Author Archives: Liz King

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.

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.

How to Share Your Employee Thank You

employee thank you

Image via woodleywonderworks, Flickr

We talk a lot on gThankYou’s Celebrating Work blog about why sharing gratitude and showing appreciation are so essential in the workplace, but what about the how? What are the best practices for sharing your employee thank you?

The basics of are the same, whether you’re emailing an employee who recently stood out, throwing a recognition party, coordinating handwritten notes to accompany gifts that celebrate a recent company achievement, or overseeing a workplace-wide employee recognition program.

Gratitude can take many forms (here are a few of our recent ideas), but the message should be consistent. Consider the following Dos and Don’ts  as you start planning how to word and share your employee thank you.

DON’T be vague. “Thanks for all your hard work!” may be a well-intentioned and sincere sentiment, but it could apply to any employee who worked hard — and hopefully that’s everybody. It sends the message, “You’re just like everyone else, and anyone could do your job.” Make the recipient feel special by praising him or her for a specific project, idea, action or quality (speed, thoroughness, brilliant problem-solving). If you’re unsure of specifics, ask those who do know, such as a shift manager, team leader or close coworker. A little footwork for specifics could go along way in helping your workforce feel appreciated.

DO consider employee personality in your “thank you” and empower each person accordingly. “Leadership is about empowering others to realize their own abilities. Communicate your belief in your people, and watch them rise to meet your expectations,” writes Geil Browning, founder of Emergenetics International, for Inc. Browning shares her research-based tips for recognizing and praising a variety of personality types, from the gregarious to the analytical. For example, an assertive person will appreciate hearing, “Thank you for keeping the momentum going!”, while a more laid-back person would like to hear, “Thank you for helping keep the peace.” The takeaway? It takes all kinds. Each of us, no matter our personality or style, has a valuable quality to contribute in the workplace. Honor this in your employee “thank you.”

DON’T wait to share your gratitude. Every day you wait, the likelihood grows that your employees will feel ignored. Lack of recognition drives turnover, as revealed by this great JobScience infographic and article, “10 Ways to Thank Your Employees to Boost Productivity.” The research and data overwhelmingly show that a praised employee is a productive and committed employee.

DO balance gratitude between individuals and teams. After all, teamwork plays a major role in workplace performance. For consistency, Snowfly founder Dr. Brooks Mitchell recommends that employers follow a 75/25 rule when administering incentive programs. “A well-balanced performance-reward program consists of 75 percent emphasis on individual behavior and 25 percent emphasis on team behavior,” Mitchell writes in his white paper “Individual vs. Team Rewards.”

DO go out of your way to learn about an employee’s family, hobby and weekend plans. “Your genuine interest — as opposed to being nosey — causes people to feel valued and cared about,” writes Susan M. Heathfield for About.com Human Resources. Additionally, if you know an employee well enough, you’ll be better equipped to occasionally and spontaneously show your gratitude by sharing an appropriate small gift. A thoughtful, unexpected gift will certainly brighten the employee’s day.  But sharing your sincere and specific thanks will make the most difference.

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!

employee thank you

employee 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.

Easy Employee Recognition with gThankYou! Turkey or Ham Gift Certificates

Turkey or Ham Gift Certificate by gThankYou!Any day is a good day to share your thanks and appreciation with hard-working employees and colleagues.  The spring holidays, Passover (14th to 22nd) and Easter (20th) are an especially good time to celebrate employees with a thoughtful gift of a Turkey or Ham Gift Certificate by gThankYou!  A meaningful yet affordable gift that can be shared with families to enjoy for the holidays.

The coming month, April, is full of celebrations so if honoring the spring holidays isn’t the right thing for your company, take advantage of any of the other fun occasions to engage employees and celebrate in your workplace.  Spring is a great time to make a break from the grey overhang of winter and celebrate the potential of the year ahead.

Why not consider celebrating National Walk to Work Day (4th), Volunteer Recognition Day (20th), Earth Day (22nd), Administrative Professionals Day (23rd) or Take Your Daughter to Work Day (24th), to name just a few? Peruse the less established, unique or for-fun holidays and you’ll find even more opportunities to create fun in the workplace, such as International Moment of Laughter Day (14th), Reach As High As You Can Day (15th) and National High-Five Day (17th).

