Training managers in employee appreciation ensures the success of your workplace recognition efforts and protects your business. It also solves a common organizational problem: employees who don’t understand manager directives.
“Simply put, almost two-thirds of all employees are 33 percent as productive as they can be because they don’t understand what they are now asked to do,” according to a survey of 50,000 employees.
Understanding and appreciation are codependent.
“Training and educating employees in company values and objectives in a way that makes sense to them — through their daily work — is a mission-critical goal for organizations today,” Derek Irvine writes for Training Industry.
“Strategic employee recognition is the most effective method for achieving that goal,” he adds.
And it goes beyond simply thanking employees at the annual office party. Truly effective employee appreciation is not always self-explanatory or obvious. It’s a learned skill.
The best appreciation combines clear, mission-driven communication, smart analytics, year-round development and strategic gifts and praise.
Training managers in this level of employee appreciation isn’t just good for employees and productivity. It’s good for managers. It shows the company is willing to invest in their development.
National Ice Cream Day is this Sunday, July 16! What better time to share an ice cream gift with your employees?
Bring a little summer into your workplace with an ice cream gift employees will appreciate and enjoy sharing with friends and family.
gThankYou! Ice Cream Gift Certificates allow you to share a fun, cool treat with staff anytime! Share an unexpected gift of appreciation, stock up your “on-the-spot” reward supplies, or throw and ice cream party and send virtual workers ice cream gift certificates so they can participate in the fun too!
An ice cream gift voucher by gThankYou is redeemable at virtually all chain grocery stores nationwide for any brand, flavor or style of ice cream or frozen novelty.
That means your recipients get to enjoy exactly the kind of ice cream they like best: chocolate chip cookie dough, Neapolitan, coffee, pistachio, good old vanilla, perhaps a dairy-free frozen treat, or one of the trending ice creams that are hot this summer.
Or they can take the “What Ice Cream Flavor Are You?” quiz for inspiration — a very scientific inquiry, naturally.
National Ice Cream Day is always the third Sunday in July. If one day of the year just isn’t enough to do justice to your team’s love of ice cream, no worries. You have all month to celebrate, because July is National Ice Cream Month!
Every generation in the workplace appreciates employee Thank You gifts, and Generation Z is no exception — in fact, showing appreciation is even more crucial to engaging these young people.
Several characteristics are emerging in the generation born after 1995: they have high expectations, they’re practical and they’re in a position to influence the workplace for years.
The oldest members of Generation Z are graduating college now, so this is the year “Generation Z starts flooding workplaces,” according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and it’s happening “at the same time that there is a tight labor force.”
Like Millennials, the Generation Z cohort cares about the environment and wants to have a passion for work.
But today’s recent college graduates also saw, at an impressionable age, the effects of the Great Recession on their families.
According to social scientists who study generational patterns, experiencing the recession at a young age created a generation of young people with entrepreneurial spirit and a practical appreciation of pay, benefits and mentoring possibilities.
And there’s a lot of them.
“Gen Z is larger than Generation Y, which has already made workplaces more entrepreneurial and pushed work/life flexibility issues more than ever before,” the Star Tribune’s Catherine Roberts writes. “That means these young adults will have an outsized influence on workplace culture for years to come.”
What does this mean for your company’s approach to employee appreciation and employee Thank You gifts? You’ll need a strong appreciation program to usher them into the workplace and keep them engaged. As your organization begins to hire interns and new employees from Generation Z, be prepared!
The 4th of July is behind us. Up ahead: two months of summer — sunny, lazy, distracting summer, with vacation days and “summer Fridays” tempting employees at every turn.
In other words? A recipe for disengagement. And your task is keeping employees engaged.
It’s not as tough as you may think! Keeping up engagement levels through the summer months depends on a good balance that integrates fun, freedom, fitness and focus.
If employees have opportunities for regular, low-key summertime celebrations that center on accomplishments, family and wellness, they’ll be more likely to be productive the rest of the time.
This is the thinking behind the HR shift from “work-life balance” to “work-life integration,” according to the Limeade blog post “How to Keep Your Work-Life Integration On Track This Summer.”
“We believe you need to focus on the whole employee, rather than separating who they are in the office and who they are at home,” the Limeade marketing team writes.
