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employee recognition

How to Integrate Recognition Into Your Everyday Work Life

What are you doing to integrate recognition into your everyday work life? According to a 2018 report by Achievers and Aptitude Research Partners, companies identified recognition as having the greatest impact on employee engagement. This isn’t surprising considering 60% of companies plan to increase their investment in social recognition technology this year. With social recognition comes positive business results:

  • 4X more likely to improve stock prices
  • 2X more likely to improve NPS scores
  • 2X more likely to improve individual performances

Recognition should not be limited to a one-time occurrence. To maximize its impact, recognition needs to be frequent and shown on a daily basis. If you already made an investment in an employee recognition program or are planning to, let’s make sure your initiative gets the light of day. It’s important to make sure employees are frequently recognized and rewarded in the workplace. Below are top tips on how to integrate recognition into your everyday work life.

Take Advantage of Integrations

We recognize not all employees are able to be on your recognition platform 24/7. This is where integrations come into play. Through an Open API, it is now easy and seamless for employees to send and receive recognitions in the everyday flow of work. You now have the ability to integrate recognition into your company’s everyday platforms, whether it’s an intranet portal, instant messaging tool or learning management system. Don’t limit where employees can participate in recognition activities – look beyond just one platform and integrate recognition throughout multiple employee touchpoints.

Deliver a Fun User Experience

No one wants a boring user experience. Make sure your recognition platform has an engaging and easy-to-use interface. Daily active usage of any program depends on the quality of the user experience. Have fun with your recognition platform and see what is possible. Consider branding your recognition program to reflect your company’s style and design. Make sure your employees have options to play with – whether it’s monetary or social recognition, peer-to-peer or manager-to-employee recognition, or one-click recognitions. Let employees easily tie recognitions to company values. By incorporating values to recognition activities, you’re instilling your company’s mission and values on a regular basis.

Provide Unbeatable Rewards

Recognition is one thing, but what about the rewards that can come with it? Let recognition extend beyond the workplace and into your employees’ lives outside of the office with unbeatable rewards. Provide monetary recognition so that employees can accrue points, which they can later redeem for rewards. Offer an extensive rewards catalog that gets employees excited. Let employees pick the rewards that mean the most to them. So the next time your employees are looking at their new reward, such as an Apple TV, they will think about the constant recognition they received to redeem it. With the right rewards, employees will be motivated to recognize more often.

Brainstorm Campaign Ideas

Don’t wait for employees to come to your employee recognition platform, go to them! Push out fun campaigns throughout the year that will make employees want to get involved. Major companies, such as Scotiabank and Cox Automotive, are already executing successful campaigns for their recognition program. Scotiabank executed its “Pay It Forwardcampaign, which resulted in 86% activation globally, while Cox Automotive had its “Spark Week” celebration, which resulted in 25,522 “Thank You” recognition cards being sent across the platform. Don’t know when you should kick off your first or next campaign? Consider Employee Appreciation Week (EAW). EAW is the perfect opportunity to execute a creative campaign surrounding your employee recognition program and boost activity. Find inspiration from a list of Achievers clients who celebrated awesomeness during EAW.

So what are you waiting for? Start integrating recognition into your everyday work life. In a Gallup survey, two-thirds of employees stated they didn’t receive any recognition for their work over the last seven days. Let’s break the pattern and make recognition a frequent, everyday event in the workplace.

If you’re ready to increase recognition, download Achievers e-book covering three ways to make recognition and everyday event.

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About the Author
Kellie WongKellie Wong is a Content Marketing Manager for Achievers. She manages The Engage Blog and produces a range of marketing content. In addition to being the final editor of all blog content for The Engage Blog, she also manages and maintains relationships with 45+ writing contributors. Connect with Kellie on LinkedIn.

 

 

 

 

employee productivity

3 Ways to Increase Productivity Using Workers’ Personality Types

In office environments, balancing work and small talk, focus, and idle chit-chat can sometimes feel like an uphill battle in a desk chair. Maybe that’s why the web is stuffed with productivity articles outlining how to be more deliberate, engaged, and focused at work. Going down that rabbit hole — and we share your enjoyment of the irony here — could lose you a few productive hours all on its own.

But at the end of the day, what do we really know about productivity? And more importantly, what do we know about unproductivity? What distracts employees the most? Beyond what you already know about everyday distractions like text messages, online shopping, news alerts, social media, and everything else our smart devices are begging us to pay attention to, the real office productivity killer might be much more personal. In a recent survey by TSheets, respondents ranked talkative co-workers and co-workers who interrupt as the top distractions at work.

But despite what you may have heard, politeness still matters. So this new revelation of unproductivity and chatty co-workers could make addressing distractions a little … awkward. HR managers and people leaders should be deliberate when embarking on productivity quests, considering different personalities and how they can work better together, ultimately, to produce more.

