employee recognition and appreciation

A MUST HAVE List of Employee Recognition and Appreciation Ideas

Organizations need to carefully tailor their employee recognition and appreciation efforts and make them meaningful to their employees. Why? Everyone likes to be recognized for their efforts.

Think back to the last time someone expressed appreciation for your work — it stuck in your mind and meant something, didn’t it? But employee recognition is not just about making people feel good. It has a significant impact on key business metrics, including engagement, retention, and productivity. Data indicates that “lack of recognition” is the third most common reason employees leave their job, and 26% of employees feel that being undervalued and underappreciated is the highest barrier to engagement.

Leadership to Employee Appreciation Ideas

Recognition from leadership boosts employee morale and encourages positive behavior by setting an example. 58% of employees say their manager relationship would improve with more recognition, but 30% of respondents feel recognition was “not really” or “not at all” valued by leadership. And recognition from leadership above the supervisor levels matters even more: 44% of employees value recognition from higher levels of leadership the most.

To become recognition champions, leaders from the C-suite down should prioritize recognition by following these recommendations:

  1. Serve as an example by recognizing employees frequently.
  2. Publicly recognize team members by hosting company-wide meetings.
  3. Advocate for a culture of recognition in your daily interactions and in meetings with leadership.
  4. Practice both monetary and social recognition.
  5. Take advantage of one-click recognitions so that no leader can use the excuse that they’re “too busy” to recognize employees.

Recognition from leadership is especially crucial in times of difficulty. Words of positivity, support, and appreciation for team efforts help employees focus on moving forward.

Company Culture Employee Recognition and Appreciation Ideas

A positive organizational culture has a significant impact on business results and is critical to attracting top talent, and recognition is the foundation that great company cultures are built on. According to Brandon Hall Group’s recent report, organizations that rate their culture of recognition highly are:

  • 3x more likely to see increased employee retention
  • 5x more likely to see increased employee engagement
  • 2.25x more likely to give frequent recognition
  • 79% more likely to give their employer brand a high rating

To start incorporating recognition into your culture, make peer-to-peer, team, manager, and leadership recognition a regular occurrence. The Brandon Hall Group found that companies that recognize employees multiple times a month are 41% more likely to see increased employee retention and 34% more likely to see increased engagement.

You should also explicitly and clearly tie recognition to specific positive behaviors, and especially those that reflect company values. Employees are more likely to repeat actions they’re recognized for, so this is one of the most effective ways to shape your culture.

Ideas For Peer-To-Peer Recognition

Recognition from colleagues is just as important as being recognized by leadership. Peer-to-peer recognition builds employee engagement and helps establish a positive company culture. In fact, research shows that peer-to-peer recognition can boost employee performance by as much as 14%. It also fosters a sense of connection, belonging, and well-being. Here are some ideas for incorporating peer-to-peer recognition into the workplace:

  • Ensure that all employees can participate in your recognition program whether they’re on the move, in office, or working remotely.
  • Include peer participation in employee recognition celebrations. Whether its a service anniversary or personal achievement, encourage peers to comment and be a part of the event. And consider digital celebration cards that all team members can sign and customize with a special message of appreciation.
  • Make it easy for employees to recognize a peer for good work or simply living the company’s values.

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find your passion

How to Find Your Passion

One common piece of advice you might get when looking for a job is to “find your passion.” Following the work, ideas, and projects that make you feel fulfilled and motivated can help lead you to jobs you will enjoy and succeed in. While the idea is simple enough, it can still take some careful consideration to identify and find your passion in life.

Define Passion

A passion is “a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object or concept,” according to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary. When you practice your passions, you might feel content and relaxed. As a professional, pursuing your passions as a career can bring you greater fulfillment in the contributions you make in the workplace. You may feel inclined to pursue your passions even if you don’t have a lot of free time.

Because passions are activities or ideas that inspire you, then you could consider making a career out of them. Passions can vary widely depending on your interests or values. Here are some examples of passions that you could have:

  • Teaching
  • Animal welfare
  • Environmental issues
  • Playing the guitar
  • Cooking
  • Learning a language
  • Writing a book

The Difference Between Passions and Hobbies

A hobby is an activity that you enjoy doing when you have personal time, while a passion is a goal or activity that motivates you. Sometimes hobbies can become passions, and passions can become hobbies.