“And it’s your job to find ways to connect and integrate the two. … Work-life balance implies a zero-sum game that says we can’t have it all. Work-life integration lets us coordinate, blend and bring elements of work and life into a unified whole.”
Employees in organizations that focus on work-life integration initiatives like social support and wellbeing are more likely to be engaged, more likely to recommend their employer to others and more likely to “go the extra mile” for the company.
Now’s not the time to pull out draconian rules or punish employees for wanting to enjoy their summer — that’s the old way of doing things and it didn’t work.
Instead, be inspired by the following summertime workplace celebration ideas to plan your own engagement calendar for the season.
Some of the most effective, easy ways to thank employees can be done on the fly, or with just a few days’ notice – just remember to keep the message of gratitude in mind!
Try it! You have your chance coming up with a holiday that’s easy to celebrate in the workplace: the 4th of July.
Independence Day has themes that bring people together — patriotism, community, family — plus it has traditions everyone loves: fireworks and sparklers, fun parades, neighborhood barbecues and children’s games like the cakewalk and egg toss.
Some businesses shut down over the 4th of July weekend, giving their employees the time off.
But many companies have no choice but to stay open, particularly those in the service industry, like health care, hospitality, entertainment and retail.
If you have employees working on 4th of July or over the 4th of July weekend, take the opportunity to acknowledge that they’re working over a popular holiday and let them know how much you appreciate their valuable time.
Summertime appreciation gifts keep employees engaged through the distractions of the season.
“Savvy companies maintain staff productivity and morale by embracing summer in the workplace,” says Brandi Britton of staffing firm OfficeTeam, which recently released survey results on what employees want most for summer engagement.
The ability to leave the office early on Friday afternoons — “summer Fridays” — is a popular perk for employees this year.
But showing appreciation with schedule flexibility just doesn’t work in all businesses and industries.
“For those in the hospitality, construction, recreation and outdoor industries, the summer is actually a very busy season, so these workers have no time to be distracted by the lure of lazy summer days,” according to the Daily Herald of Provo, Utah.
Many manufacturers, mom-and-pop shops and other small business owners must work nonstop through the summer months, too.
So what’s the best way to thank busy employees in the summer?
A dental clinic office manager tells the Daily Herald says she boosts employee morale with little treats throughout the season.
“It can be as simple as bringing my team lunch one day, or having a candy bar for an employee who is having a tough time. I like to do those little things as pick-me-ups,” she says.
Ice cream gift certificates from gThankYou fit the bill perfectly as employee “pick-me-ups”! Everyone loves the cool treat of ice cream in the summer months, and gThankYou! Ice Cream Gift Certificates make it convenient and affordable to share this summertime token of appreciation.
gThankYou! Ice Cream Gift Certificates can be redeemed for any brand of ice cream at major grocery chain stores in the U.S. Read on for why an ice cream gift is such a favorite summertime choice in the workplace!
Data, numbers, graphs and percentages only go so far in engaging with employees and customers. Organizational storytelling fills in the gaps and actually connects with people. It provides the emotional context for why the organization does what it does.
Tony Hsieh, CEO of online shoe retailer Zappos, has “a mental pantry of stories at his ready” to explain his company and business philosophies, according to Chief Executive magazine.
“It’s possible for a leader to have a grand vision, but it’s not possible to turn that vision into reality unless countless others adopt it as their own and work tirelessly in concert to achieve it,” Chief Executive’s Bill Baker writes.
Inspiring others requires good storytelling. You can watch Hsieh in this video clip telling a story of extraordinary customer service at Zappos.
He could have just rolled out a bunch of numbers — customer satisfaction ratings, employee satisfaction figures — instead, he gives a moving example of a Zappos service rep sending flowers to a customer whose husband had just died.
Support your stories with data when necessary, of course. Data is an essential resource. But six months from now, what people will remember most clearly is the story, not the data.
“When just about every fact on the planet is but one mouse click away, stories take on new importance in every business enterprise. From leadership to team building to branding to knowledge management, narrative has become a powerful — and essential — tool,” Daniel Pink writes in his New York Times bestseller, “A Whole New Mind.”
Building great workplace culture doesn’t just happen inside the workplace. Sometimes going out into the community with your team is the best way to strengthen company culture.
