How Does Your Company Say ‘Thank You’?

company thank you

via Flickr, meddygarnet

When it comes to individuals, sharing gratitude is pretty straight-forward and ideally a personal gesture such as a handwritten note, a small gift or public recognition. So how does a company as a whole say “thank you”? A company thank you is a group effort that takes more coordination and planning than individual-to-individual gratitude, but the result is good for business and will be appreciated by an entire community of people.

Charitable Giving

One way many companies say thank you is through donations to charity. Each summer the Chronicle of Philanthropy releases the results of a major survey on corporate giving among the largest U.S. companies. The latest data is for 2012, and you can explore it here. When evaluating this data, Forbes writer Susan Adams says it’s more meaningful to take into account the percentage of profits donated, not the total cash amount.

“We think the list that shows giving as a percentage of profits is the most meaningful, because it demonstrates what share of its fortune a company is willing to put into doing good, while the cash list is in some measure based on the size of the company. For instance, ExxonMobil, the nation’s largest company by revenues, is number three on the cash giving list, but gives away only 0.4% of its pre-tax profits,” she writes.

Beyond doing good in the world, charitable giving is an opportunity to involve and engage employees. Don Fornes, cofounder and CEO of Austin-based Software Advice, writes in his company blog A Million Little Wins about a charitable giving campaign that brought his employees closer. His reflection on the experience, “It’s Not Every Day You Get to Save a Five-year-old’s Life,” sheds light on how charitable giving can bring fresh meaning to the concept of a company “thank you.” company thank you

Software Advice employees raised $28,400 to sponsor a 5-year-old Nigerian girl who needed a life-saving heart surgery. But this was no simple “donation box” scenario. The girl, named Confidence, actually traveled to Austin with her mother and stayed with Fornes and his family while she prepared for and recovered from her surgery . Employees donated time, too, to visit Confidence at the hospital and at the Fornes’ home. The experience, organized by the HeartGift Foundation and coordinated with Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin, had a lasting impact, Fornes says.

The effect the experience had on my family and my employees proved much more powerful than the financial contribution. [...] It changed the way we look at our daily lives, and made us feel lucky for all the little ways in which we are privileged. But perhaps most importantly, it taught us how transformative it can be to truly help another person. While it was an emotional challenge to let her go, knowing that we were able to give Confidence the gift of a long life was fulfilling.

In the end, Fornes says, the experience taught him how to give his staff a sense of purpose: “Even if the work they do day-to-day isn’t saving the world, our employees can see that the revenue their efforts are generating is funding good things that truly help people. No matter how we get there, we’re making other peoples’ lives better through our company’s success.”

Community Outreach

Another way companies can maximize charitable giving is by building a full-fledged community outreach campaign that encourages partnership, education and public input. Let’s look at two major American businesses that are doing the company thank you right, Culver’s and Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

company thank you

Culver’s “Thank You Farmers” campaign is targeted at the National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Organization and aims to give back to the farmers who make the ingredients Culver’s uses, while at the same time educating the public about what FFA is and providing a forum where people can donate and say thank you to farmers, too.

Culver’s describes the campaign on its website as a natural progression “from gratitude to full-fledged support.”

“Culver’s wouldn’t be what it is today without the family farms that grow and produce the wholesome, delicious food we so proudly serve. From the cattle ranches of the Great Plains to the dairy farms of Wisconsin and south to Georgia’s chicken country, it’s important to us to make sure farm families across the nation clearly see how thankful we are for their hard work and dedication.”

Another company giving back in a big way is Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Enterprise released its “50 Million Thanks” commercial, voiced by actor Tom Selleck. The ad describes Enterprise’s commitment to plant 50 million trees in U.S. national forests to honor the company’s 50th anniversary, in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation and the U.S. Forest Service. This amounts to a new Central Park every 10 days for the next 50 years.