Find Your Passion

The best way to identify what you’re passionate about is to pay attention to the daily tasks and activities that make you feel excited, motivated, or fulfilled. Here are 15 ways you can identify your passions in your day-to-day life:

1. Notice The High Points in Your Day

There might be a certain day of the week or time of the day you look forward to for some reason. Maybe it’s a specific meeting, task or time you’ve set aside. You might also notice certain surprises or unexpected times that end up being the best part of your day. Pay attention to both seemingly significant and insignificant things that you would consider to be the peak of your day.

While many of these high points may happen during work, you may notice that your high points occur outside the workplace in the time you have for yourself, friends and family. Making note of where and with whom your high points take place will bring you one step closer to knowing whether your passions are related to your career or other parts of life.

2. Become Aware of What You Spend Your Time and Money On

We tend to focus our resources on things that are meaningful to us, including time and money. Look at your credit card bill or bank statements and see if there are any themes. Look at the topics of books, magazines, films or podcasts you consume. Take note of how you are spending your free time and what activities bring you joy.

Finally, recognize if there is a particular genre, subject or theme that your hobbies and interests have in common. The interests that have remained with you through the years may be more related to a passion versus a newly emerged interest.

3. What Topics do You Love to Teach or Talk About

Consider your interactions with others. What types of conversations do you enjoy the most? Do you find yourself particularly animated when talking about a specific subject? It might also be helpful to consider if there are any tasks or topics you tend to teach others about. These are often the things we find most important to us.

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Recruitment ROI

Why Recruitment ROI is Crucial

Recruiting great talent is one of the keys to a successful business. To that end, making sure you’re getting the most for your recruiting dollars — without spending too much of your budget — should be a high priority. Ideally, you’re getting the best recruitment ROI (return on your investment).

Recruitment budgeting comes with challenges, from balancing spending against performance to navigating the ups and downs of the job market.

Plus, recruitment budgeting can be tough in this economic climate, where inflation is a factor and the labor market is tricky. Strikes have affected employers in manufacturing and information, and labor shortages are ongoing in healthcare.

Tracking Your Recruitment ROI is Crucial

The more you know about how your recruiting dollars are performing, the more efficiently you can hire great people.

Data points can help inform your decisions. How long is it taking to fill your roles, from start to finish? How far into the process are you finding the candidates you end up hiring? How many people are applying to your postings?

The more you can work with data to gauge the results you’re achieving with your recruiting dollars, the more informed you’ll be when you make future decisions.

Optimize for Recruitment

One cost-effective strategy to attract talent is to use your website as an always-on recruiting tool. When your site clearly reflects your company culture and brand, candidates who are attracted to your message will stick around.

Showcase your company strengths. If you’ve got diverse talent, highlight it. If you’ve got a great benefits program, make sure candidates can find information on it. The more you can sell the experience of working for your firm, the more you’ll attract passive candidates.

Talent Pipelining

Talent pipelining is the practice of keeping qualified potential job candidates in the wings, so to speak, so when an opportunity arises, you can move fast. This shrinks your time-to-fill and saves money overall, since you’re not starting from scratch for every search.

You can also use talent pipelining to help you develop a more diverse workforce. By building relationships ahead of time with people and organizations from a variety of backgrounds, you’ll be in a position to proactively hire diverse talent from your pools of existing contacts.

For best results, tune in to candidate needs — if you aren’t offering what candidates are looking for, it won’t matter who’s in your pipeline. Use hiring tools that flag you when candidates in the system are active (and potentially looking for work). And engage workers via text and email tools that meet them where they are.

Have more questions about recruiting? Check out the services we offer!

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travel while working remotely

Looking to Travel While Working Remotely? START HERE!

One of the best parts about being able to travel while working remotely is you can work anywhere you can bring your laptop and find a secure internet connection. This superpower allows remote employees to travel more and digital nomads to live like locals in new locales for as long as they please. 

Though the pandemic may have put a damper on this perk over the last few years, more people are working remotely now and eager to start traveling again.

The only downside? If you’re not prepared to work remotely while traveling, you could set yourself up for a stressful getaway.

That’s why we’re sharing everything you need to know about working remotely and traveling like a pro in this guide. But before you start looking for cheap flights, let’s start with WHY it’s important to plan.

Why You Need a Plan

Whether you’re taking a bucket list vacation or going out of town unexpectedly, it can be challenging to work remotely while traveling. 

You won’t have the cues of your regular routine and workspace to get you in the productive zone. And the novelty of a new destination and all its distractions can easily tank your ability to focus. That’s why it’s best to create a game plan before leaving. 

