Why Not Build Your Own Employee Appreciation Week?

We all know employee appreciation is critical to the success of your business. As Andy Bailey, founder & CEO of business coaching firm Petra, says in “The Importance of Employee Appreciation”:

Employee appreciation - US Army Garrison Red Cloud

Photo via US Army Garrison Red Cloud – Casey, Flickr

If you want to grow your business, you’re going to need great employees. Want great employees? Treat them right!

Business owners spend a lot of time and money recruiting and training good employees, he notes. 

“Sadly, that investment often goes to waste because owners don’t show their appreciation often enough.”

He cites a U.S. Department of Labor finding, which indicates lack of appreciation is the number one reason employees leave their jobs. 

“It’s not benefits, bonus structure or salary. It’s simply feeling that hard work is not recognized or appreciated.”

You can’t over-appreciate, he opines.

Forbes contributor Meghan M. Biro writes in “5 Ways Leaders Rock Employee Recognition”:

“People crave positive feedback, recognition they put in extra effort, acknowledgement of leaders and peers, the glow that comes with knowing an achievement has been seen, appreciated and celebrated.”

Why Not Designate a Special Day for Employee Appreciation?

It’s important to provide specific, personal recognition related to business objectives year round, but consider setting aside a day to show all employees your appreciation.

That’s what communications consulting firm SmithSolve does, as myHR Partner’s blog post, “Awesome Employee Appreciation Day Ideas for 2014,” says. A chocolate fountain flows in the break room all day, with fresh fruit, cookies and other treats for dipping, and employees receive gift bags of things to pamper themselves with.

Jack’s Glass hands out fun, fashionable company apparel, complete with logo, along with gift cards and gift certificates, like the gift certificates of gratitude gThankYou provides.

How About an Entire Week for Employee Appreciation?

Highlight Printing throws a great Employee Appreciation Week on Thanksgiving week, myHR Partner notes. It goes like this:

Monday—“Feed the Staff Day.” A kick-off brunch and homemade frozen pot pies for dinner and a copy of the cookbook with the pot pie recipe. 

Tuesday—“Pamper the Staff Day.” On-site 20-minute back massages and care baskets with candles, candy, car wash certificates, and other items to help employees pamper themselves. 

Wednesday—Framed awards for employees who received positive feedback from coworkers, “Dream Team” T-shirts, and a spiral sliced ham for Thanksgiving. You could give a gThankYou gift certificate for a ham or turkey instead, so employees can choose.

Then: two days off for the holiday.

Milwaukee’s Employee Appreciation Week Rocks the City

As this video, “Get Ready for Downtown Employee Appreciation Week, July 28 – August 1,” shows, people who work downtown get free food and coffee, discounts at participating businesses, and other rewards. You can see how much they appreciate it.

So, whether it’s an hour, a day, or better yet, a week, take time to appreciate your employees. They’ll be more engaged in your business and more likely to stay with you.

For more on building an amazing culture of employee appreciation and success, download our FREE ebook, “Winning with Workplace Gratitude”.

Click the image below and start sharing your appreciation 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.

What You Can Learn From Award Winning Workplace Wellness Programs

Workplace Wellness Word BubbleLast week’s post about workplace wellness focused on why effective wellness programs pay off more than ever in today’s marketplace. Now let’s look at some companies that are doing wellness right.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), in Stephen Miller’s Wellness Program ‘Best Practices’ Foster Success” lists four criteria that correlate with wellness programs that lower medical costs and improve employee health:

  • Including spouses in key components of the program.
  • Promoting all wellness activities under a single brand name.
  • Having a formal, written strategic plan with financial objectives.
  • Active participation by senior leadership in wellness programs.

A scorecard report from nonprofit Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) and consulting firm Mercer includes this information and more about workplace wellness best practices. HERO collected and analyzed data from over 700 U.S. employers. 

Harvard Business Review’s blog, “What Great Corporate Wellness Programs Do,” by Altitude’s Cortney Rowan and Karuna Harishanker puts it this way:

  • The best wellness programs bring the built environment, company policies, and leadership messaging under a single mission of wellness.
  • When health is made personal and put in real-life terms, people discover the value that health can hold in their lives — and that provides the strong call to action.
  • Wellness needs to be done with employees, not to them, or the effects won’t last. When employees feel a system is their own, engagement increases.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s “Workplace Wellness Programs Study” includes case studies of wellness programs at unnamed organizations of different types and sizes, but let’s look at specific businesses with successful programs.

Teledyne Brown Engineering

The Wellness Councils of America (WELCOA) awarded Teledyne the Gold Level Well Workplace Award, and numerous other organizations, including the American Cancer Society, have recognized the company’s comprehensive wellness program. The program features:

  • A free-of-charge facility with cardiovascular and resistance-training equipment, locker rooms with showers, a room for group exercise and stretching, and a wellness resource library
  • Exercise Classes with Certified Instructors
  • Weekly Yoga, Total Body Workout and Aerobics classes taught by certified instructors free of charge
  • Each employee receives 10 sick days per year
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Regular blood pressure screenings and annual comprehensive screenings on-site at no cost
  • Smoking Cessation Programs on site with reimbursement for nicotine replacement aids
  • On-site Registered Nurse
  • Health counseling, coaching, and consultation
  • Flu Shots
  • Wellness Classes on topics such as healthy nutrition, benefits of exercise, heart health, cancer prevention, and stress management

Ventura County, California

The county’s wellness program has received honors such as the California Fit Business Gold Award and the C. Everett Koop National Health Award. All regular County employees and their spouses are eligible and encouraged to participate. The program includes:

  • Annual Wellness Profiles to evaluate cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure and other important risk factors.
  • Extensive results booklets to help employees and spouses improve their health.
  • Optional meetings with a personal Health Track coach to address high risks identified.
  • A wide variety of Wellness Program classes on topics such as diabetes, weight loss, stress management, parenting, and fitness.
  • Resources to help employees eat well and move more.