Holidays are vital to honoring tradition and sharing what’s meaningful to us, of course, but when it comes to the workplace the most important celebration is the everyday culture of gratitude you create for employees all year-long.

A company loses out when it makes a big show of celebrating employees only during the obligatory times, like Thanksgiving. Research into workplace retention repeatedly shows that when employees don’t feel appreciated, they’re more likely to look elsewhere for employment.

Remember the children’s story about the tortoise and the hare? The hare brags about being the fastest runner around, but in the end, the tortoise ends up beating him in a race by staying focused and consistent. Workplace gratitude is similar — a big splashy holiday party is fun, but soon forgotten if your overall employee recognition program isn’t a consistent and everyday aspect of your company’s culture.

Gratitude is so engrained in our society in other ways — what are the “magic words” we teach toddlers as soon as they can talk? — but it’s often neglected in the workplace. Tony Schwartz, CEO of The Energy Project, writes in an article for the Harvard Business Review “Why Appreciation Matters So Much”:

…we’re not fluent in the language of positive emotions in the workplace. We’re so unaccustomed to sharing them that we don’t feel comfortable doing so. Heartfelt appreciation is a muscle we’ve not spent much time building, or felt encouraged to build.

Fortunately, resources abound for managers looking to improve their fluency in the language of positive emotions like gratitude. Sharpen your skills by practicing random acts of kindness in your workplace (never underestimate the power of goodwill!) or trying one of our 6 Simple Steps to Building Employee Happiness.

Free "Thank You" Card from gThankYou!Holidays come and go, but a culture of gratitude is forever.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude provide leaders with affordable, meaningful and convenient ways to share your workplace gratitude any day. This spring, delight employees with an unexpected treat of a Turkey or Ham Gift Certificate or one of our other popular gift certificate varieties. Be sure to choose one of our free new spring “thank you” card designs to personalize your appreciation.

To learn more about building a culture of appreciation and gratitude, download our free guide to Workplace Gratitude and start sharing your thanks today!





About gThankYou, LLC

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

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

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

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

Your Employees Just Want to Be Loved

Your Employees Just Want to be Loved

Via Roona-MBH

The talk at the coffee station or in the lunchroom doesn’t often center on the words or feelings called “love,” but love is the invisible hand in business operations and success. In their Harvard Business Review article “Employees Who Feel Love Perform Better,” Sigal Barsade and Oliia O’Neill differentiate between compassionate love and passion, saying the former has a huge influence on performance and satisfaction. Building an emotional culture is not often the focus of management, but it’s smart business. Barsade and O’Neill’s studies found that employees who felt loved and able to express love and caring at work are more accountable, more committed, and more satisfied with their jobs.

Expressions of Love and Caring at Work

Various research from The Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism shows compassion is the key to expressing workplace love and caring. In their longitudinal study, “What’s Love Got to Do With It?”, Barsade and O’Neill find showing compassion to colleagues makes them feel loved and builds a company’s emotional culture.  Expressing compassionate affection includes such things as lending a sympathetic ear, writing a kind note, pitching in when someone needs help and flashing a warm, sincere smile as some of the small moments that make people feel loved and cared about by their co-workers and managers.

Love is the Next Step

In “The Happy Manifesto: Making Your Organization  a Great Workplace,” Henry Stewart mentions Gallup’s research identifying core elements of employee engagement and improving performance that include having a manager who cares about you at work. He revisits Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, reminding us that belonging and safety, two feelings supported and improved by feeling loved and cared about, are needs that precede self-esteem and self-actualization. As people learn more, take more calculated risks, and work harder when they feel loved and secure. Stewart says that once basic needs for salary and tools to do the job are met, the next step is a culture of love and security so people are motivated and enabled to be more productive.

Workplace Mistakes and Love

Henry Stewart tells the story of a trainer who felt bad about not preparing well for one of his first courses that ended in disaster. He got a hug and some commiseration from a co-worker, who told him it was “one to celebrate.” When you approach mistakes at work with compassion and understanding rather that rules and penalties, people are freed up to learn and grow, and are motivated to do better and work harder. Stewart is careful to explain the difference between loving the mistake-makers and tolerating poor work or under-performers. When a mistake is acknowledged and responsibility is accepted, people can learn and grow from it. An encouraging reaction to mistakes rather than a punitive one makes people feel supported, reduces stress, and enables better work to follow.

