Tag Archives: great ways to say Thank You

Employee Recognition: Sincerity Counts

If your gratitude doesn’t feel sincere to your workforce, it won’t yield the positive results you’re hoping for.

gThankYou! Employee Gifts - Trust Photo “When you recognize your employees and show thanks to them, do you fake it?”

That is the question, says the intro to “Gratitude and Employee Recognition,” a #TCHAT Radio show by TalentCulture World of Work Community on BlogTalkRadio.

“Maybe or probably not, but does it seem like you do, to them?” the intro continues. “That’s a conundrum, how organizations can project genuine gratitude and authentic recognition. We’re not saying you don’t mean it, but your employees need to know you mean it.”

Positive Feedback Delivers Outstanding Results

TalentCulture founder Megan M. Biro hosts the show with co-creator Kevin W. Grossman. The expert guests are author and blogger Ted Coine, along with Rob Catalano of Achievers.

TalentCulture community members participating in the related discussion articulate their strong belief in “the value of simple, sincere interaction, and a culture that encourages recognition when it’s deserved.”

“ … Acknowledgement keeps employees on a path for engagement and productivity. Positive feedback fuels individuals and teams to continue delivering outstanding results. And in the aggregate, it keeps organizations focused on key success factors, and drives business momentum,” the TChat summary says.

Biro echoes the sincerity theme in her Forbes article, “5 Ways Leaders Rock Employee Recognition.”

“[That need makes] the human touch so important to effective recognition,” she writes.

Recognition Drives Productivity and Revenue

And Gallup researchers contend that employee recognition is a powerful driving force behind employee engagement, notes Roy Saunderson, co-host of Real Recognition® Radio in “Engaging Employees with Recognition.”

Gallup found that as its scoring methods found differences in the amount of recognition employees received, productivity and revenue—even retention of loyal customers—changed by 10% to 20%.

“It is an amazingly simple concept to give people the praise and recognition they deserve,” Saunderson writes.

It’s Simple: Mean What You Say

Take the time to think through what you’re going to say so it comes from your heart. If you mean what you say, look employees in the eye, and give specific, timely examples of accomplishments you’re grateful for, employees will know you’re sincere.

Then, advises Saunderson, simply:

  • Thank them for doing good work.
  • Express concern for their well-being.
  • Demonstrate respect in day-to-day activities.
  • Celebrate their successes.
  • Acknowledge their achievements.
  • Honor those who have made significant contributions to your company.
  • Appreciate the little things people do for you and others.

Don’t Take Employees’ Efforts for Granted

“This simple act of acknowledging and recognizing people is so taken for granted that nearly 20% of employees leave organizations because of insufficient recognition,” Saunderson writes.

How do you know when someone’s workplace thanks are sincere?

gThankYou! Ultimate Guide to Employee Gift-Giving

Click to Download your FREE Guide to Employee Gift-Giving 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.

10 Tips for Writing Employee Thank You Notes

The humble handwritten thank you note can boost your company’s bottom line, believe it or not.

gThankYou! Thank You Note

A recent Forbes article by Josh Bersin, founder and principal at Bersin by Deloitte, illustrates the point. His article, “New Research Unlocks the Secret of Employee Recognition,” cites his company’s comprehensive research project on employee recognition showing that organizations giving regular thanks to their employees far outperform those that don’t.

Companies scoring in the top 20% for building a “recognition-rich culture” actually had 31% lower voluntary turnover rates.

That makes sense to Geil Browning, founder of Emergenetics International. In an Inc. Magazine article,  “How to Thank Your Employees in Only 8 Words,” she writes:

“When you recognize the contributions of others, you reinforce the kind of behavior you want to see again. People who feel their efforts are noticed, and their work makes a difference, are more likely to go the extra mile in the future. Leadership is about empowering others to realize their own abilities. Communicate your belief in your people, and watch them rise to meet your expectations.”

Put another way, recognizing employee’s contributions shows you’re paying attention and that you care. It makes people feel valued. When you write a thoughtful note of gratitude, it’s also a permanent keepsake reminder.

Browning quotes business guru Tom Peters:
“People don’t forget kindness.”

Her research at Emergenetics suggests most employees appreciate personal thank you notes, if they’re personalized and meaningful. To be meaningful, notes should be specific and prompt. And to reward behaviors you want people to repeat, be sure to recognize efforts involving those behaviors.