Vanderbilt University

Among the university’s honors are the Nashville Business Journal’s Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles® Award and the National Business Group on Health’s Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles® award in the Gold category.

Vanderbilt’s wellness program consists of “four integrated programs that exist to protect and support the health and productivity of its faculty and staff”:

  • Work life (safety, injuries, screenings, ergonomics, vaccines)
  • Personal life (lifestyle education, exercise options, walk-in clinic, EAP program, hardship counseling)
  • Career life (faculty physician/nurse, workplace performance coaching, manager support, resilience toolkit)
  • Family life (pregnancy and new baby education, in-home sitters for children or adults, on-campus childcare)

As WELCOA’s website says:

“A ‘Well Workplace’ is an organization fully embracing its responsibility for maximizing the health and well-being of its employees. In a Well Workplace Award winning organization, it is evident that employee wellness has become part of the overall business strategy. To be sure, in a Well Workplace Award winning organization, the vision of protecting and enhancing the health and well-being of each and every employee becomes part of the very fabric of the organization—not something extraneous and peripheral to the core business functions.

The three organizations profiled here clearly embody that philosophy. Does yours?

For more on building a culture of health, happiness and appreciation, download our FREE ebook, “Winning with Workplace Gratitude”.

Click the image below and start sharing your 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.

Weird Al’s Parody Shows How NOT to Do Workplace Gratitude

How Not to Do Workplace Gratitude by Weird Al Yankovic“Weird Al” Yankovic’s latest single is a great lesson in why heartfelt, personalized language matters when sharing workplace gratitude. The parody singer does a smart spoof of corporate jargon in his latest video, “Mission Statement,” from his new album Mandatory Fun.

It’s a folksy Crosby, Stills and Nash-style tune about how “we must all efficiently operationalize our strategies” and “leverage our core competencies,” set to the backdrop of a whiteboard animation. “Mission Statement” is a postlude to last week’s Mandatory Fun marathon, when Weird Al released a new song from his album each day, including spoofs of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and Pharrell Williams’ “Happy.”

Why jargon can’t express true gratitude

Weird Al has stayed relevant in the music business for more than three decades  — unlike the business buzzwords he mocks, which come and go as fads.

“Mission Statement” is a fun reminder that the best workplace communication is genuine, heartfelt and personalized, particularly when it comes to sharing gratitude.

A meaningful thank-you note, for example, draws on specific examples of what you’re grateful for, in your own words.

Generic statements and platitudes come off as insincere when sharing gratitude, and nothing dries up the warm goodwill of a “thank you” like perceived insincerity. How would you feel if your newlywed friends sent out a generic thank-you note to all the wedding guests? Weird Al would agree that’s tacky.

Language matters when it comes to workplace gratitude, because it’s about a lot more than simply saying “thank you” — it’s also about how you describe your colleague’s work, how a company defines purpose and how leaders set the tone by practicing appreciation for others on a daily basis. Building a culture of gratitude requires us to pay attention to people.

The great thing is, the more we pay attention to and appreciate people, the less need we have for generic or trendy language. Our heartfelt thanks come naturally.

what’s so bad about jargon, anyway?

We’re all guilty of using corporate jargon from time to time, and hey, sometimes those buzzwords are actually clever or fit the situation.

The problem that can arise with jargon is with clarity, and expressing what you mean.

“Jargon masks real meaning,” Jennifer Chatman, management professor at the University of California-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, told Forbes for the 2012 My Say column, “The Most Annoying, Pretentious and Useless Business Jargon.”

“People use it as a substitute for thinking hard and clearly about their goals and the direction that they want to give others,” Chatman said.

Take the phrase “giving 110 percent,” for example. Not only is it mathematically impossible for a person to give more than 100 percent of their efforts, it glosses over how exactly and how well a person dedicated themselves to a project. “Gives 110 percent” sounds like the attribute of a machine, not a human.

So instead of thanking an employee for “giving 110 percent,” you could thank her for staying late every night last week to make sure the portfolio was ready in time for the client meeting Monday morning. Or for figuring out a solution to a stubborn problem by doing the meticulous research no one else knew how to do.

Back up jargon with ‘honest, clear talk’

What’s so genius about Weird Al’s parody is that he gets the very people he’s mocking in on the joke with him — and they love it. The “Mission Statement” video was produced by TruScribe, a leading producer of whiteboard animation videos (the popular production technique of having an artist illustrate on a whiteboard what’s being said in real time). Coincidentally, we’re proud that TruScribe is located right here in gThankYou’s hometown of Madison, Wis.!

