Celebrate Labor Day History with Employee Gratitude

gThankYou employee gratitude

Take a moment this Labor Day to reflect on your coworker and employee gratitude and on how far you’ve come together. (Photo via Edward Headington, Flickr)

If there was ever a holiday tailor-made for employee gratitude, it’s Labor Day. This national celebration of American workers isn’t just a three-day weekend to kick off the football season and have one last summer party before the school year begins in earnest.

It’s the perfect time to let your employees know how much you value them, their work and their contributions in the workplace.

It’s also a chance to hit pause and collectively take a day to appreciate where we are, how far we’ve come and what we can accomplish working together as we prepare for the busy season ahead — which always seems to move faster and faster into Thanksgiving and the winter holidays.

Labor Day has a history of employee gratitude and workforce celebration going back 132 years. Here are some quick facts, taken from the U.S. Department of Labor website and the Upworthy infographic “Do You Remember Why Labor Day Is Called Labor Day?”

  • The holiday has origins in the Central Labor Union of New York City, 1882.
  • An early proposal called for a street parade to exhibit “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations,” followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families.
  • The first Labor Day wasn’t on a Monday but on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 1882, in New York City. Within a few years, it was being celebrated in industrial centers across the country as a “workingmen’s holiday” to be held always on the first Monday in September. This year, Labor Day is Sept. 1.
  • In 1887 Oregon became the first state to give Labor Day governmental recognition as a holiday. In 1894 Congress made it a federal holiday.
  • Until Labor Day was made a federal holiday, workers who joined in parades had to give up a day’s wages.

A day for big-picture appreciation

Labor Day became a holiday during a period of turmoil and momentous changes for American workers. Children as young as 5 were working long hours for little pay, and much of what we take for granted now as basic employee rights — such as the eight-hour workday, regular breaks, weekends off and basic safety precautions — were simply unheard of at the time.

gThankYou employee gratitude

Labor Day parades, like this one in Maryland, are a popular way to celebrate the contributions of hard-working employees in the community. (Photo via Craig Shipp, Flickr)

Improvements for workers made in the years since have managed no less than to completely transform how we think about work, success, accountability and community.

Considering this historical context, Labor Day is an especially poignant time to reflect and share a big-picture appreciation of your coworkers and employees. Employee gratitude should be sewn into our everyday existence, of course, but once in a while it’s just as important to step back for a wider, long-range view of our gratitude.

Why does your employees’ work matter to you, to the people you serve and to the community at large? For which workplace improvement at your company in the past year are you most grateful?

“A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.” — Albert Einstein

Before everyone skips off for the holiday weekend, sit down and consider a few words of gratitude you can share with your coworkers and employees, either as a letter, a quick email or in a note to accompany a small gift. Encourage other leaders within the company to do the same: when employee gratitude comes from those in positions of leadership, it has a bigger impact and spreads more quickly.

For a step-by-step guide with practical tips to get you started on building a vibrant culture of appreciation, download our FREE e-book, “Workplace Gratitude.”

Click the image below and start sharing your workplace gratitude today!

Download Free eBook, "Workplace Gratitude" by gThankYou!

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime. gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Contact: Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog – “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Two Leadership Traits all Great Leaders Need

Leadership requires many important skills and practices, but two of the most critical might surprise you.

Jessica Stillman, a London-based freelance writer, makes this interesting point in an Inc. Magazine post, “The Incredibly Boring Trait That All Great Leaders Need”:

“According to Google, one of the most important traits of great leaders is a very dull one: simple predictability.”

Leadership

Photo via Paul Farley, Flickr

Predictability

If a leader is consistent, employees are familiar with his or her objectives, short-term goals, and decision process. They know that, within certain parameters, they can act and make decisions independently.

“If you can predict what your boss is going to do that means you don’t have to spend as much energy managing that relationship, dealing with their meddling, and justifying your actions,” Stillman writes.

That means workers can focus on doing their jobs.

“Psychologists call this feeling of freedom to do your job as you see fit ‘autonomy’ and have found in studies that not only does autonomy make employees happy, it also makes them more productive. So much for the benefits of the mercurial genius as manager.”

Humility

In another Inc. post, “The Unexpected Trait That Moves Leaders From Good to Great,” she observes:

“it turns out, what we imagine we want from a leader and what actually makes one effective in real life are often at odds. Now a new study has confirmed what other researchers have been insisting—quieter, less-remarked-on traits determine the success of those at the top more often than highly visible qualities such as charm and conviction.”

