• How to Gift in the Workplace: Part III

    It became a popular fun topic of conversation around the water cooler the same time every month. Who would receive the certificate and hearty handshake? As the ritual went, monthly all-staff meetings concluded with the top executive handing out his pick-of-the-month for the stand-out employee.
    Although the certificate (suitable for framing) held no monetary value, it was treasured by the recipient and often displayed for years in cubes and offices. Accolades like this have been proven to be the greatest workplace gift of all. And I would argue that it’s not so much what or when (see Parts I and II of this series), but how the gift is presented that is really key to a successful workplace gift program that will return rewards to your company.
    Saying Thank You to employees with meaningful rewards is good. Doing it in a way that recognizes specific achievements in a forum that creates awareness is great. Even if it’s a simple gift, putting thought behind the presentation has been proven to motivate.
    It a recent Workplace Wrangler blog the Seattle Post Intelligencier drew attention to author Daniel Pink’s recent speech at the TED conference. The talk, detailing the science of motivation, notes that “when it comes to motivation, there is a huge gap between what science knows and what companies do.” Pink wrote the acclaimed Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. According to the PI:

    Pink convincingly argues that once our basic need for financial stability is taken care of, the desire for intrinsic motivation kicks in. Intrinsic motivation is founded upon personal rewards (individual interest or love) rather than extrinsic motivation (money). In fact, many scientific studies have demonstrated that people actually become less motivated when money is tied to doing something we are already drawn to doing. It actually devalues it for us!

    Pink advocates employers to adopt a “now-that” approach to rewards and gifts instead of the usual quid-pro-quo “if-then” rewards system to gain motivation.
    A recent survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers and OfficeTeam reported in the Toronto-based Globe & Mail recently  noted that 33 percent of workers in North America believe their manager fails to recognize them.
    The certificate and hearty handshake method worked because it was a gift that carried a lot of meaning behind it. The recipient was most often a surprise, and always well deserved.
    What’s the best workplace gift you have received? What’s the best reward program you’ve been involved with at a company? Chime in.

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  • 101 Uses for Leftover Ham

    We make egg salad once a year. Bet you guessed that it’s the week following the annual visit from that famous bunny, who leaves colorful, hard-cooked eggs all around our house — in the yard if the snow isn’t too deep.
    Likewise, I have favorite recipes I pull out annually following the big Holiday Ham Dinner. I make ‘em once a year and they’ve become almost as much a tradition as what we do on Easter itself.
    In my estimation, there are probably about 101 ways to use up a bone-in ham. Boneless, too – although I favor a ham bone to make a rich soup stock.

    Favorite Leftover Ham Recipes

    While I love a thick sliced ham sandwich any day – here are our favorite ham dishes I rotate from year to year that I hope you love too. The great thing about ham is you can use it to make the ultimate in comfort food (think mac’ n cheese with ham) or dress it up in elegant appetizers or entrees!

    More Recipe Choices

    That’s not quite 101 leftover ham recipes so let’s include these tasty suggestions from good go-to resources to broaden your choices :

    Send in your family favorites to info@gThankYou.com so we can include them on the blog! There are so many more than 101 choices.

    Happy cooking and happy eating!

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  • Last Minute Ham Dinner Plan

    It may be urban legend, but a statistic widely reported a while back stated many don’t know what they’re serving for dinner that day by 4 o’clock. If that’s true, I have to believe that, even now, those same people haven’t really planned what they’re cooking for their holiday dinner – let alone know how they’ll execute the meal.
    As a public service, we here at gThankYou have decided to put together this no-fail plan (and menu suggestions) to get you started as this week’s Recipe of the Week.
    Most big dinners that involve a roast of some sort needn’t be fussy to be spectacular. But it does take a bit of maneuvering if you don’t have a larger-size oven. Follow the same set of rules for cooking a Ham Dinner as other holiday meals, or dinners that include a big roast.

    1. Plan a simple, yet elegant menu with family favorites or recipes you’re comfortable cooking. Too many new things will become overwhelming.
    2. Include quick sides or those that be made ahead and reheated.
    3. Write it down. Simply putting in writing the order your dishes need to go in and out of the oven, and how long they need to cook, will help things go smoothly.
    4. Have fun and enjoy your meal!