TruScribe chief innovation officer Eric Oakland told a local newspaper that Weird Al’s parody is an opportunity to learn.

We were a little worried that we were going to make everyone feel bad because we were making fun of corporate jargon. For most people we work with, this language is a necessity, because jargon is part of how things get communicated. The other side of it is that we see this as an opportunity. Weird Al’s song points out that if the language is hollow and fake, people are going to see right through it. So it fits right in with what we try to do with clients; even if there’s jargon, it is backed up with honest, clear talk.

So, next time you find yourself tempted to use jargon, particularly when sharing gratitude, ask yourself if the words fit the context and if you can find a simpler, more honest way of saying what you mean.

For more on building an amazing culture of employee appreciation and success, download our FREE ebook, “Winning with Workplace Gratitude”.

Click the image below and start sharing your jargon-free 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.

Why Workplace Generosity Matters

Workplace Generosity Image

Workplace generosity is a powerful business strategy that works on multiple levels. (Image via Flickr.com/pictoquotes)

Workplace generosity operates on multiple levels, making it one of the most powerful forces in business. It’s relevant on an individual level (are you a giver, matcher or taker?). And, it’s a cultural ethic that can define a company from within, in the community and as a customer-engagement strategy.

Let’s unpeel the layers of workplace gratitude.

Corporate Giving

The need for generosity is more urgent than ever. A recent survey of charitable giving among American corporations found that companies were tight with their cash in 2013, despite soaring profits. Generosity isn’t keeping up with profits, as Forbes writer Susan Adams discusses in her analysis of The Chronicle of Philanthropy‘s annual survey of corporate giving.

At a time when corporate profits surged to an all-time high of $1.9 trillion in 2013, according to the Chronicle, up more than 5% over the previous year, corporate cash giving rose less than 3%, to $4.6 billion.

However, when employee volunteerism and product donations are lumped in with cash donations, corporate giving actually rose 17.2 percent in 2013, to 18.7 billion. Great news, but unfortunately not much comfort to cash-strapped nonprofits.

While American companies appear generous when seen through the total-giving lens, Stacey Palmer, the Chronicle’s editor, says that nonprofits most need cash donations, and the data on cash increases is disappointing. “Non-profits have been looking to corporations for support,” she says. “They’re hoping that companies will do more to open their wallets.”

The good news is that highly charitable companies don’t seem to be hurt by giving away money and in fact show signs of strength and growth. Topping the Chronicle’s “Most Generous” list — in terms of percentage of profit — is Alcoa, the New York-based aluminum company. In 2013, Alcoa gave away $39 million, or 12.1 percent of its profits.

Despite this charitable giving, Alcoa reported increased revenues in the most recent quarter. Generosity, it seems, is business as usual for Alcoa. The company’s extensive community giving program, a combination of cash charity and volunteer efforts, goes back six decades. The program description puts it this way:

Long before “sustainability” or “corporate social responsibility” became part of the business vernacular, Alcoa and all Alcoa employees understood the value of earning a social license to operate.

Generous Energy

Generosity is “one of the core qualities people look for in their leaders,” as Forbes contributor Erika Anderson writes in the article “Why Generosity Works Better In Business,”.

From a psychological standpoint, generosity behaves like electricity. Judith Orloff, author and UCLA psychiatry professor, says generosity is a key element in emotional health and wealth. In fact, after basic investments and savings are taken care of, she advises that generosity should be a core financial strategy.

“Generosity is an expansive energy,” Orloff writes for Psychology Today. “As Norman Lear told me [...], ‘You receive as you give. But you have to expend energy to get energy. Electricity happens from rubbing two wires together.’”

Stinginess, in comparison, is constrictive, she says. A tit-for-tat mentality is a small-minded approach that “sabotages abundance.”

Companies that use generosity as a customer engagement strategy demonstrate how the energy/electricity analogy works. Giving, it turns out, is a growth strategy, too. Growth strategist and Harvard Business Review contributor Eddie Yoon describes in the article “The Generosity Strategies that Help Companies Grow” how companies like Netflix, Costco and Nordstrom’s gratify and keep loyal customers by being generous.

What form this generosity takes looks different for each of the companies, according to Yoon: Netflix rewards customers by releasing all episodes at once of its binge-worthy, original entertainment like House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black; Costco offers a “veritable free lunch buffet with its samples”; and Nordstrom’s has generous return policies and much beloved customer service.

“Here’s the singular theme that is common across these brands,” Yoon writes. “They are all great products and experiences. And they know that giving you a little taste of something great will have you coming back for a lot more — at full price.”

Generating Generosity

This generous strategy for customer engagement is so powerful that it easily permeates company culture and affects employee pride and engagement. As Yoon writes, “The etymological root of generosity is the same as genesis, genius, and generate. Generous companies appear to be proud of what they make.”

This is where we get to the core of workplace gratitude, and why experts like Orloff compare it to an “expansive energy.” When a company’s leaders and business strategies are dedicated to generosity, employees respond in kind. It fosters an overall workplace culture of generosity.

Adam Grant, author of the book Give and Take, describes generosity as contagious. In an interview with Fast Company, he says, “Givers see the best in people and communicate in ways that build trust and show respect for other people’s perspectives. [...P]eople want to be more like them — following this lead, spreading this norm, modeling this behavior.”