The United Nations’ Public Service Day is June 23, and it’s an opportunity for this kind of culture-building community outreach.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon describes Public Service Day as a celebration of the individuals and organizations dedicated to “serving people and improving the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable.”
What does serving the public good have to do with building great workplace culture? A lot, it turns out.
A 2017 study from Deloitte revealed that employers who encourage and promote volunteering have better morale, workplace atmosphere and brand perception.
Community involvement and public service are what employees want.
Among the 1,000 employees Deloitte surveyed, 70 percent believe volunteer activities are more likely to boost staff morale than company-sponsored happy hours. More than three-quarters say volunteering is essential to employee wellbeing.
Yet, according to Deloitte, most companies aren’t cashing in on these potential benefits. Less than 40 percent of employees surveyed said their employers provide access to company-sponsored or coordinated volunteer programs.
“Employers have an opportunity to build on their volunteerism programs by creating a culture that celebrates volunteering and empowers volunteers to be more active,” Deloitte’s Doug Marshall tells Business News Daily.
Start now on Public Service Day! Workplace volunteerism and showing gratitude to public servants are well-recognized for building great workplace culture.
Employee appreciation gifts for the 4th of July are the perfect summertime “Thank You.” Delight the whole family with gift certificates for ice cream, pie, or turkey or ham from gThankYou.
It’s the perfect way to augment this summer’s hottest employee perk.
“Summer Fridays” are all the rage this year, according to a Bloomberg Businessweek article.
One manager tells Businessweek she decided to join the trend and formally give her employees Friday afternoons off all summer because it just makes sense.
“In the summer, we’re so happy to get out early and enjoy an ice cream. It’s not life changing but it’s so much fun to be able to get out of the office at 2 p.m.,” she says.
Giving employees a gift certificate for that ice cream — or for a turkey or ham to grill over the weekend, or pie to bring to their family 4th of July picnic — is an added token of gratitude they’ll love.
gThankYou Gift Certificates make it easy, convenient and affordable to share grocery treats with employees this summer!
And it’s not too late to order in time for the 4th of July.
Make it a goal this summer to check out employee engagement books that will inspire and challenge you, whether you’re planning a major “think week” or just have 15 minutes a day to read over lunch.
Get a head start on engagement planning for this year by exposing yourself to fresh ideas and perspectives. Spark your creativity!
According to Kevin Kruse, consultant and NYT bestselling author of “Employee Engagement 2.0,” employee engagement is often misunderstood.
That lack of understanding is holding back American companies.
In an interview with Business Management Daily, he calls engagement “one of the secrets behind so many of my companies.”
Yet it’s surprisingly rare.
“Only about one-third of the workforce is truly engaged at work, and we’ve been stuck at this number for about two decades. This is really a shame as life is too short to be unhappy at work,” Kruse says.
In short, effective engagement leads to a workforce that cares.
“A sales person who truly cares about organizational results will sell just as hard on a Friday afternoon as she would on a Monday,” Kruse explains. “An engaged service rep will be just as patient and helpful at 4:59 p.m. as he would be at 9:00 a.m. An engaged factory worker will yank the cord to stop the line every single time a defect is noticed.”
Want to see this level of passion and caring at your company? Make it a goal to read one or more of these employee engagement books, based on decades of experience and research into building vibrant, engaged workplace culture.
Employee welcome gifts for new hires and interns send a message from day one that your company values and appreciates its staff.
Welcome gifts show your company is ready and excited for their contributions.
At the San Francisco office of ad agency DDB, new employees on their first day are chauffeured to work in a Town Car. Flowers, a hoodie and a water bottle greet them at their desk.
Plus, all new hires at DDB get a gift card to a local coffee shop where they can get to know their new coworkers.
From the get-go, DDB is sending a welcoming message: We’re glad you’re here. Come and join us!
First days on the job are nerve-wracking. Make it easier on your new hires with employee welcome gifts. And don’t forget your summer interns — give them the very best first impression of the “real world” and why they should consider working for you.
Sharing appreciation couldn’t be sweeter — share a doughnut today with colleagues, customers and friends! It’s National Doughnut Day — always the first Friday of June.
There’s a doughnut for everybody. Doughnuts are the most “craveable” treat in America.
Give your employee appreciation program a little boost to kick off the summer season — bring in doughnuts to share with your team.