Whether you’re building a culture of recognition or just encouraging a paradigm shift from a disgruntled workforce to practicing employee appreciation, remember that your employees just want to be loved. Show, support and recognize acts of compassion and you’ll create happy, loyal and hard-working employees.  Now that’s good for your business.

For more on building a culture of respect, compassion and recognition in your workplace, download our FREE Ultimate Guide to Employee Gift-Giving. Click the image below to get started.

Loved

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.

6 Simple Steps to Building Employee Happiness

happy employeesHappy International Happiness Day! The U.N. designated March 20 as a celebration of happiness back in 2012, to bring attention to “the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world.” Today we’re looking at how happiness fits in the workplace. Happiness ultimately derives from an individual’s attitude — unfortunately you can’t force someone to be happy — but there are ways you can help boost employee happiness by creating a culture in which happiness is valued and shared.

Here are six simple steps to get you started today in boosting employee happiness.

1. Let your employees know you support their friendships.

Working with friends breeds happiness, a 2010 study found, but many employees surveyed mistakenly assume their managers disapprove of such relationships. Of the managers surveyed, 49 percent said they support or encourage the development of friendships in the workplace. Meanwhile, only 29 percent of non-managers felt their workplace supported these relationships. See the disconnect? By encouraging employees to form friendships, you may very well be changing false perceptions or stopping employees from feeling the need to “hide” their behavior. The result: you help build overall employee happiness.

2. Challenge “positive thinking.”

Srikumar Rao, author of the book “Happiness At Work: Be Resilient, Motivated and Successful — No Matter What,” tells Forbes writer Jacquelyn Smith that “positive thinking” doesn’t always lead to happiness. Instead, he advises employing a neutral attitude that challenges the status quo. Companies are better off encouraging a culture in which there are no “bad” or “good” events, Rao says: “‘When life gives you a lemon, make lemonade’ assumes that you have been given a lemon and that a lemon is bad for you. I’m saying, first of all, if you’ve been given a lemon, is that a bad thing? You can train yourself to say, ‘OK, this happened,’ rather than label it as bad.”

3. Banish the “If/Then” model of ambition in your workplace.

Don’t hinge your happiness on a specific result, Rao says. We get ourselves in trouble with the “if/then” model of ambition: “If I get the promotion, then I will be happy.” (And if you don’t get the promotion?) Instead, Rao proposes that a healthier and happier perspective is to think, “‘I have a grand vision and I will try my best to make it work. If I succeed, wonderful. If not, wonderful. My purpose is to give it the best I’ve got.’” In other words, help colleagues and employees understand the joy is in the journey (together), and not necessarily the destination.

4. Build a sense of ownership.

Employees who feel they have a stake in their company care more and work harder. Leonard J. Glick, professor of management and organizational development at Boston’s Northeastern University, tells Forbes’ Karsten Strauss that building that sense of ownership begins with increased employee involvement: “One way to inspire that feeling is to have each member of a team become familiar with what other team members are doing, allowing them to bring their ideas for improvement to the table and have input in the whole process. If the roles are not too specialized, have your people rotate responsibilities from time to time.” By encouraging involvement, you’re also building trust, deepening engagement and making employees feel valued.

5. Don’t emulate “The Apprentice.”

Donald Trump’s TV show may be wildly popular, but its cut-throat portrayal of workplace culture is neither realistic nor a successful model for business leaders. Research proves this through “numerous psychological studies,” according to Ray B. Williams’ Psychology Today article “How Workplace Happiness Can Boost Productivity.” The show “is a prime example of how the media portrays workplace culture and the behavior of those in it, emphasizing that business is a tough game to play and getting ahead requires putting your interests above others and capitalizing on the misfortune of fellow workers.” In actuality, positive relationships do matter. Experts have found that “personal feelings toward an individual are more significant in the formation of productive collective work than is a person’s competence.”

6. Play mind games (the good kind!).

This can be as simple as five minutes daily to consider and write down what you’re grateful for, or taking 10 minutes to meditate over lunch, or making a promise to each morning email a different employee a “thank you” note. Shawn Achor, author of “The Happiness Advantage” and “Before Happiness,” discusses his research in a Harvard Business Review blog post on the transformative ways that small steps toward happiness pay “great dividends.” It’s a mind game, literally: the steps he describes are intended to “change the pattern through which your brain views work.” Take the step to train managers and colleagues to do the same and your collective impact on worker happiness will be powerful.

smileyLooking for more inspiration? Take a few minutes today to enjoy singer Pharrell Williams’ collaboration with the U.N., 24 Hours of Happy, a website where people around the world share videos of themselves dancing to his song “Happy.”

