• Grow Workplace Positivity One Compliment at a Time

    It's easy to build workplace positivity! Take advantage of World Compliment Day and Employee Appreciation Day to share your sincere thanks.

    It takes just a few minutes a day to build workplace positivity with compliments. Start today — World Compliment Day!

    Building Workplace Positivity

    Workplace positivity grows through appreciation and, specifically, great compliments. Start practicing today, World Compliment Day, to get ready for Employee Appreciation Day later this week.

    Held annually on March 1, World Compliment Day has its origins in the Netherlands.

    World Compliment Day is not commercially oriented, “so everyone can afford to participate,” according to a history at WorldComplimentDay.info. It “simply addresses the basic human need for recognition and appreciation. … And therein lies its power.”

    Hans Poortvliet, a Dutch recognition professional and the driving force behind the annual event in the Netherlands, points out that compliments cost nothing but have a huge impact.

    “Nothing stimulates more, gives more energy, makes people happier and, as far as business is concerned, increases productivity and commitment faster than sincere appreciation,” Poortvliet says. Ultimately, if every person pays a compliment to at least three people, “we will definitely create the Most Positive Day in the World!”

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  • 3 Mini-Case Studies in Employee Appreciation

    Share your heartfelt thanks this Employee Appreciation Day!

    Celebrate genuine workplace gratitude and teamwork for Employee Appreciation Day on March 3. (Photo via AFGE, Flickr)

    Employee Appreciation Day is this Friday, March 3. To get ready, we combed the news for case studies in effective, original employee appreciation to inspire your efforts.

    What makes a good employee appreciation program?

    Hppy’s infographic Top 10 Best Workplace Incentives has three criteria for worthwhile employee appreciation.

    First, it reduces turnover. Watching coworkers quit in frustration is demoralizing. It feeds gossip and unhappiness among staff and slows down productivity.

    Unappreciated, stressed-out employees will eventually seek happiness elsewhere, “joining the 2.7 million people who quit their jobs each month,” according to Hppy. “And as any HR professional knows, turnover is the bane of corporate existence. It takes at least 20 percent of a person’s salary to replace them — not to mention the time and energy you’ll spend conducting interviews and reading applications.”

    Second, it saves money — but maybe not immediately: “Many companies hesitate to start incentives programs because of the costs it will incur. But these costs are relatively small compared to the money you’ll save in the long run.”

    Third, it generates good. Ultimately, employee appreciation is “about creating a better workplace — and a better world,” according to Hppy. “Take Facebook: they offer moms and dads four months of paid time off to spend with their new baby, plus pay adoption fees. By supporting parents, Facebook contributes to a more stable, family-oriented society.”

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  • Gallup Report: Time to Reinvent Employee Recognition

    Employee recognition "wake up" call from Gallup

    Gallup’s latest in-depth report is a “call to action” for a more engaged leadership providing ongoing, effective employee recognition. (Photo via COD Newsroom, Flickr)

    Grab your coffee, Gallup is serving business leaders a wake-up call.

    Employee recognition needs to be a top priority, according to Gallup’s massive 2017 State of the American Workplace.

    Experts at Gallup are calling the report a “call to action” for companies, starting with a complete overhaul of employee recognition and engagement strategy.

    The old ways of managing employees just aren’t working, and change isn’t optional.

    Released last week, the 214-page report is Gallup’s first comprehensive survey of the U.S. workplace in four years. Gallup bases its research on data collected from more than 195,600 U.S. employees, 31 million respondents through Gallup’s Q12 Client Database, and insights from Fortune 1000 companies.

    It’s a lot of data to unpack — but it’s incredibly useful. The report gives HR leaders and managers an in-depth look at how they’re doing across the board. It’s not a rosy picture.

    If you’ve been following Gallup’s excellent month-to-month workplace research, some of the report’s data won’t be surprising. Engagement numbers are still dismally low — only 33 percent of American workers are engaged at their jobs, and productivity continues to decline. More than half are looking for work elsewhere.

    But the report also provides new data and insights into why employees aren’t more engaged or productive. Again and again, the data points to a need for more engaged leadership and much better employee recognition.

    The once-a-year model of employee recognition just doesn’t cut it anymore.

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  • 9 Free Resources to Inspire Workplace Kindness

    Want to inspire wworkplace kindness? Read on for free resources to help.

    First step toward a kinder culture? Smile! And take advantage of the many free resources to help your organization build workplace kindness. (Photo via Kamil Porembiński, Flickr)

    Are you inspired by Random Acts of Kindness Week to build workplace kindness in your organization?