Browning offers 10 tips for customizing thank you notes to celebrate employee strengths, according to brain-related research:

  1. The “gift of gab” is a work asset for gregarious people. You might write: “I celebrate how you share your enthusiasm,” or “Thanks for keeping the lines of communication open.”
  2. For quieter people you could say: “I prize your well-considered solutions,” or “I appreciate your respectful attitude toward everyone.”
  3. For assertive people, try: “Thank you for keeping the momentum going,” or “I appreciate your decisive action.”
  4.  More easygoing people who want everyone to get along might appreciate: “Thank you for helping to keep the peace,” or, “I appreciate your amiability more than you know.”
  5.  To flexible, change-seeking workers who don’t get flustered easily you might write: “I recognize your easy resilience” or “Thanks for how you handled [difficult client].”
  6. To focused staffers with strong opinions, try: “I depend on your support,” or “I honor you for your convictions.”
  7. Analytical thinkers might value: “I appreciate your penetrating questions,” or “I respect the depth of your knowledge.”
  8. For structural-minded, detail-oriented people, consider: “Thank you for transferring all that data perfectly,” or “You always meet your deadlines—impressive!”
  9. Social thinkers want to please you, so you could write: “I’m so grateful for your team building skills,” or, “I couldn’t have done it without you.”
  10. Conceptual workers who want to feel unique might value: “Your solution to the XYZ problem was stunning,” or “I treasure your creative long-term views.”

Bersin’s research also showed the effectiveness of rewarding employees for:
1.  specific results and behaviors and,
2.  making thank yous public.
Consider displaying a list of employees you’ve recognized in your company newsletter, on bulletin boards, or via social media.

The best practices his research project uncovered also recommended including peer-to-peer recognition and making it easy for employees to recognize each other frequently.  For more on new “social” peer-to-peer recognition, you might enjoy Incentive Magazine’s article, “The Pressing Case for Peer-to-Peer Recognition” by Andrea Doyle.

How often and on what occasions do you write employee thank you notes? Do you ever have peers write thank you notes to peers?

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.

Employee Gifts Beat the February Blahs

Did you know that February is National “Blah Buster Month”?gThankYou! Sad & Happy Smiley FacesWell, according to Oracle Education Foundation’s ThinkQuest it is.

For a lot of people, it’s true at home and it’s true at work. So as a businessperson, how do you help employees beat the blahs?

One great way is to create opportunities for physical activity.  Could be the flexibility for free time to allow employees to exercise, a workgroup party – bowling, laser-tag or outdoor skating, or a hands-on community service project.  Physical work is good for one’s spirit and one’s body.  Add some teamwork with it and you have a win, win for all.  That’s the key for some My Fitness Pal members.

Member “Scoobiesnax” posted “The February ‘Blahs.’ how do YOU beat them …?” saying:

“So the dreariest month of the year is upon us, and for many people (especially those who live in a colder climate as I do here in Ontario, Canada) it tends to be the hardest month to stay motivated … what [are] people … doing to stay motivated and fresh during this dull time of year?”

Fellow members answered:

  • I’ve started Vitamin D recently but not sure just how much it’s helped…
  • I take full advantage of every sunny and non-rainy day by going outside to run/walk and get fresh air.
  • I’m adding an hour to 2 hours every evening of Badminton … I love it!

Exercise is certainly healthy and uplifting, plus research shows it’s good for your your business, not just your employees.  Another great way to lift employees’ spirits is a small gift.  Indeed, at the American Express small business site Open Forum, writer and teacher Jacob Harper, formerly with Top Story Weekly, writes in “5 Easy Ways to Brighten Your Employee’s Days”:

“With all the responsibilities that come with being a boss, it can be tempting to overlook your role in maintaining your employee’s happiness. But some of the best leaders will tell you even small gestures can make a tremendous impact on company morale and, in turn, the success of the business overall. 

Give a small gift. Listen. Does an employee rave about a favorite lunchtime spot or coffee bar? Get them a gift certificate so their next few visits will be on your bill.”

What about a favorite food? Or an informal workgroup pizza lunch?  Showing your recognition and interest helps lift’s spirits; share your attention and thanks broadly so your whole organization benefits.

Whatever delights your employee, there’s likely a gThankYou! Gift Certificate of Gratitude to match.  Just add a smile, handshake, sincere thanks and watch your employee shed the blahs. Just like that.

Here’s an employer who knows how to give a gift. Watch “Kyle Goes to the World Series.”

Here’s the story: “If you’ve been to the UC Davis Coffee House at some point these past couple years, you’ve met Kyle. And I’m pretty sure he waved at you with the biggest smile, and greeted you like you were one of his closest friends. 

