Giving Thanks for Customers, Employees & All That is Good

In the craziness of everyday life, it’s easy to forget about the good things that are happening all around us. How often do you focus on the things you haven’t done? You think about the phone calls you didn’t get to, the orders that didn’t ship out today, the presentation you still need to finish.

And then you listen to the news, which rarely ever makes you feel better about your situation.  I know you listen because I hear your conversations around me. The housing market! Gas prices! Heidi and Seal’s children! Oh the horrors!

Take this moment, this day, this month to focus on giving THANKS for all the good that IS in your life. Pay attention to what the people around you are doing RIGHT. Look for and praise the employee who shows up on time and takes initiative. Say thank you to her. Think about all the good clients you have, the ones you enjoy talking to and working for. Let them know they’re special. Recognize the effort that your vendor makes when you absolutely, positively have to have your order shipped out today. Tell them you value their heroic effort.

I recently read an article that suggested people don’t say thank you because they’re afraid that if they do, somewhere down the line they’ll be asked to “pay up”. For example, if you recognize an employee’s efforts, you’ll have to give him a raise. But the writer went on to point out that if you think about the times when you’ve been thanked, you’ll realize you are not then mentally figuring out how much the other person owes you. That’s just not how appreciation works.

While you’re at it, take some time to show some appreciation to yourself. Maybe you didn’t get everything crossed off your list this week, but give yourself credit for what you DID accomplish. Here’s a nice pat on the back.

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Gifts for Administrative Professionals

If your desk doesn't look like this, perhaps your Administrative Professional deserves some thanks!

Every year, the fourth week of April is designated as Administrative Professionals’ Week and this year April 25th specifically is Administrative Professionals’ Day. So who is it in your business who takes care of all the stuff you don’t have time for? You know, the organizing of files (so your office doesn’t look like this), booking flights, scheduling appointments, handling all the details so nothing falls through the cracks and you get to do what you’re so good at.

I guarantee your Admin knows all about this day and if you don’t acknowledge, well, let’s just say you may want to handle your own travel plans next trip, lest you be put on a schedule with 3 connecting flights and tight connection times. Ha Ha!

You may be tempted to wait to the last minute and then pick up a box of chocolates. Oh, but wait. I said Administrative Professionals’ Day, not Valentine’s Day! Don’t go there.

A nice lunch out? Sure, that could work

  1. If you work in the same office. Many people have virtual assistants or don’t work in the same geographic location. And
  2. If your admin considers lunch with the boss a delightful treat.

If you really want to send the right message, a message of appreciation and gratitude for what she or he does for you day in and day out, here’s a better Administrative Professionals Day gift idea. Gratitude Cookies from Zen Rabbit. Or maybe Gratitude Cookies and Zen Crunch, together – they do make a nice combo package.

Money Trees bring good luck & prosperity to those who keep them in their offices

Or perhaps a very cool Money Tree?

Since taking care of a gift for your Administrative Professional is NOT something you can delegate to your Administrative Professional (please!), you need to take action NOW while it’s fresh in your mind. April 25th is approaching faster than you think and you do NOT want to be caught short.

Check out the gift packages at ZenRabbit.com and get free shipping on orders placed by April 18, 2012.

Why Gratitude is Good for Business

Right on is what I said when I saw this article posted by Fortune magazine on CNNMoney. It’s always a good thing when people are talking about the importance of gratitude in business, even if they’re not quoting me. Ha ha.

In fact, two of the people they did quote, Kristina Bouweiri/Reston Limousine and Heidi Kallett/The Dandelion Patch, are strong business women in my local circle of contacts. How cool is that?!

The article totally supports what Zen Rabbit is all about – building appreciation into a business’ daily and weekly plans and strategies and doing it year-round instead of just for the December holidays. Of course these business people are seeing benefits to this approach in terms of more engaged workers and more loyal customers.

