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Exclusive: 10 easy employee recognition ideas for when “thank you” just isn’t enough

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10 easy employee recognition ideas for when “thank you” just isn’t enough

#easy #employee #recognition #ideas #isnt

Keeping your team happy and motivated should be high on your priority list — especially if you want them to stick around. Studies show that 82% of employees are happier when recognized at work, and 63% of regularly recognized team members say they’re less likely to look for another job

Employee retention aside, praising your team also boosts productivity and engagement. And while a simple “thank you” always goes a long way, there are lots of other easy ways to provide additional encouragement and recognition. 

Here are 10 we love:

1. Know what makes them tick 

Recognition may look different to different team members. So, it’s important to learn and understand 

what motivates each employee. 

An easy way to “read the room” is to build an employee survey. Check out our article for a simple 4-step process and template. 

Once you know what each team member most appreciates, set up a few ‘recognition’ buckets with each person’s name sorted into that you can look back on when it’s time to say “great job.” 

2. Remember their anniversary 

Recognizing work anniversaries is a simple way to show you appreciate your employee’s efforts year in and year out. Set up a calendar to keep track of when everyone started so you can commemorate the special day. 

Also, call it out on your team communication platform so everyone can celebrate together. You can also offer small gifts like an extra discount for your products, free lunch, or even something inexpensive but fun, like lottery tickets. 

3. Give a Shout Out

If your prize employee enjoys the spotlight, public praise will be well received. Recognizing accomplishments during a business-wide meeting or on your social media pages will likely benefit everyone’s morale.

It also sends the message to the rest of your employees that you notice and appreciate extra efforts. But this is one case in which it pays to know your employee’s personalities — some people would love nothing more than to have their praises sung from the rooftops, whereas others would prefer something more low-key. 

In the Homebase app, Shout Outs make it easy for everyone — managers and employees alike — to recognize one another when they go above and beyond. 

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4. Let them control the playlist 

Award someone for their positive attitude by giving them the chance to keep the good vibes going. Take a day off from worrying about workplace tunes and pass the control over to a high-performing employee. 

Tip: Before handing out this award, invite everyone to submit their ideal playlist. This way, you can have it ready to go when the time comes — and you’ll have some time to make sure none of the songs are inappropriate for your space. It’s also an easy way to get to know your team a little better! 

5. Start a peer-driven nomination program 

An “Employee of the Month” program is nothing new, but sometimes this type of recognition can mean more when it comes from peers. Ask your staff to keep an eye out for star colleagues and have everyone submit their nominations at the end of each month. 

This kind of recognition will boost interaction among employees and help create a more positive culture, which is always an added bonus. 

6. Give the gift of surprise

Sure, everyone gets accustomed to ‘Employee of the Month’ awards, but an unexpected praise bomb can sometimes be more impactful. Who doesn’t like an unexpected present just for being a great employee? 

Surprise praise can also be given to your team as a whole. Maybe your sales for the month were exceptionally high, or maybe the staff achieved a new goal faster than expected. Wins like these deserve a mini-celebration like free treats from your local cookie shop or a team happy hour. 

7. Award special assignments

Sometimes, a new and exciting project is the best reward for star employees. While it may seem strange to reward good workers with more work, chances are they’ll appreciate your confidence in their abilities.

Giving your best chefs the chance to revamp your lunch menu, for instance, will reinforce your appreciation for their knowledge and capabilities. This is also a good way to delegate responsibilities and keep your own workload manageable — your entire team will benefit.

8. Offer flexible scheduling

Another easy way to show your appreciation is through preferential employee scheduling. Many team members value flexible work hours, according to a recent Homebase survey. Give them the option to trade shifts and update their availability with a minimal amount of notice.

Other employees may prefer stability over flexibility — especially if they have a family. For them, publishing their schedules weeks in advance will add a little predictability to their lives and their pay.

9. Help them recharge 

Mental health is seen as a high priority for 50% of employees, according to a recent study. Give deserving team members a chance to recharge by creating a “wellness menu” they can pick from, like: 

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  • Massages
  • Yoga or dance class pass
  • Reflexology 
  • Cooking class 

You can also set a budget and allow them to pick a wellness activity of their choice. 

10. Be specific

Instead of saying, “thanks for all you do,” explain what you’re thanking them for. This way your team can internalize what types of behavior drive recognition. It’s the most straightforward way to reward good behavior and make sure your employees know exactly where to direct their efforts.

From Shout Outs to flexible scheduling, Homebase provides the tools you need to not only recognize your team for a job well done but also to keep them happy, motivated, and successful


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Exclusive: U.S. flight disruptions finally ease as the holiday weekend winds down – TalkOfNews.com

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U.S. flight disruptions finally ease as the holiday weekend winds down

#flight #disruptions #finally #ease #holiday #weekend #winds

Lighted tunnel in the United Airlines terminal, O’Hare International Airport, Chicago Illinois.

Andrew Woodley | Universal Images Group via Getty Images

U.S. airline delays eased on Monday as weather improved, a relief for travelers and airlines as the July Fourth holiday weekend comes to an end.