If generosity can have such a powerful effect from leaders, think what effect a company has where giving is the norm. Smart business strategies and big corporate gifts may make the news, but positive everyday interactions of generosity and the collective drive to work together are what make companies strong.

For more on building a workplace culture of gratitude, respect and appreciation, download our FREE ebook, “Winning with Workplace Gratitude”.

Click the image below and start sharing your 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 HubSpot Model for Employee Engagement

Employee Engagement Reigns Supreme at HubspotWhen it comes to employee engagement, HubSpot is counted among the best. The inbound marketing innovator, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, rakes in honors as an employer. Most recently, the company made Glassdoor’s 2014 Employees’ Choice Awards for Best Medium-Sized Companies to Work For.

Current and former employees glow about HubSpot on Glassdoor, where it has an overall 4.1/5 rating:

“The people HubSpot employs are incredibly intelligent and require you to bring your A-game every day. The learning environment is spectacular and everyone is willing to answer your questions. HubTalks are always a great time and the seemingly unlimited free food in the kitchen is a plus. Just make sure not to OD on candy.”

“You can feel the energy and sense of purpose as soon as you arrive.”

“Great culture, people and benefits.”

“HubSpot is the hot spot.”

So, what’s HubSpot’s secret to building an engaged workplace culture? Fortunately for the rest of us, the company is remarkably transparent about how it works. In reading HubSpot blog posts like “How to Create 200 Hours of Marketing Content in One Night” and “The HubSpot Culture Code: Creating a Company We Love,” it quickly becomes apparent how intentional the company is about its culture and work ethic.

This is a company that takes employee engagement seriously, and in doing so, provides the rest of us some fantastic (and specific!) guidelines for how to improve.

Here are some key takeaways from HubSpot about smart employee engagement:

1. Know Why Culture Matters Today

Culture is at the core of human motivation, happiness and engagement. Borrowing from the tech lexicon, HubSpot describes workplace culture as a company’s “operating system.”

And yet the very definition of what makes a good workplace culture has transformed dramatically in the past decade. Previously, workplace culture was based on lifelong tenure, bosses, 9-to-5 hours in an office and accruing a nice pension.

Now we think of workplace culture in terms of the meaning it brings to our lives and how well we collaborate with our colleagues. A job now can last a week, a year or five years. It can happen in an office, at home or on the beach.

Our approach to workplace culture has to change with the times. HubSpot wants purpose to matter more than paychecks and great colleagues to matter more than who’s in charge. The company sums up its cultural mission like this:

Employee Engagement HubSpot Style

 

2. Hire Smart

“Culture is to recruiting as product is to marketing,” according to the 135-slide manifesto on HubSpot culture. This is where we get into a self-reinforcing feedback loop: an engaged culture is based on hiring engaged people, and engaged people are attracted to an engaged culture.

Hiring smart means being completely honest about who you are. HubSpot doesn’t sugarcoat that it’s a demanding employer with high standards. The benefits are great, but it takes a certain drive and caliber to meet the HubSpot ideal. Transparency about internal culture means you’ll be attracting the right kind of people — people who know what they’re getting into and are prepared and eager to contribute.

3. Identify Purpose, Distribute Widely

In HubSpot’s case, the company purpose is to serve the customer and share an evangelical dedication to inbound marketing. “Solve for the Customer (SFTC)” is a HubSpot motto and it drives everything the company does.

Again, an engaged culture relies on transparency. Business success happens when everyone knows the company purpose and is fully informed and well-versed in the reasoning and goals behind it.

HubSpot believes our societal concept of power has changed along with changes in workplace culture:

Importance of shared knowledge: Employee Engagement Bests

4. Embrace Change

Change is the theme of the emerging workplace culture — changing jobs, flexible locations, flexible hours — so the ability to adapt is paramount.

HubSpot encourages adaptability among its employees with a “seat shuffle” every three months. A large part of the HubSpot staff takes part in this musical chairs. Why? “It reflects our ‘change is constant’ credo. It also circumvents a lot of needless politics.”

5. Create an Environment for Creativity and Competition

To see how this works on a small, intense scale, check out HubSpot’s step-by-step guide to hosting a “hack night.” This, in microcosm, is the template of the HubSpot culture: competitive but collaborative, regimented but creative and intense but fun.

6. Have Leaders Who Walk the Talk

HubSpot co-founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah don’t lock themselves in a CEO suite dispersing advice from on high while doing whatever they want. They are hands-on, democratic leaders who share their vision for the company frequently and openly.

Most importantly, they model the behavior they espouse.

Halligan told Business Insider last year, “We’re trying to create an extremely flat organization, an extremely transparent organization, and there’s all sorts of things we do around that. I think that if you were in the company, on a day-to-day basis, you’d have a hard time figuring out that I was the CEO of the company versus just one of the employees.”

7. Invest in People (Even After They Leave)

In today’s fast-paced, flexible working environment, many people choose to stay with companies for just a few years. That’s fine, in HubSpot’s estimation. In fact, the company invests in and supports former employees: “We call them HubSpot Alumni. We expect them to go on to do more amazing things. We want them as friends and advocates forever.” HubSpot will help former employees by reviewing their startup pitches, for example.

