• Stuffing and Sides (or, How to Have the Best Dressed Turkey)

    There’s an ongoing debate in my family over stuffing, or dressing if you like. It goes like this: Grandma filled her holiday Turkey with traditional giblet stuffing, cooking the resulting glutinous goo inside the cavity of the roasting bird. That’s the way it’s done. I’ve opted in recent years for a lighter, hybrid recipe that I’ve adapted using cornbread and toasted regular bread cooked aside the bird. I find it better tasting and less fat-laden. And I can change it up depending on my mood and menu each Thanksgiving.

    thanksgiving-by-rockwell

    gThankYou! to Norman Rockwell and his iconic Thanksgiving work.


    The upshot: there are many, many ways to dress your Turkey with stuffing and sides. You can go with dishes that honor your family’s traditions, fix regional favorites or go with something completely nouveau. The sky’s the limit this season for experienced cooks as well as adventurous newcomers to the table making their very first Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner.
    With Thanksgiving 10 days away, we’ve sifted through the plentiful suggestions on how to best Dress your Turkey to help you nail down your menu this year.

    The Best advice of all: Have fun planning your menu, envisioning success and a fantastic Thanksgiving Celebration.
     
    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.

    Read More
  • NEWS RELEASE: Turkey or Ham Gift Certificates Become a Favorite Way to Say gThankYou to Employees

    Turkey Gift Certificates and Ham Gift Certificates from gThankYou have become a favorite employee gift, and a convenient way for companies to say “Thank You!” this year. These time-saving, meaningful certificates are easy for employers to give and valued by employees who perform better when they’re shown Thanks and appreciation.
    Nothing says Thanks better this time of year than a Turkey or Ham in the center of the table.  That’s why gThankYou has introduced a new Certificate redeemable for a Turkey or a Ham.  gThankYou Turkey or Ham Gift Certificates are just one more way customer suggestions are the Company’s lead to it’s most promising new products.  With this new Certificate, gThankYou Certificate recipients can conveniently choose a turkey or a ham with a single gThankYou Certificate.
    This year more than ever, it’s important to recognize employee contribution in meaningful ways. Employee engagement has become the top issue for leaders seeking to retain valued employees this year, research shows.
    Last year, gThankYou introduced Ham Gift Certificates in addition to its popular Turkey Gift Certificates and Grocery Gift Certificates. Both can be ordered at www.gThankYou.com from $10 to $30, in $5 increments. Certificates can be redeemed at almost any grocer for any brand or type ham or turkey – half or whole, frozen or fresh among the choices.
    “Employers love the ease of ordering and enjoy the tradition of giving a heartfelt Thanks,” gThankYou President Rick Kiley said. “Employees enjoy getting a gift that offers choice, and genuinely appreciate the thoughtfulness these certificates offer.”
    Save time by ordering gThankYou® Gift Certificates for Turkey Ham or Groceries at the gThankYou Store or by telephone (888-484-1658).  Find detailed information on the company’s Web site.
    About gThankYou, LLC.   gThankYou dedicates itself to helping companies celebrate with employees. The Company offers Gift Certificates that are simple to purchase, easy to distribute and convenient to redeem for employees, customers and friends.
    Most importantly, gThankYou Gift Certificates create an ideal opportunity for workplace leaders to recognize successes. Most of gThankYou customers give the Company’s 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 is based in Madison, Wisconsin. More about gThankYou is on the company’s website. Find out more about how Thanks can boost your company at Celebrating Work, the blog of gThankYou.
    Contact: Rick Kiley, President, gThankYou, LLC, info at gthankyou dot com, 888-484-1658.

    # # #

    Read More
  • Experts Text Turkey Help

    A nip is in the air and leaves are all over the ground. And with three weeks until Thanksgiving, excitement is building for the big feast. Good thing experts have already planned menus and gathered tips and good advice for choosing and preparing your holiday Turkey, with plenty of info on putting together the rest of the meal, too.

    thanksgiving

    Turkey help is on its way.


    This year, there are  more ways to talk turkey. Get Turkey tips throughout the season from Buterball’s Turkey Talk-Line. In addition to phone, Web and email help, you can now text the word “TURKEY” to 36888 and connect with 50 professional turkey experts.
    In my mind, you can (almost) never have too many resources to help Thanksgiving go smoothly. So, to help you plan ahead, gThankYou has compiled a few favorite and new Turkey Help resources.

    • Turkey tutorials and more with a gThankYou! to Foodnetwork.com. Here, you’ll find plenty of video plus tools like the Turkey Calculator to help get the cooking time right and buy the right size Turkey, and a plan for putting on a Thanksgiving Potluck.
    • gThankYou! to user-generated recipe site Recipezaar posted its Thanksgiving Headquarters offering the top-rated advice and recipes from the popular site.
    • Turkey Confidential with a gThankYou! to Lynne Rossetto Kasper and the Splendid Table for posting audio of her Thanksgiving triage radio show. This episode includes Lynne’s how-to put on Thanksgiving on a shoestring.
    • Finally, Better Homes & Gardens’ new Recipe.com is worth a look. gThankYou! for lots of proven recipes here from appetizers to Turkey through dessert. Get updates by following them on Twitter at @Recipedotcom.