To learn more about increasing employee happiness 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.

Celebrate Pi Day! Why Sharing Gratitude Makes Everyone Happy

Photo via Tradlands, Flickr

Photo via Tradlands, Flickr

Happy Pi Day! Today, March 14, is a celebration of the fascinating and mysterious mathematical constant known as “pi,” or 3.14159…, the never-ending number that results from calculating the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. For mathematicians, Pi Day is a time to honor and explore a number that is as frustrating as it is revealing of the world around us. For the rest of us, it’s a day to celebrate mathematicians and eat pie. (Do you think it’s a coincidence that 3.14 backwards spells pie? We think not.) Sharing a pie with your workplace is just as fun as eating it, and when it comes to gratitude, it turns out you actually can have your pie and eat it, too.

So, in the spirit of celebrating numbers, we’ve gathered some statistics to motivate and inspire you about the awesome power of workplace gratitude.

Despite being roundly praised as a method of engagement, workplace gratitude is actually pretty rare. “The workplace ranks dead last among the places people express gratitude, from homes and neighborhoods to places of worship. Only 10 percent of adults say thanks to a colleague every day, and just 7 percent express gratitude daily to a boss,” according to a 2012 Wall Street Journal article by Sue Shellenbarger.

It’s a shame gratitude isn’t more widely practiced in the workplace, because it actually pays off in tangible ways (this is where the having and eating your pie comes in!). Practicing gratitude actually increases your own happiness by 25 percent, regardless of its effect on the recipient or those around you, according to a Huffington Post blog by Ocean Robbins on “The Neuroscience of Why Gratitude Makes Us Healthier.”

In the workplace, there are also financial payoffs to sharing your gratitude. If you’re not thanking employees — and thereby helping keep employees happy — it’s probably costing you. A study by researcher Thomas Wright at Kansas State University found that psychologically healthy employees consistently exhibit higher job performance, with company savings tied to employee well-being, according to a Science Daily report, “Happy Employees Are Critical For An Organization’s Success.”

“In a sample of management personnel with average salaries in the $65,000 range, [Wright] found that being psychologically distressed could cost the organization roughly $75 a week per person in lost productivity. With 10 employees that translates to $750 per week in performance variance; for 100 employees the numbers are $7,500 per week or $390,000 per year,” the Science Daily article explained. (Emphasis added.)

In the end, Wright found that the possibility of turnover was 57 percent smaller for any one-unit increase in well-being.

If these numbers don’t sway you, consider this real-life example of how gratitude completely changed a workplace dynamic. In the Wall Street Journal article mentioned earlier, “Showing Appreciation at the Office? No, Thanks,” writer Sue Shellenbarger describes how one employee convinced her boss to show his gratitude, and what effect this had in the long-term.

The employee had bad experiences with unappreciative bosses in the past, so she stopped by her current boss’ office one day and told him she needed him to recognize her contributions, adding that she would stop by every Friday thereafter to recount her accomplishments.

The boss reflected later, Shellenbarger writes, “that as a former Air Force pilot, he hadn’t needed much praise and ‘didn’t have a natural aptitude’ for handing it out to others.” But the employee’s plea awakened him to the reality that other people may need more encouragement and gratitude to flourish. He went on to become a great supervisor who inspired intense loyalty, the employee said, and both agreed they had a great workplace relationship.

So what are you waiting for?  Go buy some pie and share it in your workplace for an unexpected chance to engage and share your gratitude!

For more insights into the value of gratitude, download our FREE Guide to Workplace Gratitude. Click below to get started.

Culture of Appreciation

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.

Be Awesome! Celebrate International Day of Awesomeness

Be Awesome Today!Happy International Day of Awesomeness! Celebrated every March 10 since 2008, it’s a great opportunity to show your inner awesomeness and honor the everyday awesomeness of your employees, coworkers and company. Best of all, celebrating awesomeness is meaningful as well as fun.  So what makes you awesome?

