Why You Have To Care For Your Customers Now More Than Ever

As the world unites to contain the COVID-19 crisis, companies’ concern for their customers increases day after day. Never underestimate how necessary it is to let your customers know how important they are to you and prioritize their interests to keep their trust and loyalty. It is key to find ways to help your clients overcome this crisis. Next, we analyze some keys ideas that can help you in management of your clients during the COVID-19 crisis:

Connect With Your Clients

We recommend that you connect with your customers to genuinely and authentically understand how they feel. Take the initiative to call them, and above all, be interested in knowing how they are and how they are going through this moment. They are probably uncertain about the future and have feelings that will inevitably coincide with yours.

 

Let your customers know how important they are. Remember that many of your clients also have clients, so that optimal communication can reach an even larger audience. Also, if you work closely with your clients during difficult times like today, it may translate into stronger relationships in the near future.

 

The customer is the protagonist, and you have to make them feel important to you and your business. By asking, you will be showing that you care as a person and not only for the money they pay to buy your products or services. 

Understand Their Needs

 

Put yourself at your clients’ service and help them by putting yourself in their shoes to understand their needs in these troubled times. Make yourself available by offering solutions proactively, facilitating moral support, and connecting them with other organizations to establish alliances to overcome these moments. The help must be genuine, without expecting anything in return and avoiding placing your products or services on them.

 

If your clients know that you care about them and that you support them to get ahead, they will be happy. And if they are happy, they will surely buy more, strengthen ties and recommend you. When you give yourself to your clients, they want to feel that same satisfaction of helping you out.

Add Creativity to Your Communication

When the waters are calmer, the competition will be fierce, and the desire to sell will be enormous. Start working on your communication now and give it a special touch.

 

Remember that, according to John Maxwell, life is 10% of what happens to us and 90% of how we react to it. Love what you do, put yourself at your clients’ service, and, above all, respond to emerge stronger from this crisis, achieving the much desired yes of your clients. Take care of your clients so that they take care of you and your business!

Mid-Year Reviews In A Pandemic Atmosphere

Performance evaluation models are currently experiencing a change of paradigm. Productivity will no longer be seen in the same way as before. Goals and KPIs will be dynamic, competencies must align to this new era, and performance conversations must shift to other scenarios. This opportunity is an excellent excuse to redefine rigid and difficult-to-do performance management models. 

 

Agile models with continuous actions are stepping in. These include feedback and coaching focused on the future, evaluation processes in shorter periods, with different evaluators according to data and information they have from the collaborator. 

 

How do we evaluate employees’ performance at such a challenging time? And how do we make sure we’re fair given everyone’s different circumstances? How to streamline the process to obtain the indicators that will be needed at the end of the year?

 

Here are some do and don’ts to take into account when carrying out mid-year reviews in your company:

 

  • Jot down brief notes for each of the topics you want to evaluate. It does not matter if you leave something aside; these notes will help you have in mind all the essential items to discuss.
  • If objectives were not set before the pandemic, or such goals have changed radically, inform everyone in a clear and straightforward manner that they will not be assessed. It is a good idea to focus on acquired skills rather than a set of unattainable goals.
  • If you still need to measure objectives/goals, use a teamwork approach for short and measurable objectives, which can be reviewed in team meetings (zoom/meet).
  • Emphasize qualitative objectives if quantitative conditions cannot be met.
  • Implement continuous feedback with authentic performance dialogues. Approach your evaluations with more flexibility, leniency, understanding, and empathy.
  • Simplify processes, if possible.
  • Make sure you take this opportunity to recognize and show appreciation for employees who are engaged and working hard. It’s critical for their morale. 
  • Do not be hard on your low performers. Give them a grace period to get used to this new normal and turn things around.
  • Do not only look at the deliverables people are providing while ignoring their personal situations.
  • Think about how to do performance reviews better. In this environment, more frequent, smaller evaluations such as semi-annual or quarterly evaluations may be optimal. 
  • By 2021, review the complete model, ask the organization if it provides value and, thus, redefine with an agile approach.