The new study, published in Administrative Science Quarterly, discovered that leaders’ humility is essential when it comes to high-functioning teams. The study’s authors provide this working definition:

“Humility is manifested in self-awareness, openness to feedback, appreciation of others, low self-focus, and pursuit of self-transcendence. Humble people willingly seek accurate self-knowledge and accept their imperfections while remaining fully aware of their talents and abilities. They appreciate others’ positive worth, strengths, and contributions and thus have no need for entitlement or dominance over others.”

Stillman includes a summary of the study’s findings published in a PsyBlog article, “The Most Surprising Attribute of Great Leaders:

“CEOs who were humble were more likely to empower the top management team, which in turn enabled the management team to be better integrated. The empowering organizational climate then trickled down through the middle managers which increased their job performance, commitment and engagement with work.”

She cites a talk by former U.S. nuclear submarine commander Captain David Marquet:

“He urges those who really want to bring the best out of their teams to quit following unhelpful stereotypes of ‘leadership’ and do everything possible to empower their people instead.”

In his talk, Marquet relates that he wasn’t trained to operate the submarine he was assigned to, but his employees were. His employees’ advice to the captain: “You shut up.”

The captain was surprised at first, but realized they were right. Now, instead of giving orders, he conveys intent (the desired end result). Instead of the captain ordering to submerge, an employee would say, “Captain, I intend to submerge the ship.”

Makes sense, doesn’t it? Give employees clear objectives and the tools to make decisions, and you can give them control. After all, as the frontline staff closest to the work, they’re best equipped.

Enjoy this post? Check out, “How to be a Better HR Leader” for more insights into effective leadership and subscribe to our blog today!


About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime. gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Contact: Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog – “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

How to Be a Better HR Leader

Are you an HR leader or an HR Manager?

HR Leader vs Boss

Photo via Olivier Carré-Delisle, Flickr

Elizabeth Dukes, author of Wide Open Workspace, and cofounder of software provider and consultancy iOffice addresses that question in “10 Things HR Managers Must Do to Rise as Leaders,” at HR.BLR.com.

Leadership is a skill that can only be gained in the field, not through school, she asserts.

“While the top leaders’ instincts are much of what helped them rise to the top, many of their most valuable tools are learned skills,” she writes. 

If you’re an HR leader, you do these 10 things daily, according to Dukes. If you want to advance to top HR leadership, learn to do them:

  1. Connect with your people—Get to know them as individuals with their own strengths and weaknesses. A mere manager sees them as numbers and titles.
  2. Keep your eyes on the prize—Focus on long-term goals, and create short-term goals that work toward big-picture objectives. Don’t get caught up in the daily grind.
  3. Lead by example—Practice what you preach. You’ll earn respect and others will follow.
  4. Never stop teaching—Be a continuous learner and share your learnings. This leads to worker satisfaction—and more valuable employees.
  5. Reward others’ successes—Look for and reward great work. You’re more likely to retain your top performers, and their success is your success.
  6. Accept responsibility—It’s the other side of the coin. The team’s failure is your failure. Blame others and you’ll lose respect and trust. Hold yourself accountable and your team will work even harder toward your common goals.
  7. Foster two-way communications—Set clear expectations, share all information with your team and ensure that workers feel free to be open and honest with you.
  8. Make informed but quick decisions—Keep momentum going, shift gears as needed, and give workers the tools they need to make decisions independently—including your support when they make mistakes.
  9. Never stop asking questions—Top leaders seek others’ counsel to ensure better decisions and continued learning.
  10. Enjoy your work—Your job as a leader is to serve the needs of others—employees, customers, bosses, your community–which requires loving what you do.

Dukes quotes Steve Jobs:

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”

Bill Murphy Jr., Inc. columnist, founder of Nonfiction Partners, and former Washington Post reporter, shares top leadership lessons learned from serving in and reporting on the United States Army in “23 Things Great Leaders Always Do” and “7 Things Great Leaders Always Do (But Mere Managers Always Fear).”

He names several of the same practices Dukes does, but also:

  • Identify clear, worthy objectives employees can articulate.
  • Gather intelligence about your market and your competition.
  • Work backward from your goal and identify the steps to reach it successfully.
  • Check progress regularly and adapt your plan as needed.
  • Take time off to rejuvenate so your staff will do so too.

Dukes made this point, as well, but it bears repeating:

“A real leader is thrilled when team members achieve great things. A mere manager is threatened.”

