Did you get the memo? Today’s Employee Appreciation Day! Not that you shouldn’t be doing this every day, but today is a special day to show them you care.
Here are a few ways companies show gratitude on a continual basis:
- HP empowers employees, personalizes rewards, and does good. Through leveraging Good Cards®--gift cards for charity—the company rewards all-star employee volunteers with a gift that gives back. Employees who have met their quarterly volunteering goals receive a $50 Good Card.
- OfficeMax supplies appreciation with its surprise parties for teachers. A Day Made Better, a partnership with Adopt-A-Classroom, is a one-day-only event that awards over 1,000 teachers +$1,000 each in school supplies. 98% of OfficeMax employees strongly agreed the program made them proud to work for the company; the remaining 2% simply agreed.
Did you know showing recognition is one of the three top factors to measure engaged your workforce is? Did you know employee engagement is a virtuous cycle?
It looks like this:
employee feels valued-->engagement level increases-->productivity grows-->motivation rises
In preparation for next week’s Employee Appreciation Day (March 7), we’re excited to share our friends at Quantum Workplace have released a comprehensive—and fun!—guide to think creatively about engaging your employees.
Below is a curated selection of their ideas. Definitely download the highly-skimmable whitepaper for the whole list.
#1) Happy Anniversary!
Nothing says, “You’re appreciated!” like celebrating the day each employee joined your workforce. Big company? Modify your celebrations.
- Delegate party planning to team leaders and let each department honor employees with their own celebrations.
- Set aside one day each year to celebrate. (Save the Date: National Employee Appreciation Day is March 7!)
We’re pleased to share our newest guide sponsored by Quantum Workplace, Engaging Millennial Employees: Recruit and Retain Top Talent with Cause. Here’s an excerpt:
Generation Y has been imbued with a sense of responsibility. Millennials feel responsible for themselves, their neighbors (both virtual and physical), their communities, and their planet. They grew up learning the importance of recycling and using less water, and that their actions directly affect their communities. In return, they believe that companies—their employers—have a responsibility to them, their society, and the world.
Although they acknowledge the bottom line, they also believe that companies need to give back some of what they’ve earned to contribute to the greater good. They see smart ways for companies to do this, too, such as transparency in reporting, sustainable business practices, and using company products and services for good. According to Jay Gilbert in the Ivey Business Journal, the single biggest threat to Millennial employee retention is a company’s reputation. Why is this so important?
Frequently cited as flaky and narcissistic, Millennial employees actually have multiple positive traits that can act as a boon to your brand. When leveraged correctly, the generation’s affinity with cause and tech savvy directly relate to your company’s recruitment and retention strategies.
We're pleased to share our new eGuide, Engaging Millennial Employees, that explores these techniques and provides you with the tools to recruit and retain top talent.
Here are two ways to win with Millennial employees:
1) Loyalty to Responsible Brands
The reputation of your brand is of utmost importance. A study on Millennials and the workplace found that when a company’s reputation suffers, so does employee morale.
In fact, it found that “employer reputation is the most frequent engagement threat.” A reputable brand, however, gives employees bragging rights and increases loyalty. If you want employees to be your ardent supporters, keep up the charitable work.
Recruitment Strategy: Think Like Tory Burch
As the fashion company interviewed potential employees, they realized a funny thing: Interviewees were drawn to the company’s cause work.
“[Our philanthropic work] is attracting amazing talent. When we interview people, one of the first things they bring up is the [Tory Burch] Foundation. They bring it up. We don’t. And that’s really exciting.” – Tory Burch
Try it! Incorporate charity into your company’s hiring posts. Note what giving opportunities exist and why.
It’s resolution time. Chris Brogan sets New Year’s goals around 3 words that “will become part of the way you identify yourself, and thus, a guiding light for your efforts.”
Here are 3 words to jumpstart your impact goal setting process.
We're pleased to bring you our top 10 blog posts of 2013!
