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Building a Better Workplace: Employee Appreciation

Let’s imagine your business is a car. It’s not just any car, though. It’s a best-in-class model with all the bells and whistles to really make it soar. But what happens when you don’t have any fuel? This fancy automobile may look great and sound great, but it’s not going anywhere. Here’s where employee appreciation comes in.

employee appreciation

What is Employee Appreciation?

Think of employee appreciation as the fuel that drives your business. You can have a car built with all the best parts, but without fuel, it won’t move. We need to continuously keep our employees full by “refilling their tank” with appreciation and recognition for their achievements. Eighty percent of employees say they are motivated to work harder and stay at their jobs longer when they receive recognition for their work. That’s why making employees feel valued and appreciated is one of the best things we can do to build a better workplace.

How Can You Utilize Employee Appreciation?

So, your business is the car. If you’ve successfully recruited, onboarded, and trained the best talent for your organization, then you’ve definitely got all of the best parts. But as we mentioned before, without fuel, you’re not going anywhere.

Make It Regular

Refueling a car once will only get it so far. Eventually, that fuel runs out and the tank is empty. Recognizing employees is similar. While being recognized once is great, for employee appreciation to be truly effective, it needs to come regularly. At PerkSpot, we strive to recognize employees at least once every two weeks, and more if we feel it’s deserved!

Make It Valuable

If you’re driving a car all day, every day, it’s eventually going to need a break. The same goes for your employees! We all need a break every now and then, and a great way to utilize recognition is to give out those breaks. Offer a collective day of rest for your employees or recognize someone’s hard work with an additional day of PTO, allowing them to refuel and reenergize themselves.

Make It Useful

We may love adding new trinkets and fun embellishments to our cars, but the fact of the matter is, they won’t help the car run any faster or more efficiently. Similarly, employees want recognition in the form of something that feels useful. Skip the desk tchotchkes and find something that shows both your appreciation and a better understanding of your employees’ needs.

Build a better workplace with employee appreciation that matters and you’ll have the best car out there.

How To Put Your Employees at the Center of Your Benefits

As HR professionals, it’s easy to get bogged down in the world of employee benefits. Which are right for my company? And my budget? What gaps do I need to fill in my offering? Often, these questions allow us to lose focus on the most important thing—our employees.

employee benefits

Join PerkSpot’s CEO, founder, and Executive Chairman, Chris Hill, as he dives into what an employee-centric benefit offering looks like. Then, explore the important connection between your employees and the benefits they most utilize, and why. From there, understand how you can use that understanding to seek out and implement better employee benefits and benefits strategies that tap into what your employees really want.

Interested in creating an employee benefits strategy and developing an offering that truly serves your employees? Take the first step by checking out Chris’s most recent webinar here.

Learn to Boost Employee Engagement, Loyalty, and Retention

employee engagement

Sometimes, the journey to improving your employee engagement, loyalty, and retention is simpler than you realize. Explore how to do just that with experts Justin Cardillo, PerkSpot’s Vice President of Sales, and Becky Byler, PerkSpot’s Director of Client Success, who put their heads together to come up with a simple and easy guide to boosting employee engagement, loyalty, and retention with a Rewards & Recognition Program.

Catch up on last month’s webinar to learn about the significant impact a rewards and recognition program can have. Plus, discover the benefits of incentivizing employees and why a program like this is essential to your workplace and business.

Interested? Check out the webinar here to learn more!

Happy 15th Anniversary, PerkSpot!

PerkSpot was incredibly proud to celebrate its 15th anniversary this June.

perkspot anniversary

In 2006, PerkSpot was founded by good people with a great mission—to inspire people to love where they work. Fifteen years later, we continue to do just that. In the time since we were founded, we’ve grown our team to over 100 incredible PerkSpotters. We’ve developed new products, established new partnerships, increased our userbase to more than 17M PerkSpot Members, and kept doing what we do best, which is helping employees make the most out of every dollar they spend.

To celebrate our 15th anniversary, we threw an amazing picnic in Chicago, where we were able to come together in person with our families and friends. We enjoyed some delicious food, participated in fun games, and basked in the beautiful weather. Together, we reminisced on 15 amazing years and looked forward to many more to come.

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How Leaders Contribute to Building a Better Workplace

In recent posts, we’ve explained how things like recruitment, training, and development contribute to building a better workplace. Now, let’s dive into how the leaders of your workplace play a part as well.

