Author Archives: Liz King

5 Ways to Give Better Workplace Compliments

workplace compliments take practice and forethought

National Compliment Day is all about sharing our appreciations, big and small. (via crimsong19, Flickr)

When was the last time you complimented someone at work or received a workplace compliment? (A real compliment: a piece of thoughtful, specific praise, not a simple “thanks” or “good job.”)

If it’s been a while, you’re not alone. Giving memorable compliments is a skill.

It also requires slowing down long enough to reflect on why you value someone else. With time at a premium and “busy-ness” the norm these days, compliments often get forgotten or neglected.

Now’s your chance to change that, and even if you’re already an awesome compliment-giver, to spread the joy of compliments even more!

Today, Saturday, Jan. 24, is National Compliment Day. What better time to improve your praise-giving skills? Read on to find out why compliments matter so much and how you can make them better.

The Power of Workplace Compliments

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Managing Post-Holiday Workplace Stress With Kindness

Best post-holiday workplace stress with kindness

Help your employees beat workplace stress by modeling healthy ways to react and cope. (Image via Celestine Chua, Flickr)

We don’t get a break from workplace stress after the stressful holiday season. In fact, January is the most stressful month of the year, according to a 2014 Friends Life survey of 2000 people.

Now, more than ever, it is important to engage with employees and support a culture of kindness and gratitude.

The busy whirlwind of the holidays can lead to a buildup of past-due work in January, compounded by staffing shortages during winter vacation season. This month is also a time when many people put pressure on themselves to keep their New Year’s resolutions — a difficult task when professional obligations are mounting and bills from holiday extravagances are due.

So, how you can help your employees navigate this stressful time of year? Beating workplace stress takes personal and organizational resilience. It also means going against some of our most basic instincts. But once you train yourself and others to react smarter to stress, your workplace will benefit tremendously!

Stress vs. Challenge

What is workplace stress, anyway? According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), stress can be defined as “the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources or needs of the worker.”

But isn’t a little stress good? Not exactly, according to NIOSH.

NIOSH notes a distinction between stress and challenge. Where stress demotivates and drains, challenge motivates and energizes. When we meet a challenge, we are rewarded with a sense of relaxation and satisfaction.

“Thus, challenge is an important ingredient for healthy and productive work,” NIOSH concludes.

Stress, on the other hand, has serious ramifications that go deep. Individually, it can lead to poor health and even injury. On an organizational level, stress is a disastrous problem that drags down productivity, quality and happiness.

The symptoms of stress — depression, loneliness, isolation — are now at epidemic levels and cost the economy billions of dollars, says James R. Doty, founder and director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE).

Job stress is “far and away” the major source of stress for American adults and has “escalated progressively” over the past few decades, according to the American Institute of Stress.

“In New York, Los Angeles and other municipalities, the relationship between job stress and heart attacks is so well acknowledged that any police officer who suffers a coronary event on or off the job is assumed to have a work-related injury and is compensated accordingly (including a heart attack sustained while fishing on vacation or gambling in Las Vegas).”

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Focus On 2015 Workplace Trends: Device Detox

2015 workplace trends: digital detox

Eyes glued to your phone at lunch? Try connecting offline instead. The Telegraph is calling “digital detox” the top 2015 workplace trend. (Photo via streetmatt, Flickr)

As we usher in these first few weeks of the new year, we’ll be taking a closer look at 2015 workplace trends. First up is the inclusion of “device detox” into everyday work life.

The Telegraph is calling “digital detoxing” the top workplace trend of 2015.  Google and other tech companies are “leading the charge” to incorporate periods of “living outside of cyberspace, free of gadgets and smartphones,”  writes the Telegraph’s Lisa Luxx.

Ultimately the most important focus in 2015 “will be ensuring that we don’t have to escape to far-away lands to get serious time off,” Luxx concludes.

