• March: Time to Build Workplace Happiness!

    It's easy to build workplace happiness with gThankYou's Employee Celebration Calendar.

    Check out gThankYou’s free 2019 Day-to-Day Employee Celebration Calendar! Every month is full of great ideas for sharing appreciation in the workplace.

    Get your calendar out and start scheduling some fun – happiness will follow! March is the ideal month to build workplace happiness – winter is dragging on and for most of us, spring seems a long way off. Luckily this month is FULL of opportunities to share workplace appreciation and inspire some easy fun.
    Hopefully you have already downloaded our free Day-to-Day Employee Appreciation Calendar for 2019 so these celebrations may already be on your radar. If not, click the link above and let’s get started!

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  • Making the Most of Valentine's Day in the Workplace

    Fun, easy and affordable ideas for celebrating Valentine's Day in the workplace

    Our favorite candy heart saying is “ur kind” but “you rock” is always welcome!  Check out this Reader’s Digest article if you’re curious about conversation heart messages.
    Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

    We spend more of our waking hours with co-workers than we do with our significant others, so take advantage of Valentine’s Day and celebrate colleagues! If you focus on gratitude and appreciation, it’s perfectly appropriate and thoughtful to do.

    Valentine’s Day in the workplace should be about celebrating workplace colleagues and a culture of kindness and compassion. Steer clear of romance and relationships. The opportunity is to communicate value for great working relationships and a culture supportive of compassion and camaraderie.

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  • Let's Make February Workplace Kindness Month!

    February is Kindness Month – Share Yours!

    Acts of kindness are one of the most powerful ways we have to connect with others.
    February is the perfect month to share workplace kindness  – with Random Acts of Kindness Day (17th) and Week (February 17th though the 22nd), and Valentine’s Day! Take advantage of these dates and inspire kindness in your workplace.

    Planting seeds of kindness yields improved moods and productivity. Better yet, it’s contagious. Share a little kindness and see how it ripples through your office.

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  • How A Yale Class Can Help Your Employees Be Happier

    Help employees be happier with these practical, science based recommendationsWith an acceptance rate under 7% and ACT scores of admitted students hovering around 32-35, the likelihood of most people having access to an Ivy League education in Yale’s hallowed halls are slim. But we can all benefit from the fascinating and completely practical information that is shared in one of that revered educational institution’s most popular courses, “Psychology and the Good Life.”

     

    Psychology Professor Laurie Santos specializes in evolution and animal cognition, but after living among undergrads when she became head of Yale’s Silliman College (think the Houses of Hogwarts), she realized just how stressed out and depressed they were.  Reviewing mental health surveys from the National College Health Assessment she learned that the issues Yale students were having were similar to those of college students across the country.  Students report already high and increasing rates of anxiety, depression and hopelessness.

     

    Santos set out to design a course to convey not just the science behind positive psychology research but how putting those concepts into practice could have a profound impact on students’ happiness and quality of life.  Santos did not anticipate the the overwhelming interest in her course from students (1 in 4 students at Yale have taken her class), nor did she predict that it would become a sensation with articles in the New York Times, O Magazine, national television appearances and international media coverage.

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  • 2019 Employee Engagement Planning – A Resolution You Can Keep

    Start your 2019 employee engagement planning with gThankYou's free Day-to-Day Employee Celebration Guide to inspire and make planning a breeze!

    New year…new plans for building employee engagement and sharing appreciation!