    To get you started, here’s a sample Ham Dinner menu that’s simple, yet satisfying and splendid:

    • Awesome Baked Ham with a gThankYou to Recipezaar.
    • gThankYou to Simply Recipes for this tasty Roasted Asparagus.
    • Food Network posted this straight-forward Potatoes Au Gratin recipe (gThankYou).
    • gThankYou to Epicurious for this Big Green Salad .
    • If you want to make your own, these No-Knead Dinner Rolls are a big winner. gThankYou to Everyday Food.
    • You have to crack a lot of eggs (a full dozen!) to make this fabulous Angel Food Cake, gThankYou to Martha Stewart. We serve ours with fresh strawberries and hand-whipped cream (yum!).

    No need to scramble with this menu. Use it as is or as a launching point for your own fabulous Ham Dinner.

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  • Best Workplace Gifts: What? (Part II)

    That old adage that says when it comes to gifting, it’s the thought that counts holds up in research. And as it turns out, it holds particularly true in the workplace. It’s been proven that positive recognition of employees is a strong morale booster that can strengthen the bottom line.
    But, gift giving experience shows that there’s more to it than that. Following Part I of our guide to the Best Workplace Gifts,  exploring when to give, it’s important to now consider how you decide what to give, To wrap your head around that question, consider that the psychology of gift giving  suggests that “the nature of the gift, not its monetary value, determines the prevalence of reciprocal reactions,” according to researchers at the University of Zurich’s Institute for Empirical Research in Economics who in 2008 published a paper on “The Currency of Reciprocity – Gift-Exchange in the Workplace.

    In field studies, researchers found out that employees offered a gift performed better than if offered higher wages.

    “…An increase in fixed wages only has a negligible impact on workers’ productivity. However, a gift in-kind of equivalent monetary value has an economically and statistically significant effect on productivity. Workers provide 30 percent more output on average. Moreover, this effect remains large and significant over the course of the entire working period…. Our main result remains largely unchanged if the price of the gift is communicated to the workers.”

    Gifts are personal expressions and should be treated that way. But this suggests that small tokens can be more meaningful than big bonuses. Follow these simple guidelines to best determine what to give:

    1. Consider any company policy or rewards program details first when looking at specific employee gifts. (If you don’t have a reward policy, it could be a good time to develop one.)
    2. Your mission and culture can give strong clues to good gift fits. Family-friendly firms, for example, will reap great benefits form gifts that will be meaningful to entire families, rather than an individual tchotchke.
    3. There’s nothing wrong with promoting your company with gifts, such as corporate logo goods, but stay away from anything that says “gag” gift. That sends the wrong message.
    4. Fun is good. Enjoy the process and make the gift choosing and giving fun for managers and employees to create a positive, strengthening atmosphere.

    There’s no need to wrack your brain about what to give. It is important to have a rewards program that emphasizes the mission and culture of your organization. Revisit it, evaluate it and tweak it when necessary.

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  • Ham Glazes: Beyond the Basics

    In a previous post, I touched on the (sometimes controversial) subject of glazing Ham. While it’s a matter of personal preference, family tradition and regional rituals also come into play when deciding to glaze or not to glaze. There’s no right way to attain the perfect Ham, but as with most all things culinary, each individual dish (and cook) has its own correctness.
    I remember, for instance, my aunt doing a grape jelly and ketchup glaze that, as kids, we thought was great. Today, I wouldn’t put that concoction on anything – edible or otherwise (sorry Auntie Barb!).
    For some years, I’ve been in the no-glaze camp when cooking our Holiday Ham, choosing to serve au natural. But some of the following glaze recipes —  this week’s Recipe of the Week —  could convince me to try glazing this year.  gThankYou for each and every glaze recipe!

    Try a variety with Ham Steak to see how they taste to you. Like me, you may be a glaze convert.