    Now’s the time to start. Only one in four employees feel valued at work, a 16 percent drop from last year, according to the TINYPulse 2017 Employee Engagement Report.

    “Managers are falling behind in their recognition efforts,” the study concludes.

    Worse, only 24 percent of employees feel connected to their peers — “11 percent lower than last year, and this gap is causing cross-functional frictions.”

    Where are the positive trends? Among the growing number of companies that 1) commit to improving culture, and 2) prioritize frequent feedback.

    “The top factors related to employee happiness turn out to be the intangible ones such as interpersonal relationships, culture and work environment,” TINYPulse researchers write. “Benefits, work-life balance and flexible schedules, surprisingly, don’t have a strong impact on employee happiness.”

    So building a culture of workplace kindness is no longer the “nice thing to do” — it’s a smart, strategic move backed by research as a driver of employee performance, motivation and retention. But it can be hard to know where to start — or, if your company is already working on an engagement strategy, how to move forward and constantly improve.

    Good news: from research analysis to podcasts, there are tons of free resources out there to inspire you. Read on for a list to help you and your team create a unique strategy for a better culture of workplace kindness in your organization — this #RAKweek2017 and beyond!

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  • To Build Workplace Kindness, Try Empathy

    workplace kindness all starts with empathy

    Kindness is a powerful way to break up workplace stress, and it starts with applied empathy. (Image via Sean MacEntee, Flickr)

    Random Acts of Kindness Week is here! In honor of the importance of kindness, let’s build more workplace kindness together this week.

    Kindness is a powerful way to build engagement, encourage well-being and break up workplace stress.

    Celebrating kindness reminds us to incorporate it more into all aspects of our everyday life — with family, friends and our communities. Ever tried sharing unexpected kindness? It’s contagious and creates a ripple effect of shared goodwill and feelings of appreciation.

    But what exactly causes people to act in kind ways? It starts with empathy. And the effects of a more empathic workplace culture go beyond kindness and less stress.

    “In the workplace, empathy is often portrayed as a requisite tool for emotionally intelligent leaders. But perhaps more notable is the strong effect on performance,” Forbes columnist Jessica Amortegui writes in her post, “Are You Using Apple’s Secret Skill at Work?”

    Read on to find out what empathy is exactly, why it’s needed, and how one company is systematically and methodically using “applied empathy” to beat workplace stress and create a healthier, happier culture.

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  • How to Celebrate Valentine’s Day in the Workplace

    Celebrating workplace friendships is why you should celebrate valentines day in the workplace!

    There’s another way to frame a Valentine’s Day workplace celebration besides romance. It’s a celebration of workplace friendships! (Photo by Tyler Burrus, Flickr)

    Planning a Valentine’s Day workplace celebration may seem like a tricky proposition at first glance — drawing attention to romance, among coworkers? That’s an HR headache waiting to happen!

    But there’s another way to frame a Valentine’s Day workplace celebration: as a celebration of workplace friendships and the strong bonds that develop between people who work closely together.

    “We all need friends at work,” writes University of Kentucky provost and management professor Christine M. Riordan, for Harvard Business Review.

    At a time when employee engagement is at an all-time low, it’s important to recognize the power of friendship in the workplace, according to Riordan.

    Why Workplace Friendships Deserve Celebration

    “Research shows that workers are happier in their jobs when they have friendships with co-workers. … Gallup found that close work friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50 percent and people with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to engage fully in their work,” Riordan writes.

    But workplace friendships are about more than camaraderie and fun.

    “It is also about creating a common sense of purpose and the mentality that we are in it together,” she writes.

    Friendships are particularly vital to the happiness, motivation and productivity of Millennial employees, according to a LinkedIn study.

    Another demographic is seeing an increased reliance on friendships: men. According to a recent survey, men are forming more meaningful relationships with other men. And that could have a “transformational” effect in the workplace, according to the Fast Company article, “How Men’s Changing Friendships Might Reshape the Workplace.”

    “We already know how workplace friendships can be vital, energizing and meaningful. In addition to their upsides for individual well-being, they also impact team performance, adding another level to the instrumental ways we rely on each other and collaborate,” researcher Michael Kimmel writes for Fast Company.

    “We men are also learning that workplace friendships, with both women and men, can be a reason we show up for work every day. We let down our guard, share what’s important, and listen with care. And our lives — in the office and outside it — are so much richer for that.”

    Read on for tips on how to plan a Valentine’s Day workplace celebration that reflects the transformational power of friendship between coworkers.

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