Personality Types and Productivity in Noisy Environments

Perhaps you’ve administered or taken some version of a personality test for work, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a well-known assessment that assigns respondents to one of 16 personality types. Contrary to popular opinion, the MBTI doesn’t simply determine who is shy and who is outgoing. The test assesses how individuals get their energy (whether they are energized by groups or by being alone).

Now, we don’t need to go into detail about the test itself but, rather, discuss the ways people who are inherently introverted or extroverted might react to noise in their environment. In this case, we’re talking about noise created by co-workers such as background chatter, side conversations, and small talk. You know, typical office banter about Mondays, coffee, and what’s for lunch.

In the Journal of Environmental Psychology’s “Mental Performance in Noise: The Role of Introversion,” researchers tested the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire on medical students to determine their levels of introversion and extroversion before asking them to perform mathematical tasks in noisy and quiet conditions. In conclusion, the extroverted students were more productive in the noisy environment compared to the quiet, whereas more introverted people experienced concentration problems and fatigue in noise. “Correlation analysis,” the researchers explain, “revealed a highly significant negative relation of extroversion and noise annoyance during mental processing.”

While it’s unfair to categorize employees based on their introverted or extroverted tendencies, the information on how different personalities work can help managers ensure the highest productivity levels for their teams. Even small changes to the office environment and workweek can improve focus for a range of personalities working under one roof.

  1. Restructure Breaks

The TSheets unproductivity survey also showed that while productivity experts encourage people to take seven breaks per day for maximum output, 3 out of 5 workers said it’s unlikely they would be able to take seven breaks per day. Meanwhile, 60 percent of respondents said they feel taking a daily lunch break helps boost their productivity. That said, 1 in 5 workers admits to powering through the day without taking a lunch — and they find themselves more productive for it.

Whether employees are eating lunch at their desks or getting away for an hour, one thing is for sure: Breaks should be for re-energizing. And depending on where workers get their energy, whether it’s from socializing or having alone time, not taking proper breaks can really drain a person.

HR managers should encourage leaders and employees to see the value of social breaks and quiet, solo breaks. And employees should feel empowered to take the solo breaks they need or to organize activities and lunches with others during breaks, so they’re re-energized before returning to their work. To emphasize the importance of knowing how workers re-energize, HR managers can have employees take a personality test (like the Myers-Briggs assessment) upon hiring or ask questions about the types of downtime workers find most refreshing.

  1. Offer Flexibility and Remote Working Options

TSheets respondents said the flexibility to work remotely is the No. 1 factor that would make them more productive. Whether introverted or extroverted, sometimes being in a comfortable, familiar environment can help foster creative thinking. This option was second only to more flexible hours, which 61 percent said would be the biggest productivity booster. So flexible hours and the ability to work remotely when possible or appropriate could be a game-changer for productivity.

HR managers who don’t have a remote workforce can first look into the feasibility of employees working remotely. If it seems possible, send out a companywide survey to gauge how much employees might value the option. With enough interest, consider a policy wherein employees can work remotely a specific number of days per week, month, or quarter, or allow them to pick the days they work from home so long as they notify their manager and aren’t needed on site. This flexibility will show trust, and managers can monitor productivity should the privilege need reversing. Since the survey respondents marked remote work as something that would make them the most productive, it could be worth a shot.

  1. Reduce Noise Pollution

If remote work and flexibility or lenient breaks aren’t possible for your specific office environment, there are things you can do to encourage a quiet workspace for those who are distracted by their co-workers. For more introverted employees, noise-canceling headphones are a good investment. It’s also helpful to have areas around the office where employees can work quietly, without interruption. That way, when the volume turns up and people need to focus, they can politely excuse themselves and go to a room with less noise. Offices with an open-office plan can use partitions to block out both noise and visual distractions, so employees can get in the zone.

Do different personality types respond to noise distractions differently? Almost certainly. Will the office environment ever be completely distraction-free? Doubtful! But employers and HR managers can take the time to configure the environment for flexibility and more energizing breaks and give workers a choice between noise and quiet.

To learn more about how to engage the modern workforce, check out Achievers e-book: “How to Incentivize the Modern Workforce.

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About the Author
Kim Harris headshotKim Harris is a copywriter and blogger based in Boise, Idaho, who has been putting her journalism background to good use telling true stories and helping businesses grow since 2008. When she’s not writing for TSheets by QuickBooks, you’ll find her queuing up entertainment and plotting her next escape.

 

 

 

 

Achievers CARES

Achievers CARES: Going Above and Beyond with Employee Volunteer Opportunities

It’s easy to come to work, put your head down and focus on your tasks at hand. I am young and I care so much more about what the impact of my work means, not just that things get done.