See the whole article here, at http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2011/11/23/why-gratitude-is-good-for-business-year-round/

It’s Customer Service Week

This is Customer Service Week. Now you might think that every week, or every day, is about providing excellent customer service. That’s what I would say too. But this week is actually more about recognizing the people on your team who work with your customers and help ensure that they are properly taken care of.

If you have people who service your customers, this week is a great time to:

  • Boost morale, motivation and teamwork.
  • Reward frontline reps.
  • Increase company-wide awareness of the importance of delivering super customer service.
  • Thank colleagues in other departments for their support.
  • Remind customers of your team’s commitment to creating raving fans.

There are a million ways to show your appreciation for your fantastic team members. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Throw a party and provide breakfast, lunch or afternoon treats.
  • Hand out certificates of appreciation.
  • Bring in a massage therapist to provide seated or chair massages.
  • Play games or other fun activities and award prizes.
  • Give away special gifts (Gratitude Cookies or Zen Crunch make an especially nice gesture).

It’s not so much about what you choose to do, as much as that you do something to recognize the efforts of your customer service team.

Administrative Professionals Day / Week

Heads up ~ The week of April 18-24th is Administrative Professionals Week and April 21st is Administrative Professionals Day. Started in 1952, as National Secretaries Week / Day, it was organized to call attention to the value and contributions of administrative professionals in the workplace. Over the years, this has become one of the largest workplace observances and is celebrated worldwide during the last full week of April.

Today, there are more than 4.1 million secretaries and administrative assistants working in the United States, according to U.S. Department of Labor statistics, and 8.9 million people working in various administrative support roles. More than 475,000 administrative professionals are employed in Canada. Millions more administrative professionals work in offices all over the world. (this info comes from the International Association of Administrative Professionals.)

Think about it, how much more difficult would your job be if not for your fantastic administrative support people? Since gifts are by far the most common way of giving recognition to these most important people on your staff, check out these gift ideas:

Afternoon Indulgence package

Afternoon Indulgence=Cookies & Tea

Zen Crunch

Zen Crunch in Velvet Box

Gratitude Cookies & Chocolate sauce

Gratitude Cookies & Chocolate Sauce

Employee Appreciation Time

EmployeeAppNow is a good time to remember and appreciate the employees who are working so hard for your company’s success. It’s the time of year when school’s out and any holidays that generate good will and celebration are few and far between. This year, many companies are asking fewer employees to make do with less resources. Which is why it’s the perfect time to show some gratitude for your people.

I just read an article about businesses in New England using food to reward employees. The article itself wasn’t all that great, so I won’t provide you with a link. But there was a quote in it from Paul Baard, a communications professor at Fordham University who researches workplace motivation. He said, food “appeals to our need for relatedness.”

Yes, people need to feel connected. They need to feel part of a community. They need to know that what they are doing day in and day out on behalf of your company is relevant.

Giving food gifts, or “breaking bread” with others, has always been an important and personal form of recognition. It offers a level of genuine connection that cannot be achieved through any other means. So make an investment in the well being of your employees (and your company overall) and show some gratitude.

Rewarding Your MVP

Last night after the Giants won Super Bowl XLII, game MVP quarterback Eli Manning was awarded a Cadillac Escalade Hybrid as a gesture of recognition for a job well done. Who are the MVPs on your team and what are you doing to reward their efforts? I’m not saying you need to give away cars to show your thanks. But your business will benefit when you give some kind of recognition to the people who work with and for you.The other day someone was telling me about an article he read that explained how different generations of employees need different levels of recognition. It said that people over 55 think they’re doing a good job as long as they’re not being yelled at. People ages 35-55 like an occasional pat on the back and acknowledgement of their contribution. And workers in their twenties and early thirties need consistent encouragement and to continually be told how well they’re doing. I don’t know how true or valid these “findings” are, but the bottom line is everyone needs to know they are on the right track.

So whether it’s verbal praise, a box of cookies or a new car, the important thing is to make sure your team players know how valuable they are to the team’s success.