A New Kind of Digital Detox

Taking breaks from technology is nothing new. The alternative magazine Adbusters popularized “TV Turn-Off Week” more than 20 years ago. As the Internet became the new medium of distraction and obsession, the magazine also urged people to take a “Digital Detox Week.” The aim was the same, says Adbusters founder Kalle Lasn: to curb addiction to technology and get people to connect with one another, not their devices.

Now device detox has gone mainstream.

“In 2015, digital detoxing will no longer be restricted to a secluded seven-day camp; we will start to integrate it into our everyday lives,” Luxx writes.

“Health advisers and clued-up employers will encourage digital detoxing in our daily lives in to give human beings the time and space they need to reach their full potential,” she writes.

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Make Gratitude One of Your Workplace Resolutions For 2015!

make gratitude one of your workplace resolutions for 2015

Image adapted from pictoquotes, Flickr

The new year is upon us! Have you made a commitment to your workplace resolutions for 2015?

One powerful New Year’s resolution to make for 2015 may surprise you. It doesn’t require deprivation, costly equipment or waking up earlier.

In fact, you can start practicing this resolution right away, with no preparation.

The resolution? To be more grateful and share your gratitude.

Read on to find out why gratitude is trending as an HR strategy and why your company’s workplace resolutions for 2015 are incomplete without it.

Gratitude Engages Overwhelmed Employees

Employee engagement has been gaining traction in recent years as an HR strategy to combat low retention and unenthused employees. This year it’s risen to the top. Engaging employees is now the leading challenge in HR, according to the annual Bersin by Deloitte report Predictions for 2015.

“Engagement, retention, culture and inclusion have become front-burner issues,” writes the report’s author, Josh Bersin.

Bersin and his researchers have found that “the overwhelmed employee” is one of the biggest challenges in business today. He explains:

“Workers are flooded with emails and conference calls; they check their mobile device 150 times a day; and, they feel as though they are flooded with demands on a 24/7 basis from colleagues around the world. Psychologists and neurologists tell us that people are multitasking too much, losing sleep and finding work more difficult than ever.”

Meanwhile, it’s easier than ever for employees to voice dissatisfaction with their employers, as LinkedIn, Glassdoor and other social media transform the transparency of the job market.

“If you think about it logically,” Bersin writes, “engagement is all a company really has.”

No silver bullet solution exists to the complicated, company-specific issue of engaging disengaged employees, but Bersin suggests that a focus on mindfulness and company culture can help.

The path to a healthier culture begins with leaders who communicate gratitude to employees and encourage a dialogue based on the principles of gratitude. To this end, Bersin’s model for a “Simply Irresistible Organization” includes:

  • Recognition-Rich Culture
  • Trust
  • Flexible, Humane Work Environment
  • Investment in People
  • Coaching & Feedback
  • Inspiration

Give Real Feedback, Not Stats

When it comes to performance feedback, the numbers-heavy annual review is out. Employees want real feedback, not meaningless stats delivered without explanation.

Spread workplace happiness via gratitude: workplace resolutions for 2015

Make sharing gratitude one of your workplace resolutions! (Photo via Sean Jackson, Flickr)

“New research on the neurology and psychology of work shows that numeric ratings, rankings and formal evaluations without positive feedback actually reduce performance,” Bersin writes.

Performance should be an ongoing, open topic of discussion with regular chances to check in. Bersin describes this as a “culture of conversations.”

When leaders are in ongoing conversations about individual and company performance goals, sharing gratitude not only comes naturally, it’s necessary to this holistic approach to communication. You’re not stamping a grade on an employee’s work — you’re letting them know exactly a) what they do well already, b) what they can do better and c) why it matters to the company.

Gratitude-rich feedback gets results by fostering a sense of “we’re in this together.”

Recognize Employees As People

The workplace used to be where you went eight hours a day, disconnected from the rest of your life. That’s changed.

“While many talk about the ‘new world of work,’ in reality we now have a ‘new world of life’ — one in which work, home, family and personal lives are completely interconnected in a real-time way,” Bersin writes.