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  • Best Workplace Gifts: When? (Part I)

    My Grandfather worked for a railroad company in Northern Minnesota for much of my young life. It was considered a very good job. The stories of Poppy’s railroad work remain a legendary part of our family’s oral history.
    He retired after 25+ years on the job. Along the way, he was given traditional service awards. Treasured were his gold pocket watch, and bronzed locomotive plaque.
    Times, of course, have changed. Gone are the service awards of my Poppy’s day. Often by choice, employees don’t stay with one company long enough to earn a reward based on years and years of service. The next generation of workers in a recent survey from I Love Rewards says they really don’t plan on sticking with one job that long:

    “The average job seeker according to the survey wants to stay with their first employer for 8.9 years, but the reality is that students only stay an average of 1.5 years according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employers have a real opportunity to save money in the long term by investing in robust retention strategies in order to keep this group engaged,” says I Love Rewards CEO and founder Razor Suleman.

    This survey indicates that employees today need rewards early and often:

    “…they don’t care about years-of-service awards, which 91 per cent of companies offer.”

    Companies have a real opportunity to create a new paradigm in their employee reward (and retention) programs. Here’s a blueprint to get you started:

    • Implement and keep a program that reflects your company’s values. In her Work with Me column,  Detroit Free Press workplace reporter Patricia Montemurri recently wrote on the decline of company recognition programs. Victims of tough economic times, these programs hold real value. Don’t cut, experts say.
    • Establish rewards that are given regular intervals. Earlier is better, according to Montemurri’s column:

    “Instead of waiting decades to recognize employees,  it’s becoming more popular to acknowledge an employee’s one-year anniversary — perhaps with a token gift such as a titanium flashlight or a pen and pencil set. If you keep somebody and train them well, and recognize them during the first year, you’ve got a better chance of keeping them on the second year,” according to Anthony Luciano of TharpeRobbin

    • In addition to these regularly scheduled rewards, it’s a real motivational boost to recognize special effort of teams of employees or individuals with tokens that are meaningful.

    Employers may not get much chance to hand out gold pocket watches any more, but there is ample opportunity and reason to recognize achievement and service in the workplace. Your company’s success may depend on it.

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  • Green Eggs and Ham

    Don’t prefer standard Irish dishes like Corned Beef and Cabbage, Guinness Pie, or Bangers and Mash? There’s another option for St. Patrick’s Day dining you may have overlooked
    This week’s recipe: Green Eggs and Ham.  It’s become our favorite way to celebrate St. Patty’s since we started  marking the birthday of children’s literary limerick genius, Dr. Seuss. While Theodor Geisel’s birthday is actually earlier in March, schools, libraries and literacy groups across the country mark the occasion throughout the month with reading activities. It’s a natural tie-in to cook up some Seuss’ most famous food.
    Green Eggs and Ham can be dressed down or made into a special concoction served for breakfast, lunch or dinner. gThankYou for all these variations on the theme:

    Enjoy a bit o’ these types of green with your ham this year. And if you need a Seuss fix, check out this Green Eggs and Ham video and fun Dr. Seuss site.

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  • The Best way to Bake a Ham

    The top-rated recipe each time I visited Epicurious a while back was — seriously — How to Boil Water. Certainly this was a spoof at Conde Nast’s mega food site populated with recipes from its Bon Appetit and now-defunct Gourmet magazines. Just the same, it reminds me of this week’s Recipe of the Week topic: Baking a Ham.
    Many Hams come pre-cooked and, really, need no cooking at all. But most Hams will benefit from baking. And if you don’t make big roasts that much (like me), you may need some reminders and tips.  Why bake? It brings out the natural juices and allows you to customize with a glaze, if you choose, to fit your dinner.
    For a primer on Ham (the USDA recognizes four distinct classifications of Ham based on water to protein ratio), view this video from Alton Brown’s Food Network show, Good Eats.
    After you’ve decided on which type you want to serve — city or country, fresh, bone-in, spiral sliced, etc. – follow these simple steps for the Best Baked Ham Dinner.