 

Take this period as an opportunity to move towards a people-focused management system, built around flexibility, instead of efficiency and competitiveness, which will be more sustainable in the long run.

When to use Thankscrate

Why is it so important to show appreciation to your staff for their contributions? According to numerous surveys, a company culture of kindness and gratitude can bring substantial benefits to your team and organization, ranging from a positive work environment to employee engagement and loyalty. 

 

In today’s competitive market, you need every resource to retain the best professionals. Employee retention is extra essential, with turnover rates soaring due to a lack of employee engagement. In Thankscrate, we believe that celebrating and recognizing employees who have contributed to your business over the years with birthday and work anniversary gifts is the best way to prove how you value hard work and commitment. We can help you find carefully selected and appropriate presents to make your employees feel appreciated.

 

Custom Gifts For Birthdays & Anniversaries

 

Birthdays

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day hustle of presentations, emails, and meetings. It does not matter if you are busy with deadlines; it’s essential to take the time to celebrate your employees’ birthdays.

 

When you celebrate an employee’s birthday, the message you convey is that you care and appreciate their commitment.

 

Birthday celebrations at the workplace have multiple benefits: it helps generate a sense of team unity, and the relaxed atmosphere promotes employees to get to know each other. In fact, celebrating birthdays can be an excellent program for team bonding.

It also provides an enjoyable break from the routine and can do wonders for employee morale.

 

Anniversaries

Employees feel connected to the company and believe that the organization values their milestones if they are recognized. It serves as a boost for motivation to perform beyond expectations.

 

Anniversary gifts are a way to foster employee satisfaction, not just for the employee receiving the present but also for the entire company. The employee who celebrates a work anniversary feels recognized and valued, which increases productivity, and they tend to go the extra mile for your business. When your company recognizes an employee in front of the rest of the organization, fellow workers will understand how important it is for you to acknowledge the worth and commitment of your employees.

 

The celebration of accomplishments and work successes builds and reinforces employee attitude for your business. Giving gifts humanizes a company, making the relationship between the workers and the business more reliable and stable. 

 

At Thankscrate, we understand the importance of a gift. It has to meet two basic requirements: it has to be something that your employees would cherish and, at the same time, make your employees know that your company cares about its people.

With our team’s help, we create unique and classy personalized gifts for your employees, crafted for your needs. Whatever you decide, make sure that it’s presented with genuine care and appreciation for the employee’s efforts over the year.

When to Send Corporate Gifts to Clients

As every large and medium-sized business is aware, the success of the company quite literally rides on the shoulders of clients and customers. Upon realizing this, the following may become apparent to some: it could be quite beneficial to send a little thank-you to those upon which the company relies so heavily. 

 

Whether you’re the CEO yourself, or you’ve been delegated the task of sending out corporate gifts to hand-selected clients, it can be difficult to determine when and what to send. Luckily for you, we’ve collected some tips and tricks to consider when selecting clients to send gifts to, as well as when picking out the gifts themselves.

The “When”

Multiple sources suggest that gifts be sent to large, influential clients at least once per year. Honestly, we think this is a bit infrequent – especially if contact is infrequent. Consider how much of your market each large client makes up; how often do you want to remind them how important their business is to you? Since gifts can help build rapport with customers as long as they are well-thought-through, once per quarter might be a good starting point for your largest clients.

The “Who”

Depending on how established your business is and how wide-reaching your customer base is, you may want to send small gifts to all of your clients. In fact, businesses that are just starting up will definitely benefit from sending out even a small token of appreciation to clients. The positive influence that this gift will have in the minds of initial clients will encourage them to recommend you to others!

 

If you’re a large business with thousands of clients, consider creating a tiered list of gifts that are appropriate for the amount of time they will consume on your end. Small clients can receive different gifts than large clients!

The “What”

At the end of the day, the goal is to send something to someone, right? What do you send to dozens or even hundreds of customers that you work with? If you’re struggling to personalize each gift, sit down and make a list of who will be receiving the gifts; keep in mind that this gift should say “thank you for maintaining your business with us.” Great corporate gifts often include your company’s logo – this will remind your client of their relationship with you as they use or display the gift throughout the year.