    We all know that New Year’s resolutions are often hard to keep.  But if one of your workplace goals was to get a better handle on employee engagement planning in 2019, that resolution is now easier to keep with the use of gThankYou’s 2019 Day-to-Day Employee Appreciation Calendar!
    If you are familiar with our annual calendar chock full of engagement and appreciation ideas, then you’ve probably already done the free download because you know what a valuable (and fun) tool it is.
    Not familiar with it?  Start by filling out the short online form and you’ll have a FREE, indispensable and inspiring guide at your fingertips.  Here’s what to expect for each month in addition to meaningful, compelling (yet easy-to-read) articles on an array of topics meant to inspire your planning and workplace activities:

    • Key stats (in case you still need to prove to leadership how critical employee engagement and appreciation is)
    • Ready-to-Go Celebration examples (so even if you think you aren’t creative you’ll have turn-key approaches to create more fun in the workplace)
    • Mini-case studies (learn what’s worked for other organizations)
    • Plenty of graphics (which make this ebook feel like fun, not work)

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  • Day-to-Day Employee Appreciation Calendar for 2019

    Download your free copy of our 2019 Employee Appreciation Calendar and share with collegues!

    It’s here!! Our very popular Day-to-Day Employee Appreciation Calendar is newly updated and back for 2019!
    Users have told us they love the monthly and daily idea format and the updated content on how to build a loyal, happy workplace culture through engagement and gratitude. It’s our holiday gift to anyone who wants to build a better workplace.

    New Employee Appreciation Calendar + New Year = New Opportunities

    Our annual employee celebration calendar is full of creative engagement concepts and festive year-round celebrations. It’s a wonderful resource for supporting employee engagement and recognition planning for the new year. Whether you have big budgets or need no or low-cost ideas, we have content and suggestions for you.
    Every year we strive to update our calendar with the latest research and thinking about building great workplace cultures. You’ll find mini-case studies, research, and how-to’s in addition to daily and monthly celebration ideas.
    This month to month Calendar highlights easy opporunities to share your thanks with your workplace.
    Our intent is to provide a fun resource that helps workplace leaders:

    • Stay current in the space of employee engagement and recognition
    • Provide actionable gratitude-based engagement and celebration how-to’s for busy HR personnel
    • Share new ways to engage and celebrate employees
    • Spark creative thinking for building the workplace culture you want

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  • Last-Minute Gift Ideas Employees Will Love

    Hanukka just ended and it’s not long until employees start taking off for the Christmas holiday and business winds down for the year.
    There’s still time to choose a thoughtful holiday gift that will show employees how much you appreciate them.

    Last-Minute Gift Ideas Employees Will Love

    Here are five affordable employee gift ideas that are convenient enough to arrange at the last minute. Don’t forget to share your gifts with gratitude – the most meaningful gift of appreciation is free!For gift ideas employees will love check out the infographic from gThankYou!

    • A group gift.
      If your time is short, consider a group outing, an upgrade to the break room, or a holiday luncheon or party (if you’re not already planning one).
    • Productivity apps or tools.
      Digital apps can be delivered instantly, with no physical orders or trips to the store. Poll your employees on which app will save them time or make them even better at their jobs.
    • Gift certificates for turkey or ham.
      The workplace gift of a turkey or ham is a beloved tradition of gratitude that stretches back decades. Gift certificates eliminate the logistical difficulties of storing and distributing frozen turkeys or hams, and they give your employees the flexibility to choose the sizes and preparations they want.

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  • It's Not Too Late To Create Workplace Halloween Fun

    Have some workplace Halloween fun by providing a spread of Halloween treats everyone will enjoy!

    Workplace Halloween fun is easy with as spread of Halloween themed treats!


    This Wednesday, October 31st, isn’t just hump day — it’s Halloween!  You still have time to organize a bit of spooky workplace Halloween fun to celebrate one of our favorite holidays and your employees.
    The Benefits of Workplace Celebrations
    Whether it’s for Halloween, Thanksgiving, or the winter holidays, celebrations at work foster team unity, spark creativity, and relieve stress. Workplace parties are seen as an expression of gratitude, which boosts employee engagement and loyalty.
    Halloween checks all the boxes for a successful workplace celebration; it’s participatory by nature, creative, and the focus is on fun. We all love Halloween!
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  • 5 Tips to Find Your Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