    1. Buy a quality Ham: Choose well by knowing what you’re buying. Alton Brown does a good job explaining it, but there’s good information on Ham at Wikipedia, too.
    2. Read the package: Most Hams you buy in your grocer’s case will come with some basic guidelines and instructions for cooking right on the label.
    3. Decide on a glaze: To glaze or not to glaze is a matter of personal taste (and some intense debate). Options range from fruity peach and pineapple, to adventurous honey mustard and hoisin sauce. Experiment with recipes from CDKitchen and Recipetips.com or go with a family favorite.
    4. Bake and check for doneness: One of my favorite kitchen tools is a digital probe thermometer. It is readable from outside the oven and alerts me when food is done. Consumer Reports rates them here.
    5. Enjoy! Slice and serve with your favorite sides. That’s another post, but please share your top picks with us.

    While not exactly a no-brainer, it is easy to make a memorable Ham Dinner, whether it be holiday-related or for Sunday supper.

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  • NEWS RELEASE: New Season, New Designs Say Thank You with Employee Gifts at gThankYou

    This spring, it’s easier than ever to celebrate your company’s success with a fresh-picked gift from Corporate America’s favorite employee gift seller, gThankYou. A number of new spring card designs, each conveying appreciation for a job well done, are now available for easy distribution with Ham, Grocery or Turkey Gift Certificates from gThankYou.
    “Workplace gifts have been shown to boost company success,” according to Rick Kiley, President of gThankYou. “To keep ROI high, it’s essential to engage employees. There’s no better way to do that than with a thoughtful, and useful gift.”
    HR Managers and executives can add a personal touch to Employee Gift Certificates that recipients can redeem at any grocery store for a Ham, Groceries or Turkey of their choice. Choose cards that feature a cheerful Singing Bird, a Field of Flowers, Tulips, and a Lamb with Ewe. Each design was created by artist Amy Pierquet of Waterfront Graphic Design, makes these employee gifts memorable and creates a reward program that gets results.
    Convenience tops the list of reasons employers choose gThankYou Gift Certificates. Personalization – an added service used by most employers at no additional charge – includes a card design of your choice plus your company name and the recipient’s name printed on the Gift Card.
    Order Ham Gift Certificates, Grocery or Turkey Gift Certificates easily online at www.gthankyou.com in $5 denominations from $10 to $30. Certificates are also simple to give, and are often distributed with payroll. Redeeming Certificates is easy, too. Employees can redeem Certificates at any grocery store for the Ham, Groceries or Turkey of their choice.
    gThankYou Gift Certificates are the ideal workplace gift. They’re meaningful, affordable and appreciated by the entire family. They also offer the perfect opportunity for leaders to recognize workplace success. Most gThankYou customers give Company Gift Certificates to all employees in the company, division or workgroup at holiday times or the conclusion of a successful project, month or quarter. Learn more at www.gThankYou.com or by calling 888-484-1658.
    About gThankYou, LLC

    Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.
    gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.
    gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
    Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
    Join the Conversation @gThankYou
    Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.
    “G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

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  • Comfort in a Pot

    While the days are getting longer, winter drags on (and on) in February. But you can cook up plenty of warming comfort with a few simple ingredients from your grocer’s shelves. This week, gThankYou starts its Recipe of the Week. This week’s pick: Delicious and nutritious soups made with cabbage and ham hocks.
    First, a couple of notes on ingredients.
    Cabbage has been called one of the world’s healthiest foods. It’s also cheap, plentiful, economical, and versatile, as demonstrated in cabbage-based dishes  from about every cuisine (kimchi anyone?). Cabbage has become among our favorite ingredients for satisfying winter meals, with availability at its peak during the colder months.
    Ham hocks are fabulous flavor boosters, often added to enhance soups and to make substantial stocks. They’re smoky and rich, and according to Recipezaar come from the lower part of a pig’s hind leg.
    gThankYou for these recipes:

    An added benefit: Making these soups can be as rewarding as eating them. Enjoy!