 

Some great ideas include, but are not limited to, fruit and food baskets, gift certificates, cards and calendars, flowers and plants, alcohol, and other company-branded items (clothing and apparel, for example).

 

Since clients are so important to your company’s well-being, it can be well worth the time and effort that you spend considering what to send as a corporate gift. Word of mouth is one of the most powerful advertisers – and it’s untraceable. Keep up the rapport with your clients so that they speak highly of you even when you can’t hear them on social media!

Keeping the Kids Entertained While Working from Home

Although we’ve been working from home for a few months now, summer break has finally come around as well! While this likely means an upcoming vacation for your family, it also means that the kids are around all day long. Depending on how old and independent your children are, you may be struggling to keep them busy so that they stay out of your hair while you are working. We’ve got some tips and tricks for you to help manage this period of school-break limbo.

Young Kids

For toddlers and young children, attention spans can range from 15 minutes up to an hour or more. If your children are younger and have a harder time staying busy without direction, it may be best to work close by so that you can direct their playtime. Set up several stations for activities and show them how to use each; this might buy you some more time to get that conference call completed!

Window Clings

We’re not sure exactly what the magic secret is behind these inexpensive stickers, but they will captivate children for an inordinate amount of time! Buy several packs, since they rip easily, and bust them out when you need some quiet time for getting work done.

Sticker Fun

Much like window clings, stickers are a beloved pastime of young children everywhere. You can either buy sticker workbooks or simply grab a large pack of garage sale dots. Grab some sheets of white paper, markers, and maybe some stencils and let your kids have fun!

Dry Erase

There’s something special about being able to wipe up your drawing immediately after finishing it. This activity will keep toddlers and infants engaged for a long time; pick up a pack of colorful dry erase markers and let them doodle all over a handheld mirror, or purchase a dry erase board that can be laid onto the floor. Provide different objects to wipe the board so that they can experiment with different textures.

Felt Boards

Though this might take a little bit more preparation, the end result will be hours of fun, we guarantee it. Felt has a unique texture and pliability that young hands love – and it sticks together without flying around. Prepare a felt board by wrapping cardboard or plywood in a large swatch of neutral felt. You can cut out any number of shapes, foods, animals, people, and clothes for your kids to mix up and match! Ask them to tell a story with the objects you’ve provided!

Older Kids

When you’re stuck at home with older children, they can often entertain themselves; however, there will likely be an odd day or two when it’s raining or their friends aren’t home. When these days roll around, it can be extremely helpful to have a few tricks up your sleeve. Here are some ideas to help you create a secret stash of fun activities to keep your kids busy during that all-important meeting.

Boxes and Craft Supplies

If there’s one thing in life that can become nearly anything, it has to be the infamous cardboard box. The larger the better, cardboard boxes can be crafted into spaceships, castles, boats, astronaut helmets, and many more items from your kids’ imaginations. The possibilities are endless, as long as you’ve got a good base. Plus, if you’re like the millions of Americans right now, you’ve probably spent your pocket change on online orders galore – don’t throw away those boxes! Break them down and save them for a literal rainy day.

Air-Dry Clay

Older kids will love planning and putting together something that they can keep to show to you and their friends. Ask them to decide what they will make and perhaps even draw it on paper before introducing them to the materials. Once they are finished making their creations, set them aside to dry and they can present a show and tell to the whole family!

Science Experiment

Looking for a way to explain to the older kids why everyone is at home? This creative experiment can show the incredible spread of viruses and the importance of washing our hands.

Flour on a Balloon

First, air-blow up a balloon. This activity is best done outside, as it will make a considerable mess. Coat the dry balloon in a bowl of flour or powdered sugar. Have your kids bounce the balloon to each other, making note of all the particles that are flying off the balloon. Feel free to explain that this is how some diseases are spread (through the air and from surfaces), and let your kids continue to dunk the balloon and bounce it around the yard!