Leadership’s Role in Building a Better Workplace

Better leadership is a crucial factor in building a better workplace. Having leaders who know how to cast vision and address employee concerns can make or break the employee experience. Unfortunately, perception is not always reality. A recent study actually reveals some of the disparity between employee-manager relationships:

    80% of managers say they’re transparent with direct reports; but, only 55% of employees agree.
    75% of employees feel that approachability is an essential quality for a manager, but only 50% say this is a reality for them.
    71% of managers say they know how to motivate their team, while only 44% of employees agree.
    89% of bosses believe employees quit for more money. The truth? Only 12% of employees actually leave for this reason.

It’s no wonder 75% of employees leave their job because of reasons their managers can influence. Their realities do not align with what a better workplace should be. In today’s world, 45% of managers don’t receive formal management training and it shows. In order to build better workplaces, we need to train and develop our leadership to be effective and approachable.

To learn more about how you can build a better workplace for you and your employees, download our free e-book here!

Well-being Over Wellness

well-being

Well-being Over Wellness

Pushing for healthy snacks and fitness programs is no longer the only focus for wellness initiatives. Well-being is the new buzzword for the workplace. It encompasses more than just fad diets or workout regimes. Instead, it looks to serve the whole person. Mental health awareness has gained increasing popularity over the years. As a result, the onus it has placed on employers is becoming more and more evident. A better workplace in 2021 and beyond is one that fosters health not only for the body but the mind as well.

If you want to learn more about what it takes to build a better place to work, download our free e-book!

How Can You Build a Better Workplace?

There are so many ways to build a better workplace. We’ll discuss a couple here, including ways to improve recruitment and training, but a deeper discussion could be held on each of these points. Building a better workplace doesn’t happen overnight and we’re constantly growing and moving forward as we learn what it takes to inspire employees to love where they work—first through the way that they are recruited, trained, and onboarded.

better workplace

Recruitment

When discussing a better workplace, it makes sense to start with an employee’s experience on day one, or better yet, on their negative 10th day, before they’ve actually begun. The recruitment process can be the first taste an employee gets of a company’s culture. Plus, who we hire can make a major impact on our culture as well. It’s important to examine both of these factors when looking to build a better and stronger place to work.

Culture Add, Not Culture Fit

A lot of companies talk about “culture fit” when they are hiring new staff. While the intention is there, perhaps a better approach is to look for “culture add.” Culture fit can often create a homogenous culture that doesn’t foster diversity and growth. Looking for people who can actually add to your current culture, not just fit in, will enhance your diversity efforts and bring in new perspectives that help your business grow.

Training and Development

After you’ve established a solid team of talented people, it’s important that you implement the training and development they need to succeed. Building a better workplace isn’t a finite process. A better workplace continuously pushes its employees to do better and be better, giving them the tools they need to be successful.

Focus on Corporate Goals

When it comes to training our workforce, we should begin by aligning their work with our company mission. While we may put these words in fancy fonts on our webpage, only 40% of the workforce reported knowing their company’s goals, strategies, and tactics. When employees understand how their work is impacting the big picture, they’ll feel better coming into work every day. This is how we build a better workforce – we cast vision and help our employees understand their role in reaching these goals.

Interested in learning more about what it takes to build a better workplace? Check out our free e-book to continue exploring how you can implement these tips in your workplace!

7 Affordable Ways to Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day

Get ready, HR professionals, because Employee Appreciation Day is March 5! While you should be recognizing and appreciating your employees throughout the entire year, this day is the perfect time to go the extra mile and show your employees that you care. Check out some of our favorite ways to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day with options that won’t break your recognition budget.

employee appreciation day

1. Volunteer Day

Surveys show that a workplace that encourages and even organizes ways for employees to volunteer can help improve employee morale and the overall workplace atmosphere. Yet, many employees find it’s difficult to volunteer simply because they can’t find the time. This Employee Appreciation Day, organize a day dedicated to volunteering. You can find hundreds of volunteer opportunities, both remote and safely in person, via Volunteer Match. From there, choose to volunteer as one organization or give employees the day to volunteer in their own individual ways.

2. Remote Game Day

Inject some fun into your Employee Appreciation Day celebrations! Organize a remote game day that allows employees to stay safe, yet still socialize and compete against their coworkers. Trivia, bingo, or online games like JackBox are all great ways to kick off a virtual game day with employees. Don’t forget some fun prizes too!