Sure, you may be tempted to wing it and take a relaxed approach to your time away. But if you don’t prepare for all the nuances of travel and work ahead of time, you may not get to do as much sightseeing, parasailing, or feasting as you’d like.

Seven Tips to Travel While Working Remotely

Follow these seven tips, and you’ll be able to make the most of your work day and maximize your time off:

1. Decide If You’ll Be Checking In or Checking Out

Unlimited vacation days are one of the best company benefits every remote team should get. But this time off might come with a few caveats for checking in, especially if you’ll be traveling for a while.

So look over your company’s work policy to see what’s expected of you. Speak with your managers to see how many hours you’ll need to clock in, how often you’ll need to touch base, how you’ll manage your remote team, etc.

Working this out ahead of time lets you flex your flexibility, adaptability, and resourcefulness, all transferable skills that make you look like a pro.

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employment value proposition

Actionable Steps to Establish an Employment Value Proposition

There’s a hot new term in HR that employers are focusing on to hep give them an edge over competitors in the hiring war. In commercial real estate, hiring and retaining superstar talent can be essential to long-term success. So, it makes sense that businesses in this field are asking about how to improve their employment value proposition to attract better candidates.

Just What Is an Employee Value Proposition?

This term is relatively new, but the concept is as old as time. So, just what is an EVP or Employment Value Proposition, and what does this mean exactly? In short, this term envelops the sum total of the value your organization can provide to potential employees. From the salary to the benefits to the workplace culture and employee development opportunities, your company benefits your employees. In exchange, they provide you with their skills, knowledge, and time.

But why should they?

What sets your company apart from all the other organizations in the commercial real estate space? That’s where your EVP comes in. It’s essentially your brand, but measured in the value you provide employees in exchange for the value they provide to the company.

How to Craft an EVP

It’s not as simple as setting a high salary and calling it quits. The fact is, CRE compensation is still on the rise. So, if that’s your only focus, you could be burning through a lot of capital to keep up. There are several key components that make up a vibrant employment value proposition, including:

  • Compensation
  • Benefits
  • Stability
  • Respect
  • Location

These form the core of your employer brand and represent a promise to your workforce. To attract high-value candidates to fill your openings, it’s essential to craft an attractive EVP. Here’s how to go about it:

  1. First, identify what sets your company apart. What are your unique selling points? Why would a potential employee want to work for you over another group?
  2. Second, brainstorm to get a grasp on employee needs. What do employees want from a job in your field? How can your company empower people to meet these aspirations?
  3. Next, incorporate your company’s mission and goals. Your employment value proposition should be closely aligned with your values and culture to show potential hires with similar values the benefit of plugging in there.
  4. Then, review for integrity and authenticity. Is your company’s work schedule flexible? If not, don’t say it is.
  5. Next, be tangible where possible. Put your value in their hands. Have you included everything that is relevant to their desired value, like PTO, learning opportunities, bonus structures, etc.?
  6. Lastly, it’s important that your business communication effectively showcases your employment value proposition. Is it relatable? Is it compelling? Bring it to life with testimonials and specific examples.

Review for Success

Now that you have your EVP established and crafted, what next? Well, an employment value proposition isn’t a static thing. It needs to be reviewed and updated often for ongoing hiring success. Measure results and get feedback. This enables you to rethink your EVP and adjust for changing times and needs.

As you follow these actionable steps, you may find your proposition focuses too much on collective benefits and not enough on individual value. Or you may find too much emphasis on material value instead of the non-tangible benefits. Keep adjusting.

This continual cycle of reviewing and improving can help you craft an attractive employment value proposition that gives you a competitive edge for many years.

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why do you want to work here

Prepping for the “Why Do You Want to Work Here?” Question

All right, you’re well underway in your search for a new job, and you even have an interview (or a few) on your calendar. As you’re preparing for your interview, you think of one question you just know will come up: “Why do you want to work here?” Hopefully you’re interviewing with a company that has a mission you believe in, but if not, it’s wise to have a good answer for this question before you sit down with a hiring manager. So, what’s the best way to answer “Why do you want to work here?” Keep reading! I’ll share a few tips and scripts to set you up for success when it’s time for you to answer this common interview question.

The Reason Behind “Why Do You Want to Work Here?”

