How To Set Up A Winning Employee Recognition Program

Showing appreciation to a member of the organization, their effort or their achievements, is a key element of the relationship between employees and the company. It brings people closer and nurtures bonds with joy. Therefore, having a winning employee recognition program is fundamental to foster company values and improve overall workplace efficiency and atmosphere.

 

Think About the Main Goals

When setting up your employee recognition program, the first thing you need to do is to think about its goals. Understanding the basics will make your program an utter success. Even though each company can establish its own goals, the most common ones are encouraging your employees to go the extra mile, improving attitudes, and boosting teamwork.

 

Outline the Objectives

Having clear objectives will help your employees have direct goals and work towards them. A good employee recognition program should be fair and inclusive, meet the company’s policies, and above all, match the needs of your employees. 

Define the Criteria 

Any award criteria that you decide on, such as providing excellent customer service, being a good team member, or being innovative, should encourage and reward key behaviors that you want to foster in your company.

 

Decide on the Rewards

After deciding which behaviors you want to reward, you’ll need to determine how you want to reward them. Your rewards could be anything, ranging from framed certificates to grifts cards. Keep in mind to give your employees a reward that makes them feel appreciated and valued.

 

Communicate and Launch your Program

Once you have decided on the criteria and the rewards, it is time to let your employees know that there is a new program in place. You can send emails to the whole company, post billboards, or schedule a 5-minute talk to explain its scope, how to participate, and which rewards can be earned. Make sure everyone at your company is aware of the recognition program to help make it a success.

Why Gift Baskets Are Better Than Gift Cards For Employee Gifts

Every holiday season, companies look for the best gift to give their employees to show their appreciation and forge stronger bonds.

While there is a wide range of options, there is one that stands out because of its versatility, practicality, and handiness. Let’s see why gift baskets really are the ideal gifting solution.

 

Gift Baskets Have Something For Everyone

 

Gift baskets come in a wide variety of styles, and they include many different items. Whether a person likes sweets, healthy or gourmet food, there is a gift basket for everyone.

Even if your employee does not like everything in the basket, they will like some things and can always share the others with someone else.

 

Gift Baskets Offer Endless Combinations

 

Keeping your gift strategy fresh year after year is important. Rather than giving presents that everyone expects, why not surprise your employees with items they have never seen or tasted before? There are myriad ways to make a gift basket fun, attractive, and interesting year after year. You can also tailor your basket to suit the preferences of your employees and include keepsake items to provide variety and delight them. 

 

Gift Baskets Fit Any Budget

 

Who said that you need to go way above your budget to give your employees a great gift? No doubt, one of the most difficult parts of gift shopping is finding a gift that meets your employees’ expectations.

Gift baskets are very cost-effective. There are lots of amazing fruit baskets, wine gift baskets, spa gift baskets, and travel gift baskets that can be found for under $30.

 

Gift Baskets Are Easy to Buy

 

Holiday time is typically a busy season for every company. Many of us don’t have the time to spend on planning and purchasing business gifts. Gift baskets can be delivered directly from the company you order through. They’re also professionally and elegantly wrapped, with aesthetically pleasing product arrangements.

 

Gift Baskets Spread Kindness

 

Unlike gift cards, giving a gift basket says something about you and your company. When giving a gift basket, goodwill is inherent in the gesture. The positive message that goes out is that you, as a company, care about the recipients, which are, in this case, your employees.

Tips For Staying Healthy At The Office

The office is the place where millions of people spend the most time each day around the world. Despite appearing harmless because they are in closed environments, the reality is that they can be one of the most dangerous places when it comes to contagious diseases.

Now that the time to go back to the office has arrived, it is necessary to prevent, as much as possible, that viruses spread throughout the workplace and learn how to stay healthy at the office.

Disinfection is Key

Make sure to keep your desk, computer, phone, and everything you use daily clean and disinfected. 

Frequently-touched surfaces should be identified for priority disinfection, such as doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, bathroom surfaces, personal devices with touch screens, and computer keyboards.

To disinfect, wear disposable gloves and use products that kill 99.9% of viruses and bacteria. Always read carefully and follow the directions on the label to make sure safe and effective use.

Wash Your Hands Frequently

When washing your hands, use plenty of soap and water. The World Health Organization indicates that proper handwashing should last between 40 and 60 seconds, starting by rubbing the palms together, interlocking the hands and vice versa, then continuing with the fingers.

Wash your hands regularly with an alcohol-based sanitizer or soap and water. 