    Tips on finding the perfect Thanksgiving turkey by "Living" MagazineBy mid-October, the supermarket checkout aisle is full of magazine covers, each boasting a glorious, burnished brown Thanksgiving turkey — so juicy and tempting, you can almost smell the savory aroma while you dig out your debit card.
    And indeed, it’s not too soon to start thinking about stuffing (should it have bacon this year? Probably!), your other side dishes — and of course, the holiday centerpiece: a beautifully roasted turkey.
    Before you choose a bird, check out these five tips to keep in mind as you plan your holiday meal, whether you’re serving 25 assorted aunts, uncles, and cousins or a simple Thanksgiving turkey feast for two.

    1. Know What You’re Getting: Master This Basic Turkey Terminology

    Turkey seems straightforward enough — but the wealth of options available today can confuse shoppers who aren’t sure what they want or what certain labels mean. Here’s a quick glossary to cover the main points*:

    Free-range turkeys from Bell Evans

    Free-range turkeys from Bell & Evans, a brand widely available east of the Mississippi, scored best in an Epicurious taste test. Photo from Serious Eats.

    Free-range. As Americans become more aware of the often harsh conditions in which commercial poultry are raised, many are choosing free-range turkeys over better-known name brands. Under USDA standards, free-range birds must have access to the outdoors while they are raised (instead of being crammed into overcrowded farm facilities). Along with other advocates of free-range turkeys, the regional farmers who raise them say the birds are of higher quality than their commercially processed counterparts, because free-range turkeys’ diets are more varied (improving the flavor of their meat) and they get more exercise (improving their texture).
    Heritage. What are heritage turkeys? These unusual breeds were once common in America, but fell out of favor as growers concentrated on the specially bred, big-breasted birds preferred by consumers (typically the Broad Breasted White turkey). Heritage varieties include Narragansett, American Bronze, Jersey Buff, and Bourbon Red.
    Per the Splendid Table, heritage turkeys generally offer less breast meat and a stronger flavor than a conventional Thanksgiving turkey. As a result of the latter point, some expert cooks recommend not brining heritage turkeys, as doing so just wipes out their unique flavor.
    Natural. By federal regulation, a turkey labeled “natural” may not contain artificial flavorings, coloring, or chemical preservatives. The natural label also means the bird hasn’t been fed animal byproducts or given growth promotants or antibiotics (except for parasite control). Forbes writer Beth Hoffman says the last point alone makes natural turkeys worth it: “If we can stop the run away use of antibiotics in raising livestock and poultry, it is worth a few extra cents a pound to do it.”
    Natural turkeys must also be minimally processed, meaning they have only been handled as necessary to slaughter, clean, and make them ready for human consumption. Note that a natural turkey doesn’t have to be free-range, and that “natural” isn’t the same as…
    Organic. Organic turkeys are free-range birds that have not been treated with hormones or antibiotics, and were given pesticide-free feed. Consumer Reports agrees with Hoffman that the lack of antibiotics is in itself a good reason to go organic. Whether organic turkey tastes noticeably better is up for debate and presumably highly subjective; in 2011, a representative from the World Society for the Protection of Animals said that “While some studies have been conducted on the taste of meat from organically-raised turkeys versus meat from intensively raised animals, to my knowledge they have not been conclusive.” And Mic in 2017 pointed out that the “organic” label is not a guarantee that meat is healthier or was raised and processed under more humane conditions.
    Kosher. Quite simply, kosher turkeys are prepared under rabbinical supervision according to Jewish dietary law. While alive, these turkeys are given no antibiotics and fed a vegetarian diet, Epicurious says. Then they’re covered with kosher salt and rinsed repeatedly in cold water. This can make for a juicier, tastier turkey, but, as Tablet notes, the process also means kosher turkeys are usually not entirely plucked before they’re sold, which can be a pain. The general sentiment is that you shouldn’t brine a kosher turkey, because they’re already salty enough, but Joan Nathan pushes back on that here, noting that she and her friends agree the kosher turkeys of today are less salty than they used to be.
    Self-basting. A self-basting turkey is injected with a solution to improve the flavor and juiciness of the meat. Some manufacturers treat only the breast meat, while others inject the entire bird. The label must say “basted” or “self-basted” and must list the amount and names of the ingredients used in the basting solution. (Remember, the net weight of the turkey includes the weight added by the solution — so you could be paying more for less meat. Cook’s Info says: “The solution injected will constitute 6 to 9 % of the weight that you are paying for.”) Generally speaking, you do not need to brine a self-basting turkey yourself before cooking (which saves time). If you prefer to use your own brine solution, read the packaging closely to ensure your Thanksgiving turkey isn’t already basted.
    Fully cooked. As stated, a fully cooked whole turkey has been precooked and frozen by the processor. After thawing, it can be reheated (or served cold), which takes much less time than cooking a raw bird. Note, though: You can’t stuff a fully cooked turkey, as the dish isn’t in the oven long enough.
    Young. A “young” turkey is a turkey of either sex that is less than 8 months old at the time of slaughter. Most turkeys reach market maturity at 4-5 months of age. As Berkeley Wellness says, “Most of the turkeys found on the market are young and will have tender meat.”
    Hen vs. tom. Turkeys weighing 8-16 pounds are usually female (hens), while larger birds are male (toms). Since supermarket turkeys are normally slaughtered young, both hens and toms should be about the same in terms of taste, juiciness, and tenderness — so don’t fret too much over the sex of your bird. (That said, Berkeley Wellness notes that some cooks claim toms are tastier, and some say you’ll get more white meat on a hen.)
    As you might guess, the further you get from name-brand commercial turkeys, the more you’re likely to pay. Heritage and organic turkeys can be pricey. If you’re searching for something less expensive, consider Amish turkeys (which are generally natural and hormone-free) or free-range birds. (For a real deep dive on turkey prices, the USDA has information for you.)
    *As this NPR article from 2015 makes clear, a number of these labels are not quite as clear-cut as we wish they were!