When you’re preparing for a job interview, no matter what the company does, you can expect a few of the same questions. Aside from the classic “Tell me about yourself?” question, another predictable question you’ll hear during an interview is, “Why are you interested in this position?” Employers ask this to find out how much you really know about the company and position and to see if you’d be a good, long-term fit—for the culture and for the position. They’re looking for the right fit just as much as you are, and they want to offer a job and invest in hiring someone who’s prepared and ready to take the reins. They’re also curious about how well you explain yourself and the connections you see between your top skills and passions and what the company needs from its team.

How to Answer “Why Do You Want to Work Here?”

This is one of the most popular interview questions, which is good news because you know it’s coming. You can research and prepare a great answer ahead of time—one that will set you apart from other job seekers and position you as an excellent candidate for the role.

So, when you’re planning how to answer “Why do you want to work here?” keep these points in mind:

1. Talk About the Company’s Mission

It’s easy enough to explain why you’re looking for a new job, but if you can explain why you’re excited about the company’s mission, you have a better chance of standing out in the interview process. Research the company’s mission and vision statements on their website for more information.

2. Be Honest About What You’re Looking For

But not too honest. You don’t want to bash your old company and use this new opportunity as an escape hatch. Instead, explain how this new role could be a great fit for your long-term career goals. Keep it positive. Review the job description and see how your skills and goals match up with what they’re looking for.

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hire the right candidate

How To Hire the Right Candidate

Is the candidate sitting in front of you right for this job? How do you know if you are going to hire the right candidate? How do you know when market conditions are so volatile, it’s hard to predict all the qualifications and attributes you’re going to need six months or one year down the road?

As the world of work is changing — constantly reorganizing, fragmenting, and requiring market reconceptualization – you’ve got to ask the right interview questions as well as internal questions to see if the candidate has the attributes you need to grow your business and adapt to constant change.

Tips To Hire The Right Candidate

Old command and control work environments didn’t demand the kind of flexibility, adaptability, and broad business knowledge that new dynamic work environments do. Desirable candidates, even ones who have the right qualifications, must be flexible, rapid, and eager learners. Here are some questions you need to ask.

Are They Highly Adaptive?

You want someone who is fleet on their feet in adapting to changes in the work environment, since right now change is the only constant in most organizational systems. Can the candidate offer you examples of how they were able to grow, shift, and evolve to workplace change in their last position? Adaptability, the capacity to take on new roles and embrace new ways of thinking, are critical when the winds of the economy swirl.

Do They Ask Worthy Questions?

Everyone knows you need to come to a job interview having researched the position. But once they’re in the interview, what do they “hear” about the business or your work? Are they able to listen, synthesize and ask thoughtful questions about the heart of your business? Great interview questions from the candidate can tell you a lot about how a candidate thinks and whether they will be able to diagnose a market problem as it is occurring, and respond to it.

Are They Curious?

What else do they want to know? Are they lit up with questions? In a new book about curiosity, Todd Kashdan notes that curiosity is about “appreciating and seeking out the new. Instead of desperately seeking certainty, it is about embracing uncertainty.” Because a great employee now needs to be a great learner, being voraciously curious is key to high productivity and breakthrough thinking.

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stuck in your career

Feeling Stuck In Your Career? Let’s Change That.

According to a study by Oracle, more than 75% of people feel “stuck” personally and professionally. There are a wide variety of reasons you might feel stuck in your career. Maybe you’ve worked in the technology industry for years when you don’t even have a passion for it. Or you’ve remained at the same company for decades because the pay and benefits are great, yet the work doesn’t energize you. As time goes on, those “golden handcuffs” slowly tighten. You may even feel like something is missing or holding you back from having greater satisfaction. If you’ve been struggling with the feeling of being stuck in your career for a while, it’s a sign that it’s time to do something about it.

Yet, change is always difficult, even if it’s for the better. That’s because humans don’t like uncertainty. We’re hardwired for survival and prefer to know what’s coming next. Over time, too much uncertainty causes anxiety and eventually turns into full-blown fear. But uncertainty can be redefined to work in your favor. As Eckhart Tolle wrote in his book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, “If uncertainty is unacceptable to you, it turns into fear. If it is perfectly acceptable, it turns into increased aliveness, alertness, and creativity.”

Stop Feeling Stuck in Your Career

You need to make a critical decision. Do you want to settle for the life you have now or take action to create the life you deserve? If you’re ready to break free, here are some ways to stop feeling stuck in your career.