First, let’s dig into what “awesomeness” means. It’s OK if you’re feeling a little skeptical of a holiday that celebrates it. After all, “awesome” is a word we increasingly kick around in our daily conversation, so much so that we often say it when we really mean “OK” or “thanks” or “good.” It’s easy to forget how much punch this little word holds and that it is actually defined as causing feelings of wonder and awe. That’s big!

Yet “awesomeness” still applies in mundane situations. You may not feel awesome every day, but you are. And so is everyone around you. The trick is remembering what about us and our surroundings is awesome — and then recognizing it.

In fact, celebrating awesomeness is most important when we’re feeling at our lowest. The founders of the International Day of Awesomeness picked the date because it’s Chuck Norris’ birthday, but it’s appropriate that it falls during a time of year when much of the northern hemisphere is in a late-winter slump and could use a pick-me-up.

Neil Pasricha was at his lowest when he started the blog 1000 Awesome Things in June 2008. The blog, which has since been turned into a series of books, was a way to help pull himself out of a miserable period in his life. What Pasricha came up with (and is still coming up with) are the minor and major pleasures that brighten our existence: the beauty of cream swirling into a cup of coffee, the second of happiness you feel smiling at a stranger, the life-sustaining memory of unforgettable friends.

He’s also given some good thought to what awesome means and why it’s so vital to be awesome. Pasricha in his excellent 2010 TED Talk sums up “The 3 A’s of Awesome” — Attitude, Awareness and Authenticity.

Attitude: Choose to move forward instead of wallowing in failure or heartache.

AwarenessThrough a three-year-old’s eyes, the world is a continual source of fascination and wonder. Embrace your “inner three-year-old” by trying to see everything as if for the first time.

Authenticity: Stay true to who you are and follow your heart. (Pasricha illustrates this point with the story of Rosey Grier, a former NFL lineman for the New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams who also happens to have a passion and talent for needlepoint.)

Together, these characteristics define personal awesomeness. They also easily apply to workplace awesomeness. Think about it: a good work environment is one in which employees are encouraged to focus on solutions instead of past mistakes, to keep an open mind, and to value each other while remaining authentic individuals.

Celebrating awesomeness today is a great way to bust the Monday blahs, engage and excite your coworkers and employees, build goodwill and show gratitude to individuals as well as teams. Your company’s International Day of Awesomeness can be as simple as…

  • Thanking each employee individually, in person, for a recent feat of awesomeness.
  • Sharing an unexpected “Wow” gift with your team to reward them for staying positive while working through a particularly difficult project.
  • Taking everyone out for ice cream.
  • Giving a shout-out on social media to your employees for being awesome.
  • Organizing a fun activity for a break, such as a board game, kickball, musical chairs, etc. (Remembering the joys of childhood is a great way to celebrate awesomeness.)
  • Creating an “awesomeness board” where employees can pin Post-Its or write a message that celebrates a coworker or team throughout the week.

You can also join in the celebration by following the hashtag #idoa on Twitter to find out how people around the world are feting awesomeness.

Workplace awesomeness begins with a heartfelt appreciation and gratitude for the people around you. 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.

Awesomeness

Awesomeness

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.

Employee Appreciation Day: Not a One Day a Year Deal

Employee Appreciation Day

Via Flickr: CleverCupcakes

Today is Employee Appreciation Day and the perfect opportunity to thank employees for their hard work and dedication to your business!

That being said, most leaders understand employee appreciation is not a one day a year deal.  It’s vital to business success to build engagement and recognition into daily business practices.  Still not a believer?  “Employee Engagement 2.0″ Author Kevin Kruse provides powerful rationale in his recent article, “Employee Engagement Research (Master List of 32 Findings)”.

Disney is a great example of a company that believes in the power of engagement. In his book “Employee Engagement – Lessons from the Mouse House,” Pete Blank discusses his years at Disney World. Disney works hard to make sure everyone who works there is highly engaged and understands their impact on the customer, right down to the parking lot attendants. To fulfill their mission of creating lifetime memories for their customers, Disney can’t afford to only dedicate one day a year to employee appreciation. Their business depends on engaging employees all day, every single day.

How Disney Does It

Blank talks about how Disney creates an engaged workforce with all the tools available: employee development, team building, motivation, relationship building, leadership training and a day-in and day-out commitment to recognition. With a uniquely diverse range of positions for employees to fill, Disney employees can explore their career aspirations in various areas of the business making this process all the more challenging. Disney believes so strongly in team building and leadership training that they created the Disney Institute to train other companies in the Disney way.

