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!
Try Our Turkey Vouchers and Ham Gifts This Summer!
Looking for a way to make summer special for your employees? When you give them gThankYou’s turkey vouchers and ham gifts, you’re not just thanking them — you’re also giving them a reason to celebrate!
Summer is high time for grilling out, of course. Last year, the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association reported that 73 percent of American consumers will cook out on the Fourth of July, 60 percent on Memorial Day, 58 percent on Labor Day, and 45 percent on Father’s Day. Many of your own employees are no doubt among those millions of backyard chefs; make them feel valued by giving them something special to share with family and friends this summer.
gThankYou turkey vouchers and ham gifts can be redeemed for any brand, any size, and any preparation of whole turkey, or whole or half ham, at major grocery stores and supermarkets nationwide. gThankYou Gift Certificates are redeemed as Manufacturer Coupons, just like the ones that come in your Sunday newspaper.
Plus, all gThankYou Gift Certificates come with customized, personalized “Thank You” Enclosure Cards — FREE. That makes it easy to tell your employees exactly how much they mean to you and the success of your business.
Turkey on the Grill: Simple and Dazzlingly Delicious
Not only does a turkey often cook more quickly on a grill than in the oven, as Real Simple points out, the bird also comes out “super-juicy, very slightly smoky, easy, and packed with flavor.”
There are plenty of recipes out there for grilling a turkey — here’s one! — but employees should know a bit about the physics of barbecuing before proceeding. Real Simple offers great tips on the difference between direct and indirect heat, adding flavor, and making sure you have the right tools on hand.Read More