Ensure Adequate Ventilation

Without a doubt, the most effective form of ventilation during the COVID-19 pandemic is choosing to ventilate work environments naturally. 

Opening doors and windows before the employees get to the office and once they are gone, letting in air from outside, greatly lower pollutant rates in enclosed spaces.

Even in buildings with mechanical ventilation, it is advisable to carry out regular ventilation with open doors and windows.

Avoid Touching Your Eyes, Nose, and Mouth

Coronavirus is a virus that spreads mainly through contact with an infected person through respiratory droplets generated when a person coughs or sneezes.

You may touch many surfaces that could be contaminated with the virus. If you then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself. This advice also applies even if you are wearing gloves.

If you Feel Sick, Stay Home

If you are not feeling well, stay home and call your doctor. He or she will ask you some questions about your symptoms, where you have been, and who you have been in contact with. This will guarantee that you receive the correct medical attention and prevent you from infecting others.

In case you have to go to the office, always wear a mask and avoid direct contact with your collaborators, and do not share the items you use the most.

How To Decorate The Office For The Holidays

Christmas is just around the corner and, considering how difficult and challenging this year has been so far, it is a great idea to decorate your office to bring the Christmas spirits in. 

Here are some simple ideas (and an extra tip!) to decorate the office this Christmas while fostering creativity, teamwork, passion for what you do, and seeking happiness at work.

A Unique Christmas Tree

There are countless types of Christmas trees, from the smallest for little offices to the large ones for meeting rooms, reception areas, common areas, or waiting rooms. Once you decide on the size, you need to consider whether to choose natural or synthetic trees. Synthetic trees are a good option to create environmental awareness in all employees.

Then, you have to choose the type of decoration and its color. For example, you can use corporate colors. You can add ornaments, bows, lights, or Christmas figures that match your business image. Another option is to hang all the Christmas cards received from suppliers, clients, and friends or Christmas drawings made by the children of all the people who work in the office.

If you want to be more original, there are other ways to have a Christmas tree, such as making one out of books, industry magazines, or brand catalogs.

Christmas Decorations and Lights

To provide that Christmas atmosphere that we are looking for, you can also decorate the desks or some office corner with small decorations. 

Some ornaments or stars hanging from the ceiling, some flowerpots with poinsettias, etc. Any detail will give a special and original air to the office on these important dates.

String lights add that touch that gets everyone feeling merry. It’s easy to incorporate lights into your Christmas garlands draped over stair banisters or desks. Adding battery powered lights to mason jars makes for pretty centerpieces for the office cafeteria. 

Extra tip! Avoid Religious Decoration

Unlike Halloween or Valentine’s Day, Christmas includes religious iconography. 

Regardless of your religious beliefs, the recommendation is to use neutral decoration and avoid purely religious decorations.

Neutral decoration is understood to be any character or symbol that is not related to religious iconography, for example:

  • Snowmen.
  • Winter atmosphere.
  • Deer (and other animals)
  • Santa Claus (even though Santa Claus may have origins related to religious traditions, such meaning is long lost in the collective memory.)

Remember that there are many people who represent different cultures and thoughts in your company, the decoration must appeal to all of them.

Holiday Office Gifting Guide

What could you give your employees for Christmas? It’s not an easy question: keeping hundreds of employees happy with gifts seems like an even more demanding task than some business goals. But although it seems impossible to please so many people, fortunately, there are three totally infallible gifts for the holidays. These are our recommendations to make your employees happy and keep them motivated.

A Christmas Basket

This is the most traditional gift of all. A good Christmas basket makes anyone happy. A good basket must have a variety of cheeses and wines, also sausages and fresh fruits. You can also add a letter or Christmas card to give an even more personal touch. The Christmas basket is for all those who do not want to take risks with Christmas gifts for employees.

Vouchers and Gift Cards

This is the simplest option for companies. There are paper vouchers, electronic gift cards, e-vouchers, and even voucher codes distributed through text messages. Prepaid debit cards are another alternative.

Whatever the format, employers find vouches an effective way of engaging and motivating their workers, providing a reward of tangible monetary value. Companies like gift vouchers because of the convenience and choice, and they leave the final decision to the individual.

Free Time

How can you give your employees a well-deserved break? There are two options that your workers will appreciate. The first is to analyze which tasks can be done from home, implementing a home-office policy during the holidays, providing your employees with a more relaxed environment and flexibility.

