Employee Incentives Aren’t Just a Nice Extra Anymore
Do you take employee incentives seriously? Or do you just treat them as a “nice to have”? More and more research demonstrates that successful companies will do the former.
In a recent blog post, the employee recognition experts at Achievers summarize how the conventional wisdom on employee incentives has evolved over the last century-plus. When research first began on employee incentives, workers were typically paid for what they produced, rather than the time they spent on the job. In fact: “When the innovation of pay by the hour or day was introduced, it was controversial. A widespread fear existed that if you paid workers only according to the time they spent, that they would ‘take it easy’ and not try as hard.”
Later, it became common to offer employee incentives that depended on one worker outdoing their colleagues. But that kind of heated competition produced its own problems — for instance, it can lead workers to focus more on winning than on serving customers properly. And research found that “pitting workers against each other for rewards often causes team-minded players to scale back their efforts in order to equalize things.”
Today, businesses have learned that employee incentives need to be thoughtfully designed — they must reward workers for going above and beyond, and also for effectively executing the company’s mission and values. While this kind of incentives program takes some time to put together, the evidence shows it will also have a clear positive impact on a company.
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 NecessaryThanks 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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
(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.
Why You Want to Create a Healthy Workplace
Is your company a healthy workplace? It should be.
In 2010, the Harvard Business Review reported on an interesting study: A sample of 185 employees received advice and exercise training to improve heart health. Afterward, 57 percent of those classified as “high-risk” for a cardiac event were reassessed as low-risk. More importantly from a pure business standpoint, “medical claim costs had declined by $1,421 per participant, compared with those from the previous year. A control group showed no such improvements. The bottom line: Every dollar invested in the intervention yielded $6 in health care savings.”
The HBR authors found similar results at other workplaces, and also noted that a strong wellness program can seriously help with employee retention — employees get a real material benefit from being in a healthy workplace every day, and don’t want to lose that. Sounds promising, right? Today, to mark National Employee Health & Fitness Day, we’ve collected four tips on creating a healthy workplace.
Almost every industry is facing staffing challenges, but perhaps the hospitality industry is the hardest hit. Knowing how to recognize and retain hospitality industry employees is critical to business survival.
It’s not unheard for restaurant employees to take a job at a competitor across the street for just .25 cents more an hour!
Both front of the house and back of the house staff would be less tempted to leave for such a small raise if they felt engaged, valued and appreciated.
In a blog post on Toast.com about turnover rates in the restaurant industry, these startling retention stats were shared:
In 2016, the annual employee turnover rate in the restaurants and accommodations sector was a whopping 73%, according to The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Program [JOLTS].
To put this in perspective, say you started 2017 with 100 employees. If your restaurant has a 73% annual employee turnover rate, 73 of the original 100 employees who began the year working at your business will be gone by years end and hopefully replaced with someone new.
How Do You Show Appreciation for Administrative Staff?
Google “administrative staff appreciation ideas” and you’ll get over a million results. But most of those million-plus ideas are pretty much the same: a mug or a tchotchke or candy, or maybe a cute, funny card.
If you’d like to do something different for an administrative staffer — something that will truly make them feel valued — we’ve got a great suggestion. Best of all, it’s inexpensive and it doesn’t take long. You can even do it today, to celebrate International Receptionists’ Day. (And if you missed National Administrative Professionals Day on April 25, this is your opportunity to make it up!)
Here you go — one of the best administrative staff appreciation ideas out there, and it’s just two simple steps.
If you have children and work outside the home, then you know you owe teachers a debt of gratitude. These dedicated professionals choose to spend their time with dozens of kids every day — not just taking care of them, but also preparing them to become informed, thoughtful, and well-behaved members of their communities. As anyone who’s ever wrangled even a handful of kids at a time knows, that’s exhausting and too often underappreciated work. But do you know how to really thank a teacher?
Today is National Teacher Day, and this is also Teacher Appreciation Week. To mark these important occasions, here are some ideas about what makes hardworking educators feel valued — straight from teachers themselves.
