Author Archives: Liz King

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).

Continue reading

Build Workplace Camaraderie on Earth Day!

Build workplace camaraderie by celebrating Earth Day and Arbor Day as a team!

Build workplace camaraderie this week by celebrating Earth Day or Arbor Day with a volunteer project. (Photo via PSNH, Flickr)

Workplace camaraderie depends on the shared attitude among employees that “we’re in this together.” This attitude is a major building block in the creation of a thriving, happy and engaged workplace culture.

This week offers two of the best holidays of the year for building workplace camaraderie.

This week, celebrate Earth Day (Wednesday, April 22) and National Arbor Day (Friday, April 24). Your local Arbor Day date may differ based on the best local tree-planting times. Check the Arbor Day Foundation’s guide to regional Arbor Days dates across the U.S.

Earth Day and Arbor Day are unique holidays. They focus on celebrating by working together for a better environment and healthier planet.

These are the holidays when we roll up our sleeves and get to work: planting trees, cleaning up litter, helping with a meadow restoration, recycling electronic waste, getting educated and educating others, and other activities that make the natural world around us more enjoyable.

Continue reading

Plan Ahead for Administrative Professionals Day

Employee recognition done right on Administrative Professionals Day!

Administrative Professionals Day is Wednesday, April 22. (Creative Commons photo via highwaysagency, Flickr)

Plan your recognition now for Administrative Professionals Day — next Wednesday, April 22 — and send a clear message to your admin staff that their work is not only crucial to your operation, but appreciated.

They deserve your recognition now more than ever.

Administrative professionals in today’s workplace are swamped with responsibilities, according to a recent Staples survey.

According to the New York Times article “Assistants, Yes, But They Can Do It All,” the digital era puts administrative professionals at the front-line of new technology adoption and synthesizing large amounts of information.

Read on to learn more about the rapidly-changing role of support staff and the best ways to communicate your gratitude on Administrative Professionals Day.

Continue reading

How to Make Forbes’ Best Employers 2016 List

Forbes Best Employers 2015 - New York Fire Department

Employee happiness grows in a culture of appreciation. Congrats to the Fire Dept. of New York who ranked 17th out of 500 in Forbes’ Best Employers 2015. (Photo via Johan Lange, Flickr)

If cultivating employee happiness came easily, there would be no need for Forbes’ first-ever ranking of America’s Best Employers.

But employee happiness (and retention) is a top challenge now, and starting this year Forbes is recognizing those who successfully rise to it.

The magazine released its Best Employers 2015 list in late March and has been analyzing and explaining the results in-depth since then.

Want your company to make the 2016 list? Read on for insights from the 2015 list that illuminate the future of employee happiness and what HR departments need to know to cultivate it.

It’s important to note that the Best Employers list is limited to companies with head counts of 2,500 or more, but Forbes has a separate annual survey later in the year of America’s Best Small Companies — so all employers have equal opportunity for recognition.

Continue reading

3 Ideas for April Fool’s Day Workplace Fun

Promote workplace fun this April Fool's Day!

Promote workplace fun on April Fool’s Day, but encourage employees to think carefully before playing pranks. (Photo via Jake Sutton, Flickr)

Workplace fun has proven benefits. It engages employees, builds teamwork and sparks creativity.

But things gets a little trickier on April Fool’s Day. How can employees celebrate a day made for practical jokes without losing focus and productivity?

April Fool’s Day is a hazard in the workplace, if not approached in the right spirit.

Pranks fly — or tank. Either way, they can be a distraction if not planned well. Once we’ve all had a good laugh, who’s going to pop and remove the 600 balloons from the break room, or peel off the aluminum foil that a prankster used to cover every square inch of the boss’ work area? A thoughtless prank can cause serious annoyance and even hurt feelings. On the other hand, an employee or department that isn’t pranked could feel left out of the fun.

Still, the answer to a smooth April Fool’s Day in the workplace isn’t a humorless No Jokes Allowed memo from HR.

To balance workplace fun and productivity on April Fool’s Day, be proactive. Your employees can have fun and get work done on April 1st — read on to find out how.

Continue reading

5 Examples of Workplace Gratitude in Action

workplace gratitude in action - first day on the job!

This is what workplace gratitude looks like! LSUchick142 posted this photo to Flickr after her first day at a new job. (Creative Commons)

What does workplace gratitude in action look like?

Beyond the data, the research studies and advice from experts, what are companies actually doing right now to successfully show appreciation and build gratitude among employees?

We regularly scout out and highlight the best current examples of forward-thinking or compassionate workplace gratitude (see previous posts here and here).

This time around we discovered more mini-case studies of employers building gratitude, whether they’re doing it with a special one-off celebration or through years of dedication to build a vibrant workplace culture.

