Author Archives: Liz King

Disengaged Employees? Here’s How to Hook Them

Disengaged employees? Practice workplace gratitude and get back on track!

Hook disengaged employees with genuine connection, clear communication and gratitude. (Photo via hoffnungsschimmer, Flickr)

Disengaged employees cost the U.S. economy $450 billion to $550 billion each year in lost productivity, according to Gallup’s comprehensive “State of the American Workplace” study.

Behind this astronomical figure are real people and real companies struggling with near epidemic levels of disengagement. Disengaged employees are more likely to show up late, miss work, waste time and drive away customers.

Disengaged employees are a plague in the workplace, but they’re also an opportunity. Each of them — yes, each and every one! — wants to do good work and wants to be engaged. No one starts a job intending to disengage!

Turning around disengagement is not only possible, it’s a process you can start today by helping managers change their attitudes and employee communication. The antidote to disengagement begins with managers who initiate genuine connection, positive communication and frequent gratitude with employees.

Hook your disengaged employees and see them as an engagement opportunity, not a liability! Read on for employee engagement tips you can start using right away.

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Take a Break! Vacations Drive Employee Engagement

What's most surprising about these employee engagement trends?

New vacation trends capitalize on the employee engagement potential of time off. (Photo via faungg’s photos, Flickr)

The latest trends connecting vacation and employee engagement emphasize time off in ways that may surprise overworked Americans!

Americans are taking less vacation time than at any point in the past 40 years, according to an Oxford Economics study for the U.S. Travel Association, based on an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data and a June 2014 survey of 1,303 workers.

Shockingly, shrinking vacation time is by choice! American workers collectively lose 169 million days of paid time off each year by choosing not to take them— a financial loss of $52.4 billion in benefits (averaging $504 per employee).

Do companies at least reap the benefits of a more productive, dedicated workforce? Not at all! The Oxford Economics study finds that unused paid time off is of little benefit to anyone.

Contrary to popular opinion, more time at the office does not correlate with employee or employer success. The more unused paid days off an employee has, the less likely they are to receive a raise or bonus and the more likely they are to be stressed — and stressed employees are a liability and hidden cost for employers!

“America’s work martyrs aren’t more successful. We need to change our thinking. All work and no play is not going to get you ahead — it’s only going to get you more stress,” says Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association.

Current vacation trends follow this line of thinking and challenge traditional assumptions about time off and productivity. Read on to find out why savvy HR leaders are pushing for flexible, creative vacation time that actually boosts employee engagement.

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Finding Workplace Gratitude In the Midst of Stress

Workplace gratitude matters most when feel least like practicing it!

Workplace gratitude matters most on the days we don’t feel like practicing it. Try it — you’ll be glad you did! (Image via Kate Ter Haar, Flickr)

Some days, workplace gratitude comes so easily — everyone’s in a great mood, projects are coming along smoothly and the outlook is positive.

Other days — well, even finding one thing to be grateful for can feel like a challenge.

Yet it’s on these days, in the midst of stress, that workplace gratitude sustains us, fuels our happiness and keeps us on track!

As we gear up for World Gratitude Day this Monday, Sept. 21, take a few moments to reflect on the ways you can encourage a daily practice of workplace gratitude, especially on days when everyone would rather not. It’s on those days that you’ll discover the most engagement power from practicing gratitude!

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Engaging A Distributed Workforce: Kevin Sheridan Insights

Learn about engaging a distributed workforce with employee engagement expert Kevin Sheridan!

Kevin Sheridan, employee engagement guru and author of “Building a Magnetic Culture” and “The Virtual Manager”

Kevin Sheridan is one of the most sought-after voices on the topic of employee engagement and, in particular, engaging a distributed workforce.

As an upper-level Human Capital Management consultant with over 30 years of experience, Sheridan has helped some of the world’s largest corporations successfully rebuild a workplace culture that fosters productive engagement. He shares secrets of his award-winning, industry-changing innovation in his two books, “Building A Magnetic Culture” and “The Virtual Manager”.

I was delighted to have the opportunity to chat with Kevin Sheridan recently about the challenges and rewards of engaging a distributed workforce.

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Workplace Gratitude Stories to Inspire

How does YOUR business practice workplace gratitude?

Let your workplace gratitude shine! (Image via Julie Jordan Scott, Flickr)

Workplace gratitude benefits are universal, but there are many different ways to build it! The good news for workplace leaders is that there’s no formula or “one-size-fits-all” approach. Building a culture of appreciation is unique to your company culture.

However, this can also intimidate a company that’s just getting started! Where do you even start? General goals may be clear, but the plan for getting there is uncharted territory.

That’s why hearing real life examples of workplace gratitude helps you understand what might work in your workplace. Engaging employees is a creative endeavor, and we’re all inspired by stories about how companies big and small spread a culture of gratitude among employees.