In this “borderless workplace” where life and work mix and few leave their work at work, gratitude is critical to respecting your employees and coworkers as people first.

The workplace has historically been the last place appreciation gets shared, under the assumption that compensation alone is enough to keep employees happy. As lines blur between work, home and personal life, and employees move more freely between jobs, employers can no longer afford to perpetuate this callous attitude.

Gratitude Makes Us Happy

Besides a solid business strategy, gratitude is simply good for your health!

“Multiple studies show that people who express gratitude to others, and have a sense of thankfulness for the good things in life, experience much higher levels of well-being than those who don’t,” writes Dan Bowling, Duke University law professor and expert on workplace wellbeing, for Talent Management.

Saying “thank you” doesn’t just make the people who hear it happy, it makes you happy as well.

Make 2015 a year of gratitude for your company. Whatever other workplace resolutions for 2015 you have, they’ll all get a boost from a foundation of gratitude.

Want to learn more about the power of gratitude to transform your workplace? Click below to download our free eBook. A healthy program of workplace wellness is built on a foundation of gratitude. Start your transformation today!

Download your FREE eBook "Transform Your Workplace with 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.

Help Your Employees Recover From The Holidays

Help Your Employees Recover From the Holidays by Invigorating Your Workplace Wellness Program

Get moving! Invigorate your workplace wellness program for 2015 to help employees beat the post-holiday blahs. (Photo via MilitaryHealth, Flickr)

Now’s the time to invigorate your workplace wellness program for 2015 and help your employees recover from the holidays and beat the post-holiday blahs.

The risk for disengagement is high as workers return from vacation or back to their normal hours after weeks of holiday overtime.

The thrill of the holidays has passed. Parties are over, gifts unwrapped and bills on the way. Add to this the bitterly cold January temperatures hitting the northern half of the country, and the pressure of those New Year’s resolutions to eat better and get in shape, and you’ve got a recipe for an unhappy, distracted and unproductive workforce. The average for disengagement among U.S. workers is a whopping 70 percent, so don’t let post-holiday blahs get a chance to make it worse!

The causes of post-holiday blues vary and remain a topic of scientific research, but the cure — at least in the workplace — is re-energized employee engagement with a strong focus on workplace wellness.

TIME magazine predicts that workplace wellness programs will “burgeon” in 2015. Healthier employees are more productive, and forward-thinking companies have begun in recent years to recognize the importance of sustained, expanded efforts to keep employees healthy.

An effective workplace wellness plan needs more input than health-risk assessments and once-a-year seminars on healthy eating! Read on to find out what you can do this month to help employees recover from the holidays and make a great start to your workplace wellness plan for 2015.

5 Ways to Banish Post-Holiday Blues in Your Workplace!

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How to Distribute Workplace Gifts Like Santa!

How to distribute workplace gifts just like Santa!

Superstar gift-distributor Santa Claus is a model for how to distribute workplace gifts. (Photo via Roberto Verzo)

Nobody knows how to distribute gifts like Santa Claus!

How does he do it? Well, we’ll never really know all of Santa’s secrets, but the 2011 children’s movie Arthur Christmas has an elaborate theory on how Santa delivers all those gifts in one night.

According to the movie, Santa is able to make all deliveries in 12 hours because he has an arsenal of high-tech gadgets, a sleigh that’s four miles wide, and the help of one million elves out in the field and 25,000 more elves back at mission control headquarters at the North Pole.

As fun as it is to speculate, the real secret of Santa’s enduring and beloved gift delivery isn’t in his gadgets or the physics of his sleigh. It’s in the way he shares gifts. He radiates goodwill, personalizes each and every gift and inspires all with his hearty and heartfelt messages of holiday cheer.

Santa is a superstar gift-distributor and a great model for how to distribute workplace gifts. Read on to find out how you can follow the Santa model at your workplace.

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What Santa Teaches Us About Workplace Gratitude

The holiday season is an excellent time to exercise workplace gratitude!