5 Mini-Case Studies of Workplace Gratitude

If your company’s employee appreciation program is feeling stale, read on for inspiration and ideas to rejuvenate it!

Continue reading

International Day of Happiness in the Workplace!

International Day of Happiness Poster

Share Your Happiness at #InternationalDayofHappiness!

International Day of Happiness is coming up this Friday, March 20. It’s a fantastic opportunity to celebrate your employees and coworkers and spread happiness in your workplace.

The history of International Day of Happiness goes back just a few years, originating in a United Nations resolution adopted in 2011 that recognizes happiness as a “fundamental human goal” and calls for a “more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes the happiness and well-being of all peoples.”

In 2012, the UN created the holiday — to be held every year on March 20 — at a conference called “Happiness and Well-being: Defining a New Economic Paradigm.” The first official International Day of Happiness took place the following year.

Now, celebrations are coordinated by Action for Happiness, a non-profit movement of people from 160 countries, supported by a partnership of like-minded organizations that includes The Huffington Post, Just Giving, Project Happiness, Mental Health Foundation, Columbia University and GNH Centre Bhutan.

Continue reading

Why Workplace Trust Needs To Be Sustainable

workplace trust must be sustainable

Build workplace trust to last. (Image adapted from OpenSourceWay and Kishore Nagarigari, Flickr)

Last month, Inc. published a collection of 30 quotes to inspire workplace trust.

The list of quotes, compiled by Lead From Within president and CEO Lolly Daskal, quickly gets across a core truth about trust: it is a volatile emotion.

Trust is easily won, and just as easily broken. If neglected, trust can sour to mistrust or, even worse, fear.

We live in increasingly mistrustful times. A 2014 Pew Research study found that just 19 percent of Millennials say most people can be trusted, compared with 31 percent of Gen Xers and 40 percent of Baby Boomers.

This is good and bad news for building workplace trust. Your younger employees may not be as quick to trust as their older peers — so you’ll have to work harder to earn their trust — but the Pew study also found they’re more optimistic.

It’s important now more than ever to build sustainable workplace trust. Since trust is so volatile, employers who want trusting employees will need to mindfully and purposefully build a culture of trust every day.

Read on for tips for building sustainable workplace trust, and to find out the common way many managers undercut employee trust without even knowing it.

Continue reading

Why Workplace Optimism Builds Success

workplace optimism breeds engaged, dedicated workers

Optimistic employees are motivated, engaged and dedicated. (Photo via NYC DOT, Flickr)

Optimists get a bad rap, but the glass really is half full on the path to business success.

A growing body of research proves that workplace optimism develops happier, more dedicated, more engaged employees and acts as a self-fulfilling prophecy for success.

Optimism is linked to lower risk of coronary heart disease, better self-regulation and faster recovery from stress and an “energetic, task-focused approach” to goals.

But how does increasing workplace optimism build business success? Like all improvements to workplace culture, it requires dedication from leaders, consistent communication across the organization and positive reinforcement within the workforce.

Read on to find out why optimistic employees are happier and work harder (even in adverse circumstances), how pessimists self-sabotage, and why workplace optimism is a genesis for other positive workplace traits.

Continue reading

Rethinking Employee Engagement

employee engagement makes for a happy workplaceEmployee engagement—which studies show is a critical success factor for businesses—is evolving as demographics, societal priorities, and technologies change. So does the word still fit today’s businesses or have we moved beyond engagement to something more?

Is Employee Engagement Passe?

In a Forbes article, “It’s Time To Rethink The ‘Employee Engagement’ Issue,” Josh Bersin, founder of Bersin by Deloittecites his firm’s 2014 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends research, which shows 78% of business leaders rate retention and engagement urgent or important.

“When I talk with HR leaders they talk consistently about retention issues, they carefully watch their Glassdoor ratings, and businesses all over the world are trying to build an inclusive, passionate, multi-generational team,” he writes. “In fact, I believe the issue of ‘engaging people well’ is becoming one of the biggest competitive differentiators in business.”

He suggests using the word engagement limits our thinking.

“It assumes that our job is to reach out and engage people, rather than to build an organization that is exciting, fulfilling, meaningful, and fun.”

Bersin posits potential changes:

“We may need to change the way we manage people (end appraisals?), change the work environment (open offices? nap rooms? ping-pong tables?), and change who we hire (are we hiring the right people for our mission, culture and values? Are we assessing well?). All these things tend to go well beyond the typical engagement survey.

Financial institutions today tell us that they are having a harder time recruiting people because they are no longer “cool” places to work. This isn’t a traditional problem of engagement, it’s one of identity, mission, and culture.”

Continue reading