• The Ice Cream Gift Your Employees Are Craving

    gThankYou makes giving an ice cream gift easy, affordable and fun!

    An ice cream gift is the perfect way to treat your staff this summer! (Photo via sussexcareers, Flickr)

    National Ice Cream Day is this Sunday, July 16! What better time to share an ice cream gift with your employees?

    Bring a little summer into your workplace with an ice cream gift employees will appreciate and enjoy sharing with friends and family.

    gThankYou! Ice Cream Gift Certificates allow you to share a fun, cool treat with staff anytime! Share an unexpected gift of appreciation, stock up your “on-the-spot” reward supplies, or throw and ice cream party and send virtual workers ice cream gift certificates so they can participate in the fun too!

    An ice cream gift voucher by gThankYou is redeemable at virtually all chain grocery stores nationwide for any brand, flavor or style of ice cream or frozen novelty.

    That means your recipients get to enjoy exactly the kind of ice cream they like best: chocolate chip cookie dough, Neapolitan, coffee, pistachio, good old vanilla, perhaps a dairy-free frozen treat, or one of the trending ice creams that are hot this summer.

    Or they can take the “What Ice Cream Flavor Are You?” quiz for inspiration — a very scientific inquiry, naturally.

    National Ice Cream Day is always the third Sunday in July. If one day of the year just isn’t enough to do justice to your team’s love of ice cream, no worries. You have all month to celebrate, because July is National Ice Cream Month!

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  • Employee Thank You Gifts for Generation Z

    Employee Thank You Gifts for Generation Z - think inexpensive, thoughtful and something that can be shared!

    Meet the high expectations of your interns and youngest employees with employee Thank You gifts they’ll appreciate. (Photo via Maryland GovPics, Flickr)

    Every generation in the workplace appreciates employee Thank You gifts, and Generation Z is no exception — in fact, showing appreciation is even more crucial to engaging these young people.

    Several characteristics are emerging in the generation born after 1995: they have high expectations, they’re practical and they’re in a position to influence the workplace for years.

    The oldest members of Generation Z are graduating college now, so this is the year “Generation Z starts flooding workplaces,” according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and it’s happening “at the same time that there is a tight labor force.”

    Like Millennials, the Generation Z cohort cares about the environment and wants to have a passion for work.

    But today’s recent college graduates also saw, at an impressionable age, the effects of the Great Recession on their families.

    According to social scientists who study generational patterns, experiencing the recession at a young age created a generation of young people with entrepreneurial spirit and a practical appreciation of pay, benefits and mentoring possibilities.

    And there’s a lot of them.

    “Gen Z is larger than Generation Y, which has already made workplaces more entrepreneurial and pushed work/life flexibility issues more than ever before,” the Star Tribune’s Catherine Roberts writes. “That means these young adults will have an outsized influence on workplace culture for years to come.”

    What does this mean for your company’s approach to employee appreciation and employee Thank You gifts? You’ll need a strong appreciation program to usher them into the workplace and keep them engaged. As your organization begins to hire interns and new employees from Generation Z, be prepared!

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  • 10 Summertime Workplace Celebration Ideas

    easy ways to thank employees gthankyou

    Be inspired by our summertime workplace celebration ideas to plan your own employee appreciation event! Pictured here: the City of North Charleston honoring its Public Works employees with a cookout. (Photo via NorthCharleston, Flickr)

    The 4th of July is behind us. Up ahead: two months of summer — sunny, lazy, distracting summer, with vacation days and “summer Fridays” tempting employees at every turn.

    In other words? A recipe for disengagement. And your task is keeping employees engaged.

    It’s not as tough as you may think! Keeping up engagement levels through the summer months depends on a good balance that integrates fun, freedom, fitness and focus.

    If employees have opportunities for regular, low-key summertime celebrations that center on accomplishments, family and wellness, they’ll be more likely to be productive the rest of the time.

    This is the thinking behind the HR shift from “work-life balance” to “work-life integration,” according to the Limeade blog post “How to Keep Your Work-Life Integration On Track This Summer.”

    “We believe you need to focus on the whole employee, rather than separating who they are in the office and who they are at home,” the Limeade marketing team writes.

    “And it’s your job to find ways to connect and integrate the two. … Work-life balance implies a zero-sum game that says we can’t have it all. Work-life integration lets us coordinate, blend and bring elements of work and life into a unified whole.”

    Employees in organizations that focus on work-life integration initiatives like social support and wellbeing are more likely to be engaged, more likely to recommend their employer to others and more likely to “go the extra mile” for the company.