Selleck’s voiceover in the ad touches on the very dilemma many companies face: “You can see a thank you in a smile, you can feel it in a handshake. But how does a company say ‘thank you’?” Like the Culver’s “Thank You Farmers” campaign, “50 Million Thanks” provides avenues for public input. You can read more about restoration and tree-planting efforts and make your own donation on the Arbor Day Foundation website. (Find out here when your state celebrates Arbor Day.)

What do the Culver’s and Enterprise “thank you” campaigns and Software Advice’s sponsorship of Confidence have in common? They’re not quick, one-hit efforts. They’re designed to be longterm and self-sustaining, plus they invite as many people as possible to join in the gratitude.

How does your company share its gratitude with employees and with the public? For more ideas on growing gratitude within your organization, download our free guide to “Workplace Gratitude” and start sharing your gratitude today!

company thank you

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.

Free Holiday Ham Guide: The Perfect Addition to Your Easter Ham Gift

holiday ham guide

Click the image to download your FREE Holiday Ham Guide!

Spring celebrations include graduations, Mother’s Day, baptisms, and of course, religious holidays like Easter. It’s a time for healthy feasting to symbolize the end of a long winter and the beginning of a fresh new season.

Whatever you’re celebrating this spring, if you’re including a ham for the main course, you’ll want to find the easiest, tastiest recipes to consider for preparing the main course for the cutting board. Actually, even before looking for the best recipes to cook your ham, you’ll want to decide between cured and uncured. And remember, with gThankYou! ham gift certificates, it’s easy to give the gift of a main course ingredient to employees, friends, family, and anyone else on your gift shopping list this spring. Our Free Holiday Ham Guide helps!

Cured vs Uncured

There are different types of hams, depending on how they are processed after slaughter. The most common type of ham you see in grocery stores is wet-cured. These are brands like Hormel, Cook’s, and HoneyBaked. Wet-cured hams are soaked or injected with brine then broiled or smoked. Dry-cured hams are rubbed with salt and sugar, dry-aged between three months and three years, and sold raw. You’ll learn about these and other types of ham in our free cookbook.

Best Tasting Ways to Cook Ham

Hams can be cooked in various ways, including baking, boiling, grilling, and deep frying. Glazing is a popular way to bring out rich flavors and add citrus, apple, onion, whiskey, and other undertones to your special occasion ham. Good ingredients for ham glazes include mustard, spices like cloves and cinnamon, honey, brown sugar, molasses, and even soda. You may have a favorite holiday ham recipe, possibly your grandmother’s recipe or one passed down through your family. If not, you may want to browse recipes at Epicurious to find ham recipes collected from Bon Appetit, Gourmet, and other great recipes sources. Consider a deviled ham or a new glaze you’ve never tried.

After It’s Over – Leftovers

Unless you’re feeding a starving hoard, you’ll have some ham leftover, and that’s a good thing. Freeze leftover ham to use in the weeks following your special meal. It’s great for many meals other than sandwiches. Besides the recipes for leftover ham in our free ham cookbook, check out our ideas for ham leftovers, like macaroni and cheese with country ham and shirred eggs and ham.

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.

Plan Your Easter Ham Gift Promotions

Easter

Easter is here, and it’s the perfect time of year to reward both customers and employees alike. Ham is a Spring tradition, and here at  gThankYou we make giving the gift of ham both simple and rewarding.

It’s never been easier to order. You can visit our website for Ham Certificates, Turkey Certificates, and even for Groceries! We are also available to take your order over the phone, seven days a week. Give us a call at (888) 484-1658.

Our certificates are all about gratitude, and we go the extra mile to make sure our customers know it. We offer free Enclosure Cards with every order, and with dozens upon dozens of designs to choose from, we know you’ll be able to find the perfect card for the occasion. We also offer free customization of your favorite Enclosure Card, with a personal message and even your company logo.

gThankYou Certificates of Gratitude are a wonderful way to remind employees and customers that you are thinking of them this Spring. Give the gift of a delicious ham this Easter, we will make the entire process a breeze.