    2. To Get the Right Size, Buy a Pound Per Person (or More)

    Traditional Thanksgiving holiday in the USA, with family preparing turkey and gathering around the table.

    Here’s a simple formula: Get 1 pound of Thanksgiving turkey for each adult you’re serving, and half a pound per child. So if you’ve got 10 adults coming and four kids, you’ll want at least a 12-pound bird. If you’re inviting big eaters or counting on plenty of leftovers, make it 1.5 pounds per adult. (For creative recipes for your excess meat, check out “Thanksgiving Leftovers: Five Fresh Ideas.”)
    Once you hit the 16-pound mark, you can be less strict, as birds that big have a better ratio of meat to bone — e.g., a 20-pound turkey will serve 14 people just fine and yield plenty of leftovers.

    3. For Many People, Frozen Beats Fresh

    As a rule, fresh food sounds better than frozen. But turkey is different. The term “fresh” applies to raw poultry that has never been stored below 26°F. Poultry held at 0°F or below must be labeled “frozen.” (Turkeys stored between 1°F and 25°F don’t have an official name, but are often labeled “refrigerated,” “hard-chilled,” or “previously frozen.”)
    In other words, “fresh” only describes a turkey’s temperature from the time it was processed. It has nothing to do with how long it’s been sitting at the store. And while some cooks rave about a fresh Thanksgiving turkey straight from the farm, in a Cook’s Illustrated taste test, frozen turkeys were rated more moist and tender than fresh birds.
    So we recommend buying a frozen Thanksgiving turkey, as long you have the time and the fridge space to thaw it safely — a 15-pound turkey will take about three full days to thaw.