The second option is to give one or half a day off to employees who cannot work from home, either due to the nature of their work, the equipment they must handle in the company, or because their tasks require visiting branches or clients.

ThanksCrate Has Your Back

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

Prepping The Office For The Holidays

With the arrival of the holidays, the sale of business products and services grows exponentially. However, this situation may also have an impact on internal processes.

Business owners must generate a strategy to take advantage of the season. This means more than just training your team and developing a fun marketing plan. Sure, you need to find creative ways to benefit from end-of-year buyer behavior, but you need to go beyond typical behaviors to stand out from your competition.

Clear Accounting

Although this practice should be a guideline to follow from the beginning of the year, analyzing income, expenses, and taxes for the last quarter can help optimize results. It is essential to carry out a daily analysis of income and expenses. 

Organization 

Throughout the year, the organizational strategy can be relaxed, and the employer can be a little more flexible in terms of organization. Time can be managed more efficiently and avoid distractions, achieving optimal results that will be observed in the company’s day-to-day and towards the end of the year. November is a perfect month to take a step back and take a look at the organization, make adjustments, and have the most efficient end of the year.

It is necessary to plan according to the needs and depending on its economic situation, both internal and external. It is the perfect time to balance, analyze, and readjust. It is impossible to control the future, but you can manage its actions to achieve the desired results.

Detect Weaknesses

The holiday season is a good time to analyze weaknesses and mitigate them to achieve better results. Keeping an eye on the competition will help businesses know what others are doing and how they make last-minute adjustments.

Best Shopping Experience

Online marketing is the most important tool to help overcome the challenges presented by COVID-19. 

This end of the year offers business a new opportunity to reactivate sales and position your products and services. However, for these dates to be meaningful, be aware of where and how consumers are buying, share content that positions your company as an expert in your field, and never leave aside the shopping experience.

How to Celebrate Thanksgiving in the Office

It goes without saying that there are plenty of ways to celebrate Thanksgiving in the workplace. However, this year you can focus on the holiday’s reasons, and show your appreciation to all your employees and encourage them to give back to your community. To make things easier for you, we’ve come up with a list of ideas to help you plan this holiday in the office.

Decorate The Workplace

No celebration is complete without decorations. You can create a festive Thanksgiving environment with pumpkins, fall foliage, and turkeys. Also, use tablecloths and napkins in orange or gold, the most typical colors of this holiday. 

To this, you can add scented candles in the best autumn style.

Get in the Giving Spirit

If you are looking to give back this holiday season, there are many ways to get involved and help.

You can start by participating in a volunteer activity as a group and join a canned food drive or serve at a soup kitchen. You can also set up events with charities to then establish a long-term relationship with a non-profit partner in the area.  

To encourage your employees, you can allow them to take time off to do a volunteer project of their choice.

Thank Your Employees

Gratitude and recognition of achievements are two highly effective strategies. Employees realize that the organization values their efforts and that their work is important to meet the company’s objectives.

As we have already said before, gratitude does not always imply financial rewards. The emotional salary is a great way to thank employees for the company’s good performance.

Organize a Dessert Contest

Dessert is the best part of any celebration. Ask everyone who wants to participate to bring in a home-made dessert to compete. 

Once all desserts are out and tested, vote for the best one and give the winner a fun prize, such as becoming the Dessert King or Queen, leaving an hour earlier, or a gift card.

Start New Traditions

Since Thanksgiving is a time of tradition, it’s a great opportunity to think about the traditions in your own office. Don’t have one fun tradition yet? It’s never too late to start!

How to build trust among virtual team

As remote work continues its exponential growth and fewer employees are now located alongside their colleagues, trust issues are often the workplace’s first discussions. 

Why is trust so important? 

Trust is key to employee participation. One of the most important qualities of a leader is trust: when employees do not trust the organization’s leadership, their chances of participating are very low. But when that trust is established, the chances of compromise are quite high.

Also, trust improves work effectiveness, group dynamics, and productivity.

Promote Communication 

We cannot stress this enough. Communication is undoubtedly the most important factor in team collaboration. This means sharing goals, objectives, and projects on a professional level and a personal level.

Maintaining channels for continued, transparent communication is the most effective way to keep a team collaborating effectively and building trust. This is where remote teams actually have an advantage, unlike in-office teams that tend to get caught up in unnecessary meetings.

A mix of synchronous and asynchronous options ensures team members have a way to stay in touch regardless of their communication style. 

