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Coming Soon: Appreciation Month!

With the fresh spring weather comes fresh recognition and thank you gifts! April is host to Administrative Professional week and National Volunteer week with Teacher Appreciation Week, National Nurses Week, and Police week quickly following in May. With so much appreciation taking place, how will you make sure all the thank you gifts you give remain sincere and meaningful?

Simple: plan thank you gifts specially tailored for those you are recognizing. Janet Keena, Volunteer Coordinator for the Mount Prospect Public Library in Mount Prospect, Illinois, plans a special brunch for the library’s 100-plus volunteers every year. The brunch serves as a time for the volunteers to socialize together and receive some much deserved recognition!
Shop Thank You Gifts
Shop Thank You Gifts
One year, Janet used the Essential Piece recognition theme for her event and thank you gifts. “All the volunteers loved it, loved everything. They loved how the room looked, the theme, the thank you gifts,” she said. Waiting at each place setting at the brunch were thank you gifts such as an Essential Piece memo clip and note cube. Janet’s volunteers appreciated the thank you gifts because they could be put to use at home or in the office. “You don’t give a gift just to give something. The thank you gifts they got could easily be utilized,” Janet explains.

Remember Janet’s advice as you plan your own appreciation events and thank you gifts this spring. Keep the events and thank you gifts fresh by tailoring all the details to compliment the group you’re recognizing.

Ruby Speaks - Feel Good File
You probably have one of these too, a special place you keep the nice thank you gifts, cards or notes someone has given you. When I am having a rough day, I pull out that file and read over some of the kind remarks people have written. We all need that once in a while.

Never underestimate the power of a good note. The staff or volunteers you work with everyday need that kind of reinforcement for the job they do. So the next note you write, make it a special one. Remember that not only will it make someone feel special that day; it might help the person when they re-read it later on.

Ruby Newell-Legner, Certified Speaking Professional, is an international employee trainer and culture-transformer. Her company, RubySpeaks, Inc., provides the training employees need to create a work environment where everyone can excel on the job. For more information about Ruby, visit www.RubySpeaks.com.

Quick Tips - Express Appreciation with No-Cost Thank You Gifts

Giving thank you gifts and expressing appreciation for the essential pieces in your organization doesn’t have to cost anything. In fact, some of the most memorable thank you gifts are free! Here are a few no-cost thank you gifts that recognize with public communication: 

    - Reserve a space in your newsletter to highlight an individual’s accomplishment.
    - Say a few words at the beginning of a staff meeting.
    - Include a special thank you in a group email.
    - Write a letter on company letterhead and send it to the employee’s home. 
    - Send a free ePraise thank you card

Recognition Best Practices
This month’s Recognition Best Practice Winner is Susan Lockridge, Recognition Team Chairman at Mercy Medical Center in Merced, California. Congratulations Susan, and thank you for sharing your Best Practice!

We created a place for those who are graffiti artists at heart to leave notes of praise for their peers in every department. We created a banner out of poster board that says "Peer Praise." Each month we supply paper cutouts themed for the month; for example, January-snowmen, February-hearts and March-Shamrocks. Employees thank each other for assisting with deadlines, etc., and post them on the Peer Praise Boards. At the end of the month the supervisor takes the cutouts down and mails them to the employee with a note of encouragement stating something like, "Your peers have said great things about you this month. Keep up the good work.” The challenge is cutting out enough notes each month--what a problem!


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