Celebrate your nursing staff this week! Every year, May 6th kicks off the start of National Nurses Week which concludes on May 12th, appropriately on nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale’s birthday.
Nurses impact our lives in so many ways. They are with us when we bring new life into the word, at the end of our lives and the lives of loved ones, at school, in the office and help us all cope with medical issues both large and small our whole life long.
Building employee loyalty is worth the time and effortLoyalty in the workplace looks different now than it did a generation ago. Staying at one job with one employer for your entire working life and retiring with a gold watch is far from today’s norm. While employees are more apt to change jobs after just a few years, creating a workplace where there is mutual respect and trust can bring out the best in all of your employees – from Millennial to Baby Boomers. Even if an employee doesn’t spend many years working for you, maximizing the relationship you have with them through engagement, appreciation and support is paramount to the success of your business.
Conventional wisdom suggests sharing workplace “Thank You’s” as close to possible to the act that you are thanking colleagues for. But that’s not always possible, especially in a busy workplace.
Another approach is to use a traditional holiday like Thanksgiving, a year-end celebration or an annual event such as National Thank You Month in January as a prescribed time and opportunity to show gratitude to your hard-working team.
Perhaps your New Year’s resolution at work (and at home) was to make sure those around you feel appreciated. Maybe you had every intention of conveying that gratitude back during National Thank You month. But things got hectic and suddenly it’s spring. It would be a mistake let the embarrassment over the amount of time that has passed be the reason you don’t thank or acknowledge someone.
Well done, that gratitude is still meaningful and important to recipients.
Spring is here, and World Health Day is April 7 — two good reasons to set employee wellness goals this month to support and engage healthier habits in your workplace!
Most employees aren’t even aware of the wellness benefits their company offers. According to the Transamerica Center for Health Studies 2017 Consumer and Employer surveys, 62 percent of employers say they provide employee wellness programs — yet only 40 percent of employees say their organizations offer them.
“The survey isn’t the first source to show a disconnect between how employers and workers view their wellness programs,” HR Dive noted. A 2017 Willis Towers Watson survey showed 81 percent of employers said their wellness programs were meeting workers’ needs, but 61 percent of employees disagreed.
“There’s clearly a disconnect between employers and workers over the effects of wellness programs — a real problem in a time when wellness programs can vary so widely,” according to HR Dive.
You could be offering the best medical benefits and wellness perks in your industry, but if no one even knows about them, it’s a major missed opportunity at employee engagement and recognition.
Better communication, more effective tools and targeted rewards are key to making sure employees are not only aware of your workplace wellness program but eager to participate in it. Some companies, in particular hospitals, are even adding a chief wellness officer position to their C-suite to elevate the discussion of employee wellness to the executives’ table. Companies appointing this new position “anticipate not only happier employees but also improved patient experience and outcomes,” according to HR Dive.
If your company is looking to boost its wellness programming, there’s no better time to start than now. Spring brings warmer temps for outdoor fitness activities and more in-season options for healthy eating initiatives.
Plus, several upcoming observances, like World Heath Day on April 7 and Employee Health & Fitness Month in May, are just the boost your workplace may need to rejuvenate employee wellness goals.
Did you recently receive a gThankYou! Ham Gift Certificate? Congrats! We hope you love sharing your ham gift with family and friends. Redeeming your Certificate is easy. Just choose any major grocery chain store in the U.S. and you’ll be enjoying your delicious holiday ham in no time!
Your Certificate can be redeemed today — or whenever works for you. Redeem it as the centerpiece to your Easter or other holiday meal, or save it for a summer barbecue. gThankYou Certificates have long expiration periods so you choose when to enjoy your gift and where to redeem it. It’s all up to you!
For the best service, we recommend redeeming your Certificate at a traditional chain grocery store such as Kroger, Safeway, Shop-Rite, Publix or other similar grocery stores in your area. We do not recommend discount general merchandise stores such as Walmart.
Click these links if you would like a one page “About Your Certificate” Letter in English or Spanish to share with recipients or managers.
Read on for a step-by-step guide on how to redeem your gThankYou! Ham Gift Certificate.