Author Archives: Liz King

Celebrate Labor Day History with Employee Gratitude

gThankYou employee gratitude

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

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

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

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

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

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

A day for big-picture appreciation

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

gThankYou employee gratitude

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Download Free eBook, "Workplace Gratitude" by gThankYou!

About gThankYou, LLC

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

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

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

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

Research Shows Virtual ‘Thanks’ Boosts Workplace Gratitude and Happiness

co-workers sharing workplace gratitude

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

Workplace gratitude may literally be at our fingertips.

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

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

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

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

sharing workplace gratitude through social media

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Download Free eBook, "Workplace Gratitude" by gThankYou!

About gThankYou, LLC

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

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

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

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

Holiday Employee Gift-Giving for a Distributed Workforce

holiday employee gift-giving

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

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

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

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

Ordering is a snap

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

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

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

Gifts for every budget and taste

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

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

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

Meaningful to share

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

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

CTA

About gThankYou, LLC

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

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

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

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

Proposal to ‘Split HR’ Sparks Lively Discussion

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

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

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

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

What Does It Mean to Split HR?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Libby Sartain, commenter: Be the sounding board

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

Harsha R., commenter: Create a realm of specialists

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

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

Carol Anderson, TLNT: Infuse HR with an operational mindset

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

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

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

Jonathan Magid, commenter: Dissolve HR

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

Sarah, commenter: Engage HR in the overall company mission

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

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

George Chernikov, commenter: Leverage Big Data

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

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

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

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

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

Morag Barrett, commenter: Seek diversity

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

amalobo, commenter: A sports analogy

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

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

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

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

Download Free eBook, "Workplace Gratitude" by gThankYou!

About gThankYou, LLC

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

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

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

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

Why Employee Engagement Matters Even More in Times of Crisis

employee engagement picture

When times are tough, we need open, authentic communication, trust and a little extra TLC to go around. (Photo via Ganesha Balunsat, Flickr)

How do you approach employee engagement when nobody is in the mood?

The news recently is filled with distressing and downright heartbreaking stories, some close to home and some far away. Bad news seems endless, from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza to the devastating Ebola outbreak in West Africa to the drinking water emergency in northwestern Ohio — plus ongoing economic worries.

Reading and hearing about so much suffering can have a profound effect on our collective psyche and put us in a negative mood, even when we aren’t personally touched by a crisis.

“We’re facing a situation I’ve always feared — things might actually be as bad as we make them sound on cable news,” Stephen Colbert quipped last week. The Comedy Central star coped with the onslaught of depressing news by pouring himself progressively stiffer drinks until he was throwing down whiskey like apple juice. The segment ended with him chugging rubbing alcohol as the audience cheered him on.

Back in real life, though, how do we cope? We need open, authentic communication, trust and a little extra TLC to go around. Whether the crisis is immediate and personal or simply a case of bad-news fatigue, set a positive example for employee engagement in your workplace by inspiring everyone to look out for each other (and themselves).

“In good times, employee engagement is the difference between being good and being great,” James K. Harter, Gallup’s chief scientist of workplace management and wellbeing, told the Gallup Business Journal. “In bad times, it’s the difference between surviving and not.”

Let’s take a closer look at how to survive —and even thrive — in times of crisis.

Open, authentic communication

Faking a good mood until you feel better is a tried and true trick for getting out of a funk. But it has its limits. When we’re feeling down or angry, sugar-coating or masking our feelings can be exhausting. Instead, authenticity and opening up to others often makes us feel better, and offers a chance to connect with others beyond a superficial level.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has good advice for the steps you can take to increase the authenticity of your communication — particularly in how we share our “truth” and how we choose to convey failings.

Trust

Engagement is in fact one of the top response behaviors toward building trust, according to an Entrepreneur infographic on step-by-step trust-building. In practice, this means not shutting people down or discounting their views, but instead inviting them to open up.