It’s a continuation of the support the company offers its current employees, too. HubSpot views this as an investment in “individual mastery and market value.” This includes continual opportunities for learning and exposure to new ideas and challenges.

The Payoff

It pays to take employee engagement and workplace culture so seriously. Even in 2012, barely six years after it was founded, Forbes reported that HubSpot was serving 6,000 clients. It raked in $29 million in revenue in 2011, up 81 percent from 2010. Meanwhile, HubSpot alumni and veteran employees make the news for their innovative projects and startups.

It’s not surprising that HubSpot’s highly engaged culture breeds success. Study after study shows a direct correlation between employee engagement and business performance.

For more on building an amazing culture of employee engagement and success, download our FREE ebook, “Winning with Workplace Gratitude”.

Click the image below and start sharing your 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.

5 Mini Case Studies to Inspire Workplace Gratitude

workplace gratitude in action

Workplace gratitude can be shared in many creative ways, but it must be sincere and meaningful. (Photo via Flickr.com/betsyweber)

Workplace gratitude is deceptively simple — just say “thank you” and mean it, right? — and yet it’s also just as easy to get into a rut with it.

Every few months, we scour the news for mini case studies of workplace gratitude. These are examples of company leaders who demonstrate refreshing, creative ways to say “thank you” to employees, while also maintaining a bottom line of effectiveness.

Don’t let your recognition program go stale;  get your creative juices flowing with these real world examples of workplace gratitude in action. After all, a vibrant work environment begins with a healthy culture of workplace gratitude!

1. The Chair That Keeps On Giving

A Long Island, New York school district bid a longtime employee goodbye in June with a gift four decades in the making.

Carl James, 79, retired in June after 54 years working for the Riverhead public school district. His career began as a school custodian in 1960, when Dwight Eisenhower was president, gas cost 31 cents a gallon and you could mail a letter for 4 cents. He soon moved up the ladder to head custodian.

At a farewell reception last month, the school board honored James with a plaque embossed with a group photo of the February 1960 custodial staff. The board also shared a more unique gift: his desk chair for the past 40 years, squeaky-wheeled and duct-taped from decades of use.

It may have been worn-out and essentially worthless, but as a farewell gift — combined with the ceremony, speeches and plaque — it was a symbolic gesture of goodwill, love and respect for James’ decades of work in the district.

2. ‘Ha Ha’ Thank You

An amusement park in Hong Kong called Ocean Park has found success hosting Laughter Yoga sessions for its 2,000 employees.

Laughter Yoga involves self-induced laughter, relaxation techniques and yogic breathing. Since the body cannot tell the difference between fake and real laughter, the practice has the same effect as a good session of regular laughter. It boosts the immune system, lowers blood pressure and burns calories.

The practice disrupts the normal working environment and changes how employees interact with one another, teacher Mahesh Pamnani tells NTD.tv: “When they are doing Laughter Yoga with us, they actually love it and want to express appreciation and gratitude, but somehow in the workplace they think ‘oh, I don’t think it looks that good.’ So that builds very good relationships. Productivity goes up, creativity goes up.”

3. Before the 3,187-Word Manifesto, a Thank You

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently unleashed a 3,187-word memo on his employees about his vision for the future of the company. It’s bold, comprehensive and rousing. Business Insider has a synopsis and the highlights.

What caught our eye is the way Nadella begins his manifesto (bolding added): “As we start FY15, I want to thank you for all of your contributions this past year. I’m proud of what we collectively achieved even as we drove significant changes in our business and organization. It’s energizing to feel the momentum and enthusiasm building.”

Before he dives into what he expects of the company and his employees, he takes a paragraph to express his gratitude, pride and enthusiasm to them. It’s a nice gesture — and an effective one. Sharing gratitude is a proven way to boost productivity and get people jazzed for work. It comes down to brain chemicals: giving and receiving thanks actually releases the feel-good hormone dopamine, as Inc. reports.

4. Milwaukee’s ‘Downtown Employee Appreciation Week’

The Downtown Milwaukee Business Improvement District has a great idea for showing gratitude to employees who work in the city’s central neighborhoods. Now in its ninth year, Downtown Employee Appreciation Week kicks off this year on July 28.

It offers employees in the area a week’s worth of extra perks and chances to gather communally: a free pancake breakfast, giveaways and prizes, games, a volleyball tournament, the “world’s largest coffee break” and “grandest happy hour,” and a “Suits and Sneakers” benefit day for the American Cancer Society.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s BizTalk blog has more details on the event.

5. All in a Day’s Play

In the Sioux Falls, South Dakota area, “It’s not uncommon to see grown men and women jumping on trampolines and climbing ropes” and even learning the sport of curling, the Associated Press reports. Since the economic downturn, businesses in the area have taken to engaging employees with play activities. Other popular activities include golfing, softball, bowling, beanbag tosses, chili and dessert cook-offs,  volunteering and “marshmallow golf” (putt-putt with a weightless puff).

With everyone working harder than ever, these casual, fun and even child-like activities help everyone relax, bond with coworkers and get happy. As an additional bonus, many of the company leaders agree that engaging employees with play actually increases productivity and on-the-job creativity.