To learn about building a culture of appreciation in your workplace this Spring, download our free guide to “Workplace Gratitude” and start sharing your gratitude today!

Easter

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 Gratitude Makes Good Business ‘Cents’

workplace gratitude

via OakleyOriginals, Flickr

Choosing to incorporate workplace gratitude into your company culture isn’t a difficult choice between bottom line and happy employees. It’s one of those rare instances in business of having your cake and eating it, too. Whether you’re the giver or recipient of workplace gratitude, it makes us all feel good. It feeds itself — and makes good business “cents.”

That’s one reason business experts are now recommending that entrepreneurs and companies, small to large, think of gratitude as a strategy that goes beyond the traditional Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year’s season. When it comes to growing and maintaining a healthy business, the power of gratitude can’t be underestimated.

In a CNN article by Vickie Elmer, “Why gratitude is good for business, year round,” Washington, D.C. business owner Kristina Bouweiri shares how she boosted a friend’s lagging company — and her own — by hosting what she thought would be a one-time customer appreciation lunch. She did it as a favor to her friend. But it grew: the lunches became a regular tradition and ended up helping both of their companies. Within a couple of years, Bouweiri saw her revenues go up 27 percent, which she credits mostly to her increased efforts toward customer appreciation.

“Instead of going after new business, we decided to go back to old clients and thank them, and develop relationships,” she says. For almost 20 years, her company Reston Limousine had done little or nothing to thank its almost 20,000 clients. Now, says Bouweiri, “I consider it the most important initiative that I have.”

As businesses build workplace gratitude into daily and weekly plans and policies, Elmer reports that they’re seeing marked results. Workers are more engaged, and customers are more likely to come back and give referrals. Why? In short, because it makes people want to pass along the good vibes. Or, as Randy Raggio, a marketing professor at the University of Richmond, puts it: “Gratitude motivates positive reciprocal behavior.”

There is a catch. Gratitude works by building trust, so it has to be genuine. How do you know your gratitude is genuine? Jay Steinfeld, founder and CEO of Blinds.com, describes it as an overall attitude toward life. In an article for Inc., he draws the distinction between recognition and gratitude. Recognition is specific; gratitude is holistic. Recognizing good work is important, of course, but it doesn’t  always require the thoughtful approach of gratitude.

“Gratitude is both an experience and an attitude — a way of looking at the world around you to see the parts greater than yourself that have helped make your world and business success a reality,” Steinfeld writes.

Conveying genuine gratitude also means letting go of your petty ulterior motives, as Harvey Deutschendorf writes for Fast Company.

I once had a manager that had a habit of waiting until a meeting where his superior was present before giving out recognition gifts. Instead of feeling recognized, we all felt we were being used by him to gain favor with his boss. Sincere praise happens even when no one is looking.

Think about that, and do an experiment: share gratitude with someone at your workplace today, in private — whether it’s a short note to a client or stopping by a coworker’s desk to say thanks for help on a project — then pay attention to what happens next.

To learn more about cultivating engagement, gratitude and happiness in your workplace, download our FREE eBook by clicking the link below.

workplace gratitude

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.

Easy, Affordable Employee Recognition

Affordable Employee Recognition

Via Wikimedia Commons: Lumaxart

In “Employee Engagement 2.0: How to Motivate Your Team for high Performance,” Kevin Kruse says engaged employees provide better service, produce better customer satisfaction, and increased sales and profits. He reports that recognition and appreciation are some of the keys to driving employee engagement, and explains six simple steps for managers to increase employee engagement. Kruse says that it doesn’t take a lot of time or money to create and sustain employee engagement.

Measure and Share

Measuring employee engagement levels is the quickest way to understand it and improve it, and share the information so everyone can feel good about it. Ask employees what they like and why, and what causes them problems and how you could improve it. Keep track of engagement over time to develop benchmarks and goals to increase employee satisfaction through recognition and appreciation. Once you have a starting point, use simple, free methods to thank people for their effort and recognize them regularly and often. Announce most improved customer service representatives at the weekly service meeting. She hands with employee who have given extra effort.