    Aid your planning with menus, recipes and a host of other practical how-to advice in these pages as you approach Thanksgiving.
    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.

    Read More
  • NEWS RELEASE: Thanksgiving Cards from gThankYou Celebrate Employee Success

    With Thanksgiving right around the corner, corporate America’s favorite employee gift seller gThankYou is now offering new Enclosure Card designs to personalize Turkey Gift Certificates, as well as Ham Gift Certificates and Grocery Gift Certificates.
    Cards showing a beautiful bronze Turkey with all the trimmings, a whimsical Tom Turkey, and a bountiful cornucopia are among the new card designs available at gThankYou. Each was created by artist Amy Pierquet of Waterfront Graphic Design.  All fifteen designs can be seen on the company’s Enclosure Cards section of its website.
    HappyTurkey“We’ve added these Thanksgiving designs to give you the perfect way to say ‘Thank You’ to your employees this time of year,” company President Rick Kiley said. “Now, you can add the personal touch to your celebration of success.”
    Order Turkey Gift Certificates, Ham or Grocery Gift Certificates conveniently online at the gThankYou Store starting at $10 in increments of $5. Personalize them with one of these new seasonal cards, plus add your company name and logo. Certificates are easy for companies to give, often distributed with payroll, and treasured by employees who can redeem them at almost any grocery store for the Turkey (or Ham or Groceries) of their choice.
    LEAVES-Basic-2009A 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 the gThankYou website 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 of gThankYou customers give the Company’s 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 Celebrating Work, the gThankYou.com blog. Contact: Rick Kiley, President, gThankYou, LLC, info@gthankyou.com, 888-484-1658.
    “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

    ###

    Read More
  • Poultry Penicillin Featuring Turkey


    Cold and flu season has hit all across the U.S.  If – like many – you can’t yet get vaccinated, why not start making soup? Chicken soup is bound to get old this year. Turkey makes a fantastic soup base with all the benefits of home remedies for seasonal ailments.

    Healing and Healthy Turkey Soup.

    Healing and Healthy Turkey Soup.


    In the interest of  public health, gThankYou offers these Turkey Soup recipes. Don’t worry if you don’t have a turkey carcass — you don’t have to wait until after Thanksgiving to make these soups.  Simply use turkey legs or wings available at most grocers as the base for a hearty turkey stock.

    To your health, and happy soup making!

    Read More
  • A Yardstick for Thanks

    Thankfulness has been said to be a key component in happiness and an important tool to up your satisfaction with life – and work.
    Thanks to the positive psychology gurus at the University of Pennsylvania, you can measure your level of gratitude. In six simple questions, Dr. Martin Seligman – often credited as the father of positive psychology – offers a tool to test your thanks. (An easy registration is required for this quiz.)

    Thanks is key to happiness.

    Thanks is key to happiness.


    In his own words, Seligman says gratitude amplifies good memories of the past. He offers an exercise in expressing gratitude. Think of it as a way to throw out bad memories to make room for the good.
    How does this apply to the workplace? Writing on happiness on the job in her HarvardBusiness.org blog, London-based executive coach Gill Corkindale explains it this way:

    “It all comes down to choice, and this is where I believe happiness lies. In choosing — as far as you are able — what you want to do and how you will do it. While not all of us can choose our work and colleagues, we can all choose how we approach things — with an open, optimistic, and positive outlook or with a   frustrated, irritated one. To this end, I suggest you look at the work of positive psychologists such as Martin Seligman and Tal Ben-Shahar, whose course on happiness at Harvard has been inspirational for many students.”

    It’s important, today more than ever, to recognize the importance of tools like gratitude to amplify the happiness we all have in our work. This is happening in the most unlikely of places. In England, the British government has appointed economist Richard Layard to the post of “Happiness Czar” to bolster the happiness of its citizens. It’s certainly worthwhile, in our own lives, our own work, and our own organizations, to look at how to be thankful and boost our own happiness quotient.

    Read More
  • Talkin’ Turkey with Gourmet Magazine

    This is the time of year when the thickest culinary volumes hit mailboxes, stuffed – turkey style – with all sorts of morsels to get you thinking about and planning for the busy cooking season ahead. With shock cooks learned this month that Gourmet Magazine will soon cease publication. But we’re fortunate to have one last issue, the crucial November Thanksgiving tome, as consolation.

    Gourmet Talks Turkey one last time.

    Gourmet Talks Turkey one last time.

    So, it is with pleasure that I share with you these turkey recipes and menus from the grand Gourmet with a gThankYou! to Gourmet.com.

    Make some now and save others for Thanksgiving. After all, turkey really is a fine dish almost any time of year and I’ve never gone wrong with a Gourmet recipe.
    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.