As Dukes’ post concludes:

“True success … comes from increasing your company’s value while maximizing ROI. A true leader lifts up those around them, bringing out each colleagues’ strengths and talents to paint the bigger picture. While many are natural-born leaders, anyone can rise to the leading position with the right drive and commanding skills in their repertoire.”

For more on building a great workplace culture, download our FREE ebook, “Winning with Workplace Gratitude”.

Click the image below and start sharing your workplace gratitude today!

Download Free eBook, "Workplace Gratitude" by gThankYou!

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime. gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Contact: Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog – “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

HR Insider: Top Employee Recognition Trends

Employee recognition

Photo via Julie Rybarczyk, Flickr

Employee recognition programs can be a competitive advantage and directly benefit your bottom line, especially if you stay current with the latest trends. Research has shown recognition programs can:

  • Drive measurable business results
  • Retain top talent
  • Inspire employee engagement
  • Build vibrant cultures
  • Breathe life into your business results

That’s according to recognition/rewards company Globoforce in “Why Recognition?”

And in her post for HR firm TLNT, “Top 3 Employee Rewards and Recognition Trends for 2014,” Sarah White, founder and principal advisor at advisory firm Accelir, cites her company’s Rewards & Recognition: 2014 Trends Report.

“Low levels of employee engagement are plaguing companies today and improved rewards and recognition programs are the solution.”

Three 2014 Employee Recognition Trends

Employers providing formal programs see tangible benefits, including increased employee productivity and engagement as well as higher organizational and financial performance, she writes. The report identifies three trends for 2014:

  1. Service awards moving toward early recognition. Companies are implementing programs that reward employees as soon as one year of employment.
  2. Creating a culture of recognition. Executive leadership buy-in, manager training, and involvement of everyone in an organization, along with performance-based rewards, consistency, and a clear tie to core values are important components.
  3. Rewards and recognition with social media. Although social media offers easy, inexpensive tools for public recognition, and its use is increasing, Accelir estimates it will take another three years for widespread adoption and integration.

Nova Systems’ Comprehensive Employee Recognition Program

Nova Systems, an Australian provider of professional services, is one business with organization-wide employee reward and recognition initiatives. Its “Reward and Recognition” webpage says:

“At Nova we love to celebrate our success, and a part of this is to recognize the valued and often outstanding contributions made by our people.”

All year long, employees contributing at levels beyond expectation receive rewards—from cinema tickets to significant end-of-year cash bonuses. The company’s employee recognition program comprises five categories:

  1. Social Activities: To foster esprit de corps, Nova hosts social activities to bring employees and their families together in a fun environment and to thank people for their dedication. So far activities include camping, sports events, dinners, cocktail parties, barbecues, overnight resort trips, boating, fishing, and more.
  2. Salary Sacrificing and Staff Discounts: In what some nations call salary sacrificing, Nova allows employees to forgo wages in exchange for cars and other items—in the U.S., these pre-tax withholdings would lower employees’ taxable income (check with your accountant to see what’s allowed). The company also passes on discounts from business partners—such as software for home use and private health insurance—where possible.
  3. Employee Company Shares: To enable employees to share in the company’s success, Nova established the Nova Employee Company, through which qualifying employees can purchase shares.
  4. Annual Conference: To strengthen its internal networks of professional relationships, Nova hosts a three-day annual conference for all Australian-based employees.
  5. Candidate Referrals: Company experience shows the quickest and easiest path to high-quality new employees is through existing employees’ networks.  If Nova employs someone through an existing employee’s referral, that existing employee receives a healthy referral bonus.

Key Takeaways

Accelir’s report concludes with several takeaways:

  • Strategic, performance-based rewards programs create a competitive advantage for companies.
  • Executives are starting to realize rewards and recognition programs can benefit both employees and organizations.
  • Companies bolstering their programs need to consider the three trends the study identifies: early recognition, a culture of recognition and social media integration.

“By doing so, companies can increase productivity and return on investment as well as decrease employee turnover,” Smith writes.

How is your company capitalizing on the three trends Accelir identifies, and does your employee recognition program include the components Novus Systems has incorporated? It might be time to review your plan …

For more about workplace recognition and employee engagement, download our FREE Ultimate Guide to Employee Gift-Giving.

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime. gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Contact: Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog – “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Research Shows Virtual ‘Thanks’ Boosts Workplace Gratitude and Happiness

co-workers sharing workplace gratitude

Sharing happy moments on social media and via smartphone apps can reinforce positivity and boost workplace gratitude, experts say. (Photo via Flickr user Stefano)

Workplace gratitude may literally be at our fingertips.