3. Personalized Gift Bags

Show your appreciation with a fun and personalized gift bag that shows your employees you care. If your budget allows it, you can outsource this option, but filling and delivering gift bags yourself is also a fun option that allows you to interact with your employees and say hi in person. At PerkSpot, we went for this option ourselves! Gift bags filled with toys for children or pets, plus branded items and tasty snacks were delivered safely by hand to PerkSpotters and proved to be quite the hit!

4. An Appreciation Video

At the core of it, Employee Appreciation Day is about saying thank you. Do so with a fun video compiled of your leadership team delivering some personalized thank yous to their team members and other employees. Us PerkSpotters tried this idea out to great success! We gathered via Zoom to watch the video together and employees chatted about the various fun, appreciative, and kind words for days to come.

5. Floating Day Off

Every employee appreciates a day to themselves. This year, surprise employees with the opportunity to take a day off at a time that works for them. This is both a way to show appreciation for employees. Plus, it gives helpful encouragement to practice self-care for employees struggling with their work/life balance.

6. Peer-to-Peer Recognition

Employee appreciation shouldn’t just come from leadership! Encourage employees of every level to provide recognition and appreciation for their fellow coworkers, managers, and team members. This kind of recognition is incredibly effective as well. Reports show peer-to-peer recognition is 36% more likely to have a positive impact on financial results than recognition that only comes from the top. Plus, studies show 44% of employees will offer peer recognition with an easy tool that allows them to do so. Psst—PerkSpot’s Reward & Recognition platform easily allows for peer recognition!

7. Personalized Recognition

Simply providing recognition via gift cards is a popular choice for employers who want to tie a monetary reward to their recognition. However, why not go the extra step to personalize your recognition? Make it feel customized for each employee by offering them monetary recognition that can be redeemed on a gift card of their choice! With PerkSpot’s Reward & Recognition program, employers can send a value of their choice that employees can redeem on more than 200 different gift cards, from travel to experiences and local favorites to nationwide brands. Plus, PerkSpot’s R&R Program includes options like sending non-monetary recognition and adding a personalized note to the employee’s reward, where the sender can explain what specific actions an employee is being rewarded for.

Employee Appreciation Day is a wonderful day to remind your employees that you recognize and value their hard work. This year, try one of these great and affordable options that will show your appreciation. Plus, if you’re interested in offering your employees even more this Employee Appreciation Day, fill out a form and learn how you can partner with PerkSpot to give your recognition efforts a boost!

HR Trends We’re Seeing in 2021

As expected, HR trends began popping up in late 2019 and early 2020. Yet, none of them could’ve accurately predicted the shift that would occur in our nation and around the world as the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Changes to company processes, culture, and HR were almost immediate, forcing employees and leadership to adapt right along with them. This year, we’re using lessons learned in the last year to predict what HR trends will look like in 2021.
hr trends

Home as the New Office

Among other things, 2020 was the year of proving a remote workforce, or other adapted versions of it, was possible. In 2021, expect this HR trend to not only continue, but flourish. Despite its challenges, remote working has provided more flexibility and ways to save time and money for employees. Plus, it makes the employer more attractive to potential job candidates. Though we can’t predict when things will return to “normal,” whatever that new normal may be, surveys from Gartner and PwC show that remote working and collaboration is here to stay, with over 80% of leaders reporting they’ll permit remote work to continue past the pandemic and 78% of CEOs surveyed saying the same for remote collaboration among employees.

Stronger Emphasis on the Value of HR

The coronavirus changed virtually everything about how employees worked—and lived. As a result, eyes turned to Human Resources departments for guidance on new benefits, work procedures, and more. Now that we have a handle on the situation, we expect HR leaders to step up more this year. Permanent changes to benefits, communication methods, and recruitment will all likely take place in the new year. We will look to HR to lead the charge on those changes.

Personalized Benefits

As many companies implemented new ways of working, employees were all experiencing severely different situations. Some dealt with lay offs or furloughs; others juggled working and providing childcare or remote learning support for children; others still experienced difficulties in managing their physical and mental wellness. As a result, we expect the trend of personalization to be applied to benefits that meet employees wherever they are. This concept of personalized benefits provides individual aid that helps each employee, no matter their situation. As an employee discount provider, we found the benefit that we provide uniquely offers this aid. With PerkSpot, employees save on remote work tools, childcare, mental and physical wellness products, plus discounts on everyday items that were crucial for those dealing with difficult financial situations.