    Read More
  • NEWS RELEASE: gThankYou Gift Certificates and Gift Cards Feature New Halloween and Harvest Themes

     
    Corporate America’s favorite employee gifts just became easier to give, thanks to newly designed seasonal enclosure cards that let you personalize Thanks from gThankYou® (www.gthankyou.com). Now, your Turkey Gift Certificates, Ham Gift Certificates and Grocery Gift Certificates or Cards can come with a number of fresh Halloween and Harvest enclosure card designs.  The new designs can be seen on the gThankYou Free Enclosure Cards web page.
    “These Cards enhance the convenience as well as the meaning of gThankYou Gift Certificates,” said company President Rick Kiley. “With the addition of a custom message and a company logo, these Gift Cards will stand out and be special to an employee.”
    A popular choice for end-of-quarter and seasonal employee gifts, gThankYou Gift Certificates come with your choice of new card designs that capture the fall harvest and Halloween themes. Choices include glowing Jack-o-lanterns, a basketful of crimson apples and a whimsical witch’s hat. The eye-catching cards were designed by artist Amy Pierquet of Waterfront Graphic Design.
    gThankYou Gift Certificates give employers the ease of selecting Turkey, Ham or Grocery Gift Cards in a variety of denominations. Employees have the convenience of taking the Gift Certificate to any grocer and redeeming it for the Turkey, Ham or Groceries they choose to fill their celebration table.
    About gThankYou.com
    gThankYou Gift Certificates are an ideal employee gift.  Turkey Gift Certificates, Ham Gift Certificates and Grocery Gift Certificates are favorite traditional holiday gifts because they are meaningful, affordable and appreciated by the entire family.
    Convenience is the #1 reason companies say they choose gThankYou Gift Certificates.  gThankYou Certificates can be ordered quickly online, are easy to distribute to employees, often with payroll, and can be redeemed at virtually any grocery stores for a turkey, ham or groceries that employees choose. Gone is the inconvenience of distributing frozen turkeys or fresh hams.  Employees value gThankYou Certificates because are able to choose the brand, size and style of ham or turkey that best meets their needs, at the store of their choosing.
    Most importantly, gThankYou Gift Certificates create a perfect opportunity for workplace leaders to recognize success.  Most of gThankYou customers give the Company’s 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 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 Celebrating Work, the blog of gThankYou. Contact: Rick Kiley, President, gThankYou, LLC, info@gthankyou.com, 888-484-1658.
    “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

    ###

    Read More
  • Grit Beats Brains (G > B)

    Woody Allen is famous for saying 80 percent of life is showing up. But it’s neither that nor sheer intelligence that will help you succeed, according to compelling new evidence about what it takes to achieve goals.
    What does it take? Grit.
    The term was coined by psychologists at the University of Pennsylvania in measuring characteristics that lead to perseverance. Jonah Lehrer wrote last month in the Boston Globe on the new scientific measurement that predicts long-term success.
    Grit, says Lehrer, “is about setting a specific long-term goal and doing whatever it takes until the goal has been reached”.  “Grit is an essential (and often overlooked) component of success”, he says.
    Pioneering grit researcher Angela Lee Duckworth, a U. Penn psychologist, has written extensively in this area.  She characterizes grit as a “noncognitive trait” that predicts success over and beyond IQ and conscientiousness.  Her research looks at success in places as diverse as the US Military Academy at West Point, the National Spelling Bee, plus college and grade-school grades.
    If you’re interest is whetted and want a readable academic reference from Prof. Duckworth, see this one from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
    Grit examines traits that enable some people to reach long-term goals while others just give up. You can test your grit by participating in the University of Pennsylvania study if you want to see if you have the power to persist.
    The upshot: Some people are more successful because they have the skills to help them stick with a task long enough to reach a goal. Those who want to help foster these traits – parents, HR professional and workplace leaders, for sure – can do so by learning an important praise or feedback technique: recognize the effort behind work, rather than an intangible quality.
    Instead of saying, for example, “good job — you’re so smart!” Go with something like this: “I appreciate how you handled that negotiation – it resulted in a cost savings for the division.” Or, for your child: “Nice going.  You really worked hard on that project and it looks great!”  This sort of recognition will net big results in job satisfaction, and can further develop loyalty.
    Success depends on having the “grit” to keep on working toward a goal in the long-term even in the face of challenges. It’s up to leaders to provide the right tools – including meaningful praise, feedback and rewards – to help them keep working toward that success.
    Giving meaningful praise and backing it up can prove valuable to your bottom line.
    Grit is great.  As the father of a grade-schooler, I earnestly work at my grit-reinforcement parenting, imagining I’m helping myself by helping someone else.
    Is grit as interesting to you as it to me?  If so, and you want to learn more about passionate persistence, or mindful diligence, there’s lots much more reading you can do in the popular domain.  Prof. Duckworth’s work is a great place to start, but it’s written for academics.  (Although I can’t wait to see her in-process study for the KIPP Schools, one of the most exciting, large-scale grit-centric imaginable—that can change the course of our nation.)
    Mindset, from Stanford University professor Carol Dweck is one place to start. Her work has begun to have a life of it’s own, which you can see at MindSetOnline.
    For a business slat, Geoff Colvin, longtime editor and columnist for Fortune Magazine, has written Talent is Overrated.
    And for a more popular take see The Talent Code, from Daniel Coyle.
    Finally, a hearty gThankYou! to my friend and neighbor, Jim Zellmer, whose blog tipped me off to grit; School Information System is America’s #1 compendium of news for all things K-12 educational.
    I’ll post on this topic again soon.
    In the meantime, keep your nose to the grindstone.
    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.