Get Double ROI for Recognition

Training is one of the most cost-effective ways to recognize employees and help them improve their employment skills and experience. Providing training rewards employees while increasing their value to your company. When there’s limited funds for recognition, it’s important to get as much out of each dollar spent on engagement as possible. Nancy Mann, writing for Entrepreneur, says it’s so important to provide recognition for employees in an uncertain economy, especially those who have had to take on extra work to help small businesses survive and succeed through rough times.

Mann recommends simple event like happy hour after work once in a while, or pizza for lunch once a month to recognize employees’ hard work and dedication. Giving employees a little time to socialize and distress helps working relationships, improves stress, and enables employees a way to get to know each other better.

Free Ways to Recognize Employees

Kevin Kruse offers plenty of free ways to reward and recognize employees and make them feel special. A sincere thank you and a handshake, a casual party to recognize top performers, and announcing employee recognition at meetings and in emails makes employees feel good about their work and their employer, and motivates them to continue performing at high levels.

Add a Personal Touch

Kevin Kruse recommends making affordable employee recognition personal with special touches like arranging for senior managers to thank them in person or sending a gift basket to their homes. Whatever form of free or low-cost employee recognition you use, you’ll be building engagement and loyalty into your workforce.

For more on 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.

Affordable Employee Recognition

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.

4 Lessons from Google on Building a Culture of Success and Employee Happiness

employee happiness

Photo via Rory MacLeod, Flickr

Do you want your company to be the kind of company employees brag about? Be prepared to work for it. Companies known for their lively culture and high levels of employee happiness didn’t get lucky. They earned it, and they keep on earning it.

The more we learn from the latest research and case studies on cultivating employee happiness, the more obvious it is that institutional happiness doesn’t happen randomly or confine itself to certain industries. There’s an art to it, backed by a growing body of science built on big data.

But don’t be intimidated. Building a successful culture that retains and motivates employees is a rewarding process, and you can take the first steps starting today.

Let’s look at Google for inspiration.  The Internet giant, headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., has a unique culture among its corporate peers, according to KISSmetrics blogger Zach Bulygo. “It’s not the typical corporate culture. In fact, just by looking at pictures inside the Googleplex, you can see that it looks more like an adult playground, not a place for work.”

Fortune ranked Google #1 in the “100 Best Companies to Work For.” Even when Google employees do gather ’round the virtual water cooler to complain, their criticisms are relatively petty (“Everyone is awesome, so they can hire the very best people to do even the most mundane jobs”).

Here are four reasons Google has such a stellar reputation for employee happiness — and four ways you can build this culture of success at your company.

What Google Does: Potential hires are asked esoteric problem-solving questions during interviews, such as, “How many golf balls fit in a school bus?” or There are eight balls. Seven of them weigh the same, but one is heavier. Using a balance scale, how do you find the heavier ball with just two weighings?” The worst answer to these questions is “I don’t know,” but there may not otherwise be a “correct” answer. Out of the 2.5 million people who apply to Google every year, the company is aiming to hire those who think fast under pressure and are comfortable talking through their own thought process.

The Takeaway: To engage employees, encourage passion and constant learning. Read more about how engagement relates to passion in our post, “Plan for More Employee Engagement in 2014, Researchers Say.”

What Google Does: Complacency is a big no-no. “Google doesn’t view their culture as a ‘set it and forget it’ program. They’re actively changing and maintaining it, because it’s crucial to their success,” Bulygo writes. This means constantly looking for new ways to make the work fresh, focused and streamlined, while giving employees the freedom to innovate.

The Takeaway: Google may be tightly controlled on a corporate level, but on a manager-to-employees level, there’s some leeway. Empower employees by listening more and encouraging them to take on challenging projects, but don’t let the work become unfocused or scattered.