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  • Engage to Rebuild Your Workforce

    Economic uncertainty seems to remain in the air, but it’s also clear that the job picture must be improving, at least in the macro, from some recent things I’ve been reading on certain career-focused Web sites.
    This recent post from Career Builder advises companies how to attract and win over ideal job candidates. The list includes lots of perks that range widely:

    • Offering a healthy work/life balance
    • Having flexible or alternative work schedules
    • Corporate volunteering groups and efforts
    • Cross-training opportunities
    • A “Green” facility
    • Tuition reimbursement
    • Health benefits for an employee and his/her family
    • Casual dress
    • Dogs in the office
    • Employee trips
    • Candy at the reception desk
    • Free yoga
    • In-house massage
    • Learning opportunities
    • Fun contests to promote recognition
    • 15 days off during the holiday season
    • Profit sharing

    Missing from this list, arguably, is the key strategy of engaging current employees and offering them a tangible system that helps them set, achieve and celebrate goals. Employees under your roof now are your greatest asset, and best advertising tool to boost your ranks with top-performing people. Best to start the year right by setting a policy and agenda toward employee engagement for a sustainable organization.
    As discussed in this recent post from Jo Confino, executive at the London-based Guardian, employee engagement is not really rocket science, but more a matter of communication. Says Jo:

    “We are delighted that our most recent employee survey has shown that our staff engagement programme has led to a dramatic uplift in the scores on sustainability, compared with the same survey the previous year.”

    According to Career Builder, the job forecast for the upcoming period is improving. It’s probably a good time  to shore up employee engagement to build a truly sustainable and productive workforce.

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  • How to use your gThankYou! Certificate

    To the fortunate many who received gThankYou! Ham, Turkey or Grocery Gift Certificates recently, congratulations! Yours is a thoughtful and useful reward for a job well done!
    To help you through the process of using your gThankYou certificate, I’ve created this handy primer designed to answer any questions. Since I, too, was the recent recipient of my first gThankYou Turkey Gift Certificate, I thought there no better way to help than to share my own experience
    Told that my gThankYou Turkey Gift Certificate would cover $20 toward the purchase of any Turkey of my choice from any grocer, I went shopping. Here’s how it worked.
    After settling on the exact Turkey I wanted – Kosher this year – I planned where to shop for the perfect size Turkey at a good price. I found the perfect bird at Trader Joe’s, a national specialty food retail chain that caters to the foodie crowd. The bird fit my criteria, and those spelled out on the certificate (it needed to cost at least $20).
    Certificate in hand, I advanced toward the check-out. After I presented the certificate, my checker examined it and began reading the instructions. He was a first-timer too, having never seen a Certificate from gThankYou. A manager responded, and after he read the certificate instructions, completed my transaction.
    After hardly the bat of an eye, I was done. It worked just like a coupon presented during the check out process. But this was better, because I was fulfilling a reward.
    A few tips:

    1. Pay attention to the specifics. Details on your certificate will tell you what the gift covers: Turkey, Ham or Groceries and for how much.
    2. Certificates will have a good-through date. Use the certificate by this day to ensure you receive the full benefit of your gift.
    3. Expect to wait a minute or two for verification from a store manager. Shopping during a slower time of day on a slower store traffic day will minimize your wait.
    4. If you run into stores with questions, there’s a toll-free number on the certificate that managers or clerks can call on the spot.
    5. Rest assured that the certificates are usable for any specified item at any store, even if they’ve never (as was my experience) processed a gThankYou certificate. It’s the real deal.

    It was truly an unexpected thrill to receive a gThankYou Gift Certificate. I felt proud using it, and enjoyed serving the Turkey I purchased with it, which this year had more of a story. Share your experience getting and using gThankYou certificates, and serving the resulting meals.

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  • The Science of Giving

    The anticipation is nearly killing them. My kids, still young in the world, just can’t wait until they can open the gifts under the tree. It makes me wonder when in life we start to cherish giving and the tangible benefits this simple act bestows.
    Thanks to a recent New York Times piece, “In Month of Giving, A Healthy Reward,” by Tara Parker-Pope, whose Well columns have this year has become some of my favorite Google Reader picks, I know a lot more about the gifts of giving. During this season, it’s important to be mindful of those rewards.
    There are real reasons we feel good giving people gifts, whether they’re gifts of time, talent or a treasured trinket. It’s particularly interesting that scientific studies confirm that giving is, indeed, good for you.
    Quoted in the piece, Stephen Post, who wrote “Why Good Things Happen to Good People”  says that giving and helping provides benefits that last years.