As of Monday afternoon, about 1,200 U.S. flights were delayed and 183 were canceled, down from nearly 4,700 delays and more than 300 cancellations a day earlier, according to flight-tracking site FlightAware.

This year through July 3, 2.8% of the more than 4.1 million flights scheduled by U.S. airlines were canceled, up from 2.1% of the more than 4.74 million flights scheduled in the same period, according to FlightAware. And so far this year, 20.2% of flights were delayed, up from 16.7%.

about a fifth of U.S. airlines’ flights were delayed and 2.8% canceled, up from 2.1% canceled over the same period of 2019.

The weekend was key for airlines as executives expected a surge of travelers after more than two years of the Covid-19 pandemic. Passengers shelled out more for tickets as fares surpassed 2019 levels.

Industry staffing shortages, many the result of buyouts that airlines urged workers to take during the pandemic, have exacerbated routine challenges like bad weather.

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U.S. airline executives will begin detailing their summer performances and providing updated outlooks for the year in quarterly reports starting midmonth. A big question is what happens after the summer-travel peak fades, as many children in the U.S. go back to school in August.

Airlines spent the last few weeks focusing on limiting summer travel disruptions. Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and others have trimmed their schedules to give themselves more room to recover when things go wrong, such as when thunderstorms hit major airline hubs over the weekend.

Airlines and federal transportation officials have pointed fingers at one another in recent days over the cause of the flight disruptions. Airlines blamed air traffic control for lengthy delays, while the FAA and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg lashed out at airlines for letting go of workers during the pandemic, despite billions in federal aid.

Buttigieg on Saturday said one of his own flights was canceled.

“The complexity of modern aviation requires everything to work in concert,” said Matt Colbert, who previously managed operations and strategies at several U.S. carriers and is the founder of consulting firm Empire Aviation Services.

Delta took the unusual step of allowing travelers to change their flights outside of the peak July 1-4 period if they can fly though July 8, without paying a difference in fare, in hopes customers could avoid some of the disruptions on the busiest days. Envoy Air, a regional carrier owned by American Airlines, offered pilots triple pay to pick up extra shifts in July, CNBC reported last month.

“Bring patience,” Colbert said. “The people working on the other side of the counter are frustrated, too.”

European travel has become chaotic with passengers at some of the biggest hubs facing long lines and baggage delays as the industry faces staffing issues and a surge in demand.

Scandinavian airline SAS on Monday said it would be forced to cancel half of its flights after pay talks with pilots’ union representatives broke down, setting off a strike. Meanwhile, the chief operating officer of low-cost airline easyJet resigned after recent waves of flight cancellations.

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Exclusive: Workplace Learning Is Broken. These 5 Steps Tell You How to Fix It. – TalkOfNews.com

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Workplace Learning Is Broken. These 5 Steps Tell You How to Fix It.

#Workplace #Learning #Broken #Steps #Fix

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Learning at work is broken. Across the U.S., hundreds of billions of dollars are spent each year on employee training — and most of it is a waste.

A study conducted by the Harvard Business Review reported that 70% of employees claim they don’t have mastery of the skills needed to do their jobs; only 25% believe training measurably improves performance; and only 12% apply new skills learned in learning and development programs to their jobs.

But the fact remains: Employees need on-job learning to be successful at work. So what is the best way to improve the situation? The first step to fixing the problem is to understand why it exists in the first place.

Related: 4 Reasons for Low Training Participation (and How to Change it)

How we learn at work today

Today, when employees go through training, this often looks like long, exhaustive seminars, multiple videos or required readings. Many times, this content becomes outdated quickly and is not frequently updated.

But how we actually learn is closer to the concept of information foraging. According to this model, people will calculate the likelihood that a source will give them the answer they are looking for against the time cost it will take them to get the answer from that source.

So when your employees need to recall something that was presented to them in training, is it more likely that they will seek out the recording of that training session or video? Or is it more likely that they’ll go directly to someone who can answer their question quickly?

Employees quickly forget what they learn

One of the primary reasons that traditional training isn’t working is called “the Forgetting Curve.” In the late 19th century, German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus conducted experiments on memory. His findings illuminated how quickly the brain loses new information along with a visual representation of the way learning fades over time — the Forgetting Curve.

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Essentially, once we learn something, there is a steep dropoff in retention if we don’t reinforce what we have learned. Most of us can relate if we’ve ever sat through a long presentation or LMS course only to find that we remember little of it later that day.

We know from research that we need to reinforce learning regularly to keep from losing knowledge. But what does this reinforcement look like for an organization that is trying to arm its employees with knowledge that will help them to be successful in their jobs?

It’s different in every situation, but there are steps we can universally take to improve the learning experience at work. Most people prefer to learn by doing, and the best time to learn this information is when it is actually relevant and needed. Once we can connect learning with a real-world situation, it becomes easier to absorb.