    Read More
  • Humble and Warming: The Ham Casserole

    Since we’ve become something of a Foodie Nation (remember David Kamp’s The United States of Arugula?), I’ve heard vigorous debate over the virtues of the down-home casserole. Call them what you want – covered dish, hot dish, casserThe United States of Arugulaole – but these make-ahead meals are a must for fall when schedules get tighter and I welcome the oven’s warmth.

    The best thing about casseroles: you can tailor them to your own taste. Make them out of top-choice gourmet ingredients or whatever’s on hand, use passed-down family recipes or get creative and concoct your own new favorite. Use a canned soup base or start with a béchamel sauce with fresh mushrooms. The sky’s really the limit.

    My family loves casseroles with ham. Enjoy these tried-and-true Ham Casserole meals and Happy Fall!

    Ditch the debate and dig in to Fall Ham Casseroles!

    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.
    Read More
  • TIME-OUT!!! Thank you.

    There was a campaign this summer that encouraged companies to plan a recess period at work as a way of thanking and engaging employees. Here’s more about the program:

    “It has been proven that breaks are essential for satisfaction. But what does this mean to an employer? Well according to Rich DiGirolamo, Founder of Recess At Work Day, it’s simple……..Breaks lead to satisfaction; and satisfaction easily transfers to increase morale, reduced employee stress, more engaged and healthier employees; ultimately having a positive impact on productivity, absenteeism and profits.

    Now in its 6th year; Recess At Work Day is the perfect complement to any Health and Wellness or Employee Engagement Initiative.”
    This initiative hits a couple of HR goals, covering both praise and motivation as well as the continued movement toward corporate wellness programs and team building.
    How can a game of Dodgeball provide  engagement? Consider this from Dale Sweetnam, an Army public affairs specialist who worked at Google’s office in Washington, D.C as part of a training program. While there, Google put on a “Recess at Work” day that included “square pizzas, chicken nuggets, juice boxes, four square and dodgeball.”

    “I can’t remember ever having that much fun at work. The whole office got into it.  A computer and speakers were set up on the side of the room and a projector  displayed YouTube Michael Jackson videos while we pelted each other with         dodgeballs.  The event was a huge success. I really felt like it was recess. I was still attending recesses in grade school when Michael Jackson came out with “Bad” and it had probably been that long since I’d last played dodgeball. It was a             blast.  The event led straight into the weekend. As far as I’m concerned, weekends don’t start out much better than that.”

    There seems to be a mini movement toward this idea of corporate recess as a reward. There *are* lots of creative ways to say “Thanks” and engage employees.
    Stay tuned!

    Rick Kiley is President of 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.
     

    Read More
  • Harvest Ham Soups to take Away the Chill

    The garden and markets are bursting with a bounty of fabulous veggies this time of year. But the shorter days of Autumn call me to the soup pot for sustenance. With so many great ways to jazz up fresh veggie soups using perfectly seasoned hams, it’s hard to know where to begin.
    My hands-down favorite is Julia Child’s Potato Leek Soup, or Potage Parmentier. It’s dead simple and downright good with many variations, including tossing in ham at the end!  gThankYou! to one of my favorite public radio personalities, Lynne Rossetto Kasper, host of The Splendid Table, for Julia’s recipe.
    Here are a few other suggestions to get you started:

    Bon Appétit!

    Rick Kiley is President of 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.
    Read More
  • Employee Praise Made Easy

    After reading Robert Palmatier’s research on relationship marketing and hearing so much about how companies are now using this in the B2C marketplace, I ran across an insightful piece from Fast Company. Written by columnists and Made to Stick authors Dan Heath & Chip Heath, the article poses a really good question: “Why do companies make it so hard for us to say thank you to the right people?
    The Fast Company article predates the hoopla created when Hyatt Hotels created its customer thanks program this year. Heath & Heath push (hard) for the idea of bringing active thankfulness a step further.

    “Suppose there were some way to lower the transaction costs of a thank-you so much that praise became effortless?”

