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
Summer’s here! And the time is right for making sure your interns have a rewarding work experience this summer. That experience begins even before their first day on the job. Here are best practice intern onboarding tips to ensure they feel valued and an important part of your workplace culture and success from the start!Read More
Share Your Workplace Love with Donuts!
Friday, June 1st is National Donut Day and a perfect opportunity to celebrate colleagues with a donut, coffee (and maybe a side of fruit)!
Donuts are a time-honored workplace treat, so it’s fun to have an excuse to pick up a box for the office. After all, they’ve been a sign of appreciation since at least World War I!
National Donut Day was started by the Salvation Army in 1938 to pay tribute to the selfless spirit of the “donut lassies” who cared for American soldiers in Europe during World War I. Tasked with lifting soldier spirits far from home, these Salvation Army volunteers decided to serve them donuts and coffee. The donuts were an immediate hit with soldiers – and the Salvation Army has continued to this day, celebrating Donut Day to raise money and awareness of their social services.
No surprise, donuts make people smile and feel good. They are fun and indulgent and remind us of when we were kids. It’s no wonder people love celebrating with donuts!Read More
Find Nice Things to Say to Employees — It’s Worth It
No surprise we love the idea of “Say Something Nice Day,” which is coming up next Friday, June 1. But there’s one surefire way to improve on it in your workplace: Find nice things to say to employees every day — and use Say Something Nice Day as an annual reminder to recommit to that goal.
Research has found that workplaces cultures improve when managers take the time to look for nice things to say to employees. One Gallup study reported that regular verbal recognition and praise results in employees who are:
- More productive
- More engaged with colleagues
- More loyal to their employers
- Better at serving customers
- Safer on the job
In other words, just spending a few minutes every day makes employees feel valued and is GREAT for the health of your business!Read More
For some people the Monday blues can kick in on Sunday evening. But there are plenty of cost-free things to do to banish those beginning of the workweek blahs and start the workweek off with a smile.
Tap into the popular hashtags #ItDoesntCostAnythingTo and #MondayMotivation” on social media and you might just find that you can change your own attitude and perhaps improve the moods of your employees and colleagues. After all, gratitude is contagious!