Disney motivates employees by building emotional engagement, tying everything they do to Walt Disney’s original goals of creating a magical experience for every customer. Management trainees spend time in the parks dressed as beloved Disney Characters to better understand the experience of park visitors.  When the customer experience is everything to your business, employee engagement and recognition is a daily process.

Josh Bersin and Employee Recognition

Josh Bersin of Bersin by Deloitte has done research that shows employee recognition contributes greatly to organizational success, much more than traditional employee service awards for tenure. For the most effective employee appreciation results, Bersin found that recognition must be tied to specific results and behaviors, and is more powerful when related to company values and goals. His research showed that peer-to-peer recognition has more impact than recognition from leaders, although recognition from a direct manager is very powerful.

The Power of One Day

Although employee appreciation is most effective when incorporated into a comprehensive recognition or engagement program, there is value in special days to recognize and appreciate employees just like with Mother’s or Father’s Day.

Employee Appreciation Day was introduced in 1995 to remind employers that employee recognition is important. It’s an opportunity to thank employees for their hard work and dedication to your business. In much the same way, National Compliment Day started in 1998 to by Debby Hoffman and Katy Chamberlin to remind people of the power of compliments.

Take advantage of these special days to celebrate employees with a thoughtful note of appreciation, small gift, hosted lunch or fun activity.  Or use the occasion to kickoff a new appreciation program.  However you choose to say “thank you” to employees, it will be appreciated, valued by recipients and strengthen the emotional culture of your business.

To learn more about building a culture of appreciation, download our FREE Guide to Workplace Gratitude.  You’ll be amazed what it can do for your business!  Click the image below and start sharing your gratitude today.

Employee Appreciation Day

Employee Appreciation Day

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 Kiley, Chief 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.

Employee Appreciation Gift Certificates by gThankYou! Delight All

PDF Fan with CardResearch shows that acts of altruism, such as sharing gThankYou’s employee appreciation gift certificates, are as uplifting an experience for the giver as they are for the recipient.

Even better, such behavior fueled by compassion, kindness and generosity tends to spread “like wildfire,” according to studies reviewed by Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education — adding to the increasing body of evidence that emotions are as contagious as the common cold. (If you’re interested in reading about more compassion-related research, Huffington Post has a helpful RSS feed of articles from Project Compassion Stanford.)

Being compassionate often requires a shift in perception. On Huffington Post, Emma Seppala, Ph.D., illustrates the power of this mindshift with a Buddhist myth about lunch in hell vs. lunch in heaven. In hell, diners are placed before a scrumptious buffet but cannot eat because the forks are too long. As a result, the diners live in eternal frustration and hunger. In heaven, diners are placed before the same buffet and eat heartily by using the same long-pronged forks to feed each other.

“The same circumstances can be experienced very differently depending on our attitudes and behavior,” Seppala writes. “Scientific data suggests that compassion is the intelligent way.”

Here are three scientifically proven ways a generous act like sharing employee appreciation gift certificates can be a win-win for you, your employees and the overall culture at your workplace.

1. It inspires others. A researcher at the University of Virginia describes the feeling generated by altruism as a state of “elevation” — like a chemical high — and suggests this may be the force behind the chain reaction of giving. The appreciation you show coworkers and employees is likely to spark a wave of goodwill in your workplace that can affect even those who aren’t the direct recipients, such as clients or customers.

2. It’s energizing. Depression and anxiety — individual or collective — are linked to self-preoccupation, an energy-sapping emotional state that is draining on everyone who comes in contact with it. When you share gifts, you shift the focus to others and to a culture of giving. Self-absorption dissipates and your whole workplace is energized.

3. It breeds happiness. Generosity wakes up the “pleasure centers” in the brain — the same ones activated by chocolate, money and sex — and actually makes us happier than if we were just buying something for ourselves.

Speaking of happiness, Pharrell Williams sings in his hit song “Happy” that happiness feels like a “room without a roof.” It’s a great turn of phrase, and it also describes well the expansive potential that researchers have discovered in the act of giving. The more you give, the more you get and the happier everyone is. Try it today.

When was the last time you experienced the “chain reaction” effect of generosity? How do you spread altruism in your workplace?

For tips on sharing your employee appreciation, download our FREE “Ultimate Guide to Employee Gift-Giving” by clicking below.

 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.