    They continue, “Think of those obnoxious engaged couples who skip around Macy’s with UPC scanners, zapping waffle irons and cutlery for their registry. What if there were some ways to zap the cup holder in your car, or the quesadilla on your plate, and instantly deliver a thank-you to the people who count?”
    Aren’t there a zillion times you’ve walked out of a meeting with colleagues, or suppliers, or customers, when someone really, really lightened your load, and you want to show your gratitude?  Give them a *huge* “Thank You!”?
    Guess what? There are companies that have it figured out.
    These companies make it easy for customers to praise their employees.  Doesn’t that makes sense?  If customers show their gratitude for a job-well-done it means a lot.  The employee’s boss finds out in the process.  The with-it boss piles on the “thank you”, and what do you have?  The perfect storm that makes employees feel great.
    Exhibit A:  American Airlines runs a program called “Rounds of Applause.” The Program enables American Advantage frequent flyers to give a personalized certificate to AA employees who go the extra mile.
    Exhibit B: Anyone who travels by highway has seen those signs on trucks asking, “How’s my Driving? Kelmar Safety runs this “How’s My Driving?” for companies with driving fleets in industries including trucking, law enforcement, education and delivery services. It encourages feedback from the public, which in turn provides some positive comments for employees.
    Exhibit C: Internet appliance and electronics retailer ElegantAppliance.com is using social networking site Twitter to get customer feedback about its customer Web experience.
    Some business to consumer companies, through their culture and way they relate to customers, generate feedback without even solicitation. One  example is Wisconsin-based Lands’ End ( part of Sears Holdings) which at one time had a band of employees who volunteered to read and respond to customer letters and emails. The benefit was mutual for the customer and employee in creating loyalty and that intangible feeling that one gets from making a difference.
    Know of any other company that has a good customer praise program for employees?
    We’d love to hear about it!

    Rick Kiley is President of gThankYou, LLC, based in Madison, WI.  gThankYou® Certificates of Gratitude™ are one way savvy companies demonstrate commitment to employees’ great work. The company is best known for its Turkey Gift Certificates, Ham Gift Certificates, and Grocery Gift Cards.

    Bookmark and Share

    Read More
  • An HR Manager's Primer on Praise

    It’s a fact: simple measures work best these days, particularly when it comes to giving genuine thanks to employees. Gone are the days where employees expect a lot of extras and companies use less complicated and creative ways to engage employees.
    Drawing on examples from my own career as well as stories from others where bumpers stickers and sticky notes became treasured badges of thanks for a job well done, it’s apparent authentic praise, in whatever form, goes a long way toward creating engagement.
    Amazing as it may sound, giving simple thanks can be less than easy in some companies. In a 2007 article. BusinessWeek careers columnist and author Liz Ryan asked: “Is Praising Employees Counterproductive?” Some managers have an irrational fear, Ryan writes, that too much praise can “spoil” a good employee.
    After exploring what she sees as the basis for some of this fear, Ryan concludes this: Praise is a key motivator but effectiveness hinges on the praise being credible.
    “Of course, you can’t go around praising people all the time, even when they’re doing a great job, and you should never praise people when they don’t deserve it.  If you praise people nonstop your complimentary words will lose their effectiveness as a motivator. If you give praise when it’s not deserved, you’ll lose  your credibility and undermine the whole group’s efforts.”
    It’s all a matter of style, of course. But the following examples provide some solid tips to get HR managers and company leaders started on developing a program that gives well-deserved and credible thanks to employees:

    1. Don’t praise the employee, praise their work. Gary Vikesland writes on Employer-employee.com that it’s important to be specific and target abilities or work when handing out compliments. Furthermore, it’s best to be specific and make you’re your praise has a purpose. (http://www.employer-employee.com/praise.html).
    2. Work to build an organization that has a “climate of positive reinforcement”. Bruce L. Katcher, president of The Discovery Group, says a healthy organization makes praise part of the culture. These companies have supervisors frequently overheard saying: Good point!  I’m glad you brought that up!  I really appreciate that!  Good job!  Well done!  (And my favorite 🙂 Thank you!
    3. Praise in public, advises the Center for Management and Organization Effectiveness (CMOE) in its five tips for praise “Acknowledging people in public accomplishes two important things. The employees feel even better as they are recognized in front of their peers. In addition, public praise is one way of reminding other employees of what you want from them.”

    Great insights indeed!
    One past employer never praised anyone.  Anyone.  He thought praising good work would make other workers envious and feel left out. Ya think?!?!?  Of course it would!  That’s the idea.

    • Praise good work and everyone wants a piece of the action.
    • Praise good work and then employees know what you value.
    • Praise good work and employees want more.
    • Praise good work and everyone gets in on it.
    • Praise good work and employees praise each others’ work.

    To paraphrase that great American sage, Forest Gump: “Praise is a praise does.”
    Or, to repeat one of “One Minute Manager” guru Ken Blanchard‘s basic tenets: “catch someone doing something right”.
    That’s it: catch someone doing something right = praise.
    Do it.  It’s free; it’s appreciated; it builds great organizations.