Related: 3 Ways to Make Corporate Training Fun

5 steps to improve learning at work

The biggest takeaway from research on how we learn as adults is that information needs to be presented that is relevant when it is needed, and in digestible or “snackable” pieces. This is where “just-in-time learning” comes into play.

Just-in-time learning aims to deliver consumable pieces of information at the time your employee needs to use it — remember, adults prefer to learn by doing. And because we are all struggling with selective attention, we need to deliver that information in a way that is not overwhelming.

Let’s review five steps that can help make learning at work successful.

  1. Make training relevant and timely. Your employees want to learn information that will actually help them. Focus on how the information will benefit them and be more successful in their jobs. Why is this worth their precious time? Rather than bombarding your new hires with hours of information that they are unlikely to remember, seek to deliver information when they will actually need it in small doses of microcontent. We have limited attention spans — the more digestible the information, the better.
  2. Consider the value of your employees’ time. Take into account the hourly salary of your employees and the time they are in training today. If you calculate their hourly rate against the hours of training, how expensive are your classes if the employee is not getting value and retaining knowledge? And if your employees feel that the training is a waste of their time, that’s even worse. They are likely to be multitasking their way through the course. When you consider your training program, make sure the benefit is clear to your employees and that you are developing your training with specific and measurable goals in mind.
  3. Involve your employees in the learning process. Are your employees actively involved in training, or are they passive attendees? Involving your employees in the training process is more effective for many reasons. For one, peers respect peers. Second, coworkers naturally communicate with one another more fluidly than with upper management or an instructor. And last and maybe most importantly, when your employees are involved in the process, they take ownership of the outcome.
  4. Balance learning with physical needs. For your training to be successful, your employees need to be in a good place both mentally and physically. If you are hosting intensive in-person training, be sure you are providing plenty of brain breaks, time for walking or stretching, healthy snacks, and encourage everyone to stay hydrated.
  5. Structure your learning program with a multifaceted approach. The need for your employees to reskill and upskill will continue to be important for the success of your team — especially as your organization strives to thrive through unpredictable tides of change. But when it comes to learning, there is not a silver bullet approach. The best method is to build a learning strategy that is versatile and broad to benefit the majority of your employees.

Learning at work today is broken, but it doesn’t have to be. With these five steps, your employees can be more engaged, prepared and set up for success.

Related: 3 Corporate Training Resolutions for 2022

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Exclusive: Elon Musk Just Made a Life-Changing Adjustment, and It's Actually Quite Inspiring – TalkOfNews.com

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Elon Musk Just Made a Life-Changing Adjustment, and It's Actually Quite Inspiring

#Elon #Musk #LifeChanging #Adjustment #andIt039s #Inspiring

Friends, readers, fellow humans. I come to learn from Elon Musk, not to praise him. 

Yet, if I’m reading this correctly, Musk just made a smart, healthy lifestyle change that’s worthy of praise and imitation, even if it might only have been temporary. 

Background: You may have read that Musk took a 9-day break recently from Twitter. 

This was a big change for him. According to the tally at the top of his Twitter bio, Musk has tweeted roughly 18,500 times.

And, based on an analysis of about 14,000 of those tweets between 2018 and this year, he’s tweeted at least an average of between 8 and 10 times a day, nearly every day going back almost five years. 

Until last month, he hadn’t gone more than six days without a tweet during that same time period, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.

Heck — and this sounds like it should be a joke, but of course we all know it’s not — Musk likes tweeting so much that he’s literally trying to buy the company. 

So against all that, Musk takes more than a week off — and when he reemerges, it’s with the following:

  • A tweet mourning the death of YouTube influencer Technoblade, and
  • A tweet celebrating Musk’s trip, along with four of his eight children, to meet Pope Francis in Rome.

I don’t know what Musk was doing during those nine tweet-less days. Bloomberg, Business Insider and other media described his absence as “mysterious.” Maybe it had something to do with his plan to buy Twitter.

But, to me it’s like a reader reading a poem, or a visitor looking at a painting. What the artist intended matters, but whatever you take away from the experience matters more.

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Here’s what I take away. We are what we repeatedly do, as more than a few people have famously said. Yet, there are eras in which our lives are overpowered by our habits — and by a compulsion to do things that aren’t necessarily the things we want to define us. 

Sometimes we need a break. Sometimes it’s really hard to pull off.

Is that what Musk was doing? Taking an intentional break? Maybe even deciding to spend a dedicated stretch of time with (some of) his kids?

It would be an important decision, and inspiring to think so, even if we can’t know for sure.

And it leaves me asking a question: What’s the thing in your life that distracts you from your most important relationships? 

Social media? Obsession with work? Vices? Something else?

How would cutting them off temporarily — cold Turkey, for a week or 10 days — allow you to repair and nurture the things you really want to define you?

Look, people either love Musk or hate him at this point. There’s very little middle ground.

But as I write in my free ebook, Elon Musk Has Very Big Plans, you don’t have to feel one way or another to learn from him. 

Maybe this is just one of those learnable moments. And an opportunity, as we start the summer, to unplug just long enough for it to really matter.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
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