• 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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  • Building Great Workplace Culture Through Public Service

    Building great workplace culture with your team

    Celebrate volunteerism on Public Service Day, June 23! It’s an opportunity for building great workplace culture with your team. (Photo via Rocco Rossi, Flickr)

    Building great workplace culture doesn’t just happen inside the workplace. Sometimes going out into the community with your team is the best way to strengthen company culture.

    The United Nations’ Public Service Day is June 23, and it’s an opportunity for this kind of culture-building community outreach.

    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon describes Public Service Day as a celebration of the individuals and organizations dedicated to “serving people and improving the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable.”

    What does serving the public good have to do with building great workplace culture? A lot, it turns out.

    A 2017 study from Deloitte revealed that employers who encourage and promote volunteering have better morale, workplace atmosphere and brand perception.

    Community involvement and public service are what employees want.

    Among the 1,000 employees Deloitte surveyed, 70 percent believe volunteer activities are more likely to boost staff morale than company-sponsored happy hours. More than three-quarters say volunteering is essential to employee wellbeing.

    Yet, according to Deloitte, most companies aren’t cashing in on these potential benefits. Less than 40 percent of employees surveyed said their employers provide access to company-sponsored or coordinated volunteer programs.

    “Employers have an opportunity to build on their volunteerism programs by creating a culture that celebrates volunteering and empowers volunteers to be more active,” Deloitte’s Doug Marshall tells Business News Daily.

    Start now on Public Service Day! Workplace volunteerism and showing gratitude to public servants are well-recognized for building great workplace culture.

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  • 4th of July Employee Appreciation Gifts Your Staff Will Love

    4th of July Employee Appreciation Gifts are sure to be a crowd pleaser!

    4th of July employee appreciation gifts are the perfect summertime “Thank You” for your staff. Be sure to include the whole family in your celebration! (Photo via usembassyta, Flickr)

    Employee appreciation gifts for the 4th of July are the perfect summertime “Thank You.” Delight the whole family with gift certificates for ice cream, pie, or turkey or ham from gThankYou.

    It’s the perfect way to augment this summer’s hottest employee perk.

    “Summer Fridays” are all the rage this year, according to a Bloomberg Businessweek article.

    One manager tells Businessweek she decided to join the trend and formally give her employees Friday afternoons off all summer because it just makes sense.

    “In the summer, we’re so happy to get out early and enjoy an ice cream. It’s not life changing but it’s so much fun to be able to get out of the office at 2 p.m.,” she says.

    Giving employees a gift certificate for that ice cream — or for a turkey or ham to grill over the weekend, or pie to bring to their family 4th of July picnic — is an added token of gratitude they’ll love.

    gThankYou Gift Certificates make it easy, convenient and affordable to share grocery treats with employees this summer!

    And it’s not too late to order in time for the 4th of July.

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  • 7 Employee Engagement Books to Read This Summer

    New employee engagement books for your summer reading list

    Put a few employee engagement books on your reading list this summer for fresh ideas and perspectives. (Photo via byrawpixel, Flickr)

    Make it a goal this summer to check out employee engagement books that will inspire and challenge you, whether you’re planning a major “think week” or just have 15 minutes a day to read over lunch.

    Get a head start on engagement planning for 2018 by exposing yourself to fresh ideas and perspectives. Spark your creativity!

    According to Kevin Kruse, consultant and NYT bestselling author of “Employee Engagement 2.0,” employee engagement is often misunderstood.

    That lack of understanding is holding back American companies.

    In an interview with Business Management Daily, he calls engagement “one of the secrets behind so many of my companies.”

    Yet it’s surprisingly rare.

    “Only about one-third of the workforce is truly engaged at work, and we’ve been stuck at this number for about two decades. This is really a shame as life is too short to be unhappy at work,” Kruse says.

    In short, effective engagement leads to a workforce that cares.

    “A sales person who truly cares about organizational results will sell just as hard on a Friday afternoon as she would on a Monday,” Kruse explains. “An engaged service rep will be just as patient and helpful at 4:59 p.m. as he would be at 9:00 a.m. An engaged factory worker will yank the cord to stop the line every single time a defect is noticed.”

    Want to see this level of passion and caring at your company? Make it a goal to read one or more of these employee engagement books, based on decades of experience and research into building vibrant, engaged workplace culture.

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