    Rick Kiley is President of gThankYou, LLC, based in Madison, WI.  gThankYou® Certificates of Gratitude™ are one way savvy companies demonstrate commitment to employees’ great work. The company is best known for its Turkey Gift Certificates, Ham Gift Certificates, and Grocery Gift Cards.

    Bookmark and Share

    Read More
  • Engagement, Engagement, Engagement

    This whole idea of using rewards to strengthen relationships with employees is nothing new. But employers are continually inventing new ways to implement this form of relationship marketing all the time to keep customers and – more and more – employees engaged and coming back – or in the case of great workers sticking around.
    Back in the day, engaging employees used to mean providing nice perks. I think it started with dress-down Fridays and pizza lunches bought by executives as a fun way to end the week.  When the economy was chugging along at a breakneck pace, the stakes were raised. Companies felt compelled to offer free food every day, ping-pong and foosball tables and even, in at least one instance I know about, build elaborate facilities with a full-scale gym with free fitness classes, weight room, an indoor track and Olympic-size swimming pool!
    Now that most companies are looking for ways to both trim costs and keep valuable employees, the focus has changed again.
    Now, engagement is more about making employees feel valued when a big bonus and annual raise is out of reach and economic jitters are widespread.
    There’s a new meaning to value proposition for employees in corporations. This new value proposition bears out in study after study. Right Management, the talent and career management expert arm of Milwaukee-based Manpower Inc., found in a survey of company leaders and HR professionals earlier this year that employee engagement is the most important practice to reach goals in this economy.
    “Leaders must manage this situation very skillfully or they are likely to see those remaining either start looking for another job, disengage from the company attitudinally, or simply ‘quit and stay’ while waiting until the air clears,” explains Right CEO Owen Sullivan.
    Yikes! Start looking? Disengage? Stay-and-quit?  Just when we think it’s all about customers-customer-customers, the experts come along and tell us our best employees are in danger of apathy!
    How do you engage now? Sullivan advises leaders to:

    1. Spend time with employee and executives (what management guru Tom Peters refers to as “the talent”);
    2. Answer their questions to the best of your ability;
    3. And, most importantly, continually reinforce each employee’s value to the company.

    This isn’t a difficult as it sounds, simple measures work in reinforcing employee value.
    They key is to keep engagement and value at the top of mind each and every day.
    Rick Kiley is Presidnet 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.

    Bookmark and Share


    [digg=http://digg.com/business_finance/Celebrating_Work_The_Blog_of_gThankYou_com_3]

    Read More
  • Generosity Inc. = Gratitude Squared – Part 2

    A few weeks ago we posted a piece exploring the powerful impact of gratitude in the marketplace (see: Generosity Inc. = Gratitude²).  The upshot is that customers and employees have long-lasting, very positive impressions of those who show them gratitude.
    As regular readers know, here at gThankYou, we’re all about gratitude.  So, when the research is published that supports what we feel in our hearts to be true, we can’t wait to read it.
    And, here it is…
    University of Washington Marketing Professor Robert Palmatier recently published  the “Role of Customer Gratitude in Relationship Marketing,” and the Journal of Marketing now has it up online.
    Palmatier’s paper – cited in a recent New York Times Magazine article on how gratitude can create loyalty in the consumer marketplace – is interesting in lots of ways. It takes a look at this form of relationship marketing through the lens of social science research, explaining how genuine feelings of gratitude among consumers create a greater wallet share for companies. Then, Prof. Palmatier suggests three strategies to leverage customer gratitude.
    The gist: reward customers on an individual basis when they most can use the benefit and give customers an opportunity to reciprocate quickly.
    Palmatier admits that there’s work yet to be done on how thanks bonds relationships in the marketplace. Perhaps there will be additional studies in the field demonstrating just how the old fashioned practice of saying “thanks” creates goodwill (and better sales, and great employee loyalty) in the marketplace and workplace.
    As my father always says, “study hard and learn a lot”!
    Again: Generosity Inc. = Gratitude Squared (GI = G x G)

    gThankYou® Certificates of Gratitude™, when given for employee recognition and rewards, are a way  savvy companies say “Thank You” to employees.  gThankYou, LLC is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  The company is best known for its Ham Gift Certificates, Turkey Gift Certificates and Grocery Gift Cards.
     
     

    Bookmark and Share

    Read More
  • Gratitude Squared for HR Leaders

    As consumers, we’ve all (I hope) been thankful for a genuine act of generosity. Employees have the same sense of thankfulness, the same sense of gratitude) when they’re recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty in the workplace.
    That sense of thankfulness creates employee engagement and builds loyalty.
    It’s a big topic for HR pros and in companies today – engagement – and in particular engagement framed by low-cost or no-cost strategic recognition programs, formal and informal.  Studies and examples underscore this point, as Robert Morris, a business commentator from Dallas, wrote recently on the Examiner site. Morris contends, in fact, that reward and recognition programs provide firms with a direct competitive advantage
    Here’s an example cited by Morris:

    “I once called on a consulting client…and while being escorted from the reception area to the CEO’s office by his administrative assistance, as we walked past one office, I stopped when I saw through the open door a framed ‘something’ on the wall. It was the office of a senior vice president and he was not there. ‘Everyone notices that,’ she said. ‘Here, take a look.’ I examined what was under the glass: more than a dozen multi-colored Post-its, each personally inscribed with brief, congratulatory comments addressed to ‘Warren’ for a winning proposal, an excellent presentation, etc. ‘He’s so proud of those little notes that he went out and got them all framed’”.