“Positive technology” made a buzz at the American Psychology Association’s annual conference this past week in Washington, D.C., and proponents say it is a tool to “habitually cultivate little pockets of happiness” and boost gratitude in our interactions at work and with family and friends.

“Being thankful matters, it works,” said Robert Emmons, one of two psychology professors who presented their research on positive technology uses at the conference and discussed it with psychotherapist and Philadelphia Inquirer correspondent Diane R. Girardot.

But to reap the benefits of gratitude, people need to remember to be grateful. And that’s where positive technology comes in.

There’s a lot of gloom and doom in the conversation about how Facebook, Instagram and other social media outlets affect our everyday lives. The temptation to brag online or share only the best-looking parts of our lives can lead to “keeping up with the Jones”-type anxiety and to depression from not measuring up to others (even as they feel the same about us…).

sharing workplace gratitude through social media

How will you use your social media site of choice today to spread happiness and build workplace gratitude? (Image via MKHmarketing, Flickr)

But Emmons and fellow researcher Acacia Parks argue that, approached in the right way, social media can actually help us document our gratitude to better appreciate it and inspire others to do the same.

Parks is a consultant for Happify, an app with activities and games based on gratitude research. According to the company website, Happify is “designed to train your brain and help you build skills for lasting happiness,” with a goal of showing you “effective and measurable results.”

Happify is based on what Parks has found to be the steps toward greater happiness and building a gratitude habit: savor, thank, aspire, give and empathize.

Happify is only one of a plethora of gratitude tech aides that can sound alarms, facilitate daily journaling and help users schedule and keep up with gratitude tasks. WoW (WorkOnWellbeing.com) is another new online tool that helps track individual and corporate wellness.

Everyday social media sites can also be used for the same purposes. According to Emmons, “social media like Facebook and Twitter are great memory aids as well as venues to relay thankfulness.”

Think about how you’re using social media now. When you share information about your life online, are you mindful of how it affects others and how it ultimately affects you? If you’re socially connected online with coworkers or employees, how do you share your virtual gratitude with them? If you manage a workforce, how can you use “positive technology” to bring gratitude and happiness to your workplace?

However you go about it, inspiring workplace gratitude means being a role model for everyday appreciation.

For a step-by-step guide with practical tips to get you started on building a vibrant culture of appreciation, download our FREE e-book, “Workplace Gratitude.”

Click the image below and start sharing your workplace gratitude today!

Download Free eBook, "Workplace Gratitude" by gThankYou!

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime. gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Contact: Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog – “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Back-to-School: An Employee Engagement Opportunity

Employee engagement opportunities arise every season. For instance, getting kids ready for school can be exciting and stressful for kids and parents—especially parents working outside the home—but you can help ease the transition for your employees and take advantage of a natural opportunity to build engagement.

Kayla Mossien, a care.com contributor and former editor in chief of ParentGuide News, writes in “5 Ways to Help Employees With Kids Going Back to School”:

Back to School - An Opportunity for Employee Engagment“To ensure those personal pressures don’t impact workplace productivity, implement the following pointers to keep things on an even keel.”

Remind Employees About Company Policies

Knowing whether paid sick leave, vacation, or personal time is available to parents makes it easier during those times they have to miss work.

“Knowing the lay of the land can provide parents with reassurance and confidence at what can be a stressful time of year,” says Vicki Shabo, vice president at the National Partnership for Women & Families, in Mossien’s article.

Allow Flexible Work Arrangements

Your employees will be better able to focus on their jobs if they have a little flexibility at the beginning of a school year. If they need extra time in the morning, let them work a little later to compensate. Same goes for the end of the work day—if they need to leave early, let them come in early or work from home that evening. If it works in your environment, let them telecommute for all or part of some workdays.

Back to School - An Employee Engagement OpportunitySome of your employees may be sending kids off to college, and when that’s the case, flexibility is especially useful and appreciated. You remember when your parents dropped you off at college? Be the employer that makes it easy for parents to participate during these special moments.  You’ll build loyalty, not just engagement.

Flexible schedules can include compressed work weeks, telecommuting, job sharing, flex-scheduling and a results-oriented work environment. Explore them all to see which ones best suit your company’s culture and your employee needs, recommends Mossien.

“Flexible work arrangements—or “work-flex”—are fast becoming a great way to retain, recruit and engage employees,” notes Shabo.

