Author Archives: Liz King

10 Secrets of Successful Employee Recognition Programs

Employee recognition programs done right build successful workplace cultures!

Successful employee recognition programs have lasting impact. (Photo via NYC DOT, Flickr)

Employee recognition programs are a major investment for most companies, yet much of this investment is wasted on recognition that doesn’t work.

A study by Bersin & Associates found that 87% of the $46 billion market for employee recognition programs goes toward ineffective tenure-based recognition.

“What our research found was that tenure-based rewards systems have virtually no impact on organizational performance,” writes lead researcher Josh Bersin in a Forbes column, “New Research Unlocks the Secret of Employee Recognition.”

“Did you stay an extra year at your last job so you could get a 10-year pin? I doubt it,” he writes.

Tenure-focused employee recognition programs were developed more than a century ago in response to pressure from unions, according to Bersin. The spirit of these efforts was in the right place, but now we know better.

The latest science shows employees respond better to on-the-spot, peer-to-peer and results-based recognition. Not only that, but researchers are finally documenting the incredible effect that successful employee recognition programs have on a company’s overall performance.

Do you know what all successful employee recognition programs have in common? Read on to find out.

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The Magic of On-the-Spot Recognition

On-the-spot recognition gets instant results!

On-the-spot recognition gets instant results!

On-the-spot recognition gets instant results. When you recognize employees right away, the benefits start right away!

“A year-end cash bonus doesn’t give an immediate sense of gratification for a job done today, and it may not address what’s on an employee’s mind today,” writes Eric Mosley writes in Forbes article, “Incentives vs. Recognition: How Do You Get Your Employees Engaged Again?”

The once-a-year recognition party is good for show, but ultimately it doesn’t affect day-to-day performance and is a weak employee motivator in the long run.

“Recognizing [an employee] with a thank you, a gift card of his choosing or even a personal day off can take you very far. Such on-the-spot recognition, done year-round, inspires ongoing motivation and high performance,” Mosley writes.

It’s time to make recognition an ongoing, everyday activity. Read on to find out why on-the-spot recognition is so effective — and much easier to carry out than you think!

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Want A Culture of Workplace Gratitude? Stop Multitasking.

gThankYou! workplace gratitude

When you focus at work, your capacity for workplace gratitude expands. (Photo via Alessandro Valli, Flickr)

Are your employees missing out on a shared culture of workplace gratitude because everyone is too distracted?

Multitasking was once thought to be the pinnacle of efficiency.

Now, a new generation of researchers and workplace experts argue that focus is the secret to productivity, innovation and compassion.

When we focus, we’re more likely to be “in the moment” with people and appreciate what they do. We’re also more likely to finish our work quickly and thoroughly so we can relax in social settings.

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Nurse Engagement: Why Everybody Wins

Nurse engagement in the workplace makes for healthier, happier patients!

Image via American Nurses Association

National Nurses Week ends today, Tuesday, May 12. How do we maintain nurse engagement and celebrate nurses throughout the year?

By making nurse engagement a fundamental part of healthcare workplace culture, of course!

When healthcare organizations focus on nurse engagement, nurses feel appreciated and engaged every day.

Patients and their families benefit, too!

At least 30 years of research consistently demonstrates a link between nurse job satisfaction and patient outcomes, according to the article, “Why Nurses’ Job Satisfaction Matters to Patients.”

Happy patients, in turn, helps boost gratitude and nurse engagement.

Want to keep this cycle of appreciation going? Read on for everyday tips to build nurse engagement — and patient satisfaction.

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New Hires Need Employee Recognition, Too!

Employee recognition is crucial to your workplace well-being!

Employee recognition is a key component of onboarding. Make your new hires feel welcome! (Photo via Hey Paul Studios, Flickr)

Employee recognition needs to start from day one. Your new hires will feel welcomed and be more committed when you share your gratitude with them right away!