    Talk about Gratitude²!  Here’s a senior exec who’s proud to display “merit badges” of achievement that cost about 1/10 cent each.  He probably spent more time having them framed than the writers spent writing them.  And what a huge pay-off.  This is clearly an engaged, grateful employee.
    A survey released earlier this year by the O.C. Tanner Co. says  companies that “appreciate employees’ get a 20 percent to 30 percent boost in engagement. The global study shows that a simple “thanks” provides results that cross countries and cultures.
    Such job appreciation creates measured stickiness. I’ve seen it work in my own career:

    An executive  at a company I worked for gave out a bumper sticker (a bumper sticker?!?!) as a monthly award to the employee he thought made a measurable impact. He presented the award in grand fashion at a highly-attended staff meeting each month singing the praises of the awardee. I was not the only one who proudly displayed that bumper sticker at my desk – and was motivated to stick with the company for a long, long time.

    It’s an amazing tool!
    Simple Rewards = Gratitude Squared (SR = g²).
    Share your own examples of how recognition – formal or informal – helped motivate you. We’d love to hear from you.
    gThankYou!

    gThankYou® Certificates of Gratitude™ are a way  savvy HR Managers say “Thank You” to employees.  gThankYou, LLC is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  The company is best known for its Ham Gift Certificates, Turkey Gift Certificates and Grocery Gift Cards.
     

    Bookmark and Share

    Read More
  • Generosity Inc. = Gratitude Squared

    The New York Times Magazine recently ran a very intriguing article that illustrates how a genuine “Thank You” can create loyalty in the consumer marketplace. In his Consumed column Rob Walker tells about a new program at Hyatt Hotels encouraging employees to perform “random acts of generosity” for customers starting this summer; posted at “Hyatt’s Random Acts of Generosity“.
    Hyatt CEO Mark Hoplamazian announced the program on a USA Today travel blog “Hotel Check-In” titled Hyatt CEO announces random “surprises” for loyalty members saying: “We will be empowering hotel employees to perform what we’re calling random acts of generosity. So, don’t be surprised if Gold Passport picks up your bar tab, comps your massage or treats your family to breakfast.  It’s part of bringing authentic hospitality to life and making you feel more than welcome.”
    It can be tricky, however, to generate such an authentic act of gratitude in the marketplace. It’s a point not lost in the blogosphere.
    Posted on the Economist’s Gulliver blog: ”…at the risk of quibbling, it’s not quite down-home ‘authentic hospitality.’ Deducting items from the bills of certain treasured guests is more a sensible commercial decision than a charming gesture.”
    And 5 Circles Research’s Mike Pritchard questions in his company’s blog whether Hyatt’s program is a “good idea or off target.”
    Research by the University of Washington’s Robert Palmer, an associate professor of marketing, says that “a customer who is made to feel grateful most likely becomes enduringly loyal as a result,” according to Walker’s column. He continues: “Gratitude, as the paper bluntly puts it, can ‘increase purchase intentions, sales growth and share of wallet.’ Psychological studies have shown that people feel good reciprocating genuine acts of gratitude and guilt when they do not. It’s a point that businesses should well note with caution that it’s not all that easy to do.
    Walker’s column and the debate it has stirred reminds me of an experience we had several years ago on a stop at the Mall of America. My family dined at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant and were stunned when, after a very messy spill by my then-toddler and meal replacement, the waiter picked up our entire tab! We were genuinely thankful, and gave a tip to match our gratitude. This random act put a new, positive spin on what was winding down to a terrible travel day.
    It’s that sort of event, when things could be better (or couldn’t be worse) that the random act of generosity has the most impact.  Two examples, Hampton Inns guarantees 100% satisfaction; no questions asked.  Period.  When the Internet connection didn’t happen a few years back the hotel comped me the entire night.  Gratis!  Wow, was that a delight!  I didn’t request it.  In fact I suggested a discount.  But, the front desk manager insisted.
    Finally, for a recent round-number birthday my wife, toddler and I were dining at DisneyWorld‘s Wolfgang Puck restaurant when the server asked our three year old if she wanted to watch her pizza made; regardless, what a relief to have an antsy youngster be ably entertained away from our table for ten minutes.  Again, we tipped generously.  How often would you feel great about a 25% gratuity?  The next night?  Same thing; different Disney restaurant.  Talk about great training; that’s what makes Disney, Disney.  Everyone at Disney does it; no hesitation.
    Generosity Inc. = Gratitude Squared (GI = G x G)
    We’ll be back. Promise.