Let Staff Know About Employee Assistance Programs

Help working parents locate various types of resources in their communities—this will also help them focus during the workday. Important resources can include:

  • Child care resources and referrals to help find after-school sitters
  • Child care subsidies
  • A backup care benefit for those days when the kids get sick or the sitter cancels
  • Affordable after-school programs

Address Work-Life Balance

Allison O’Kelly, founder of Mom Corps, suggests emailing employees to let them know management understands the work-life challenges during back-to-school time. 

Mossien quotes her: “Employers can gain a lot of loyalty from their employees if they are proactive when it comes to recognizing the work-life needs of their team.”

Does your state have ‘family-friendly’ laws?  If so, be sure to share the details with your employees.

In the article Shabo observes: “There are also cities and states with ‘small necessities’ laws, which require employers to provide employees unpaid time off to attend a child’s school-related events or to take family members to medical appointments.”

Evolve Your Family-Friendly Policies

Show that you value and respect your workers by emphasizing the importance of policies like parental and medical leave, paid sick days and employee assistance programs. 

“Many businesses provide their employees with child care, child care subsidies and flexible spending accounts to offset the costs of child care,” says Shabo.

Show Empathy

In “Back-to-School Transitions: Tips for Parents,” on the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) website, Ted Feinberg, EdD, NCSP, & Katherine C. Cowan, list issues parents may need to deal with. As an employer, you can ease the stress by offering employees opportunities to share concerns, listening and demonstrating understanding.  Empathy is an important element of effective engagement.

Recognize and acknowledge that employees may need to:

  • Visit school with their children to meet teachers and locate kids’ classrooms, locker, lunchroom, etc.
  • Postpone business trips, volunteer meetings, and extra projects, where possible, to be available for their children.
  • Take a little extra time to help children get up, eat breakfast, and get to school (especially at the start of the school year).
  • If possible, volunteer in the classroom periodically to show children—and teachers—that they care about the learning experience.
  • Meet with children’s teachers during the workday if issues arise.

Like many things, it’s all about flexibility and open dialogue, Mossien writes. And that makes for an employee engagement opportunity not to be missed.

For more ideas on engaging and celebrating employees, download our FREE Ultimate Guide to Employee Gift-Giving.

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime. gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Contact: Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog – “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Holiday Employee Gift-Giving for a Distributed Workforce

holiday employee gift-giving

Don’t let the season of Thanksgiving, tinsel, eggnog and holiday parties sneak up on you. (Photo via Jamie McCaffrey, Flickr)

Employee gift-giving for the holidays may seem far off, but if you manage a large distributed workforce, it’s not too early to start. gThankYou! offers organizations easy, affordable and meaningful ways to delight employees whether centralized or across a multitude of locations.

Summer isn’t over yet — keep those swimsuits and barbecue tongs handy! — but make things easy on yourself and your company by getting a head start on holiday employee gift-giving.

Here at gThankYou! we have years of experience helping organizations coordinate gifts for distributed workforces. We know what a challenging process it can be, so we’ve come up with a system to make it as smooth and easy as possible while meeting your company’s individual needs.

Ordering is a snap

Let us help you make holiday employee gift-giving as easy as possible for you and your organization. We’re proud of our unique web-based order-entry system, which we customize based on your company needs. We call it SLOOP (System for Large Order Online Processing). It enables gThankYou! customers to offer a pre-determined assortment of products and customized ‘thank you’ cards to location managers, along with your negotiated pricing and location-specific order summaries.  Orders ship directly and can be timed for a company-wide delivery date or shipped immediately.

SLOOP is a major productivity enhancement for organizations juggling the challenges of a distributed workforce and wanting a simple, no-cost process for location managers to place orders.

Call us at 888-484-1658 to learn more about our large company online ordering system today!

Gifts for every budget and taste

gThankYou! offers a variety of affordable and meaningful employee gift certificates ranging in value from $5 to $30. All are good for any Brand of merchandise at any major grocery in the U.S. Employees shop where and when they want, for the products they choose.

gThankYou! Turkey Gift Certificates, Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates and Ham Gift Certificates are some of America’s favorite holiday employee gifts.  Although lots of organizations love our Grocery, Fruit and Vegetables, Pie and Ice Cream certificates for sharing holiday gratitude.  If your budget allows, combine gift certificates to provide an entire Thanksgiving or holiday meal!

All gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude come with free ‘thank you’ cards, available in a variety of styles, and are customizable with your company logo and message.