 With the help of his CoHo coworkers and their spontaneous donations, this goober got an extra special surprise after Game 1 … a ticket to see his favorite team play in the World Series, ticket and transportation costs covered completely.” 

You may not generate quite as much joy as University of California, Davis Coffee House, or CoHo, did with its expensive gift, but your employees will definitely appreciate an infectious smile and your appreciation. It’ll banish the blahs and make them think of you. Happy February!

How do you help your employees beat the February blahs? How do you chase away your own blahs?

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.

Employee Appreciation Best Practices: Zoosk Throws Holiday Parties

Zoosk LogoZoosk.com works hard and plays hard – and that translates to employees feeling engaged and excited about working for the company.

gThankYou! Holiday Office Party

Thinking beyond — or in addition to — the checkbook when giving employee gifts lets staff members know they’re appreciated, writes Inc. Magazine’s Sara Hottman in “How to Choose a Holiday Gift for Your Staff.”

She quotes Paul Vagadori, senior human resources director for San Francisco-based Zoosk.com, an online dating community: “We work hard, we play hard.”  Check out the Zoosk.com blog – it looks fun to work there!

In his fast-paced company, Vagadori knows how important it is to show employees the company values and appreciates their stellar efforts. “We want to show them we’re willing to invest time and money for what they do,” he tells Hottman.

Parties help build a sense of team and boost morale, and Vagadori hosts several during the holidays:

  • A Thanksgiving potluck — the company springs for entrées and each employee brings a favorite dish.
  • A fun pub event in mid-December—everyone enjoys beer and snacks.
  • A formal gala at year-end — a professional photographer takes pictures as  employees and their dates play games and hit the gambling tables, and everyone gets a framed photo at the end.

The company gives other holiday gifts, too.

  • Extra paid time off — so employees can be with family and friends.
  • Bonuses — merit-based gifts for going above and beyond.
  • Small, useful gifts — nice travel mugs with the company logo, or gift certificates of gratitude.
  • Opportunities to give back to the community — a giving tree, where employees take tags and buy gifts for a family in need, and a food bank.

“We have a healthy competition over who can bring in the most weight in food,” Vagadori says to Hottman. “This way, individuals who work in a nice environment, and who are happy to have jobs can give back. It’s nice to be on the giving end.”

Be creative and make it personal when you give workplace gifts during the holidays and year-round. You’ll more than reap the benefits in employee retention and goodwill.

What’s your plan for holiday giving this year? SHRM’s annual survey says 72% of employers plan to host holiday parties this year – do you?

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 Secret to Successful Employee Gifts

So you bought your employees gift certificates for a holiday turkey or ham, or maybe a pie or some ice cream. Don’t just stuff them in workplace mailboxes. The way you give employee gifts is even more important than what you give.

Employee gifts should be given in person whenever possible.

Make your gifts as meaningful as possible by distributing them personally, with a handshake, big smile and “thank you!”.   An employee who feels valued has better morale, productivity and loyalty.  Make sure your personal delivery conveys your sincere gratitude for employees’ hard work for you.

Recognition only has meaning when it comes from someone who benefits from employees’ performance: their managers.

  • If you have human resources staff distribute your gift certificates, it’s impersonal and a poor use of resources.
  • Human resources can order your gThankYou! gift certificates, but managers should deliver them personally, with a smile and a handshake.
  • If that’s not possible, managers should write a personal note to include with each employee’s gift certificate.

Public recognition
Most employees appreciate public recognition, too. You could host a gathering with simple refreshments and call employees up to the front of the room, one by one, to receive their gift certificates along with your personal thanks — and maybe deliver a positive anecdote about the employee’s performance.

Writer Brock Boser’s article at online self-improvement community SelfGrowth.com, “Are Corporate Awards and Corporate Gifts Beneficial in the Workplace,” notes that a company’s success depends on its employees and their abilities. Gifts help you attract and retain talented employees. They also reassure employees that you appreciate their hard work and dedication. Boser writes:

 “These kind gestures will not only build your relationships but will help you build the company by utilizing its maximum potential.”

But the Seattle Post Intelligencer’s Workplace Wrangler blog, in an entry titled “Motivating Employees in the 21st Century,” cites author Daniel Pink’s  TED conference talk. Pink wrote the acclaimed “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.”

In his speech, Pink notes that “when it comes to motivation, there is a huge gap between what science knows and what companies do.”