    gThankYou® Certificates of Gratitude™, when given for employee recognition and rewards, are a way  savvy companies say “Thank You” to employees.  gThankYou, LLC is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  The company is best known for its Ham Gift Certificates, Turkey Gift Certificates and Grocery Gift Cards.
    Bookmark and Share
    Read More
  • Just Say Thank You. (Period)

    How do cutting out reward and recognition programs undercut your company?  For the answer, just look at this  study from the Incentive Marketing Association.
    In its white paper “The Time for Employee Recognition and Reward Programs Is Now,” the group says  rewards and recognition provide the kind of engagement that create success for companies during tough times.
    According to the report: “Creating and maintaining a climate of employee appreciation can make the difference – and it doesn’t always need a large budget. In fact, it can be one of the most effective moves an employer can take. Companies of all sizes need to make a conscious commitment to keep their recognition if they want to keep their employees engaged and productive.”
    Some key findings from the report:

    • Companies with recognition and reward programs outperform competitors.
    • Recognition and reward programs are ROI compatible.
    • Customer satisfaction, loyalty and profitability are tied to recognition.

    Another interesting survey that’s from a collaboration between the International Association of Administrative Professionals and OfficeTeam, the admin staffing division of global giant Robert Half International, shows the power of a pat on the back. While supervisors surveyed rated job promotions and cash as the two most valued forms of recognition to administrative professionals, support staff favored a simple thank-you and having their accomplishments passed on to senior management.  That’s “Thank You Power” in action.  It’s free or inexpensive, it’s meaningful and it’s powerful.
    Also, two out of three (66%) administrative employees said they would probably leave their jobs if they did not feel appreciated by their manager, while seven out of 10 (70%) admitted the company’s recognition program would factor into their decision to accept a job with a potential employer.
    “While financial rewards should not be overlooked, the research shows there are other ways to effectively recognize someone’s commitment and dedication,” says Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. “Administrative professionals are working harder than ever, but their accomplishments usually occur behind the scenes. Therefore, praise from supervisors or a colleague that is specific, immediate and genuine can go a long way toward keeping these employees motivated and loyal.”

    gThankYou® Certificates of Gratitude™, when given for employee recognition and rewards, are a way  savvy companies say “Thank You” to employees.  gThankYou, LLC is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  The company is best known for its Ham Gift Certificates, Turkey Gift Certificates and Grocery Gift Cards.
     

    Bookmark and Share

    Read More
  • Employee Rewards – Engagement vs. Bottom Line?

    WorldatWork is a leading human resources professional association with more than 30,000 members worldwide.  WaW sees itself as the “Total Rewards Association”, and draws the the premier companies and practitioners in this realm to its annual Total Rewards Conference, held recently in Seattle.
    One of the really fascinating presentations in Seattle earlier this month in Seattle revealed the results of a new study on reward programs by Hay Group and WorldatWork.  The study: “Reward Next Practices: The future of reward programs” finds that in the next two to three years 57% of firms plan to increase focus on employee engagement in measuring reward programs. Also, 64 percent will increase focus on the “motivational value of reward programs” in the future.
    Here’s what Tom McMullen, U.S. Reward Practice Leader for Hay Group says about these results: “The global downturn has prompted organizations worldwide to shift to an increased focus on how to engage and motivate employees. However, during times when budgets are tight, maintaining an engaged workforce is more difficult than ever. When times are tough, employers are looking for ways to improve engagement – and it’s essential they remember the motivational power of intangible rewards, the role of the line manager in establishing a great work climate and the importance of communicating effectively with employees.”
    The study has stirred up commentary from HR bloggers, some of whom question how to go about measuring effective engagement and rewards. In Compensation Force, Ann Bares calls study findings “an interesting piece of news” calling for “some element of balance in our reward metrics – financial versus non-financial, lag versus lead.”
    In his Strategic HCM Blog, John Ingham says it’s essential to be clear about intended outcomes first when measuring a reward program.
    How are rewards currently measured? The study of 763 diverse companies in 66 countries found that reward program performance metrics weigh heavy on financial performance (71%) using employee engagement (40%) to a lesser extent. In the future, more companies report they plan to focus more on engagement.
    Other key findings:

    • Almost half, 44 percent, plan to increase their future focus on using reward to reinforce a culture of creativity and innovation.
    • Two thirds, 67 percent, will focus more on improving the ability of line managers to effectively manage the overall pay-for-performance relationship with employees, and on the role of line managers in communicating total rewards to employees.
    • Key components of the reward programs of the future will include leveraging important non-financial rewards including career and development opportunities, improving work climate and non-financial recognition.
    gThankYou® Certificates of Gratitude™, when given as employee gifts, are a way  savvy Human Resource Executives help their company’s say “Thank You” to colleagues.  gThankYou, LLC is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  The company is best known for its Ham Gift Certificates, Turkey Gift Certificates and Grocery Gift Cards.
    Bookmark and Share
    Read More

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.