What Google Does: Big data informs many of the company’s human resource decisions. Laszlo Bock, who heads Google’s People Operations Department — human resources in most companies — told CBS News that tracking data on employee productivity and happiness pays off. For example, “When an employee starts on their first day, we have data that says, if the manager shows up and says, ‘Hi nice to meet you, you’re on my team, we’re gonna be working together,’ and does a few other things, those people end up 15 percent more productive in nine months.”

The Takeaway: Even if your company doesn’t have the infrastructure or manpower for intense data-harnessing, search for lessons from the data you keep already and look for other ways to collect meaningful feedback.

What Google Does: The perks Google offers its employees free of charge are legendary. Nap pods. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, all organic and chef-prepared. Massages. Swimming pools. On-site physicians, laundry and haircuts. Foosball and bocce ball breaks. (Read the full list and background on Google employee perks in this How Stuff Works article.)

The Takeaway: Healthy, well-fed, well-rested employees are happy employees. For this reason, Googleplex-like perks are spreading to the rest of the American workplace. Opportunities for workplace napping are on the rise (“Less Coffee, More Napping: Real Trends in Work-Life Benefits). And even if an on-site medical staff is out of the question at your company, fostering opportunities for workplace wellness isn’t. Check out our recent post on easy, fun ways to incorporate workplace wellness into employees’ daily regimen.

To learn more about bringing engagement, gratitude and happiness to your workplace, download our FREE guide to “Workplace Gratitude” today.

workplace happiness

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.

3 Ways Employee Thank You Gifts Build Engagement

Employee thank you gifts

Via YogaJournal.com

Kevin Kruse is a New York Times best-selling author, entrepreneur, and speaker who has delivered keynote addresses around the world. He writes about leadership and engagement in his books “Employee Engagement 2.0: How to Motivate Your Team for High Performance,” “Employee Engagement for Everyone: 4 Ways to Happiness and Fulfillment at Work,” and “We: How to Increase Performance and Profits Through Full Engagement.” He promotes the huge value of an employee thank you gift, as well as appreciation efforts and their impact on business success. Who do you think will go beyond the job description to make sure your customers are satisfied with their service: the employee who gets regular thank you notes and handshakes from the boss plus a nice birthday gift certificate or the employee who always comes in early and stays late when needed but never heard a thank you or received more than a dime raise?

Employee gifts that express appreciation and recognition build engagement in so many ways. Three ways they build engagement by making employees feel valued, making their lives easier, and providing fun and entertainment.

Making Employees Feel Valued

Employees feel valued when employers take the time to express genuine interest in them, listen to their thoughts, opinions, and ideas, and thank them specifically for something they’ve done that is noteworthy or made a difference. Even a simple thanks just for the little things can make employees feel like their contributions matter too. A tangible gift along with the recognition will be a reminder that their boss, supervisor, or company valued them and serves to foster good feelings during difficult work periods.

Making Employees’ Lives Easier

Gift cards are always nice, but gifts that make employees’ lives easier are true engagement-boosters, and remembered long after they are received. Six months of prepaid dry cleaning or grocery delivery, providing all the fixings for a holiday meal, not just the ham or turkey, and of course, extra time off during the busy holiday season give employees some breathing room. Your company may not be able to provide all the corporate amenities that Google or Facebook does, but there are many ways to make employees’ lives easier so they come to work refreshed and engaged for your business and customers.

Providing Fun and Entertainment

Gifts that provide fun and entertainment such as movie tickets, fine dining gift certificates, and tickets to seasonal attractions such as amusement parks help employees have some down time with friends and family. These can be offered as a selection among a range of options or a traditional annual gift such as opening season for sports or summer entertainment. Gifts for fun and entertainment have the double engagement factor of giving employees an outlet for entertaining activities and anticipation of something with high incentive value. They’ll look forward to next year’s free tickets to the local water park for their families or a special dinner to a fancy restaurant they wouldn’t normally be able to afford.