    4. Decide on Your Recipe Before Shopping

    Your recipe’s success can depend on the type of Thanksgiving turkey you choose. For instance, if you’re experimenting with an unusual brine or exotic seasonings, you probably don’t want a self-basting bird. Or if you’re planning to grill your turkey, you’ll want to be sure it’s not too big. (You also might want to consider asking your butcher to spatchcock it — remove the backbone — for you. This is an excellent method for roasting, too.) So go in to your turkey purchase with an idea of what you’d like to do.

    5. Lock Down Special Turkeys ASAP

    Plan ahead to leave enough time to defrost your frozen Thanksgiving turkeyIf you want a free-range, organic, or heritage bird as your Thanksgiving turkey, it’s not a bad idea to start planning in mid-October. (If you use a digital calendar, go set an annual reminder right now!) Local co-ops and groceries often begin reserving turkeys a few weeks in advance, and family farms like to know even sooner. You’re better off checking in early than missing the rush. And even if you’re just getting a regular frozen commercial bird, make sure you buy it far enough in advance (usually 3-5 days before Thanksgiving) that it has time to thaw.

    Looking for more ideas to gobble up?
    To make this year’s Thanksgiving turkey the best you’ve ever served,
    download our FREE Ultimate Turkey Guide right now.

    Craft your perfect Thanksgiving meal with the gThankYou! Ultimate Thanksgiving Turkey Guide!
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  • The Power of Workplace Gratitude

     
     
    Gratitude in our personal and professional lives is a trending topic these days, but when we first introduced our popular ebook, Transforming Your Workplace With Gratitude, in 2013 we were in the vanguard of the workplace gratitude movement as it relates to company culture and employee engagement.
    Sharing new information related to this fascinating topic through our publications and blog has long been a priority and we’re proud to release this newly updated 2018 edition.
    Download your free copy and harness the power of workplace gratitude!Since its introduction, our eBook on workplace gratitude has been a helpful guide for companies, large and small, as they learned to embrace an attitude of gratitude.  Over the last five years, research has underscored the power of gratitude in our lives.
    This growing body of research demonstrates that companies that make an effort to appreciate employees are among the most successful, most innovative companies in the world and have the highest rates of employee satisfaction and retention.
    Our original 2013 version has been completely rewritten with a focus on how to build authentic appreciation in the workplace today. While the key element in achieving that remains gratitude, the book is an exciting resource for businesses who are either curious to learn more as they embark on this journey or remain committed to sustaining a culture of appreciation.

    Why We Love Workplace Gratitude

    In his book “The Little Book of Gratitude,” the world’s foremost gratitude expert, Professor Robert A. Emmons, calls gratitude “the ultimate performance-enhancing substance.”  Who wouldn’t want that in the workplace?
    Imagine what your work team could accomplish with a 50 percent jump in productivity. What if you could slash voluntary turnover by 31 percent?
    Part of the answer lies in just two words: “Thank you.” Experts agree that authentic gratitude makes all the difference.
    “Thank you” is more than good manners. it’s a powerful force that elevates employee wellbeing, loyalty, productivity and business performance. Not convinced? Download our free eBook and learn why leading business executives take workplace appreciation very seriously.
    We feel strongly about the transformative power of gratitude and think you will too!
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  • Build Your Own Employee Engagement Calendar

    There is plenty of time to engage your employees this year! Download gThankYou's annual Employee Engagment Calendar and be inspired!Maybe your New Year’s resolution for the year was to get organized and plan ahead for employee engagement activities at your job.  The year is winding down but that doesn’t mean you still can’t take advantage of the helpful tools and creative ideas to energize the holiday season in your workplace with gThankYou’s Day-to- Day Employee Celebration Calendar
    A lot of great things can happen in the next three months and this how-to guide will aid you in building an everyday culture of appreciation.  Each month includes dates to celebrate and a mini-case study.
    October’s focus is on fun, November includes tips on writing a meaningful Thanksgiving Letter for employees and December delves into what our employees really want for the holidays.
    Fourth quarter is also a great time to plan for next year!
    We’ll be launching our updated Employee Celebration Calendar soon – newly updated and full of fun ideas and inspiration for your planning. It’s the perfect supplement to building out your employee engagement plans for the new year.