    “It turns out that giving — far more than receiving — is a surprisingly potent force whose impact reverberates across an entire lifetime, nourishing health and happiness in astonishing ways.”

    Post directs the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics at Stony Brook University, which  has compiled evidence of the good of giving in 50 studies.
    So, as we near the end of the year – the end of the decade, in fact – and thoughts turn toward incremental ways you can change your daily life for greater happiness, health and good, keep in mind the power behind a simple Thank You and other little ways to include giving in your daily life. You could be the greatest benefactor.

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  • Choosing the Best Holiday Ham

    Ham used to be kind of a mystery to me. Most Hams you find in grocer’s cases come fully cooked — you only need to glaze, if desired, then reheat. Selling an already cooked item most people bake anyway  was a curious phenomenon.
    Plus, there are a wide variety of types and cuts of Ham to choose with terminology that adds intrigue: Country Ham, City Ham, fresh Ham, cured, cottage Ham, spiral cut . What does it all mean? In the interest of clearing up any confusion, we offer this guide for choosing the best Holiday Ham for your table, along with the best recipes for the two primary Ham types.
    With his knack for explaining culinary matters, TV cook Alton Brown has the best definition of ham styles:  “A city ham is basically any brined ham that’s packed in a plastic bag, held in a refrigerated case and marked ‘ready to cook’, “partially cooked” or ‘ready to serve’. Better city hams are also labeled ‘ham in natural juices’ ”
    These references will help sort out the other terminology:

    • Ham 101 with a gThankYou! to What’s Cooking America.
    • gThankYou! for About.com’s Ham Varieties and Terminology, which provides a comprehensive overview.
    • How to Choose a Ham with a gThankYou! to the “ask me” experts at Mahalo.com.
    • Country Ham recipe, which includes the odd ingredient Dr. Pepper, with a gThankYou! to Alton Brown and Food Network.
    • Finally, gThankYou! again to AB, who  also has a fantastic recipe for City Ham.

    Knowing more about Ham and the difference in varieties lets you be in control of the cooking, or reheating, whichever you choose!

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  • Hot Topic: Happiness at Work

    In case you’re wondering about the power of Thank You and appreciation in the workplace, consider the loads of information being shared on creating workplace happiness and the importance of this concept in achieving productivity.
    Peter Warr and Guy Capperto’s new bookThe Joy of Work?” is among the work being presented on this hot topic. We spend one quarter of our lives at work, so it’s important to make the best of it, says Warr, emeritus professor a the UK-based Institute of Work Psychology. It’s important, Warr explains in a New York Times article, to focus on job satisfaction or finding meaning in your work, describing nine necessary elements of happiness in work and life. These include: having some sense of empowerment, using and expanding your skills.
    There’s more:

    • Consultant and author Alexander Kjerulf (self-dubbed Chief Happiness Officer) offers 10 reasons happiness at work is the top productivity booster. Among the benefits of workplace happiness Kjerulf cites: less complaining, more energy, higher optimism, increased motivation and fewer sick days.
    • Performance Coach Arvind Devalia chimes in with his 12 steps to workplace happiness. He cites a  UK survey that found that two out of three people are dissatisfied with thier jobs and encourages workers to “See your work as a game. Life is meant to be fun and if you are going to spend a third of it at work, you might as well enjoy the game.”

    This offers more proof that employees, and companies, gain from thankfulness and appreciation.
    Rick Kiley is President of gThankYou, LLC, based in Madison, WI.  gThankYou® Certificates of Gratitude™ are one way  savvy companies demonstrate commitment to valued employees. The company is best known for its Turkey Gift Certificates, Ham Gift Certificates, and Grocery Gift Cards.