Glitter Wash

Also best done outside, gather your supply of glitter and some cooking spray. Spray the kids’ hands with cooking oil, then ask them to dip their hands into the glitter. If you are outside, turn on the spigot and ask them to try to clean all of the glitter particles off with just water. They’ll find that it is extremely difficult to do so, after which point you can offer them soap – this, of course, will clean their hands much more easily. You can make an analogy to viral particles and bacteria if you’d like, or you can simply let them have fun with glitter; it’s entirely up to you!

Getting Back the Company Spirit: How to Increase Company Morale Back at the Office

In the wake of this coronavirus outbreak, it will take the world some time to heal and recover. In the midst of quarantine and a low-key first half of the year, it’s been difficult to see just how we’ll emerge from the changes and challenges that have come from this pandemic. One thing is for certain: there will be an adjustment period as we all return to the office to resume our previous work schedules.

Snacks and Drinks

It’s a well-known fact that food and drink bring people together, especially in the workplace. Carve out some time for chit-chat and snacks first thing in the morning so that your employees can get caught up with each other after these months of quarantine.  Encourage everyone to reflect with positivity and ask everyone what they’re looking forward to as things return to normal; it would be all too easy for the chit-chat to become negative.

A Little Something

If you have the time, consider leaving something on everyone’s desk as they return to the office. Notes of appreciation, a small gift card to the local coffee shop, new pens, or a notebook. Take the time to pick something that will make everyone smile, even for a second – we all need a little bit of that right now.

Have Real Conversations

Depending on how much your employees are willing to open up, you can leave your door open to those who want to come in and chat. Ask everyone how quarantine really affected them – how did it affect their view of the company they work for, other companies, and those around them. We’ve all been lacking in the human interaction department lately, and it would be great to be able to connect with co-workers and management on a different level than the usual video chat or voice call.

More Frequent Meetings

As we all start to figure out how remote work will now fit into our lives post-COVID, it would be best to keep everyone on the same page about how things will run differently (if at all). Try to hold meetings more often for teams that are still in the process of bringing people back in; this will help keep everyone up to date and help each employee feel valued and included. You can also take this time to talk about what kind of feedback your team has on the technology employed during the work-from-home mandates. What improvements could be made for future returns of this or another virus outbreak?

 

Above all, this is a time to show patience and understanding. Social isolation is difficult on most of us as humans reliant on interpersonal interaction. There will be a learning curve as we all attempt to carve out a “new normal” as it were; let’s all take a collective breath and dial into each other’s needs so that we can resume work together in a shared space!

Thoughtful Gift-Giving for the Summer

It’s summertime in the Northern Hemisphere, which means hot weather, sticky commutes, and glorious air conditioning at the office (hopefully). If you’re like us, you get pretty excited about the vibrant sounds and colors of nature during this time of year; the birds are singing, lawnmowers are constantly running in the neighborhood, and the playgrounds are rarely vacant.

 

Summer is a great time to plan company events, too! Perhaps you could host a team barbeque to help boost office morale after this whole coronavirus craziness wears off. For now, though, low-key gifts and words of appreciation might be more in line with what is socially acceptable. But hold on a minute – just because we said low-key, that doesn’t mean that your gift can’t be amazing and perfect for the person it’s being delivered to!

Consider the Recipient and Occasion

Depending on the reason for celebration, you may want to opt for a more or less formal gift to surprise your employee or co-worker with. Birthdays usually call for celebratory colors, high energy phrases, and delicious treats. On the other hand, an office employee who is retiring may be more appreciative of memorabilia related to their time at the company! Employment anniversaries are fun events to celebrate and remind everyone of the high dedication that your team brings to the office every day.

ThanksCrate Has You Covered

With an overwhelming variety of gifts that we can pack into a single package for your employee, it’s nearly impossible to go wrong with our monthly delivery service. Just give us a little bit of information about the employee you’re focusing on for the month, and we’ll put together a little something special just for them!

For the Forgetful

That’s right, we’re looking at you! We’re not saying you care less about your employees than any other business owner, that’s certainly not the case. You do, however, have a lot on your plate, especially now with the majority of companies still using a work-from-home protocol. It’s not easy keeping up with everyone when they aren’t sitting in the office where you can manage and direct them! ThanksCrate will help you get gifts to the people you outline ahead of time – set it and forget it!