To read more inspiring news stories of workplace gratitude in action, read our previous post on the topic, which includes a mini case study of a Seattle restaurant owner who developed an ongoing way to share meaningful gratitude with his kitchen staff and waitstaff.

For more on building a culture of employee happiness, appreciation and productivity, download our FREE ebook, “Winning with Workplace Gratitude”.

Click the image below and start sharing your 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.

Now More Than Ever, Workplace Wellness Pays Off

Workplace Wellness Programs Pay Off!

Photo via Bo Kage Carlson, Flickr

Workplace wellness not only reduces health care costs, it improves productivity which is why it’s such a hot topic right now, writes Karen Smith in “Why Workplace Wellness is Important” on the Albanie-Colonie Regional Chamber website.

Smith, formerly director of health and wellness services at insurance and benefits provider Rose & Kiernan, Inc., is now director of clinical solutions for USI Insurance Services.

“Worksite health promotion should be viewed as an investment in a business’ most important asset, its employees. Studies show that employees are more likely to be on the job and performing well when they are in optimal health,” she writes.

Smith lists important benefits of implementing a wellness program:

  • Attracts the most talented workers
  • Reduces absenteeism and lost time
  • Improves on-the-job time utilization, decision-making and productivity
  • Strengthens employee morale
  • Reduces in turnover
  • Helps build a healthy workplace culture
  • Improves disease management and prevention, and a healthier workforce in general, both of which contribute to lower health care costs.

Most Health Care Costs are from Preventable Diseases

“Between 70% to 90% of health care spending is caused by preventable, modifiable health risks … Unhealthy lifestyle choices often lead to chronic diseases, costing businesses more than one trillion dollars in lost productivity alone,” Smith writes.

It’s a huge problem, as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Workplace Wellness: Dept of Health & Human Services Logostatistics she presents show:

  • 59% of employees do not get adequate exercise
  • 50% or more have high cholesterol
  • 27% have cardiovascular disease
  • 26% are overweight by 20 percent or more
  • 24% have high blood pressure

“As healthcare costs continue to rise, it makes sense that addressing the specific needs of an employee population and maximizing the engagement and participation of workplace wellness programs is critical.”

Through wellness programs, employers can help workers understand the advantages of making positive lifestyle choices and be supported in those choices. The programs can include free flu shots, health fairs, gym memberships, stop-smoking programs, health-risk assessments, cooking classes, CSA memberships – the list is endless and the more creative, the likely the more compliance.

Says Smith, “While some businesses have instituted very comprehensive wellness programs, others have achieved savings or increased productivity with just a few simple activities that promote healthy behaviors. What’s most important is to commit to wellness promotion in the organization.”

Most industry literature and research agrees that the typical return on a wellness program is said to be from $3-$6 for every $1 invested, with savings realized 2-3 years after implementation, she observes.

It Takes Time and Commitment

In a Forbes article, Joshua Love, president of corporate wellness company Kinema Fitness, says companies are taking employee wellness more seriously now. In the article, “Five Reasons Corporate Wellness Is More Important Than Ever,” he writes:

 “Wellness is a complete lifestyle and behavior change and change takes time and commitment.”

He offers employers five insights and suggestions for designing an effective wellness program:

  1. Creating an on-site wellness program is important because the majority of an employee’s time is spent at the workplace.
  2. You can’t expect unhealthy behavior to change overnight, so an employee wellness program needs to provide consistent education and layers of accountability.
  3. Corporate wellness shouldn’t be boring. Creating unique and dynamic programs that consistently evolve over time ensures the best possibility of long-term adoption and success.
  4. Appoint a wellness leader with direct responsibility over the program to stay current with trends.
  5. Consider providing employees with rebates for participating in wellness initiatives.

“Corporate wellness is a complex, long-term play. A successful program takes time and constantly evolves so it can be integrated into the fabric of the company’s culture. It is the culmination of many solutions that work together under one strategy,” Love writes.

Done well, a company can make wellness part of the fabric of the company culture.  It takes support from the top, long-term commitment, and consistent reinforcement, but wellness initiatives do pay off. Stay tuned for our next wellness post, which shares learning from successful workplace wellness initiatives.

For more on building a culture of health, happiness and appreciation, download our FREE ebook, “Winning with Workplace Gratitude”. Click the image below and start sharing your 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.

A Compelling Case for Work-Life Balance

Want to hear a compelling argument for the importance of work-life balance? Ask your children, or your employees’ children.

A little girl, the daughter of a Google employee, wrote the tech giant a letter in blue crayon a few weeks ago asking that he get some time off this summer.

Work-life balance example - letter by Katie

Katie, most certainly the future star of her high school debate team, makes a solid argument for work-life balance: “It is summer, you know.”

The letter reads (minor spelling mistakes corrected — let’s give Katie a break):

Dear Google worker,
Can you please make sure when daddy goes to work, he gets one day off. Like he can get a day off on Wednesday. Because daddy only gets a day off on Saturday.
From, Katie
P.S. It is daddy’s BIRTHDAY!
P.P.S. It is summer, you know.

She got a response shortly from none other than her dad’s boss, Senior Design Manager Daniel Shiplacoff.