Or turn the day into a fun opportunity for community outreach. Doughnut shops like Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts always give away freebies on National Doughnut Day, so why not bring the celebration to those who are homebound and hand out doughnuts with your team at a local nursing home?
Be sure to post photos of your celebration to company social media accounts using the hashtags #NationalDoughnutDay and #GivingIsSweet.
Not that we need a reason to celebrate National Doughnut Day, but it turns out that among the unofficial food holidays we love, it’s “one of the more legitimate food holidays out there.”
The history behind National Doughnut Day is pretty interesting, too.
Workplace gratitude spreads through small, everyday acts of kindness. Spread workplace gratitude in your place of work June 1 to celebrate Say Something Nice Day! It’s an easy opportunity to take time to engage with staff and share your appreciation.
Saying something nice to employees (and doing it well) isn’t a squishy soft skill without hard benefits. It’s a critical aspect of leadership and business success.
Even a quick look at recent headlines shows that civility, positivity and gratitude are sorely lacking in the workplace today.
“Does HR Have a ‘Humanity’ Problem?” — that was the question an HR Dive headline posed earlier this week. It was prompted in part by the BackChannel essay, “Human Resources Isn’t About Humans.”
The title of the BackChannel essay is tongue-in-cheek. In fact, author Karen Wickre argues, HR is about humans — or it should be. She makes suggestions for how HR professionals can cultivate a more humane workplace.
She calls for an investment in emotional intelligence training and managers who consistently lead by example day in and day out. All employees need to get the message “that their culture rewards empathy and social skills.”
“People who are empathetic, inclusive and employ people skills to good effect should be recognized for progress and victories when they occur, and this recognition should matter for promotions and new assignments,” she writes.
HR Dive’s Ryan Golden agrees. Employees need to be acknowledged for doing the right thing, he says: “In the scramble of the day-to-day, good deeds and Good Samaritans often get lost in the sauce. Executives who are serious about creating a pro-social culture won’t shy away from seeking out those stories. Thank You notes are awesome!”
Thank You notes are awesome, and so is simply saying something nice!
Sounds great, but you may be wondering … what does “nice” mean in this context? And are some compliments more effective than others?
Marc Flanders, principal at consulting firm WC Solutions Group, sees a common mistake in workplace safety engagement.
The mistake is in how incentives are targeted, Flanders tells EHS Today. Companies may think they’re checking off all the right boxes by incentivizing safety, then reward the wrong employees.
“I see some companies put all their budget into the people who are safe for a year,” Flanders says. “I tell them, ‘Wait a minute. You’re spending all your money on the people who are safe. What are you doing to change the behavior of people who aren’t safe?'”
Successful safety incentives programs need to have an “everybody wins” mentality. After all, a workplace isn’t really safe until everybody is safe.
That’s why safety incentive programs “should involve everyone in the safety process, starting with top management, going to supervisors, to the employees and to the individuals managing the incentives program,” Flanders says.
June is National Safety Month. What better time to evaluate and promote your safety program? Engaging employees in National Safety Month is a great way to ensure your program is inclusive and reaching the right employees.
Have you downloaded gThankYou’s free Employee Appreciation Calendar yet? A summer chock-full of employee appreciation activities is your buffer against seasonal disengagement!
The rising temperatures and increased distractions of summer have an inescapable impact on employee attention.
Nobody wants to be like Gary Lumbergh, the despised Office Space boss who tells his employees to “go ahead and come in” Saturday (and Sunday), but what do you do on Friday afternoons when you can practically see employee motivation wafting away in the summer breeze?
The trick is to work with summertime distractions, not against them.
“From an HR professional’s perspective, summer provides a golden opportunity to mix up the workplace routine by providing unfettered access to outdoor activities — something not always available during other seasons,” Paul Falcone, HR exec and best-selling author, writes for SHRM.
Fun summer holidays like Say Something Nice Day, 4th of July, National Ice Cream Day and Labor Day are an opportunity to enjoy the season together and build on everyday employee appreciation goals. Everyone enjoys an afternoon break for an ice cream party, outdoor games or an all-family picnic. There are loads of easy, affordable ways to engage with employees and make them feel valued.
HR initiatives like employee appreciation are not a “nice to have” bonus — they are strategic. But a recent study shows organizations still don’t view HR as a strategic contributor, despite the proven success of these contributions.