    Create Your Own Employee Engagement Calendar

    Need inspiration to start on your new year planning?
    Christina Thompson, writing for Quantum Workplace, has outlined some excellent strategies for creating a custom calendar.  It’s a great way to start working through your plan thinking. She advises asking yourself questions about the following topics and consider the communication needs and timelines that come with each:

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  • Plan Now For a Headstart on Your Employee Holiday Gifts

    Plan now for your Thanksgiving employee holiday giftsYikes…summer flew by and it seems that we’re careening into fall.  Now that we’ve cleared the hurdles of Back to School and Labor Day and are about to switch thermostats from cool to heat, wouldn’t it be a relief to actually be able to check something important off of your to do list?
    If the speed in which the seasons are changing is any indication, the holidays will be upon us soon and things will only get more intense as the fourth quarter approaches.

    Employee Holiday Gifts – Planning Now Is The Smart Strategy

    By planning ahead, your own holidays may just be a bit brighter and less stressful. (The Mayo Clinic offers some helpful suggestions on reducing holiday stress.)
    Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to spend time with your own family and friends without the worry looming that you haven’t completed your employee holiday gift purchasing?
    Perhaps you’ll even be able to slow down enough to curl up with a blanket and a book about hygee, the Scandinavian pursuit of coziness and the celebrating life’s simple pleasures.
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  • Want a Happy Workplace? Embrace Equality & Diversity

    Build a happy workplace with sincere appreciation and the commitment to an eqitable and fair workplace.
    Building a happy workplace is a priority for many employers. It starts with doing the fundamentals such as diversity, equality and fairness well.  Embrace these and you’ll have the foundation needed for building a great workplace. Add a commitment to employee appreciation and you’ll create a happy, productive and loyal workforce.

    Inequality Breeds Unhappiness

    Why is that even when, in general, we are more prosperous, we are less happy?  Jonathan Rauch explores this issue in-depth in a New York Times op-ed 
    In America (and also in other countries), an impressive postwar rise in material well-being has had zero effect on personal well-being. The divergence between economic growth and subjective satisfaction began decades ago. Real per capita income has more than tripled since the late 1950s, but the percentage of people saying they are very happy has, if anything, slightly declined.
    Rauch, when conducting research for his book, The Happiness Curve: Why Life Gets Better After 50, learned that happiness is local and relative.
    Although moral philosophers may wish Homo sapiens were wired more rationally, we humans are walking, talking status meters, constantly judging our worth and social standing by comparing ourselves with others today and with our own prior selves.
    Rauch further explained, “…people will tolerate and sometimes even embrace inequality if they believe the system is fair and lets them get ahead.”  He described a witticism that is often attributed to Gore Vidal,  “it is not enough for me to succeed; others must fail” as being “uncomfortably accurate.”  Rauch cited a  striking experiment, in which certain households in Kenyan villages were the random recipients of large financial windfalls. The lucky households were happy, but their neighbors experienced increased unhappiness because they felt as they had fallen behind.

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  • Life Lessons From the Happiest Countries

    World Happiness Report about the happiest countries

    Finland came in number 1 in this year’s World Happiness Report – Nordic countries typically dominate the top ten.


    Why are people in some countries happier than others?  What factors contribute to happiness and how can we improve happiness at home and in the workplace?  We can apply lessons from the happiest countries in the world on how to be happy.

    Listen and Learn

    Freakanomics recently released a podcast “How to be Happy” addresses those questions and does a deep dive into Denmark’s consistently high happiness ranking.  It’s definitely worth a listen (or a read since it’s also been transcribed).  It includes engaging interviews with: Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen; Jeff Sachs, economics professor at Columbia University, special adviser to the UN Secretary General on the Sustainable Development Goals and co-editor of the World Happiness Report; and Helen Russell, journalist and author.