So it’s not surprising that, as reported in Toronto’s Globe and Mail, a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers and OfficeTeam shows that 33 percent of workers in North America believe their manager fails to recognize them.

Remember—the interaction between a manager and an employee is more important than the gift itself.  It’s an opportunity to show your sincere gratitude and build long-term trust and loyalty.

How does your workplace distribute employee gifts?

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.

Make Workplace Gifts Work for You

Workplace Gifts are not the easiest to choose given tight budgets, but done right, they can make recipients feel valued and appreciated.gThankYou! Thank You Note  Holiday time or anytime.

At gThankYou! we believe a handwritten “thank you” note goes a long way to making any workplace gift special.

Tory Johnson, workplace contributor for Good Morning America and CEO of WomenForHire.com, lists her top-four employee gift tips in Winning Workplace Gifts:

  1. Cash, gift certificates and gift cards are always top the list of favorite gifts.  Now more than ever.
  2. Avoid anything too personal. If you’d rather buy a gift over giving money, avoid overly personal gifts such as perfume, lingerie, liquor or religious items.
  3. Make a donation in your recipient’s honor to the charity of your choice.  This is especially good if you need a non-cash idea or you don’t want the value of your gift revealed.
  4. Remember, don’t re-gift, because you never know who will recognize that cute knick-knack you received last year.

Do it right!
As an article by Laura T. Coffey, contributing editor at NBC News’ Today page, Office gift-giving: Pens good, body spray bad,” says:

“Do it right, and you can make your boss, coworkers, clients and assistants beam with a warm and happy glow. Do it wrong, and—hoo-boy. Pray for:

a) Mercy
b) Short memory spans

To be clear, gift-giving at work certainly isn’t mandatory. But if you’re going to do it, stuff these particular stockings with the greatest of care. Small, thoughtful tokens of appreciation are ideal, gift-giving experts say.”

Workplace gifts do not need to break the bank.  That’s why so many businesses choose gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude for affordable yet meaningful gifts of food – such as a whole turkey or ham for the holidays.

Give it some thought
But it’s the thought that counts, right? That’s what Sue Vering, creative director at global ad agency Draftfcb, asks in a Chicago Tribune article.

The answer? Sherri Athay thinks it’s one tired cliché, Vering writes. Athay, with husband Larry, wrote Present Perfect: Unforgettable Gifts for Every Occasion as well as the upcoming books Present Perfect: A Guide to Global Gift Giving and Present Perfect: A Guide to Business Gift Giving.

“Every time I hear someone say ‘it’s the thought that counts’ as an excuse for just giving anything, I think to myself, `No. It’s clear you just didn’t give this any thought,’” Athay says in the article.

It’s true, you do have to think first before buying employee gifts, but some items are tried and true.

Have you started your Workplace Gift planning for the holiday season?  Let us know if you have found great ideas for your workplace you would like to share.

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are one of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand whole Turkey or half or whole 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 free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo, and ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
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.

Engaging Employees as a Strategic Tool

It’s no secret that praise produces better results than criticism. But the way top companies use this tool as a strategy to drive business success is a story not widely told.

According to research from Gallup Inc., engaged employees are more productive, profitable, more customer-focused and safer. Plus, they’re more likely to stick with a job. Says Gallup:

“The best-performing companies know that an employee engagement improvement strategy linked to the achievement of corporate goals will help them win in the marketplace.”

How does it work? Take the example given by Doug Conant, Campbell’s Soup CEO. Blogging in the Harvard Business Review’s The Conversation, Conant explains how he developed engagement as a business practice and why. As is often the case with the best ideas, it grew out of personal experience.

Conant was able early in his career to develop the analytical skills he needed to succeed in business only after initial failure. He succeeded after moving to a division that fostered employee growth through encouragement. It led him to a firm belief that offering a pat on the back is the best way to engage employees:

“Over the years, I’ve worked on acknowledging others for their efforts. I’ve managed to marry tough-minded performance standards with tender-heartedness.”

How does engagement affect the bottom line? According to Gallup research, companies with “world-class engagement” have 3.9 times the earnings per share growth rate compared with those in the same industry with lower engagement.

Creating an engagement program can mean a mindset change, described by Gallup as requiring, “a year-round focus on changing behaviors, processes, and systems to anticipate and respond to your organization’s needs. From the leadership team to the frontline employees, all levels within an organization must commit to making these changes.”