Now’s the time to put a plan into place and make sure your team’s strategy is as seamless as possible!
Turkey or Ham gift vouchers from gThankYou are the perfect way to reward employees during summer BBQ season.
Memorial Day is almost here — ’tis the season for family cookouts, employee picnics and other opportunities for summer barbecuing fun.
gThankYou! Turkey or Ham Gift Vouchers allow recipients the freedom to choose any brand or preparation of whole turkey or whole or half ham, at virtually any major grocery store nationwide.
A turkey or ham centerpiece to a special meal is a meaningful, appreciated gift that employees can enjoy with family and friends. It’s always appropriate and always valued.
Turkey or Ham gifts are convenient for your company, too! Ordering is easy either online or by calling 888-484-1658. Receive your Turkey or Ham vouchers as soon as the next business day — we ship same day on nearly all orders!
And, all gThankYou gift certificates come with free customizable “Thank You” Enclosure Cards to fit any season or occasion.
Need a large number of vouchers or have a distributed workforce? We can help! Not only do we offer volume pricing, we can create custom online ordering for your distributed workplace. Call us at 888-484-1658 to learn more.
The software company Epic Systems proves you don’t have to be located in Silicon Valley to attract tech talent or have a vibrant culture of “epic” employee engagement.
Epic attracts employees from far and wide to its campus situated amid farm fields outside Madison, WI. The company has mushroomed in recent years and now employs more than 9,000.
Epic has a reputation for good pay, great culture and a quirky, fun-filled campus that provides many on-site amenities to employees.
A rare interview with Epic founder and CEO Judy Faulkner last month is an insightful look at her unique approach to employee engagement, development and management.
Read on for takeaways from this interview on Epic’s strong employee engagement ethic.
Wellness incentives help reward and encourage healthy employee choices like regular exercise, annual checkups, smoking cessation and nutritious cooking.
If your company isn’t already using wellness incentives, now’s a great time to start!
May is Global Employee Health and Fitness Month, with Employee Health and Fitness Day celebrated the third Wednesday of the month — this year on May 17.
All month, organizations across the country are raising awareness about the benefits of a healthy workplace.
Healthy employees are better employees.
A study of more than 20,000 employees at three large, geographically dispersed U.S. companies found that employees who exercised more and ate more fruits and vegetables had better performance and much lower absenteeism than their less health-conscious coworkers.
This month, help equip your employees with the knowledge and tools they need to improve their wellbeing — and help them develop habits that will last year-round! Incentivizing healthy choices is a great way to reinforce the benefits and encourage longterm lifestyle changes.
Your organization doesn’t have to be a school to celebrate teacher appreciation in the workplace this week!
This is the week to thank all teachers, from classroom teachers to your employee development leaders — anyone who spreads the joy of learning and sharing knowledge in your organization and community.
Teacher Appreciation Week is underway and continues through Friday, and National Teacher Day is Tuesday, May 9.
Engage all employees in showing gratitude to teachers this week and celebrating the gift of learning!
In today’s demanding and fast-paced business culture, “leaders would be wise to develop a strong learning environment at the workplace,” Naphtali Hoff writes in a HuffPo article, “Build a Team of Workplace Teachers.”
He quotes the celebrated CEO of General Electric, Jack Welch: “An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.”
“But learning alone is not enough,” Hoff continues. “Leaders that want to stay ahead must make sure that their companies also place a premium on teaching.”
You don’t have to break the budget to show heartfelt receptionist appreciation!
National Receptionists Day is always the second Wednesday in May.
First launched in 1991, National Receptionists Day celebrates the role of professional receptionists. It’s a day set aside to recognize and appreciate all the work that receptionists do to help organizations run smoothly.
Why receptionists? They’re the face of your company. Receptionists are usually the first (and sometimes only) company representative your customers or clients interact with. Often, they’re the first to explain your company’s products or services, or hear feedback.
And they’re doing all that while fielding phone calls, coordinating schedules and handling deliveries!
Great receptionists are knowledgeable, friendly and fast.
Making sure your receptionists feel appreciated and included in your company culture is key to promoting a positive company image. Your gratitude makes the difference. Read on for 10 receptionist appreciation ideas that won’t break your budget!