All Santas and no Grinches — that’s what a thriving culture of workplace gratitude looks like. (Photo via Jon Oropeza, Flickr)

Santa Claus isn’t just the jolly old fellow who shimmies down chimneys to bring gifts to good children. He’s also an unofficial expert in cultivating workplace gratitude.

Just ask the elves at his toy workshop at the North Pole. They would all agree that Santa is a great boss! Sure, it gets busy in November and December, but Santa knows how to keep his workers happy, productive and engaged — all the while delighting his “customers” around the world with timely, personalized gifts.

All he asks for in return are a few cookies and a glass of milk. Ho ho ho!

Read on to find out what Santa and his elves can teach us about cultivating better workplace gratitude.

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Helpful Tips for Last-Minute Employee Holiday Gift Givers

It's never too late for employee holiday gifts with gThankYou!

It isn’t too late to bring holiday cheer to your workplace! (Photo via Steve Jurvetson, Flickr)

Need last-minute employee holiday gifts? Don’t stress! We’ve got tips that’ll make your gift-giving easy, meaningful and appreciated.

Now that it’s mid-December, we’re counting down the holiday season in days, not weeks. Time is of the essence, and even the slightest planning ahead steers clear of holiday gifts that are obviously rushed, thoughtless or generic.

USA Today recently cited a Consumer Reports study of gift-giving in the workplace. A whopping 30 percent of people agree that coworkers and bosses give the worst holiday gifts. Yikes! Don’t use procrastination as an excuse to add to that statistic.

Take a deep breath and follow these steps for sharing great employee holiday gifts at the last-minute (without letting it show).

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How Gratitude Helps with Holiday Stress

Exercise gratitude and smile! Don't let holiday stress bring you down.

Gratitude to the rescue! Don’t let holiday stress bring you down. Stay grateful. (Photo via mysza, Flickr)

Gratitude to the rescue! If holiday stress creeps into your workplace, try mindfulness and gratitude techniques to restore your sanity, be more productive and bring joy to those around you.

Although the holiday season is all about appreciation and togetherness, it ironically triggers disconnection and stress when we don’t actively exercise conscientious and grateful attitudes.

Ingratitude spreads quickly in social situations — the workplace included! Don’t give it time to spread. Read on for tips on how to use gratitude to beat common holiday stressors in the workplace.

Gratitude Remedies for Common Holiday Workplace Stresses

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The Secret to Great Employee Holiday Gifts: Gratitude!

What's the key to employee holiday gifts? An attitude of gratitude!

Relax and make gratitude the focus of your employee holiday gifts. In this photo, members of the North Dakota National Guard deliver holiday gifts to residents of a Veterans Home. (Photo via U.S. Army, Flickr)

If you’re in charge of employee holiday gifts, you’re probably under a lot of pressure right now. No boss wants to be remembered as the misguided (or worse — thoughtless!) workplace gift-giverdoling out frozen turkeys with no way to keep them frozen, a bag of bean soup mix, wrong sized logo-wear, or other too personal or disappointing gifts.

Fortunately it’s easy to avoid those terrible-gift scenarios altogether and share employee gifts that are meaningful to recipients and affordable for you!

doing employee holiday gifts right: The Gratitude Attitude

The secret of successful employee holiday gifts is in the overall company attitude. Are you sharing gifts because you feel obligated or because it makes the company look good? Uh-oh!

Gift-giving is a great business strategy for employee recognition and retention — even better than cash bonuses, according to recent research — but your efforts are at risk of falling flat if you lose sight of why we share gifts: to show appreciation.

Attorney Harley Storrings, contributing writer at Biz Journals, advises against any ungracious gift-giving. His recent column, “5 Guidelines for Holiday Gifts in the Workplace”, is a helpful, practical how-to on workplace gift-budgeting and communication. He concludes with one piece of advice that really gets to the heart of gift-giving:

“… always remember that the point of office gift exchanges is to express our appreciation for colleagues and managers in a meaningful and tangible way. Most problems arise when gifts are exchanged for other reasons.”

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