#4: 5 Steps to Get Cause Supporters to ‘Want to’ Vs. ‘Have to’
Nir Eyal, who explores life at the intersection of psychology, technology, and business, recently posted a fascinating account of new research on giving behavior. A meta-analysis of several research studies finds that when you add a magic phrase at the end of an appeal you can double the likelihood of getting a ‘yes’ for your cause campaign.
What is the magic phrase? It’s ‘but you are free to accept or refuse.’
Highlighting the choice people have to support your cause empowers them. The exchange becomes a proactive decision to help, as opposed to a guilt trip or obligatory, ‘have to’ task. We learn at a young age that we don’t like being told what to do, and unfortunately, we don’t outgrow our compulsion to avoid the things we feel obligated to do.
Free will is a powerful motivator. As Nir points out, the phrase ‘but you are free’ neutralizes that compulsion to reject being told what to do.
How can you use this lesson to help supporters want to join your cause campaign?
We're pleased to bring you our top 10 blog posts of 2013!
#8: Employee Engagement in 2013
Employment branding via social impact is here to stay. More and more, companies are realizing the power of community investment and cause programs to enhance employee loyalty and attract quality new hires. Here are 3 trends shaping employee engagement programs in 2013:
Showing your employees your company cares about social impact is just the first step. The bigger benefit for your employment brand is showing your employees you care about what they care about. It’s all about enabling the ‘Helper’s High’ – a verified chemical reaction in the brain causing a feeling of euphoria after doing good. When your company enables that feeling in your employees, they associate their passion for a cause or doing good with your company.
(Charity rewards include pre-paid donations in the form of charity gift cards, ‘dollars for doers’ volunteer incentives and matching grants to charities selected by employees.)
Liquidnet DoubleDown matches the personal contributions by employees of money, volunteer time and fundraising efforts to worthy causes.
How can consumers measure which companies are engaged with their communities? Fortunately, there’s a survey for that. The Civic 50 was created by Points of Light and the National Conference on Citizenship, and published by Bloomberg.
Here are some of this year’s survey highlights:
- Corporate community involvement isn’t a one-off activity. Companies are institutionalizing programming—92% can describe senior resolutions and/or directives that embed this programming into the company’s policies and practices.
- Civic engagement leads to holistic analysis. 96% of the Civic 50 measure the business impact of community initiatives; results include a boost in employee satisfaction and the bottom line.
- Employees are getting their hands dirty. Civic 50 companies are increasingly adding opportunities for employees to volunteer. Plus, 88% have community involvement as an employee performance criterion.
- Companies giving back win recruits. Potential hires are more likely to choose to work for a company that not only prioritizes civic engagement, but incorporates it into the hiring process.
Super Typhoon Haiyan left communities devastated, homes decimated, and residents in need of support.
Through our giving portal, nearly $4 million in donations was raised by individuals and companies to aid those affected by the typhoon. Companies of all shapes and sizes provided disaster relief through corporate philanthropy dollars, matching grants, employee-driven campaigns, and in-kind donations.
Here’s a look at some of the responses:
- Music for Relief joined forces with our partner CrowdRise to raise donations for Haiyan relief. Depending on the gift amount, donors could be entered to win prizes, including tickets to popular concerts.
- MLB donated $200,000 to charities responding on the ground to disaster relief. Newmark matched the first $25K, and the site surpassed its goal in no time.
As today is the day before Thanksgiving, we’d like to take a moment to appreciate someone very special to us…you!
Thank you for all you do to bring good into the world. Your company and coworkers (and likely family and friends) benefit from your hard work.
We at Network for Good wish you a festive holiday and charitable giving season.
Please remember that Tuesday is #GivingTuesday, a movement to add a national day of giving to the lineup of post-Thanksgiving shopping days. We hope you’ll join us in giving charities the support they need as we round out year-end.
If your company would like to get involved, but hasn’t had the time to devise a plan, consider giving your employees the gift of charity. You can email charity gift cards to recipients and view the causes they support online.
How are you showing thanks tomorrow?
Image credit: Pinterest user Debbiedoos