Gain Some Perspective

One of the first things you should do is determine why you feel stuck in your career. Is it because you always seem to be passed over for a promotion? Or maybe your salary and benefits are so attractive that you find it hard to leave—even though you don’t feel challenged. Whatever the case, do some soul-searching, so you understand what is potentially lacking in your life.

Understand Your Values

People are happier when their value system aligns with their careers. In fact, job satisfaction is determined more by how your values align with your work environment than by any other factor. Therefore, it is important to analyze your work values to clarify your priorities.

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How to Weather a CRE Recession

It’s no secret that things haven’t been great for commercial real estate for over a year. Since at least 2022, a cooldown has been in the forecast. Higher interest rates and other developing factors have led many to ask if a recession is coming for the CRE industry and the US economy at large.

In the world of CRE, recession could mean anything from a collapse to minor correction. Understanding the trends and how to stay ahead of them could be critical. Here’s what we think you should be paying attention to.

Is Commercial Real Estate Facing a Recession?

The US commercial real estate market is valued at around $21 trillion USD, but it faces challenges amidst rising financing costs and increased vacancies. Historical patterns suggest the market may be moving through denial, migration, and potentially panic phases.

Transaction volumes have decreased over 2023, and spreads between buyer and seller expectations have widened. Notably, the office market, estimated at $3.2 trillion, faces a significant shift due to remote work trends, with approximately half of office buildings currently occupied.

The 2020 crisis changed the way we work, introducing new patterns into real estate demand. This was exacerbated by changes in retail demands, leaving vast office spaces underutilized. Of course, this poses a risk of foreclosures, layoffs, and economic downturns, impacting property values.

However, while these factors are certainly not good, they don’t mean the sector is crashing. Is a recession on the horizon? Quite possibly.

Nevertheless, some point to positive signs like the robust millennial population, the global economic influence of the US market, and the potential for lifestyle revolutions through remote work, technology shifts, and others. These all indicate potential resilience in a downturn.

How Would CRE Be Impacted?

Recognizing fundamental shifts is crucial for navigating the CRE landscape. There is much reason to believe a recession is developing in the near future. It may be severe, mild, or it might even be years away. But whatever challenges exist, systemic strengths and optimistic prospects for the future suggest the risk lies more in missing strategic moves than in an imminent recession or market collapse.

If a recession does come due to increased interest rates, it will likely come in the form of a moderate downturn driven by weakened fundamentals and higher capital costs. But it will have far reaching ramifications. Lower asset values may also play a role.

The impact on the office sector could be significant, as hybrid working trends reshape demand, requiring adaptation in cities and the real estate industry. However, certain sectors, like data centers and industrial real estate, may show real resilience.

While a recession could mean reduced real estate investment and leasing activity, there are also positive signals. The market is not over leveraged, there is a strong balance sheet, and growth drivers such as the digital economy and reshoring of manufacturing can minimize damage. That said, it will likely continue to be a buyer’s market – something CRE professionals have not seen for a decade.

Geopolitical improvements, such as the end of the Ukraine-Russia war, could ease the recession’s impact, with falling commodity and food prices and increased stimulus in the Asia-Pacific region. Still, there is risk going forward, and CRE firms should be cautious. A 2024 recession could reshape the CRE landscape, impacting asset values, demand patterns, and investment dynamics.

Resilience Measures You Can Take

Whatever the future holds for commercial real estate, there are some common-sense steps to help you weather a storm.

1. Keep Cash Flowing

Make sure you’ve got some cash on hand or easy access through credit lines when banks tighten up during tougher times. Having a financial safety net to cover gaps and grab opportunities that may pop up can set you up for success in a CRE recession.

2. Lighten the Load

Don’t let high debt levels knock you out during a downturn. Deleverage, even if it means selling assets.  This creates resilience and increases flexibility.

3. Smart Loan Moves

Refinance any existing debt to give yourself more runway. Push those big payments five to ten years down the road so you can handle any bumps along the way. Try to negotiate upfront on what happens if things don’t go as planned.

4. Hold Off on Big Projects

Don’t dive into major projects that need lots of cash. When banks stop lending and owners can’t refinance debts that come due, it’s smart to have wrapped up big projects in advance to minimize risk exposure. You don’t want to be delivering a big project in the middle of a crisis.

5. Bet on the Winners

Focus on investments that can weather the storm. Stay away from properties that might become obsolete, like old industrial spaces and offices with less-than-ideal features. Keep an eye on developing industry trends and changes happening in the industrial, retail, and office spaces.

In short, take steps now to minimize the blow of a downturn or recession.

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