Work-life balance -Google response

Shiplacoff deserves kudos for honoring Katie’s request and for even taking it a step farther: Katie’s dad got to take the whole first week of July off. It demonstrates his recognition of the importance of work-life balance for employees and the value of a happy, well-rested workforce to a company’s overall well-being, reputation, productivity and employee retention.

Let’s break down Katie’s stellar arguments for time off one by one:

1) More than one day off a week is reasonable and even necessary.

When labor reformists campaigned for the weekend a little over a century ago, they argued for the restorative effects of time off. Employees who are given this reasonable amount of time off each week to recoup, refresh and refocus return to work more productive than ever. Whether days off are split (Wednesdays and Saturdays, for example), or lumped together into a traditional weekend, the effect is the same. Our minds and bodies are not computers, and we need time to replenish our drive.

Taking full advantage of time off is up to employees, however. Dr. Matthew Sleeth, a former ER physician, argues in a CNN article, “The Importance of a ‘Stop Day,’” that we’re doing ourselves a disservice by jam-packing every minute of our weekends with activities and being busy. He advocates for a return to the traditional “stop” day. Here in the U.S., we typically think of this as Sunday, based on Christian teachings that dictate a Sabbath or “day of rest.” Secularly, a “stop” day is simply a day of disconnection from the daily grind.

“It’s interesting that if I took somebody in the emergency department and gave them a big slug of adrenaline,” Sleeth tells CNN, “you’ll find that an hour later they’re just wiped out, and that’ll really persist throughout the day. I think that’s what we’re doing to ourselves. We’re constantly bringing stress into our life, and the idea of having one day a week that I can count on to stop is very reassuring.”

2) It’s her dad’s birthday.

Spending time with family and friends recharges us and realigns our priorities when we’ve run ourselves ragged meeting other people’s priorities or trying the meet the work goals we set for ourselves. Too much work leaves us resentful. A break with the people we love, especially on landmark occasions like a birthday, refuels the energy and spirit we need to work.

When your employees or coworkers return from sharing a special occasion with family, such as a wedding, birthday or anniversary, it’s the perfect chance to connect on a personal level. Not only is it interesting to learn about people on a friendly level — and simply a nice thing to do — these moments of connection leave employees feeling more valued and invested in their workplace.

3. Summer is for kicking back a little.

As much as many of us would enjoy it, work can’t grind to a halt in the summer. But that’s no reason to keep employees glued to their work for long hours when the outdoors and backyard barbecues beckon. Keeping employees happy and working hard during the summer months is all about finding a healthy work-life balance.

For more on developing a summer work-life balance at your company, check out our recent post, “4 Strategies for Maintaining Employee Motivation During the Summer.”

And hey, smile! It is summer, you know. Have a great week, everyone.

For more on building a culture of employee happiness, balance and appreciation, download our FREE ebook, “Winning with Workplace Gratitude”.

Click the image below and start sharing your 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.

5 Takeaways From Top Cities for Employee Satisfaction

employee satisfaction report - Glassdoor logoWhat do the top cities in Glassdoor‘s “50 Best Cities for Employee Satisfaction” have in common? Not geography, though nice weather certainly doesn’t seem to hurt a city’s grade.

Topping the list is, unsurprisingly, the epicenter of the Silicon Valley, San Jose, CA, home to forward-thinking, tech-focused companies like Google, Yahoo, Adobe, Apple and Tesla, among others.

But having a concentration of cool tech giants isn’t a prerequisite for a city to make Glassdoor’s annual list. Overall, the most in-demand jobs in top cities run the gamut from customer service and cooking to project management and business analysis.

The report is based on a survey of employees in the largest 50 metro areas in the U.S.

Where is your closest metro area ranked? In which city is your industry most needed? Look through the full Employment Satisfaction Report Card by City (2014).

Let’s dig in a little to find the characteristics shared by Glassdoor’s top cities for employee satisfaction and what makes local employees so happy. What are the takeaways for companies looking to improve employee satisfaction or expand?

employee satisfaction

Accessibility, a vibrant culture and innovative companies that care about their workers make San Jose, CA, the #1 city for employee satisfaction. (Photo via the_tahoe_guy, Flickr)

1. Make It Easy for Employees to Get to Work

Employee-friendly cities make it easy to get to and from work by being compact and offering reliable public transportation. In a Glassdoor video of on-the-street interviews with San Jose workers, one man comments on how close the suburbs are to central San Jose. Before he moved to the area, he was commuting an hour and a half daily. Now, he says, “I get an hour and a half of my life back every single day and I love that.”

Wherever your company is located, you can make it easier for employees to get to work by offering carpooling opportunities and discounts on public transportation. Nobody does their best work after an hour’s drive through nerve-fraying rush hour traffic.

2. Be Innovative

Not every company can be as flashy as Google or Tesla, but innovation is still a valuable workplace trait no matter the industry. The best companies know that staying competitive means encouraging an atmosphere of risk-taking, fresh ideas, competition and collaboration. For tips, check out Inc’s “8 Ways to Foster Innovation in Your Company.”

3. Encourage a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Innovation grows from the overall environment, not just within the walls of a workplace. That’s why it’s important to give your employees the time to enjoy what the city around you has to offer, from parks to theater. If they feel pressured to work unreasonable hours, take on too many projects or otherwise spread themselves too thin, they won’t be doing their best work or enjoying their life outside of work. It’s a lose-lose situation.