At Achievers, we understand that work is so much more than getting things done. The company’s motto is to Change the way the world works, and we truly believe that. I am amazed every day by the efforts everyone puts in, and by the many opportunities available to me to impact my community. I have been fortunate to volunteer a bunch this year, with numerous opportunities provided to me through Achievers CARES, our volunteer-led, staff charitable group – who help people like me get involved.

One of the main perks of volunteers with Achievers CARES is that you develop deeper relationships with your co-workers, many of whom you would not normally cross paths with as much.

I volunteer because we are permitted four volunteer days each year, and my manager is extremely understanding in providing me the time off. I’m lucky to be encouraged to do more than just my job, and I’ve been able to meet some really great colleagues and friends through the experiences I’ve had. Volunteering has helped me professionally, as it’s an added avenue for relationship-building that otherwise wouldn’t come up as much. It’s amazing to experience some of the great things happening in our local community, and it feels good to give my time. It is through my volunteering experiences that I’ve cultivated friendships and learned more about our business through the perspective of the people I am volunteering with.

When I was graduating university, I never imagined working at a company that offers so many opportunities. I always encourage new graduates to find a place that allows them to do the things they love, and that advice applies to experienced professionals as well. I am proud when people look up to me and ask my opinion about the work I do – it’s a great feeling! Knowing that our business cares about employee values gives me a sense of pride in my workplace and makes me that much more grateful to support initiatives that truly do Change the way the world works. Some of the events I’ve enjoyed the most this year are:

  1. CN Tower Climb for WWF: This one was tough, but great exercise as we collectively climbed the CN Tower as a team. I had never climbed to the top of the tower before, and it was great relief to get to the top! It didn’t feel like a lot of work, even though we raised a a large amount of money and woke up early to climb to the top of the tower.
  2. Kids Learning Code Camp: I participated this summer, and it was amazing to see campers, High School volunteers, University summer employees all come together with full-time employees to help deliver a meaningful experience for the kids at the camp. We helped teach kids about how to develop and market a business; and the kids were so young! They were smart and motivated, and I was proud when people asked for my opinion as we moved through the content.
  3. Blood Drive with Canadian Blood Services: I think everyone should give blood, and I’m grateful that Achievers CARES organizes this for us. I don’t think I would be as willing to organize this on my own. Since they make it easy to get involved, I go every time and I truly feel like I am saving lives.
  4. Food Drive for Parkdale Community Foodbank: We have some fun department competition with this one. The goal is to bring in the most amount of food by department, and the winner gets a pizza party. The best part is, through friendly competition, we make a big impact in the local community that relies on these types of donations to survive – it’s incredible.

There is no doubt that Toronto has grown increasingly competitive for top talent, and I’m sure that companies know this. We are lucky to have an organization that cares about employees having a meaningful experience. Our Achievers CARES team dedicates so much of their time to ensuring that we have valuable opportunities in our local community, and I could not be more grateful. It is so easy for me to get involved and have fun too! This team really goes above and beyond to identify awesome opportunities and raise necessary funds for local charities. Thanks to their efforts, we raise thousands of dollars for local and international initiatives and get involved in our communities to make the world a better place.

If you are reading this and don’t currently have a clearly defined employee volunteering or fundraising plan, don’t wait and get started today! It’s never too late to show your employees that you care about what they care about and are willing to invest in your community.

Thank you to our amazing group of Achievers CARES volunteers who make our workplace a brighter place, and show they care about our local communities.

Learn more by viewing the Achievers CARES photo album.

Do you want to join the A-Team? Apply for one of our open positions here.

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About the Author
Jeremy KwokJeremy Kwok is a Software Engineer (Development) at Achievers.

 

 

 

 

 

Achievers employees bowling

Are You Having Fun at Work?

A few years ago I found myself diligently working non-stop for three days at a start-up to bring up a website with a team of six people. We were stressed, tired, not having fun, and my boss kept cracking jokes to lighten the mood.

Finally, someone asked, “How can you be making jokes at a time like this?”. He replied, “What’s the point of doing this if we’re not going to have fun doing it?”. At the time that didn’t really help our mood, but over the years that statement has stayed with me and has shaped how I approach my career and the work I do every day. Really, what is the point of spending 40 hours a week somewhere if we don’t enjoy it?

Throughout my career I’ve worked for some companies where I’ve had little to no fun, but it wasn’t until Achievers where I finally started enjoying my daily 9–5 life. Recently, I went to a conference where I heard Dr. Annie McKee speak. She is a respected academic, speaker, best-selling author of the book “How to be happy at work”, and advisor to top global leaders. According to Dr. McKee, “Life is too short to be unhappy at work”. When we’re unhappy at work, our personal life suffers, our sleep is affected and our relationships take a back seat. Think about it. An average person works about 43 years in their life. That’s 2,236 weeks, and 89,440 hours of being unhappy. That’s a BIG part of your life!

Dr. McKee says the three keys to being happy at work are purpose, hope, and friendship.

