incentives seriously? Or do you just treat them as a “nice to have”? More and more research demonstrates that successful companies will do the former.
In a recent blog post, the employee recognition experts at Achievers summarize how the conventional wisdom on employee incentives has evolved over the last century-plus. When research first began on employee incentives, workers were typically paid for what they produced, rather than the time they spent on the job. In fact: “When the innovation of pay by the hour or day was introduced, it was controversial. A widespread fear existed that if you paid workers only according to the time they spent, that they would ‘take it easy’ and not try as hard.”
Later, it became common to offer employee incentives that depended on one worker outdoing their colleagues. But that kind of heated competition produced its own problems — for instance, it can lead workers to focus more on winning than on serving customers properly. And research found that “pitting workers against each other for rewards often causes team-minded players to scale back their efforts in order to equalize things.”
Today, businesses have learned that employee incentives need to be thoughtfully designed — they must reward workers for going above and beyond, and also for effectively executing the company’s mission and values. While this kind of incentives program takes some time to put together, the evidence shows it will also have a clear positive impact on a company.Read More
National Smile Power Day is June 15th, but every day is the perfect day to fuel workplace kindness with more smiling! Studies have revealed the ways that simply smiling more can transform us and those around us. Smiling can help create a culture of kindness at work (and beyond).
The Science Behind Smiles
There is real scientific evidence recognizing the benefits of smiling. A Fast Company article explored how smiling alters our brains (in a good way). A Penn State University study revealed that smiling people are perceived as more courteous, likeable and competent. All attributes that are valued in the workplace by employers, co-workers and clients.
Smiling has the power to improve your mood and reduce stress – it’s hard for people to frown around smiling people (researchers at Sweden’s Uppsala University found this to be true). But why is this? Turns out that our brains actually track our smiling which can then break our natural tendency to think negative thoughts. If you smile often enough, you end up rewiring your brain to make positive patterns more often than it does negative ones.
Engaging Remote Workers Is Increasingly Necessary
Thanks largely to technology, more and more people — full-time employees, part-timers, and freelancers — are working remotely more and more often. One estimate from 2018 says that 3.9 million Americans now work from home at least half the week, or almost 3 percent of the country’s workforce. That’s great news for many employers and employees — remote working arrangements offer flexibility that can mean a lot to your team, as we’ve noted before. But engaging remote workers also takes some extra thought and effort. As HR Dive noted last year:
Remote workers need to be kept in the loop. Although working from home or some other location might offer work-life balance, remote workers can feel isolated from the office hub of activities, events and information-sharing. More importantly, remote workers can miss out on critical announcements concerning their employment, including their benefits.
Helping Businesses Learn About Creating a Culture of Appreciation With Art
Gapingvoid Culture Design Group uses art and design to help businesses change their corporate cultures. In the company’s own words, its mission is “to make work more meaningful; helping people love what they do.” So how exactly does Gapingvoid go about doing this? And how can your organization start creating a culture of appreciation with art?
The Gapingvoid story began when blogger and artist Hugh MacLeod created a doodle — “the Blue Monster” — for a friend, Microsoft executive Steve Clayton. Alongside the monster were the words “Microsoft: Change the world or go home.” MacLeod wrote a post about the cartoon on his blog at gapingvoid.com, joking that Microsoft leadership in Redmond, Washington could drop him a line if they had feedback.
As it turned out, the Blue Monster did indeed strike a chord at Microsoft. Clayton used the doodle at a presentation to senior executives, and the ensuing discussion got employees at the multinational corporation talking and thinking differently about their work and what it meant. The Blue Monster became an unofficial mascot for Microsoft. One employee even got himself a Blue Monster tattoo! Building on that success, MacLeod turned Gapingvoid into a whole company focused on creating a culture of appreciation with art and design.Read More
Even though summer doesn’t officially begin until June 21st, it unofficially kicked off Memorial Day weekend. And, that means it’s time for helpful strategies for keeping employees engaged during these warm and distracting months!
Most people look forward to summer’s more leisurely pace and the fun that comes with sunshine and warm weather. But this time of the year can sometimes mean employers are facing decreased productivity and employees are potentially distracted. There’s no better time to revisit plans to engage, appreciate and celebrate your team over the coming months.
Need inspiration? Read the creative and fun ideas below and download gThankYou’s “2018 Day-to-Day Employee Celebration Calendar”.
With some planning you can employ easy, affordable and fun ways to encourage engagement that help colleagues feel valued and important to the success of the business.
Safety Incentives Work — When They’re Deployed Properly
Does your company have a safety incentives program? And if you do, is it working? June is National Safety Month, making it the perfect time to reflect on how to engage employees and motivate them to work more safely.
Make no mistake, a safety incentives program isn’t sufficient on its own. As one expert told EHS Today, “Safety incentives programs are icing on the cake. They complement a well-rounded safety program.” Essential components of an effective safety program include return-to-work light-duty programs, accident investigations, and safety committees.
Assuming your organization has those pieces in place, it’s important to remember that your safety incentives program should be aimed at truly decreasing injuries and accidents — not just reducing the number you hear about. If you simply promise rewards to employees for making it a certain number of days without a safety violation, you are implicitly encouraging them to avoid reporting accidents. In other words, if it’s not well thought out, your safety incentives program could actually make your workplace less safe.
Consequently, experts increasingly recommend creating a safety incentives program that encourages employees to be proactive about safety, rather than just trying to avoid problems. An effective safety incentives program will reward employees for paying attention to safety training and sharing their suggestions with management.Read More