Simply listening, without judgment and without waiting to insert our opinion, can be a powerful tool toward transformation — and healing. For more on listening as a tool of transformation, check out our recent post on the topic.

A little extra TLC

Sometimes we all just need to give ourselves and each other a break. Promote and model “self-care” to employees. To get you started, PsychCentral has “3 Self-Care Strategies to Transform Your Life.”

When discussing self-care with employees, it’s important to stress that self-care isn’t selfish. In fact, the exact opposite is true: when we take better care of ourselves and pay attention to our own needs, we’re exponentially growing our ability to pay attention to and help others. What is selfish? Stressing everyone out around us with the inevitable fallout when we ignore our own needs.

And don’t forget to show appreciation

Even in the midst of crisis or a collective “slump,” words of appreciation have special power to inspire and motivate. Say “thank you” more than usual. Compliment on a project well done. Don’t be shy in dishing out praise or encouragement. Sometimes all it takes to bring us out of a funk is a smile or an unexpected kind word.

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

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

Download Free eBook, "Workplace Gratitude" by gThankYou!

About gThankYou, LLC

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

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

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

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

Loyalty to Ousted Market Basket Leader Shows Power of Employee Appreciation

Employee Appreciation at Market BasketA developing story about a grocery chain’s CEO and his workers is giving new meaning to the phrase “employee appreciation.”

Employees at the Massachusetts-based Market Basket are pushing for their recently ousted CEO, Arthur T. Demoulas, to be reinstalled. Demoulas’ firing is the latest in a decades-long feud between members of the Demoulas family that runs Market Basket. Demoulas was replaced in June by a board controlled by his cousin. (For more background, inbound marketing leader HubSpot has an in-depth analysis of the saga on its blog.)

Employees are showing their appreciation for Demoulas’ leadership by coming together in large numbers to protest his firing. Some have even quit, putting the company and its stores at risk. The Boston Globe reported that thousands of Market Basket workers turned out to a rally last week in support of Demoulas. The employees demanded the return of their beloved CEO by cheering “Ar-tie T!” and waving flags made of out of Market Basket plastic bags.

“Such an outpouring of goodwill for a millionaire CEO from hourly wage workers confounds our sense of how business in America works today. We’re much more accustomed to workers protesting their company’s policies,” writes Boston journalist Luke O’Neil for Slate.

In this unfolding story, customers are now boycotting Market Basket stores in support of employees and Demoulas. Just yesterday Market Basket announced plans to replace dissident workers in a “hardball” move says Gary Chaison, a professor of industrial relations at Clark University.

So how exactly did this CEO — affectionately called Artie T. or Uncle Arthur T. — become so revered by his employees that it’s driving employee protests? Because employee appreciation goes both ways at Market Basket. The support that employees are showing Demoulas now is a “thank you” for the decades of appreciation Demoulas has shown them.

Arthur T. Demoulas has an employee appreciation record that makes him a role model for company leaders in any industry.

Here’s how he did it.

1. Good pay

Experience is rewarded at Market Basket. An experienced cashier can make over $40,000 a year, and experienced managers can make six figures, according to Slate. As a result, many employees stick with the company for decades — practically unheard of in an industry where employee retention is typically measured in months, not years.

2. Great benefits

Market Basket matches about 15 percent of annual pay to a retirement fund, in addition to providing stipends for college and substantial bonuses throughout the year. As CEO, Demoulas looked out for the financial interest of employees even when times got tough for the company. In 2008, he “made sure the company made up for a loss of $46 million that the profit-sharing fund suffered during the economic crisis,” according to Slate.

3. Personable leadership

HubSpot’s Lindsay Kolowich describes Demoulas as “the kind of rare leader that defied the traditional gap between executives and the rest of their workforce.” As a CEO, Demoulas showed a deep, personal appreciation for his employees, and did so in a way that inspired an entire company culture of appreciation.