Kruse reminds employers and those in managerial roles that personalizing employee gifts builds loyalty and engagement faster that lasts longer than one-size-fits-all appreciation programs with engraved plaques or plain vanilla gift cards. Giving a father of four with a busy working wife and elderly parents an extra day off on Friday or Monday for a long weekend will mean more than a certificate of achievement. A Kindle or other electronic reader and a year’s worth of prepaid book downloads for an ardent book lover will be treasured more than movie tickets. Remember that the ultimate goal of an employee thank you gift is engagement. let that guide your employee gift giving choices.

Learn more about the art of workplace gifts, click the image below to download our Free Ultimate Guide to Employee Gift-Giving today!

Employee thank you gifts
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 Profoundly Positive Change Workplace Gratitude Brings Employees, Your Company & You

Photo via Richard Foster, Flickr

Photo via Richard Foster, Flickr

Workplace gratitude is the answer to many common challenges in workforce management, but the profoundly positive ripple effect it has across all aspects of a company is often underestimated. Research shows again and again that a simple “thank you,” as part of an overall attitude of gratitude, has the power to transform careers, boost morale, keep employees around longer and create a happy company culture that sustains itself from within.

Let’s look at how workplace gratitude sparks positive change in business, from employee satisfaction to successful management to overall company well-being.

It’s Good for Employees

Dr. Daneen Skube, executive coach, calls gratitude “one of the most effective workplace power tools.” In her syndicated advice column, she tells a person hoping to move ahead in a company to put together a “gratitude action plan” to thank all the people who helped along the way. She recommends sharing consistent and personalized thank you’s with past coworkers, current coworkers, bosses and other career-shaping associates.

“No one gets ahead without a network that is invested in seeing you succeed. Learn to put gratitude into the banks of those who invest in you, and watch the dividends of success roll in,” Skube writes.

Unfortunately, giving thanks — a common courtesy elsewhere in daily life — is actually pretty rare in today’s workplace, according to Skube.

“Surprisingly, in today’s self-centered business world, gratitude is also one of the most underutilized career tools. Even Oprah (who has launched more careers than anyone) was quoted as observing that she can count the people who have thanked her on one hand,” Skube writes.

It’s the Key to Successful Management

Gratitude means more than saying “thank you” to the people around you. It’s an entire attitude toward life, as Forbes contributor Jerry Bowyer illustrates in his column, “To Grow In Business and In Life, Show Gratitude and Appreciation.” He gives example after example of businesses — startups, established companies, even his own business — that stagnated or fell apart because the people running them weren’t grateful for what they had and wasted resources by siphoning off their best employees to work on the next shiny new project. He also uses an example from his personal life, a lesson he taught his children growing up.

When one of my children was about 10, I bought a little plastic toy frog for him. While we were driving home from the store together he started complaining about it. “Let me see it,” I said. I took it, looked it over and said, “You’re right, not good enough for you,” and I threw it out the car window. In our house, I told him, when you complain about something, you lose it.

The lesson here isn’t to shut up and be happy with what you’ve got, but to approach a situation with a holistic sense of gratitude before diving in to make changes. Any needed improvement will flow more easily from a place of gratitude, not frustration. Bowyer concludes that the “foundation of asset management is gratitude. [...] If you show appreciation for the assets under your care, they’ll probably return the favor and show appreciation for you.”

It Shapes Companies

A fascinating irony emerges from gratitude research: even though practically everyone enjoys being thanked and enjoys thanking others, they rarely do it while on the job. The University of California at Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center interprets this as an attitude problem based on our culturally accepted perception of work:

Americans actively suppress gratitude on the job, even to the point of robbing themselves of happiness. Why? It may be because in theory, no one gives away anything at work; every exchange is fundamentally economic. You don’t deliver that memo to your boss at three o’clock sharp out of the goodness of your heart, but because that is what you’re being paid to do. Your ‘thanks’ is a paycheck.

In the end, showing gratitude is an “acknowledgment of interdependency that makes us feel vulnerable.”