Set Clear Goals

A clear way to build trust is to commit to specific objectives. That is why it is extremely important to be realistic and not take on tasks that we cannot cover. Once a commitment has been made, and expectations are created, it can create a feeling and mistrust within the team if the objective is not met.

However, at this point too, communication and transparency are important. The team leaders must establish how the objectives will be monitored –weekly by videoconference, daily through an excel table, monthly through a report, etc.– so that there are no doubts.

Appreciation and Recognition

 Giving regular feedback and appreciating your employees greatly contributes to their motivation, especially when they work remotely. Once you see how your employees flourish in your company thanks to positive feedback, appreciation, and even public recognition, you will always try to apply this strategy.

It’s easy for remote workers to feel out of the loop and undervalued unless you let them know that you recognize and appreciate their talents. 

Build trust starting at the hiring stage by building on what you learned about the employee through the interview process and help them develop the strengths they have.

Effective leadership during pandemic times

Almost overnight, many organizations had to adapt to the current context. In many cases, they even had to implement a home office policy, which was not established before. Employees had to incorporate new habits, and their leaders’ role was key in this process, accompanying and guiding them in the use of new platforms and tools.

Clear, frequent, and empathetic communication

Leaders should implement feedback as standard practice: constructive criticism is essential to correct mistakes and improve work quality. Effective leadership involves learning to give feedback to the team clearly and assertively. Finding the right moment, putting yourself in the other person’s shoes, and listening carefully to the answers is key.

In addition to reviews, a good leader must learn to communicate tasks simply to the team. The more clarity there is, the better the results will be. It is important to specify from the beginning what needs to be done, in what time frames, who will participate, and what are the objectives and roles of each person, for example.

A leader must be empathetic and think about her team’s well-being. It is essential to keep in mind that some personal situations can interfere with work in this context of uncertainty. To demand greater productivity, it is necessary to provide the tools and practices necessary to achieve this and to accompany people closely.

Set achievable goals

It is useless to set goals for the team that are difficult to achieve: this will cause discomfort and a feeling of demotivation for not achieving the objectives set. So what can an effective leader do? In the first place, it is essential to hold daily huddles with employees to find out what specific projects or tasks they are working on during the week and to know if they had difficulties. In this way, it will be much easier to offer them support and guide them to overcome the challenges.

Second, a good leader needs to promote the team’s productivity. Proposing training and new work methodologies can be a great option to achieve it. 

Organizations have the important task of fostering leadership within their teams to adapt more easily to remote work and enhance their productivity. 

Show flexibility

Now is a good time to be flexible and let your employees work wherever and whenever they can. Sometimes leaders and managers think that flexible work arrangements lead to performance problems. Research shows that this is not the case. Employees with flexible work arrangements are significantly more motivated and engaged than colleagues with rigid schedules. 

Got a new job? Here are some recommendations to ease into your new position

Starting a new job is just like the first day of school: you worry about what to wear and if you’d make friends. To help you ease those typical first-day nerves and get off to a strong start at your new job, we’ve compiled the best tips for your first week.

Be on Time

Even if you feel like you have nothing to do, get there early, at least for the first few days. Arriving at the office first also has its advantages: you can take the opportunity to make yourself a coffee quietly and, while you drink it, you can organize the day’s tasks and plan your weekly goals without stress.

Pay Attention And Ask Questions

When you arrive in a new place, observe what the dynamics are like and adapt to new procedures. You need to analyze the work environment, learn how the different departments work, and how they interact, what are the processes, structure, and objectives of the company. And very importantly, what are the key responsibilities of your position. Understanding all of the above is the best way to adapt to your new company and do a good job.

 

Do not be afraid to ask questions. Your boss is aware that you are new and there will be things that you do not know how to do. Your first days are the time to learn and anticipate mistakes. The best strategy is to ask before acting and understand best practices to get your job done.

Be Kind and Help Others

It will probably take you a while to know your co-workers. However, it doesn’t matter whether it’s the janitor, secretary, or CEO – treat them all the same. Smiling, giving a strong handshake, and introducing yourself to everyone is a good way to start. 

 

You can ask colleagues to go for a coffee in the mid-morning break, or if you are going to pick up something from the printer, you can ask if someone needs to print something … In short, be nice. It does not cost much. Remember that with small gestures like this, you can make a good impression.

Be Organized

The first week in your new job will probably generate a bit of stress, because it is when you are bombarded with knowledge, tasks that you had never done before… So the best you can do is to get organized properly! In this way, you will avoid giving that impression of being overwhelmed that can occur when starting a new position.