Integrating Purpose Into Business

As many companies shifted to remote working, leaders grew concerned about productivity and engagement levels dipping. This concern grew from the lack of presence of coworkers and a strict work environment. In 2021, one way to combat these concerns is to emphasize and integrate purpose back into your business. A PwC survey found that 79% of leaders believe purpose is central to business success. As HR leaders, it’s up to you to emphasize the importance of purpose to managers and employees alike, reminding them that their work is crucial and matters to those it impacts, whomever they may be. Speak with leaders to ensure closer ties between company strategy and company values. Regularly communicate these ties to managers and employees.

Upskilling for Employees

Upskilling is a new concept that has the potential to take center stage in 2021. Plus, it can cover a number of different areas. In fact, a recent survey from TalentLMS found that 42% of companies increased their efforts to upskill employees after the coronavirus outbreak, and 42% of employees pursued training opportunities on their own. As companies expand to incorporate new technologies, rely on employees to roll with the non-stop punches, and ask the workforce to more independently focus on individual projects and responsibilities, upskilling can significantly help with these changes. We predict that 2021 will be a year that emphasizes the importance of upskilling employees within the workforce to expand skillsets, provide new opportunities, and fill higher roles within the organization.

2020 was full of changes to the way we work, communicate, interact, and engage, and many of those changes came swiftly and without any warning. As we enter the new year, we hope we’ll have a much better idea of the changes coming and can more accurately begin shifting our HR strategies and plans to account for them.

What is the Value of Employee Recognition?

As an HR professional, you’ve probably heard time and time again about the importance of employee recognition in your workplace. But recognition—and its impacts—can be difficult to measure. In turn, it makes it difficult for you to prove value and positive effect to important stakeholders in your organization. Check out 4 ways employee recognition can positively impact your company and your employees below!

thank you note and pen

Recognition Impacts Productivity

At its most basic level, the purpose of recognition is to acknowledge a job well done by an employee. And without it, productivity is likely to fall. In fact, a recent survey found that engagement, productivity, and performance are 14% higher than in those companies without recognition. A company that implements employee recognition of any form is more likely to see not only a more productive workforce but a workforce that can quickly and intelligibly recognize good work that aligns with a company’s mission and values. Furthermore, public employee recognition can take this one step further by showcasing what kind of work receives recognition. This helps spread higher output and productivity throughout teams and the organization as a whole.

Recognition Impacts Retention and Turnover

How often do you recognize your employees right now? If it’s not on a regular basis, there’s a chance you could be negatively impacting both retention and turnover in the process. In fact, employees said in a Gallup survey that they didn’t feel adequately recognized at their jobs, making them twice as likely as their regularly recognized counterparts to consider quitting their current jobs. Implement a regular system of employee recognition. In turn, you can retain your hard-working, well-trained employees, and avoid the task of replacing them.

Recognition Impacts Culture

Have you ever heard the phrase “culture of recognition”? While many companies may claim to have this type of culture, their methods and cadences of employee recognition may beg to differ. To truly achieve a culture of recognition, a more formalized and regulated method of employee recognition must be implemented within your organization. Something as simple as a regular “Thank you for your hard work on this task” can do wonders for employees and the way they feel about their jobs, but recognition must come in other forms as well to help employees feel that their company is truly invested in themselves and develop a true culture of recognition. Of course, programs like these can seem overwhelming or too difficult to manage alongside other important tasks. That’s why PerkSpot offers an employee recognition program and platform that effectively manages itself, filling your organization’s gap in recognition and providing a fast, easy, and effective solution for employee recognition.

Recognition During COVID-19 and the Holiday Season

Now more than ever, your company must consider how it’s recognizing employees. Between a global pandemic and the stress of the holiday season, employees likely feel more burned out, unproductive, and frazzled by things like finances and work/life balance than ever before. Remember, employee recognition doesn’t always have to be given to the highest earners or performers. Recognition can also exist to simply acknowledge employees who are working hard. This provides them with a boost in confidence and a way to feel more engaged in their roles and responsibilities. This holiday season, recognize your employees when they need it most.

You cannot overstate the importance of employee recognition. Regularly recognizing employees for their hard work and dedication to their organization is absolutely essential. Plus, it has far-sweeping benefits throughout your entire organization and bottom line. If you’re interested in partnering with PerkSpot to implement an effective and easily managed recognition system, reach out today!