For the Time-Savers

Give us some information about your individual employees and we’ll select things to pop in their gift box that we know they’ll love. You don’t have to sit and agonize about what to get anyone anymore – let us take care of everything!

For Those Looking to Boost Morale

One of the quickest and easiest ways to lift spirits at the office is by giving your employees gifts. The catch, however, is that they can’t be cheesy or forced – with ThanksCrate, you never have to worry about that. Each package is hand-created according to the profile you provide in regards to each employee. We take everything into consideration as we are selecting gifts. If we’re all being honest, companies are going to need a bit of a morale boost as we emerge from this coronavirus quarantine.

 

Take the worry, frustration, and time out of gift-giving this summer by subscribing to ThanksCrate; we’ve got employee gifts covered so you don’t have to give it a second thought!

Returning to the Office – Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

There is a lot of insecurity going around regarding America’s return to the workforce. From a health and safety standpoint, we’re being asked to flatten the curve, which means strict social distancing measures and avoiding public spaces. While it’s very clear that the economy cannot withstand extended quarantine measures, we’re also keeping our eyes peeled for a resurgence of COVID-19 cases. It’s a tough decision to make for anyone, let alone the government and health officials that we trust to keep us safe.

Staying Safe

Perhaps the biggest question each employee has as they are asked to return to the office is: how can I stay safe at work? Beyond the tried and true mask, handwashing, and sanitizing routine, we have a few tips and tricks to help you ease back into your first weeks back at work.

Alternate Days

Ask your superior or HR department if you can ease back into working in the office by working alternate days from home. This way you can get a feel for how the office is being maintained a few days a week. Always try to keep your focus on your job security, especially during these times of high unemployment. You want to feel as safe as possible at your job, all while not compromising your individual ability to provide for yourself. If you can, have these conversations with your boss or HR manager.

Communication

If you feel that your employer is not doing enough to keep everyone safe and healthy at the office, stand up and say something. Get together with some of your co-workers to discuss potential solutions, and present them to your superiors. Be honest and open so that your concerns will be respected – these are difficult times, but if anything positive has come of this pandemic, it’s our enhanced desire to keep those around us safe and protected from illness.

Report Apparent Illness

If you or a co-worker is feeling slightly ill, notify your boss immediately (even if you don’t suspect Coronavirus). As we’ve discovered with C-19, a sick individual can be contagious prior to showing symptoms. If someone in the office becomes ill, ask the HR department to inquire into where that person might have been exposed. Building a safe office space will require that each and every one of us take precautions to protect ourselves and others – the consequences that result from our potential indifference could be drastic.

Compassion

It’s irrefutable that these are interesting times to be alive and in the American workforce. The best we can do for each other is to be respectful of personal limitations and tolerances; speak with someone before approaching within six feet or removing your mask. Offer hand sanitizer to others and try to initiate virtual contact in the office, even if their desk is 10 feet away. As you learn what others are willing to do, you can interact more or less with them. Put others first, and you will inadvertently be contributing to a safer work environment!

The New “Normal”: Will Remote Work be the Future?

Before the coronavirus, the world was a different place; many of us don’t like to think that, as we try to stay optimistic for a full recovery from this pandemic. However, if you stop and think about how much some people’s lives have changed due to social distancing, it’s no wonder the big question right now is: what will be the new “normal”? As we’re sure you’re aware, there are drastic implications for every sector of our daily lives, extending into the next generation through greater economic debt and insecurity (especially if COVID-19 makes a return each year until we’ve reached herd immunity levels).

Impact on the Workforce

When it comes to the American workforce, perhaps the most interesting shift has been observed, regardless of company niche. With such extreme social distancing measures having been recommended by government and health agencies, an overwhelming majority of employers rallied work-from-home infrastructure in a few short weeks. The demand was high for low-contact work environments due to a severe lack of testing capacity and personal protection gear inventory; naturally, it was safer to stay home amidst rising positive case numbers.