Purpose

We all strive to find purpose in our day to day lives, whether it’s with eating healthy, making time for friends and family, or exercising. Having purpose should be an equal priority. This purpose needs to come from the leadership team. “Having a sound, clear, and compelling purpose helps you to be stronger, more resilient, and able to tap into your knowledge and talents,” says Dr. McKee.

Hope

Similarly, employees need hope to succeed. Purpose drives us to be better today, but hope keeps us on track for tomorrow. Hope helps us get through the days that aren’t easy, the projects that prove to be difficult, and the people that aren’t always pleasant to be around. “To be truly happy at work, we need to see how our workplace responsibilities and opportunities fit with a personal vision of our future. This kind of vision emerges from hope and optimism, which we can, with focus and hard work, cultivate even in difficult jobs and toxic workplaces. When we see our jobs through a positive lens, and when a personal vision is front and center in our minds, we are more likely to learn from challenges and even failures, rather than be destroyed by them,” says Dr. McKee.

Friendship

The last key to being happy at work, according to Dr. McKee, is friendship. She says, “One of the most pernicious myths in today’s organizations is that you don’t have to be friends with your coworkers. Common sense and my decades of work with people and companies show the exact opposite. Love and a sense of belonging at work are as necessary as the air we breathe.”

If you find hope, purpose, and friendships in a company, chances are you will also be happy there. I find purpose through opportunities to develop. For example, I recently joined a team where I was able to learn technologies I didn’t know before such as Docker and Symfony. Achievers is special in that they give employees an opportunity to learn on the job when they see promise in them. I find purpose in giving back to the company because they believed in me. In addition, I have hope because I am progressing in my career. I am able to grow and therefore, I have more mobility as a Software Engineer. Finally, I have found some really amazing friends in my teammates. Some days I laugh so much at work that my stomach actually starts hurting.

Exhibit A — the day we spent redecorating my friend’s workspace and watching his reaction when he walked in.

Achievers employee

Exhibit B — the day we decided to dress up as skittles.

Achievers employees dressed up as skittles

However, those things alone are not enough. The company goes one step further to create a culture that’s inclusive, welcoming, and fun. At Achievers we have one of the best company cultures I have ever seen. We have weekly Throwdown Thursday parties, epic Halloween weeks where the entire office gets a makeover, an employee appreciation week where we get gifts and perks every day, and a wellness week with fitness challenges and healthy shakes, to name a few. We have a Magic, The Gathering league that includes players from our senior leadership team. Here we have the CTO, Aris Zakinthinos and the Director of Product, Egan Cheung, playing a Magic match that had play by play commentary, and an audience of about 30 people.

Magic the Gathering Team Event

We have regular public speaking practice sessions called Speaker’s Corner. Many people, including myself, have a fear of public speaking, so I started this club to let people practice and get over their fear. The company allows employees to take time off to volunteer and also provides volunteer opportunities. We even have a band, along with a music room to practice. Here is a recent performance of our band Operating as Intended. Pikachu was visiting for the day.

Achievers Band with Pikachu

Recently my friends and I started our own little acoustic band where we meet and just play together. Here we are performing at the office talent show!

Achievers Acoustic Band

We routinely go on coffee walks together, and sometimes do 15-minute exercise breaks. We have karaoke, trivia nights, and personal top 1’s where we set a personal goal for the year, and receive $250 towards achieving it. My own personal top 1 for this year is to run an official 5K race. I’ve always wanted to run more so this initiative is providing me with the motivation to do it. Once I finish my run, I can get up to $250 towards anything I spent for the run (i.e. running shoes, clothes, costs of participating). Just this past week we had an amazing afternoon participating in a scavenger hunt, and wrapping up the day with an awesome party. Here we all are before the games began!

Achievers employees

All of these, along with unlimited food and drinks in the kitchen, makes Achievers one of the best places I’ve ever worked at.

In the end, how much fun you have really depends on you. A company can provide an amazing work culture, but you can be as involved as you like. If your company doesn’t have the culture, you can start the initiative. For example, I started Speaker’s Corner and one of our technical support agents started the band. The more involved you get in the culture, in the team, in the activities provided by the company, the more fun you will have at work. This, combined with hope, purpose, and friendship will help make you much happier during your 40-hour work week. That happiness will spill into the rest of your life and who doesn’t want that?

Oprah

Start building an amazing workplace culture with Achievers Employee Engagement Platform, which combines the highest-adopted employee recognition platform with an active listening interface to accelerate employee engagement. Schedule a demo today.

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Do you want to join the A-team? Apply for one of our open job listings here.

Do you have any thoughts on this article? Share your comments below.

About the Author
Samira Hafezi
Samira Hafezi is a Staff Software Engineer at Achievers.

 

 

 

This blog post was re-purposed from Achievers Tech Blog.