It’s time to change that perception and become comfortable with a little vulnerability, because the benefits are just too good to give up. Workplace gratitude has a spillover effect that positively changes the fundamental and collective outlook of a company. Data analysis by the Greater Good Science Center shows the benefits of gratitude “go beyond a sense of self-worth, self-efficacy and trust between employees.” Other benefits demonstrated include increased happiness, greater satisfaction with life, higher resilience to stress and fewer headaches and illnesses.

Collectively these benefits shape your company image, culture and success. So, what are you waiting for? For ideas on how to increase your company gratitude today, check out “Why Sharing Gratitude Makes Everyone Happy” and “5 Ways Random Acts of Kindness Build Workplace Gratitude.”

To learn more about cultivating engagement, gratitude and happiness in your workplace, download our FREE eBook by clicking the link below.

Free eBook: Workplace Gratitude

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.

Less Coffee, More Napping – Real Trends in Work Life Benefits

Work Life Benefits - Napping

Via MacPhreak, Wikimedia Commons

The water cooler is long gone, replaced by company emails, intranets, and social media. Now the coffee break is on the way out with the advent of newer work life benefits such as napping breaks.  Google has made the concept of nap pods cool, and more companies are joining the search engine employer extraordinaire having found it’s actually an engagement and productivity boost.  Nap rooms, nap chairs, and napping breaks are on the rise at Huffington Post, Nationwide Planning Associates, and Yarde Metals.

National Workplace Napping Day

Believe it or not, there’s a special day to celebrate and promote napping during the workday. It’s National Workplace Napping Day, the first Monday after daylight savings time begins. Created by Boston University professor William Anthony, National Workplace Napping Day promotes refreshing breaks that can be better than that cup of afternoon coffee. Sleep disorders specialist Dr. James Wyatt, of Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Chicago Medical Center says our society is chronically sleep-deprived. Dr. Amanda Beck from the Sleep Disorder Center at the University of New Mexico agrees, but says many employers still don’t get it. The stigma is that sleeping on the job is a sign of laziness, not the productivity and engagement and employee retention booster that it’s proving to be.

How Napping at Work Works

Some employees go to nap in their cars at lunchtime, like employee Joy Chromy, but employers have a lot of options to encourage and allow workplace napping. From regular recliners to couches to nap pillows to special nap rooms equipped with “EnergyPods” (Google’s famous nap pods), employers have a wide variety of simple to extravagant methods to give employees the gift of a restful nap.

If you’re really lucky, your employer will provide upgraded napping services like Newsweek, Hearst, and Time Warner. Those companies offer premium services from a napping spa that include aromatherapy, soothing sound and light and optional foot rubs. And if a whole room, chair, pod, or napping spa service just isn’t in the budget, frugal employers can always spring for Dream Helmets. For $29.95 a pop, Dream Helmets let wearers plug-in and tune out and wake them up on time to get back to the grind.

For those without napping accommodations at work, there’s a new site that’s here to help. Google Naps (unaffiliated with Google Inc.) utilizes an online map to crowd source the very best napping locations. Visit their site today and find the best spots to catch a cat nap near your workplace.

Research is on the Napper’s Side

Doctors from all over recommend the benefits of napping to counter sleep deprivation, improve productivity, and safeguard physical and mental health. Loughborough University Sleep Research Centre director Jim Horne says naps refresh without interfering with nighttime sleep. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health senior scientist Dr. Roger Rosa, says daytime naps help counter the slow reflexes and sluggishness of sleep inertia from lost sleep, helping tired workers everywhere catch up with cat naps.

The next time you find yourself nodding off at work, try suggesting or requesting nap therapy. For good measure, throw around a few big names in the napping game and you may soon be hitting the pillow as part of your daily work routine.

For more best practice ideas for building a culture of appreciation, please enjoy our free eBook “Workplace Gratitude”.  


Free eBook: Workplace Gratitude

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.