Physical vs. Virtual Services

What determined a company’s willingness to shift towards work-from-home employment was mainly whether the business services were physical or non-physical. For those who had physical items to sell, perhaps they were able to build an on-the-go order system for delivery or curbside pickup. In a way, American consumers were already starting to ask for more services like these from companies pre-corona. One might argue that this pandemic has simply accelerated the willingness of businesses to consider new and innovative ideas; we’ve stumbled upon a sort of necessary innovation when faced with becoming irrelevant to the times.

The Question: What Will Stick?

It’s irrefutable that online sales for goods and services will continue to rise. As more of us realize how simple it is to search, add to cart, and click to purchase, surely the demand for retail goods will continue to decline – coronavirus simply will have been a catalyst in its demise. On the other hand, there will always be services that require in-person meetings: hair salons, nail salons, fine dining, medical and surgical offices, and so on.

 

The most concrete change seems to be in the realization that a company’s workers can work from home at an efficient and large-scale level. Unfortunately, thought and care must be given to the overall effect on mental health for those who work from home too consistently. At what point should a company be able to enforce in-office work for those employees who are at-risk for depressed mood. Will we only ask employees to work from home if C-19 makes a comeback?

Too Soon to Tell

At this point in time, as federal government restrictions are being lifted and left to the local level, it’s all a matter of how optimistic or pessimistic your local government chooses to be. Furthermore, now that the infrastructure is in place for remote work, the company you work for is ultimately in charge of how the office will be handled. There likely is no one-size-fits-all for this situation, neither will there ever be. It seems that we’ll all be playing it by ear, month by month until some sort of sense of “normalcy” has returned.

Staying Connected & Working Remotely: Tips and Tricks for Keeping in Touch With Your Teammates

By now, the newness and novelty of working from home have probably worn off; if you’re an extrovert, you’re longing for human interaction (if you’re an introvert, your cat is probably serving just fine). You’ve likely discovered that your Keurig can’t possibly keep up with your caffeine needs and that it’s a lot harder to drink sixty-four ounces of water in a day than you thought it would be. Finding it hard to stay on-task? You’re not alone; we’re all feeling the struggle to stay productive.

You’re Still a Part of a Team

One of the most important things to remember during quarantine and isolation is that we are all still a team: you and your coworkers form a team for the business you are employed by, and all of us as citizens are a team, protecting those who are more vulnerable than us by staying home. Though you may not be sitting next to your cubicle buddy at the office, you and your team members are still one unit working towards a common goal. Even though it’s a little more difficult to stay connected, it can still be done.

Form a Group Chat

If your job offers a chat service to employees like Skype or another messaging service, create a group chat that includes each team member. Send daily messages, ask everyone how much coffee they’ve had, what they’re doing this weekend, and remind everyone to take stretch breaks! Perhaps one of your team members can post a daily riddle or meme.

Weekly Meeting

There’s no hard and fast rule that states you can’t have meetings more often, but weekly is sufficient for most teams working remotely. Discuss anything and everything at meetings; part of keeping in touch also involves catching up just like you would at the office. Inquire about everyone’s family, tell funny stories, but also discuss work-related things during your meeting time. Something like video conferencing is best, but expect some co-workers to want to stay off-camera (some of us are slacking in the hair department).

Detailed Notes

Since it’s not as easy to get a hold of a co-worker right now, make sure to leave detailed notes on any cases you work on. Make sure you’re available for questions on any difficult call you fielded or procedure you followed; this will make it easy for issues to be resolved within a timely fashion.

Use Your Tools

While group and individual messaging are easy and quick, it can be nice to receive a phone call from your co-workers instead. If you have a question, call them through your VOIP and ask your question directly; this is usually much quicker than text messaging back and forth with a co-worker. If you’re both feeling brave, video chat is a great option, too; make sure to check with the person before asking for a face-to-face, though!

Luckily for employees around the world, we live in an age of advanced communications technology. The same technology that allows us all to maintain our jobs at home can also be used to stay connected with our co-workers so that we still feel like part of a team. Human connection is more important than ever right now (for you, too, introverts!) and we just have to be a little bit more creative in how we approach teamwork.