Meaningful to share

Finding affordable yet meaningful gifts that fit a large, diverse distributed workforce can be a challenge. gThankYou! Gift Certificates meet the challenge. A gift of food is a practical gift easily shared with family and appreciated by all. Our gift certificates make it easy to share the iconic ingredients of a Thanksgiving or holiday feast. When your employees sit down with family and friends to celebrate, they’ll be thinking of your company and grateful for the thoughtful gift.

To learn more about gThankYou!, watch our “About Us” Video or download our 2 page product guide below.

CTA

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime. gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Contact: Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog – “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Proposal to ‘Split HR’ Sparks Lively Discussion

gThankYou future of HRA recent proposal by a Harvard Business Review columnist to “split HR” into administrative and organizational strands has sparked a wave of responses across the internet — and generated great observations and productive ideas for how HR professionals can meet new demands and move into the future.

Ram Charan’s brief but provocative article, titled “It’s Time to Split HR,” generated more than 200 reactions in the article’s comment section alone. The article, which appeared in the July/August issue of Harvard Business Review, also got responses this week from HR expert Josh BersinSHRM CEO Hank Jackson, and professor and HBR contributor Dave Ulrich.

Charan clearly struck a nerve with his readers. Few commenters agree with him, but that’s almost beside the point: his proposal has energized a lively debate that was already brewing among HR professionals, and so far it’s fruitful.

Two basic points emerge from the responses: 1) that even among those who disagree with his proposal, Charan is well-respected for his expertise and decades of experience as a business advisor, author and speaker; and 2) that the HR sector does indeed need reform and improvements.

What Does It Mean to Split HR?

Charan argues that today most HR managers are “process-oriented generalists” with broad skills in internal operations but they struggle to “relate HR to real-world business needs” — and that’s a big problem for a company’s overall strategy.

His suggestion to split HR is “radical,” he writes, “but it is grounded in practicality.”

“My proposal is to eliminate the position of CHRO and split HR into two strands. One — we might call it HR-A (for administration) — would primarily manage compensation and benefits. It would report to the CFO, who would have to see compensation as a talent magnet, not just a major cost. The other, HR-LO (for leadership and organization), would focus on improving the people capabilities of the business and would report to the CEO.”

Charan ends his column by saying that although he anticipates opposition to his proposal, “the problem with HR is real. One way or another, it will have to gain the business acumen needed to help organizations perform at their best.”

Empower, Embed and Engage (But Don’t Split)

A common thread among commenters is a recognition that HR departments as they’re now commonly organized are underutilized and undervalued. But most commenters seem to agree that splitting HR into two departments won’t solve this issue. Instead, they propose a variety of solutions — generally, that HR must be empowered by top brass to make decisions and that HR needs to do a better job of embedding and engaging within all functions of a company.

Here are some of the more thought-provoking ideas to come out of the “Split HR” response, from comments directly on Harvard Business Review’s website and from response blogs.

Libby Sartain, commenter: Be the sounding board

HR needs to own the talent agenda 
and be the sounding board, but perhaps our role as partners is evolving. We 
should be leaders, not service providers. We haven’t all convinced our leadership teams that we are up for the task. But great progress has been made, because CEOs finally realize that a talent architect/advisor is more important than the financial sounding board in many present day organizations.

Harsha R., commenter: Create a realm of specialists

I think HR has to become smarter about what it wants to be. When I tell people, “I work in HR,” they either think I’m a recruiter [...] or think I’m the right person to talk to about interpersonal issues. I do neither. I’m a specialist within a generalized function. [...] If HR is to truly differentiate itself like the finance organization [...] shouldn’t it become the realm of highly-specialized experts?

I hope that if HR progresses to become the world of specialists and I introduce myself that people are curious to ask more like they might a Finance professional.

Carol Anderson, TLNT: Infuse HR with an operational mindset

Get HR out of the office. This is a Catch-22 because HR has tremendous demands on their time, too. But talking with leaders and employees provides insight that is critical to adding value back to the organization.

And, don’t just float the conversation on the surface. Ask hard questions of the employees, listen carefully to their responses, and follow-up.

Being in the proverbial ivory tower is bad enough for leaders, but when HR sits in isolation behind a desk, that is a serious problem.

Jonathan Magid, commenter: Dissolve HR

The solution is in fact to dissolve HR as currently conceived. Charan’s proposal has merit to be sure, though I would prefer to see the functions distributed so that payroll and non-executive compensation go to finance, employee relations goes to legal, HRIS to IT, and all the strategic HR functions align under a leader like the HR-LO leaders Charan describes.