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  • NEWS RELEASE: Show Employees They Sparkle with gThankYou Gift Certificates

    Now more than ever, it’s important to show employees appreciation. Corporate America’s favorite employee gift seller gThankYou.com can help you say Thank You with added sparkle this season.

    Festive Yule Tree

    gThankYou.com has added dazzling new enclosure card designs to help personalize Turkey Gift Certificates, Ham and Grocery Gift Certificates. Designs include a colorful string of lights, a wrapped gift topped with vibrant and frilly ribbon, and a plump snowman sporting a top hat and scarf. Each design available at gThankYou® (www.gthankyou.com), created by artist Amy Pierquet of Waterfront Graphic Design, makes traditional year-end employee gifts more special.

    “Time and time again, we run into research that stresses the role that conveying Thank You to your employees plays in company success,” said Rick Kiley, President of gThankYou.com. “Our Gift Certificates add modern convenience and a personal touch to a time-honored tradition that companies have used to say Thank You to employees this time of year.”

    While convenience is the top reason employers choose gThankYou Gift Certificates, most opt to personalize their gifts by choosing a festive enclosure card and have the Gift Card printed with their company name and the name of the recipients. These services are offered at no extra charge. Personalization adds that special touch employees notice; a boon for companies seeking to keep employees engaged with rewards programs that get results.

    Easily order Turkey Gift Certificates, Ham or Grocery Gift Certificates online at www.gthankyou.com in $5 denominations from $10 to $30.Certificates are a breeze to give, often distributed with payroll, and loved by employees who can redeem them at almost any grocery store for the Turkey, Ham or Groceries of their choice.

    A popular choice for end-of-quarter and seasonal employee gifts, gThankYou Gift Certificates help companies celebrate success combining the time-honored tradition of providing a Turkey for the table with modern-day ease of online buying. Find out more at www.gThankYou.com or by calling 888-484-1658.

    About gThankYou.com

    The ideal employee gift, gThankYou Gift Certificates are meaningful, affordable and appreciated by the entire family. Convenience is the top reason companies say they choose gThankYou Gift Certificates as the perfect opportunity for workplace leaders to recognize success. Most gThankYou customers give Company Gift Certificates to all employees in the company, division or workgroup at holiday times or the conclusion of a successful project, month or quarter.

    gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com ) is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Find out more about gThankYou on the company’s website. And read more about how Thanks can boost your company at the gThankYou.com blog. Contact: Rick Kiley, President, gThankYou, LLC, info@gthankyou.com, 888-484-1658.

    “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.


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  • Ham Recipes for the Harried Holidays

    Snow started to fall last week in Wisconsin. Rudolph has made his annual broadcast appearance. And the grocer’s cases are piled high with Hams of all shapes and sizes. Yup. The Holidays are definitely here. It makes sense to plan some simple and easy meals for the busy weeks ahead.
    While it has the reputation of a fussy dish,  Ham is really the original home meal replacement . Most Hams available at a grocery store come fully cooked. Given Ham’s ease of preparation – just pop it in an oven to reheat – there are many possibilities. Use it for a quick meal or ingredient in a soup, for example, which cooks while you’re engaged in holiday pursuits. Here are a few favorites to get you through the harried holiday season:

    Happiness is  returning home from sledding, shopping or Wassailing to a pre-made meal.

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  • Best Turkey Leftover Recipes

    Some think leftovers are the best part of a traditional Turkey Dinner. Others have a different opinion (don’t ask about the year we won a very big Turkey from Wegman’s while living many miles away from family to help eat it.)

    gThankYou! to Closet Cooking for Turkey Cranberry Quesadillas

    Truth is, the vast array of ways to use up your leftover Turkey illustrates the versatility and economy of a big roast Turkey. If you’re still searching for ideas, consider some tried-and-true favorites from these great Turkey leftover resources:

    You’re certain to enjoy the results whichever way you choose to use up your Turkey leftovers
    Lynn Welch is a contributor to gThankYou, LLC, based in Madison, WI.  gThankYou® Certificates of Gratitude™ are one way savvy companies recognize employees’ great work at Holiday Time. The company is best known for its Turkey Gift Certificates, Ham Gift Certificates, and Grocery Gift Cards.

