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Posts Tagged ‘greeting cards’

Talk About Thanksgiving Dinner Now. Don’t Wait.

Thanksgiving is coming up. Many people will spend time with family and friends they haven’t seen in a long time. Some people will be indoors with a larger group than they’ve seen in almost two years. And many people are anxious about that.

The time to talk about what everyone needs to feel comfortable at Thanksgiving dinner is now. Don’t wait until Thursday. Consider what you need to feel comfortable and make requests today. Breakdowns are predictable. And what you can predict, you can often prevent.

How many people do you feel comfortable being in the same room and house with? Do all attendees need to be vaccinated? Do you want assigned seating so people sit with people they see regularly? Do you want people to take Covid tests before attending an event? You can likely have whatever you’re willing to ask for. But you likely won’t get what you don’t ask for.

You may be concerned that your requests are too much and thus you’re hesitant to make those requests. If you’re afraid to ask for something, feeling like it’s just too big of an ask, say that. Saying how you feel has a lot of power and is disarming. It could sound something like, “I’m feeling nervous about Thanksgiving dinner. I’ve been hesitant to say anything because I don’t want to offend you. Is it ok if I ask a few questions?”

“I haven’t been in the same room as a group of people I don’t know well in a long time. How many people are coming? What requests are you making of guests from a health and safety perspective? Are you comfortable asking that everyone be vaccinated and take a rapid Covid test before arriving?”

Sprinkle your questions into the conversation. Ask for what you really need. Asking these questions of the host before the dinner is a lot less confrontational than telling a guest they’re sitting too close to you and asking if they’re vaccinated. Thinking through your needs and making requests before an event is always easier than trying to change a situation. The best way to prevent an uncomfortable situation is to talk about it before it happens.


Managing Remote Employees

Many managers are asking the question, “How do I manage employees remotely?” Managing employees remotely isn’t too different than managing in person. Whether someone is sitting with you or in their home office, the steps involved in managing people are the same.

There are a few things effective managers do repeatedly. Do these handful of things and managing people will go well, provided you have the right person in the job. Managing someone who is a good fit for their current job is challenging but doable. Managing a person who is not a good fit for their job is extraordinarily hard. No management practices or skills supersedes hiring the right person. Hiring the right people is the single most important thing managers do. Managing and coaching employees are the next most important things managers do.

Here are the three things effective managers do:

  1. Set clear expectations:

Conversation with new/inexperienced employees: “This is what I want you to do and by when.”

Conversation with experienced employees: “What do you think needs to be done and when is a manageable deadline?”

2. Delegate:

New/inexperienced employees: “Here is my vision of how this should look.”

Experienced employees: “What’s your vision of how this should look?”

3. Review work, coach, and give feedback:

Review small pieces of work so employees can course correct as they go, reducing wasted time and frustration. Agree on a schedule to review work in process, so employees feel supported and not micromanaged.

New/inexperienced employees: “Here is what I would do differently and why.”

Experienced employees: “Here are my areas of concern. What changes do you think need to be made?”

  • Repeat

That’s all you need to do. It’s so simple. And so hard. Managing employees is very challenging.

Here are five ways to make it easier to manage well:

  1. Spend time at the beginning of working relationships and projects getting to know employees work styles and preferences and sharing your own.
  2. Check in with employees regularly, asking questions that elicit what employees need to be successful.
  3. Have frequent, short conversations. A weekly 15-minute touch base is more effective than a monthly 60-minute meeting.
  4. Do a plus/delta every time you meet, giving positive and upgrade feedback as events happen. Waiting to give feedback negatively impacts results and damages trust.
  5. Have courage and know that employees want to work for a manager who sets clear expectations and gives clear feedback. Working in the dark is frustrating and difficult.

If you’re hesitant to do any of the actions above or are worried about how those actions will be perceived by employees, tell employees that. Be authentic and candid. You could say something like, “I want to review your work more frequently than I have in the past, but I’m concerned how you’ll perceive that.” “I want to give you regular, timely feedback to be helpful to you, and know feedback can be hard to hear.”

Lastly – remote meetings can be held via video conferencing but don’t need to be. Sometimes it’s nice to talk via phone and not have to get dressed up or manage your facial expressions. If you’re not sure if you should meet with employees via video or phone, ask them. Setting clear expectations is the first step in managing all business relationships effectively.


Tell your coworkers you appreciate them – Valentines for coworkers

Today I’m having lunch with people I worked with twenty years ago. Twenty years. I have long forgotten the projects we worked on, the deadlines, and deliverables that were important at the time. What I do remember, are Jim and Siobhan. Some of my closest friends and the people most important to me in the world, are the people I’ve worked with.