Work-life balance fosters employee satisfaction, productivity and innovation. Need more reasons? See our past posts on the topic, such as “5 Tips for Taking Work-Life Balance Seriously,” or for tons of quick ideas, “25 Ways to Improve Employees’ Work-Life Balance.”

4. Give Employees Reason to Be Optimistic

Optimism is one of the factors Glassdoor took into consideration for its report. While San Jose ranked #1 overall, Salt Lake City ranked #1 for optimism.

“Fifty-two percent of Salt Lake City employees believe business will improve in the next six months. Local employees report several benefits of working in Salt Lake City, including enjoying a healthy work-life balance, in part comprised of working reasonable hours and being able to take advantage of the beautiful city and outdoors.”

Employee satisfaction

Glassdoor ranks Salt Lake City #1 for employee optimism. (Photo via Flickr user countylemonade)

Does your company communicate its successes and offer employees opportunities for advancement? Satisfied employees are optimistic about the future. Be sure to give your employees good reasons to look forward. This is particularly important now as the news is filled with reports of a rocky recovery from the Great Recession.

5. Listen to Employees

“Employees are really satisfied because I think employers really do what they can to try to accommodate the employees, top to bottom,” one San Jose worker told a Glassdoor surveyor, in explaining the city’s top ranking.

Before a company can accommodate employee needs, it has to know what those needs are. Ask — and listen. Listening is a great skill to practice in the workplace, and in fact listening was a theme at this year’s SHRM conference. Read more in our blog, “SHRM 2014: Transformation Begins With Listening.”

What other patterns do you notice in the Glassdoor city rankings? Do you think your metro area is ranked too low or too high?

For more on building a culture of employee satisfaction, happiness and appreciation, download our FREE ebook, “Winning with Workplace Gratitude”.

Click the image below and start sharing your 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.

United Technologies Shows How to Do Tuition Assistance Right

tuition assistance helps with lifelong learningTuition assistance is a valued employee benefit, especially with today’s soaring costs for higher education. As an employer, what’s the best and most affordable way to provide it?

Writers, including Forbes’ Susan Adams, praised Starbucks’ recent announcement, “Our partners take care of you. We’re taking care of them.” The message said Starbucks would pay the college tuition for its associates—working at least 20 hours a week—to matriculate at Arizona State University. Employees completing their freshman and sophomore years at ASU Online would receive a major discount, and their junior and senior years would be free.

As Adams wrote in her article, “A Company Education Program That’s Better Than Starbucks’,” Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz announced the program along with Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University. He even appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to tout the program.

Read the Fine Print

But then criticisms of Starbucks’ program began to appear. Ned Resnikoff posted an article at MSNBC, “Starbucks free tuition plan comes at a cost,” which notes:

  • ASU Online is a for-profit organization, with a third-party company managing most administrative functions.
  • This tuition program limits associates’ choices to one university.
  • Employees would be expected to attend college full time and also work an average 20-hour week at Starbucks.
  • Students get no money from Starbucks until they’ve paid for 21 credits at $500 each.
  • Sara Goldrick-Rab, professor of educational policy studies and sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, believes participants won’t get a quality education.

Resnikoff observes that recent research suggests online-only classes may leave low-income students at a disadvantage. He cites an article by Shanna Smith Jaggars, assistant director of the Community College Research Center, “Online Learning: Does It Help Low-Income and Underprepared Students? (Assessment of Evidence Series).”

And, says Goldrick-Rab in Resnikoff’s article, low-income people are precisely those most likely to enroll in ASU Online through the Starbucks program.

A Better Way

Another company, Hartford, CT-based aerospace and defense firm United Technologies (UTC), has offered tuition assistance for almost 20 years.

“Since 1996 UTC has had what it calls the Employee Scholar Program, which is much more flexible and also more generous than Starbucks’,” Adams writes.

UTC reports 35,000 of its 212,000 global employees have earned degrees from associate’s in accounting to bachelor’s in engineering to MBAs.

Adams quotes the company’s senior vice president of HR, Elizabeth Amato:

“We wanted to make sure we had the best-educated workforce in the world. The program helps us attract, develop and retain employees…. It’s a great engagement tool.”

Here’s how the program works. UTC:

  • Pays tuition, plus books and fees.
  • Makes payments directly to schools up front.
  • Allows employees to attend any accredited school around the world—in classrooms or online.
  • Gives workers 3 hours of paid time off a week if they’re taking 2 courses and 1.5 hours for 1 course.

According to Amato, employees who participate are 20% more likely to stay with UTC and twice as likely to get promoted.

Starbucks’ program does provide value. 

“We aren’t competitors,” says UTC’s Amato. “The fact that they’re doing this, I think, is good for corporate America and good for employees and good for our educational system.” 

Adams’ take?

“I agree, but I wanted to set the record straight about what Starbucks is doing and highlight a longtime program that deserves attention.”

In the end, any tuition assistance program helps attract, engage, and retain your best employees, but as shown with Starbucks, think carefully about how you structure the program.

For more ways of fostering employee engagement and building a culture of appreciation in your workplace, download our FREE Guide to Workplace Gratitude.

Click the image below and start sharing your 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.