    Now’s not the time to pull out draconian rules or punish employees for wanting to enjoy their summer — that’s the old way of doing things and it didn’t work.

    Instead, be inspired by the following summertime workplace celebration ideas to plan your own engagement calendar for the season.

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  • 8 Easy Ways to Thank Employees for 4th of July

    Easy ways to thank employees for Independence Day

    Working 4th of July? Take a break for a team outing to your city’s 4th of July parade, like this one in Austin, Texas. (Photo via cherrywood_78722, Flickr)

    Some of the most effective, easy ways to thank employees can be done on the fly, or with just a few days’ notice – just remember to keep the message of gratitude in mind!

    Try it! You have your chance coming up with a holiday that’s easy to celebrate in the workplace: the 4th of July.

    Independence Day has themes that bring people together — patriotism, community, family — plus it has traditions everyone loves: fireworks and sparklers, fun parades, neighborhood barbecues and children’s games like the cakewalk and egg toss.

    Some businesses shut down over the 4th of July weekend, giving their employees the time off.

    But many companies have no choice but to stay open, particularly those in the service industry, like health care, hospitality, entertainment and retail.

    If you have employees working on 4th of July or over the 4th of July weekend, take the opportunity to acknowledge that they’re working over a popular holiday and let them know how much you appreciate their valuable time.

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  • Summertime Appreciation Gifts: Ice Cream Gift Certificates

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

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

    Summertime appreciation gifts keep employees engaged through the distractions of the season.

    “Savvy companies maintain staff productivity and morale by embracing summer in the workplace,” says Brandi Britton of staffing firm OfficeTeam, which recently released survey results on what employees want most for summer engagement.

    The ability to leave the office early on Friday afternoons — “summer Fridays” — is a popular perk for employees this year.

    But showing appreciation with schedule flexibility just doesn’t work in all businesses and industries.

    “For those in the hospitality, construction, recreation and outdoor industries, the summer is actually a very busy season, so these workers have no time to be distracted by the lure of lazy summer days,” according to the Daily Herald of Provo, Utah.

    Many manufacturers, mom-and-pop shops and other small business owners must work nonstop through the summer months, too.

    So what’s the best way to thank busy employees in the summer?

    A dental clinic office manager tells the Daily Herald says she boosts employee morale with little treats throughout the season.

    “It can be as simple as bringing my team lunch one day, or having a candy bar for an employee who is having a tough time. I like to do those little things as pick-me-ups,” she says.

    gThankYou! Ice Cream Gift Certificates - the perfect summertime appreciation gift for employees!Ice cream gift certificates from gThankYou fit the bill perfectly as employee “pick-me-ups”! Everyone loves the cool treat of ice cream in the summer months, and gThankYou! Ice Cream Gift Certificates make it convenient and affordable to share this summertime token of appreciation.

    gThankYou! Ice Cream Gift Certificates can be redeemed for any brand of ice cream at major grocery chain stores in the U.S. Read on for why an ice cream gift is such a favorite summertime choice in the workplace!

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  • How Organizational Storytelling Boosts Employee Loyalty

    Organizational storytelling can build employee retention and loyalty.

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

    Data, numbers, graphs and percentages only go so far in engaging with employees and customers. Organizational storytelling fills in the gaps and actually connects with people. It provides the emotional context for why the organization does what it does.

    Tony Hsieh, CEO of online shoe retailer Zappos, has “a mental pantry of stories at his ready” to explain his company and business philosophies, according to Chief Executive magazine.

    “It’s possible for a leader to have a grand vision, but it’s not possible to turn that vision into reality unless countless others adopt it as their own and work tirelessly in concert to achieve it,” Chief Executive’s Bill Baker writes.

    Inspiring others requires good storytelling. You can watch Hsieh in this video clip telling a story of extraordinary customer service at Zappos.

    He could have just rolled out a bunch of numbers — customer satisfaction ratings, employee satisfaction figures — instead, he gives a moving example of a Zappos service rep sending flowers to a customer whose husband had just died.

    Support your stories with data when necessary, of course. Data is an essential resource. But six months from now, what people will remember most clearly is the story, not the data.

    “When just about every fact on the planet is but one mouse click away, stories take on new importance in every business enterprise. From leadership to team building to branding to knowledge management, narrative has become a powerful — and essential — tool,” Daniel Pink writes in his New York Times bestseller, “A Whole New Mind.”

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