It makes sense that we make friends at work, it’s where we spend a lot of time.  And the people we work with make work fun or miserable.

There is a considerable amount of research citing the connection between having good business relationships and employee engagement, retention, and performance. When we feel we belong and have good relationships at work, we are happier and do better work. It makes perfect sense.

As I’m writing this, I’m thinking about my coworkers who I traveled with for weeks on end, who endured a CEO who made us practice and re-write presentations until 1:00 am for a meeting the next morning, and the coworkers I worked with at the World Trade Center. As much as I appreciated and cared about the people I worked with, I’m not sure how often I told them that they made my work world better.

Valentine’s Day is a day we express appreciation for the people closest to us. Don’t limit your appreciation to your loved ones at home; include your coworkers who make your work fun and who help you get things done. Of course, I hope you’ll express appreciation more than once a year, but Valentine’s Day is an occasion not to miss.

Write the people you work with, who matter most to you, a handwritten note that they’ll keep for a long, long time. You can see our assortment of greeting cards for the workplace here. I’ll admit that I collect stationery and love giving and receiving handwritten notes. I suspect the people you work with will appreciate receiving a handwritten note too.

CLICK HERE to see all of our greeting cards.


Tell your coworkers you appreciate them – Valentines for coworkers

valentines for coworkersWhenever I leave a job, the thing I take with me are the relationships. The projects and deliverables quickly become distant memories, but the people and the experiences we shared together stay with me. Some of my closet friends and the people most important to me in the world are the people I’ve worked with. It makes sense that we make friends at work; it’s where we spend a lot of time.  And the people we work with make work fun or miserable.

There is a considerable amount of research citing the connection between having good business relationships and employee engagement, retention, and high performance. When we feel we belong and have good relationships at work, we are happier and do better work. It makes perfect sense.

As I’m writing this, I’m thinking about my coworkers with whom I spent weeks on the road, who endured a presentation, practice session for an upcoming town hall meeting that lasted until 1:00 am, and the coworkers I worked with in the World Trade Center. As much as I appreciated and cared about the people I worked with, I not sure how often I told them that they made my work world better.

Valentine’s Day is a day we express appreciation for the people closest to us. Don’t limit your appreciation to your loved ones at home; include your coworkers who make your work fun and who help you get things done. Of course, I hope you’ll tell express appreciation more than once a year, but Valentine’s Day is an occasion not to miss.

Write the people you work with, who matter most to you, a handwritten note that they’ll keep for a long, long time. You can see our assortment of greeting cards for the workplace here. I’ll admit that I collect stationary and love giving and receiving handwritten notes. I suspect the people you work with will appreciate receiving a handwritten note too.

Click here to see all of our greeting cards:

Write handwritten notes and tell the people you work with (who you like) that each day is better because of them.


Thank You Notes For Employees – Engage & Retain Employees

When I was 27 my boss gave me a yellow sticky note that said “thanks” for something I had done well at work.  When I was 29 he gave me a card when I broke up with a long term boyfriend. I still have both. And I’m way past 27 and 29.

He is the only manager in my entire career who wrote me a personal note. And it meant everything to me. He took the time to do something others didn’t. The notes were personal and thus they meant something to me – they still do.  And the notes took him only seconds to write and cost almost nothing.

When is the last time you received a handwritten note? Not a note from Send Out Cards, that is made to look handwritten, or a note written by someone’s assistant, or a note that was typed and then hand signed? Rather, a real handwritten note, with a message, just for you? My guess is not in a long time.

Your employees like perks – paid time off, gift cards, bonuses, onsite yoga classes, concierge service, etc. But perks are not what result in engaged and retained employees.  There is a lot of research on what results in employees doing their best work and being loyal to both their manager and to the organization.

Here’s a snap shot of some of the research on engaging and retaining employees.

Employees:

  • Need to trust senior management
  • Want to work for someone who cares about them, is invested in their success, and with whom they have a good relationship

I won’t tell you not to give bonuses or gift cards, but I will tell you to give each bonus and gift card with a handwritten note. The handwritten note will mean more and last longer. I promise you.

I admit I love stationery.  In fact, I collect it. I always have a stash of cards, ready to go for any occasion. And if you know me long and well enough, you will receive a handwritten note from me.

Because I love stationery so much, I’ve always wanted to create a line of greeting cards, and now we have. Today we’re launching Candor Cards.  Thank you notes for employees designed to help you say what you want to say.

Use the cards at work and at home to:Thank you notes for employees

  • Say thank you
  • Provide encouragement
  • Give positive feedback
  • Say you’re sorry
  • Reinforce training

I hope you like and use our thank you notes for employees! Enjoy!

Spend less. Say more.

Thank you notes for employees


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