Smile! 5 Ways to Have Fun with Workplace Wellness This Week

Veggie Smile for Workplace Wellness Week

Photo via Nina Matthews, Flickr

Get moving, get healthy and get happy this week by promoting workplace wellness activities for your coworkers and employees! This week, March 31 through April 4, is Workplace Wellness Week. Along the way, celebrate International Fun at Work Day (April 1, aka April Fools’ Day) and National Walk to Work Day (April 4).

It’s difficult to estimate the tremendous asset a healthy, happy workforce has on corporate wellbeing, but it’s clear the cumulative costs of workforce illness take a huge toll on the U.S. economy. One estimate, from the nonprofit research organization Integrated Benefits Institute, puts the cost to the economy at more than a half a trillion dollars each year. This includes lost productivity from employee absenteeism, as well as what the researchers called “presenteeism,” when sick employees report for work but are unable to perform at their best. Employees who are sick at work also deplete morale and put their coworkers at risk.

A company dedicated to workplace wellness can help eliminate those unnecessary sick days by strengthening the mind-body connection. Forbes contributor Jackie MacLeod writes, “Emphasizing wellness allows us to operate more energetically. We work better because we’re there, in body and mind. If we are allowed to be truly present when we are at work, companies can say goodbye to unnecessary absenteeism.”

Spring is in the air, so there’s no better time to inspire your workplace to practice good eating and exercise habits. Here are five ways to get started this week.

1. Check the Health of Your Workplace Wellness Program

Promoting workplace wellness should be a fun, inspired and, most of all, effective. But a new book, “Surviving Workplace Wellness With Your Dignity, Finances and (Major) Organs Intact,” suggests that not all workplace wellness programs are created equal. The authors, Al Lewis and Vik Khanna, discuss evidence that some ill-conceived programs instead of inspiring healthy habits actually alienate employees and have no discernible effect on workforce health. Forbes contributor Leah Binder reviewed the book recently in her article “Three Surprising Hazards of Workplace Wellness Programs.” Like a tune-up for a car, use this week to review your company’s wellness program and check it for any potential weaknesses.

2. Give Thirsty Thursdays a New Meaning

Take a cue from Utah State University, which runs a wellness program with fun activities slated each day this week, and promote healthy water-drinking habits. Challenge employees to ditch caffeine- and sugar-packed soda for a day and drink nothing but water at work.

3. Celebrate National Walk to Work Day

Started in 2004 and endorsed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American Podiatric Medical Association, National Walk to Work Day is celebrated the first Friday in April. Why not organize a chance for employees to walk together, and encourage employees to share their walking progress publicly (in distance or minutes)?  The American Heart Association has more ideas for walking activities and promotion.

4. Dance-Off in the Break Room!

Bring in a licensed dance instructor to teach a Zumba class over lunch, or break out a boombox, clear a dance floor and invite employees to bring in their favorite dance tunes for a fun lunch-hour diversion. If no one wants to dance – start a limbo contest to get juices flowing. Just a half hour of dancing will get everyone moving, laughing and invigorated to go back to work, happy and focused.

5. Eat Your Colors

Help employees add color to their meals — and no, that doesn’t mean platters of pink-frosted cookies and bowls of blue punch. Promote a colorful diet rich in fruits and vegetables by making it fun or collaborative. Here are two easy ways:

  • Encourage group participation in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program that allows employees to split a share of produce from a local farm or farm collective. Look up what’s available in your area by searching the directory of Local Harvest, a national organization that connects farmers and consumers via CSA programs.
  • Share gThankYou Fruit & Vegetable Gift Certificates. Easily redeemable at grocery stores, gThankYou gift certificates for fruits and vegetables give recipients the freedom to pick the produce they want, whenever they need it and wherever they like to shop.

To learn more about increasing employee happiness (and health) in your workplace by building a culture of gratitude, download our free guide to “Workplace Gratitude” and start sharing your gratitude today!

Free eBook: Workplace Gratitude
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.