Sarah, commenter: Engage HR in the overall company mission

…as much as HR holds itself back, by not hiring strategic-minded people who “get” metrics, it is also held back by those around it. Kind of like how no one listens to the folks in fiscal/finance until they’re told there’s no money to do something, and how security and facilities management types are in the gutter except just after a natural disaster or terrorist incident. We as a department don’t “do” the thing that the organization as a whole “does,” and that’s not going to stop being true for the most part.

Which is to say, I don’t think this is an HR problem as much as it is a “how you run organizations and think about all the functional teams in each organization, and how they’ve been trained to think of each other.” Splitting one department into two will solve about as much as any other faddish re-organizational effort.

George Chernikov, commenter: Leverage Big Data

By evolving into data scientists, HR will finally have the credibility and the functional identity that it has been seeking for so long.

Eugene Chang, commenter: Make engagement a CEO-level priority

Some CEOs take on the CHRO role themselves, which is truly the optimal scenario – how better to lead the organization than to take on the difficult task of taking a personal interest in, developing and leading your people.

Mindy Hall, LinkedIn: What’s the business problem we are solving?

At a minimum, HR professionals should be able to link anything they are doing back to a business problem they are helping to solve; if they cannot, they are doing the wrong work.

Morag Barrett, commenter: Seek diversity

The best CHRO and HR teams we partner with are those that welcome, encourage, and actively pursue talented leaders from all backgrounds, not just those “born and bred” HR professionals.

amalobo, commenter: A sports analogy

HR is to business as soccer is to American professional sports. All the best athletes in the U.S. prefer the money (yes, money), fame, and opportunities that football, baseball, and basketball (ok, maybe hockey too) all provide. Unless soccer finds a way to get a bunch of those athletes it will always have problems. Same thing for HR; until it finds a way to lure the best “athletes,” they will all go to marketing, finance and operations.

Did Charan’s article spark discussion in your office or professional group? What do you think – should HR be split? How is your company running HR to align with strategic business goals?

Inspiring a culture of employee appreciation and success will always be fundamental job of HR, split or not. For a step-by-step guide with practical tips to get you started on building a vibrant culture of appreciation, download our FREE e-book, “Workplace Gratitude.”

Click the image below and start sharing your workplace gratitude today!

Download Free eBook, "Workplace Gratitude" by gThankYou!

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime. gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Contact: Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog – “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

The Secret to Employee Thank Yous

Employee thank yous are an essential tool for building a vibrant culture of employee satisfaction, engagement and happiness.

Research shows that feeling appreciated—which comes from recognition from others—is one of the top three drivers of employee engagement. Kevin Kruse, serial entrepreneur, Forbes contributor, and author of several books including the NY Times bestseller, We: How to Increase Performance and Profits Through Full Engagement, makes that point in “25 Low-Cost Ways to Reward Employees.”

Employee thank yous

Photo via 100state.com

And if you don’t take the time for employee thank yous? Beverly Kaye, CEO of Career Systems International, tells of potential consequences in a Harvard Business Review video, “Express Gratitude.”

She interviewed a woman who had been working in Hollywood for a studio, and was thrilled to have the job. One week, she worked until 2 a.m. four days in a row and her boss knew it. He never said a word, and she left because she’d had enough. 

“I left for want of a thank you and a hamburger. If he’d said, I know you’ve been [working late]—thank you; have dinner on me—I’d have stayed.”

Six months later she had a great freelance gig consulting with the same boss for a lot more money.

There are creative, inexpensive ways to let employees know you value and appreciate them.

The same goes for membership organizations. If you want to keep members, thank them for their membership. 100state is a hot new nonprofit in Madison, Wisconsin, focused on improving life in the community and beyond through innovation and collaboration. The “co-working” space has two long tables and assorted work areas, including rooms that can be reserved for meetings. Members from diverse companies apply to join, and pay a fee to share the work areas.

In her blog post, “100thanks: Collaborate, Appreciate, Connect,” Kelly Gockenbach of Stenger Government Relations notes that 100state is expressing its appreciation for members (and trying to attract new ones) with a party to thank members—and giving members an opportunity to thank others—called 100thanks. The event invitation says:

“Celebrate with the people who have helped you out this past year, and connect with those who will in the next. We’re inviting 100 people we’re thankful for, and asking them to do the same, to create a network of gratitude at the event. All good people are welcome :).”