    What are the Happiest Countries?

    The U.N.’s World Happiness Report, which ranks 156 countries by their happiness levels and 117 countries by the happiness of their immigrants (and also serves as an antidote to our unhealthy obsession with Gross Domestic Product), is typically topped by Nordic countries.  In 2018 Finland took the top spot as the happiest country.  The rest of the top ten in order of overall happiness were Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, and Australia.
    The U.S. ranked 18th, dropping down four spots from last year. Sachs explained, “The U.S. happiness ranking is falling, in part because of the ongoing epidemics of obesity, substance abuse and untreated depression.”
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  • There's a Science to Happiness in the Workplace

    Nuture happiness in the workplace

    Happiness in the workplace is achievable — and you can learn how.


    On September 3, the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, will launch a new online course, “The Science of Happiness at Work.” Based on the center’s hugely popular free course “The Science of Happiness,” this new course will teach attendees why it matters so much to promote happiness in the workplace and how to do it. As the center puts it:

    People who are happier at work are more committed to their organization, rise to positions of leadership more rapidly, are more productive and creative, and suffer fewer health problems. More and more, research is suggesting that happiness should not be an afterthought for workplaces; it should be an essential goal, entwined with the kinds of 21st century skills that are key to individual and organizational success today.

    And a key element of happiness in the workplace is gratitude. In fact, gratitude is a key element of happiness anywhere, according to decades of research on the subject. As researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky — author of the bestselling The How of Happiness and The Myths of Happiness — explains in this short video, gratitude does a number of things to pave the way for happy feelings.
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  • Resources for Building an Employee Wellness Program

    Building an employee wellness program should take into account diet, exercise and overall wellbeing.

    Building an employee wellness program includes exercise and diet activities, but should go beyond those, too.


    Thinking about building an employee wellness program?
    They’re still quite popular with businesses looking for perks that will benefit both workers and leadership. Per HR Dive, in a 2017 study by Virgin Pulse, 85 percent of employers surveyed said their wellness programs were good for employee engagement, recruitment, retention, and overall company culture. More than just offering exercise- and diet-related options, these programs are increasingly incorporating mental-health components as well. That shift has proven popular with employees, 85 percent of whom say they want help managing stress.
    That said, employee wellness programs are far from a magic bullet. Further research reported by HR Dive reveals that while 56 percent of employers think building an employee wellness program has made their employees healthier, only 32 percent of those employees concur with that assessment. And in another survey, 55 percent of employers claimed to offer wellness programs, but only 36 percent of employees said they were aware of those programs.
    If your company is interested in building an employee wellness program, you’ll want to think hard about what kinds of wellness are most meaningful to your workers. You also want to design a program your employees will actually use and that has practical benefits for the company as a whole.
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  • How Companies Can Cultivate Workplace Friendships

    Did you know August 5th is National Friendship Day? Help your workplace engage and find ways to nuture workplace friendships.

    Happy Friendship Day 2018! Photo of Friendship Day celebration display by Ananta Bhadra Lamichhane


    As National Friendship Day 2018 approaches on August 5th, it’s the perfect time to reflect on how companies can cultivate workplace friendships and why workplace friendships are important.

    Survey Says…

    In an article about workplace friendships for L & D Daily Advisor, writer Lin Grensing-Pophal cites a Gallup Q-12 employee engagement assessment tool which asks the questions, “Do you have a best friend at work?” Why ask that question?  Well, research by Gallup indicates that having a best friend in the workplace correlates with higher job satisfaction rates AND a reduction in the likelihood that an employee will depart to find a different job.
    Sadly, a New York Times opinion piece by Adam Grant indicates that the number of employees who say they have a friend (not even a best friend) in the workplace is declining.
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  • 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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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.