As you settle back in after the Labor Day holiday — and perhaps dig into your 2016  engagement planning! — take a few minutes today to read about workplace gratitude in action.

The three companies we’re profiling today vary in size, industry and culture. The one thing they have in common? Great workplace gratitude.

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Retention Problems? Build a Thank You Culture

Build a thank you culture in your workplace!

Start building your thank you culture today!

Build a thank you culture in your business and you’ll have loyal employees and a sustainable competitive advantage.

Workplace culture is top of mind for many companies as the economy improves. In fact, as Forbes contributor Josh Bersin writes in “Culture: Why It’s The Hottest Topic In Business Today,” employees’ bargaining power has increased:

“We have a retention crisis. New Deloitte research shows that culture, engagement, and employee retention are now the top talent challenges facing business leaders. More than half of business leaders rate this issue ‘urgent’—up from only around 20% last year.”

Check out Bersin’s company culture assessment tools and keep reading for tips on building thank you culture in your workplace!

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#BK2HK: The Amazing Power of Workplace Kindness

Let gThankYou! help you practice workplace kindness!

Workplace kindness can be as simple as a genuine smile and “How are you today?” (Image via Kate Ter Haar, Flickr)

Celebrate workplace kindness in the coming days for “Be Kind to Humankind Week”!

Like kindness itself, Be Kind to Humankind Week (#BK2HK) has spread far and wide thanks to one individual’s actions.

In 1988, founder Lorraine Jara was heartbroken by a story about a young man who died after several people refused to assist in a boat rescue in frigid waters. When asked for permission to use his radio antenna to call for help, one passing boater reportedly said, “We don’t want to be bothered.”

Jara started Be Kind to Humankind Week as a way to encourage kindness in memory of the young man.

“People need people; it’s as simple as that! In order to have the power to make the world a better place, we must first change our attitudes for the better,” she writes on her website.

Not all acts of kindness are a matter of life and death, but even simple choices in how we interact on a daily basis are powerful. In the workplace, a culture of kindness keeps your company robust, healthy and happy.

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How to Engage Senior Citizen Employees

Do Employee engagement right on National Senior Citizen Day with gThankYou!

Senior workers need engagement too! (Photo via Caspar Diederik, Flickr)

On Friday, we celebrated National Senior Citizens Day. As seniors citizens’ ranks grow, be sure you have a plan to engage senior citizen employees!

The role of senior citizens in society has changed dramatically in recent decades. They’re the fastest growing age demographic, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and they’re choosing to work now more than ever. Workplaces especially need to adapt.

Seniors in the workplace crave engagement (like the rest of us) and opportunities to learn and add value.  Don’t miss out on all the contributions their maturity and experience can add to your workplace!

Read on for tips on how to engage senior citizen employees and why it’s increasingly important in today’s workplace.

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How B Corps Build Lasting Employee Engagement

Building lasting employee engagement with a B corporation!

Ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s got certified as a B Corp in 2012. (Photo via Flickr user m01229)

Want to build sustainable, lasting employee engagement?

Incorporating or getting certified as a Benefit Corporation — or B Corp is trending among for-profit companies committed to high standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. It fosters engaged workforces that share ownership in this commitment!

Financial success and social good attracts and retains talented employees, according to the New Yorker article “Companies with Benefits.” Survey data indicates piqued interest in socially conscious companies, especially among young people seeking a greater sense of purpose in their work.

“As individuals, we try to make our work not just profitable but also meaningful. It may be time for more companies to do the same,” writes the New Yorker’s James Sorowiecki.

Read on for an intro to Benefit Corporations and Certified B Corps and to find out how a commitment to social good improves employee engagement.

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The Secret to a Perfect Turkey Gift Program!

gThankYou! knows a thing or two about a solid turkey gift program!

Your employees will appreciate being able to stock their fridge — at their convenience — with the centerpiece to their holiday feast! (Photo via USDA, Flickr)

August is the ideal time to start planning your employe turkey gift program!

Thanksgiving is just three months away. The sooner you have your program logistics in place, the more time you’ll have this holiday season to focus on augmenting your turkey gift program with personalized gratitude, holiday parties and seasonal employee engagement activities.

Why give the gift of a turkey?

The gift of food is “the sincerest demonstration of gratitude you can find,” writes Today columnist Laura T. Coffey in a post about office gift-giving.

As the centerpiece to the holiday feast, turkey gifts evoke family togetherness and the joy of the season. They’re not just meaningful — they’re practical, too! That makes them the perfect gift for busy working families who value convenience and time together.

Wondering where to start? We’ve got you covered! The secret to an effective turkey gift program — planning to implementation — is surprisingly simple.

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