That’s a gala way to say thank you, but simple, affordable thank yous work too. Here are Kruse’s 25 ways to thank employees:

  1. A sincere word of thanks costs nothing and is very effective.
  2. Post a thank you note on their door in their honor.
  3. Throw a pizza party or cake party in their honor.
  4. Create a simple “ABCD” card that is given when someone goes “Above the Call of Duty”.
  5. Write about them in a company-wide email.
  6. Give a long-lunch, extra break, or comp time.
  7. Honor them at the start of the next staff meeting (recognize someone at the start of every staff meeting).
  8. Post a “thank you” sign in the lobby with their name on it.
  9. Give them flowers, a book, or other small gift.
  10. Invite them to a one-on-one lunch.
  11. Give them a card with lottery tickets inside.
  12. Give them a card with movie tickets inside.
  13. Give them a card with a gift certificate.
  14. Have the entire team sign a framed photo or certificate of appreciation.
  15. Arrange for a boss several levels up to stop by to say thanks.
  16. Send a thank you note or gift basket to their spouse.
  17. Arrange to have their car washed.
  18. Arrange to have their home cleaned.
  19. Let them bring their pet to work.
  20. Buy a dozen donuts and announce to the department that they are in the honoree’s office; they should stop by to say hi and get one.
  21. Feature them in the company newsletter.
  22. Pick an unusual or funny object and place it on their desk for a week.
  23. Let them dress casual for a day.
  24. Have entire team honor them with a standing ovation at the start of the next staff meeting.
  25. Offer to swap a task with them for a day or week.

The secret is your thanks doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Show gratitude for your employees’ efforts and they’ll return the thanks with increased engagement, continued hard work and loyalty to your business.  It’s as simple as that!

For more ways to share your workplace gratitude and build a culture of appreciation, download our FREE Ultimate Guide to Employee Gift-Giving.

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime. gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Contact: Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog – “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Five Easy Steps to Workplace Happiness

New research shows workplace happiness—as well as personal happiness—can come from doing nice things for others.  Things such as giving gifts and they don’t need to be big or expensive.

Workplace happiness

Photo via Mark Leslie, Flickr

Research shows time and time again that a happy workforce is a more engaged, productive one, so it’s clearly in your best interests to keep your employees happy.

“The greatest competitive advantage in the modern economy is a positive and engaged workforce.”

So says Shawn Achor, founder and CEO of Good Think, Inc., and author of The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work, in a Leader to Leader post, “The Importance of Happiness in the Workplace.”

1. Support Each Other

The greatest predictor of success and happiness at work is social support, the Leader to Leader post says. And the greatest way to increase social support is to provide it to others. In Achor’s words:

“In an era of do-more-with-less, we need to stop lamenting how little social support we feel from managers, coworkers and friends, and start focusing our brain’s resources upon how we can increase the amount of social support we provide to the people in our lives.”

One way to foster workplace happiness is to provide opportunities to socialize and build relationships. A Huffington Post article, “Workplace Happiness Survey Finds Friends Are More Important Than Salary,” by Caroline Fairchild, a reporter at Fortune Magazine, includes data from a Jobsite survey of 1,000 United Kingdom workers. A majority of respondents, 70%, said friends at work is the most crucial element to a happy working life, while only 55% said money was most important.

2. Give Gifts

You can also encourage employees to reward one another frequently, perhaps by allowing them to give a certain number of gThankYou! Gift Certificates of Gratitude per month or quarter. You’ll want to model the process yourself by handing out rewards with personal thank yous. This will not only help people make friends; the simple act of giving will increase workplace happiness.

3. Get a “Helper’s High”

Susan H. Greenberg, a freelance writer and former Newsweek editor who blogs at unvarnishedmom.com, makes that statement in “Jennifer Aaker: How to Make Yourself Happy,” on the Stanford Graduate School of Business site.

4. Give With Goals

Aaker, a professor at the school, has studied this concept with University of Houston’s Melanie Rudd and Michael I. Norton of the Harvard Business School. To produce the biggest spike in happiness, they find:

It’s much better to have a specific goal when giving a gift—“I want to make him/her smile,” will make you happier than “I want to inspire him/her.” You can see if you made someone smile, but inspiration is more difficult to assess.

5. Start a Cycle of Giving

Furthermore, the article says, giving with concrete objectives can start a cycle of doing good deeds for others. 

“As Rudd explains, ‘When we experience a bigger helper’s high, we not only feel greater happiness in the moment, we may also be more likely to give again in the future.’”

Get your helper’s high today—give a gift, lend a helping hand—do something nice for someone.

For more about workplace giving, download our FREE Ultimate Guide to Employee Gift-Giving.

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime. gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Contact: Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog – “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.