A website organized by employees, We Are Market Basket, puts it this way:

“He walks through the stores and warehouses and truly knows the people, not just their names but their families, kids etc…Arthur T Demoulas is more than respected in our company, he is revered by all.

“Market Basket is so much more than brick and mortar buildings that sell groceries, Market Basket is an ideology that exists in every one of us, our culture is tied to this ideology and our ideology exists only with Arthur T Demoulas as our leader.”

4. People over profits (but not instead of profits)

Demoulas proves that caring about people doesn’t negate financial success. Indeed, Market Basket is an American success story. A Greek immigrant couple opened the first store in 1916, and the business has stayed in the family. Now the low-priced grocery chain, valued at $3 to $3.5 billion, has 71 stores with more than 25,000 employees throughout the Northeast.

The chain can afford to keep prices low and keep its employees well-compensated because of smart business practices that aid retention, according to the Boston Globe article “How Market Basket Keeps Prices Low.” Experienced employees at every level means more efficiency, better customer service and a happier work environment.

5. In it for the long haul

Arthur T. Demoulas could walk away, still a rich man, and wash his hands of Market Basket, but he’s reportedly seeking to return to the company and buy it outright. Boston Globe’s Shirley Leung wrote in a recent editorial that his return to the company, however it happens, is the right course of action.

“If happy, loyal workers are what made the chain what it is today — a regional grocery juggernaut with a cult-like following – the company has lost that advantage,” she wrote. “If Demoulas Super Markets Inc. wants a shot at getting it back, the board needs to give workers what they want: Arthur T.”

However the Market Basket leadership decides to move forward, there are two important takeaways to keep in mind from the current situation: 1) a single person can set the tone for employee appreciation within a company, and 2) once that tone of employee appreciation takes hold, it become a company culture that is infinitely bigger and stronger.

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

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

Download Free eBook, "Workplace Gratitude" by gThankYou!

About gThankYou, LLC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why jargon can’t express true gratitude

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

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

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

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

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

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

what’s so bad about jargon, anyway?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back up jargon with ‘honest, clear talk’

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

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

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

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

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

Click the image below and start sharing your jargon-free gratitude today!

Download Free eBook, "Workplace Gratitude" by gThankYou!

About gThankYou, LLC

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

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

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

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

Why Workplace Generosity Matters

Workplace Generosity Image

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

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

Let’s unpeel the layers of workplace gratitude.

Corporate Giving

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Generous Energy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Generating Generosity

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

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

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

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

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

Click the image below and start sharing your gratitude today!

Download Free eBook, "Workplace Gratitude" by gThankYou!

About gThankYou, LLC

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

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

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

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

The HubSpot Model for Employee Engagement

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

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

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

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

“Great culture, people and benefits.”

“HubSpot is the hot spot.”

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

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

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

1. Know Why Culture Matters Today

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

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

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

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

Employee Engagement HubSpot Style

 

2. Hire Smart

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

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

3. Identify Purpose, Distribute Widely

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

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

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

Importance of shared knowledge: Employee Engagement Bests

4. Embrace Change

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

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

5. Create an Environment for Creativity and Competition

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

6. Have Leaders Who Walk the Talk

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

Most importantly, they model the behavior they espouse.

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

7. Invest in People (Even After They Leave)

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

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

The Payoff

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

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

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

Click the image below and start sharing your gratitude today!

Download Free eBook, "Workplace Gratitude" by gThankYou!

About gThankYou, LLC

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

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

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

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

5 Mini Case Studies to Inspire Workplace Gratitude

workplace gratitude in action

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

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

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

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

1. The Chair That Keeps On Giving

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

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

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

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

2. ‘Ha Ha’ Thank You

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Milwaukee’s ‘Downtown Employee Appreciation Week’

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

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

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

5. All in a Day’s Play

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

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

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

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

Click the image below and start sharing your gratitude today!

Download Free eBook, "Workplace Gratitude" by gThankYou!

About gThankYou, LLC

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

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

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

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