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  • Gifts of Thanksgiving

    The emails just kept coming from our local community center, which usually collects food, assembles and distributes 1,000 plus Thanksgiving Baskets a year to needy area families. Last weekend, they were still shy a few items – more like hundreds of tin roasting pans and boxed pie crust mix. This year, demand was higher and more food needed.
    It hit home. People this year and are in need of basics. Being able to provide a Turkey Dinner with all the fixings is a real gift. That’s why today I’m thankful for generosity that has filled family’s tables across the country this Thanksgiving. A special Thank You to those who use ingenuity to get Turkeys on tables this year, like one gThankYou customer that used employee cash donations to purchase gThankYou Turkey Gift Certificates for its food drive benefiting families of a local school.
    Writes Wendy Stane, Star-Telegram Special Events Coordinator,

    “…employees’ generosity in cash donations far exceeded previous year’s contributions.  These turkey certificates will go to all families in need who submitted an application for assistance compliments of YOU, the Star-Telegram employees. Thank you! In the past, actual food donations required a bob tail truck loaded down and several volunteers to load and unload. With fewer resources this year, we were still able to provide 80 families with a turkey certificate and 31 with a complete dinner kit.”

    The certificates were a big hit, according to this from Cynthia Monsevalles, a counselor at Hubbard Heights Elementary:

    “The Turkey Certificates to be redeemed at any store were a great idea.  Every family got one.  Thanks.  Through our PTO, a special teacher fund and Star-Telegram we were also able to provide a food box for every family.”

    The story is the same, I suspect, most every place. When times are tough, people take the opportunity to shine with acts of gratitude. Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at gThankYou!
    Lynn Welch is a contributor to gThankYou, LLC, based in Madison, WI.  gThankYou® Certificates of Gratitude™ are one way savvy companies recognize employees’ great work at Holiday Time. The company is best known for its Turkey Gift Certificates, Ham Gift Certificates, and Grocery Gift Cards.

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  • Top Three Steps to Happiness at Work

    Thanks! book coverIt’s rare to gain insight to employee happiness in the workplace.
    Australian psychologist Timothy Sharp, of the Happiness Institute recently asked 50 people what they consider to be the top three things that contributed to happiness at work. Their answers provide very valuable information to HR managers.
    While I won’t rehash all five things Sharp outlines as steps to happiness at work, number three in particular struck me as relevant: Give Thanks
    Says Sharp:

    “Employees want to be valued as members of a team and organization. But they also want to be told, frequently and appropriately, that they are valued, as people. They want to be thanked and appreciated for their accomplishments. When managers and colleagues openly congratulate employees for their wins or efforts, it makes everyone happier.”

    Sharp explains that this response is consistent with a great deal of research into what he terms the “social and emotional benefits of gratitude.” University of California-Davis psychologist Robert Emmons discusses this concept in his book, Thanks!.
    He explains gratitude as a way of life, and provides tips on how to practice it in our everyday lives arguing that it enhances our sense of self-worth, while at the same time strengthening social ties. Emmons continues his study of expressing thanks, which he calls the “forgotten factor” in happiness research, saying that it increases the happiness of both giver and receiver.
    Sounds like required reading for anyone interested in boosting workplace happiness…and maybe the rest of your life, too.
    Rick Kiley is President of gThankYou, LLC, based in Madison, WI.  gThankYou® Certificates of Gratitude™ are one way  savvy companies demonstrate commitment to valued employees. The company is best known for its Turkey Gift Certificates, Ham Gift Certificates, and Grocery Gift Cards.

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How gThankYou Certificates Work

Step 1

Order Certificates

Choose the gThankYou Certificates you want and order them online or by telephone.

Step 2

Ship directly to your business

Your order is delivered by UPS. Nearly all orders ship the day received. Overnight shipping is available.

Step 3

Distribute to your employees

Personalize your gThankYou Certificates with Recipient and Giver names (optional) and give them to employees.

Step 4

Redeem at any grocery store

Recipients redeem Certificates at major U.S. grocery stores and select the items they want.