In his journey at Campbell’s, Conant notes three elements that have worked well for him:

  1. Make it personal: Conant describes how he takes a “direct, sincere and authentic” approach to establish trust and build a solid foundation for the relationship from the start.
  2. Seek celebration opportunities: How? “My executive assistants and I spend a good 30 to 60 minutes a day scanning my mail and our internal website looking for news of people who have made a difference at Campbell’s,” he explains
  3. Go old school with Thanks: Your mom and grandma were right — again. Writing Thank You notes make a big difference. Says Conant, “Believe it or not, I have sent roughly 30,000 handwritten notes to employees … over the last decade.”

Conant’s engagement strategy has been credited for turning the company around over the past decade. No real surprise. After all, it doesn’t take a lot of research to know that a pat on the back means more than a slap on the wrist.

Share with us your employee engagement success story.

Business Gifting Best Practices Revealed!

At gThankYou, we’re  in the fortunate position to learn and share information about how corporate gifts – to employees, customers or friends — impact business. Study after study as well as documented experiences shared by firms we serve reveals that corporate leaders practicing workplace gratitude gain a lot of what we like to call Thanks Equity. It can be measured in engaged employees, loyal customers and a healthier bottom line.

As another year comes to a close, it’s fitting to look back and share the best information we’ve found in the past year plus, a best practices of corporate gifting of sorts.

  1. How to engage employees? Just add dirt
  2. Gaining worker buy in by offering an office recess.
  3. Making Thanks easy by lowering the transaction cost.
  4. Timing is everything, except when it comes to workplace giving.
  5. What to give: It’s truly the thought that counts.
  6. Creating awareness with recognition.
  7. Health and happiness through giving.
  8. Recognition helps gain competitive advantage.
  9. Giving builds customer loyalty.
  10. Gifting is the best recruitment and retention tool.

More innovative corporate leaders are recognizing the value of Thanks Equity. You probably won’t find it on any P&L, but it does mean a lot to an organization’s health. Please share with us your stories of how workplace gifting helps your company.

Look to the Professional Gift Pros

Those in the business of Thanks rarely get a chance to see it in action first-hand.  But that’s what happened recently when gThankYou was among a select group of professional gift pros highlighted in a story in the October Business Beat Magazine. The feature in the publication of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce explores the wide array of opportunities for giving professional gifts, noting that many firms choose to recognize employee accomplishments and occasions.

The heart of the message: “a gift lets you know you’re appreciated.”

And that’s really at the heart of why we’re here, to help company leaders appreciate employees, customers and friends. But it’s how we help that means the most to both employees and employers. Explains gThankYou President Rick Kiley of our popular Turkey Gift Certificates, the gift that launched it all and continues to be popular during the holidays, particularly around that season of gratitude, Thanksgiving:

“It’s so convenient for employees, and gives them flexibility and choice. They can redeem the certificate at their convenience and choose the turkey that suits them. It’s a very meaningful, highly visible gift that puts the employer front and center.”

That convenience and meaning allows gThankYou certificates convey appreciation in a way that builds relationships and engages employees.

It’s a rare treat for us to have such an “aw, shucks” moment. But having our work highlighted in this way gives us a glimpse of the appreciation that comes through recognition. Sort of a validation that what we’re doing really works. It certainly has given us a boost to work even harder to spread Thanks around.

Growing Engagement: Just add dirt

What’s an instant recipe for growing  morale? Just add dirt.

Some companies have  found a fun and innovative way to engage employees by providing an unlikely benefit: a vegetable garden. This growing trend was recognized as one of the best ideas in Human Resources recently.

Minneapolis PR and branding company Haberman & Associates  spent about $10,000 last year to start a garden for its employees.  “It’s creating that water-cooler effect,” the article quotes company co-founder and chief executive Fred Haberman “People have a greater excitement [about] working at Haberman.”

Haberman’s off-site garden, called the “Dude Ranch,” was recognized by Human Resource Executive magazine editors as one of the  “Best HR Ideas for 2010.” You can follow the company’s growing season, or get tips on how to start an employer-sponsored garden yourself, at the project blog.

The National Gardening Association says vegetable gardening is up about 20 percent, although it’s not clear how much of that is done by companies. But a growing number of firms have taken up the hoe including Google, Yahoo, Kohl’s, PepsiCo and Twisted Limb Paperworks, which began a 1,500-square-foot garden outside its offices to boost engagement, as this Washington Post story relates.

University of Maryland business professor Paul Tesluk says a garden can encourage camaraderie, help in recruiting and differentiate a business from competitors. Perhaps it’s time to plant a row for employee morale and engagement and, of course, to just say Thanks!