Two common misconceptions about employee recognition impede effective onboarding experiences for new hires.

One misconception is that recognition is only for big milestones like work anniversaries. The other is that routine job duties don’t deserve “thanks.”

Not true! Everyone loves to hear praise for their everyday accomplishments.

Read on to find out how your employee recognition program can include new hires from Day 1.

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The Comeback of the Employee Thank You Letter

The handwritten employee thank you letter is still the best way to convey your workplace gratitude

The handwritten ‘Thank You’ letter is still the best way to convey your workplace gratitude. (Photo via williamarthur, Flickr)

The handwritten thank you letter – a relic of the pre-Internet age – is making a surprise comeback.

It was long banished from the business world as outdated or quaint. Now the handwritten employee thank you is gaining traction because it cuts through the digital noise!

“We all love being thanked. But if you want to make a real impression, I believe that a physical missive wins hands down over a text or an email, in business circles,” writes Josaphine Fairley in her Telegraph essay on the renewed relevance of the handwritten Thank You letter.

Fairley is just one of many business leaders who are speaking up about their love of the handwritten thank you letter.

a Handwritten employee Thank you Note shows you care

How many unread emails are in your inbox? Do you fantasize about achieving “inbox zero” and feel like you’re playing Whac-A-Mole to get there?

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Celebrate Workplace Learning for National Teacher Day!

National Teacher Day is today!

Don’t forget to #ThankATeacher! (Photo by

Does your workplace celebrate National Teacher Day? It should! Learning happens daily in a healthy workplace culture.  And, you can celebrate teachers all week in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week.

Workplace learning keeps employees engaged, happy and innovative.

National Teacher Day is a chance to thank the people at your company who make workplace learning and mentoring happen. National Teacher Day is also your opportunity to reflect on the importance of learning and curiosity to employee engagement.

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Why It’s Important to Celebrate World Laughter Day

We're celebrating World Laughter Day gThankYou! Are you?

World Laughter Day is for spreading happiness! (Photo via bowena, Flickr)

World Laughter Day is this Sunday, May 3.

We celebrate World Laughter Day by laughing. It’s that simple!

Even fake laughter will do. No joke. You can “fake it ’til you make it” with laughter. Real or not, laughing is aerobic and exercises underused muscles.

In this way, laughter is a symptom and a cure. People show enjoyment through laughter, but forced laughter also has spectacular benefits. Eventually, you’ll be laughing naturally.

According to experts, laughter is an indispensable method for building teamwork, motivation, happiness and engagement.

That’s why celebrating World Laughter Day this Sunday is so important in the workplace. It’s an opportunity to help your team loosen up and laugh together — and hopefully start a daily tradition of laughter that can be sustained throughout the year.

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Your Secret Weapon: Instant Employee Recognition

Instant employee recognition drives engagement and reinforces desired behaviors.Instant employee recognition shows workers that you value them and reinforces behaviors that you want to encourage.

In fact, says a Rideau post, “Instant Recognition”:

“The most effective kind of recognition is immediate and instant recognition. This kind of recognition truly makes the link between the recognition received and the behavior exhibited. Immediate recognition is the most powerful, effective and meaningful recognition available.”

Instant recognition elicits great work

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5 Reasons to Celebrate Administrative Professionals Day!

Join gThankYou! and celebrate Administrative Professionals Day!

Happy smiles at last year’s Administrative Professionals Day Breakfast at Fort Valley State University in Georgia. (Via FVSU, Flickr)

Happy Administrative Professionals Day!

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the secretaries, admins, executive assistants, office managers, receptionists and other support staff who keep organizations running smoothly.

There isn’t much glory in administrative work, but it’s essential to organizations.

In celebration of Administrative Professionals Day, we’re sending out a big “Thank You!” to admins everywhere. Read on for five reasons admin employees are awesome — in ways you might not realize — and why they deserve your deepest gratitude on Administrative Professionals Day (and every day).

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