love2shop vouchers help pregnant smokers stub it out

Love2shop News: Love2shop Vouchers help expecting mothers stub it out

Love2shop Gift Vouchers have helped NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) convince more expecting mothers to quit smoking.

According to NHSGGC, introducing Love2shop Vouchers as an incentive drove a 38% increase in mothers successfully stubbing out their cigarettes.

The scheme, called Quit Your Way, asks expecting mothers to set a date to pack in their cigarettes.

Pregnant women who successfully kick their habit in time enjoy £160 worth of Love2shop Gift Vouchers as a reward.

The result is significant, as there is a strong link between smoking while pregnant and hospitalisation of children.

Eliminating pregnant smoking across the UK would improve the health of thousands of very young children, and potentially save lives. Not to mention, quitting improves the health of the mothers in question.

Dr Emilia Crighton, NHSGGC consultant, said: “We were seeing that many pregnant women were struggling to quit smoking and we felt a fresh approach was needed…the incentive gives them a reward for successfully stopping smoking and staying stopped.

“The feedback we have received is that many of the women we support really appreciate receiving the incentives and the difference they can make. This allows them to buy important things for their baby and for their family.”

NHSGGC are not the only organisation using our rewards as incentives.

The University of Sheffield, NHS Yorkshire and Humber, and NHS Greater Manchester have all used Love2shop Gift Cards or Vouchers to incentivise pregnant smokers to quit smoking.

Martin Cooper, Head of Client Development at Love2shop Business, said: “It’s a very satisfying outcome. We always take pride in our rewards, and how they enrich our clients’ business, but these stories really stand out. Knowing we’re helping the NHS fulfil a scheme that’s improving the health of mothers and babies is especially delightful.”

The Love2shop Gift Voucher, offered through the Quit Your Way scheme, is the UK’s most popular multi-retailer voucher. Love2shop Vouchers are accepted at more than 150 retailers across the UK, including shops like Boots, Semichem, Mothercare and the Early Learning Centre.

How to pick quality employee recognition software you can depend on

Employee recognition software merits the same careful consideration you would give to finance or sales management software.

Your employees’ engagement is important enough to justify priority on that level. You might feel a little bit overwhelmed by the providers, features and modules competing for your affection.

That’s no cause for panic. Refer to our checklist when you’re comparing and contrasting the field.

12 tips to pick the right employee recognition software

Supplier credibility

By credibility, we mean demonstrating a wider understanding of recognition and the role it plays in engaging employees.

If the supplier’s material is nothing but an unfiltered list of platform features, there’s a decent chance the developer is more enamoured with the software itself than how it actually helps your business and staff.

Ease of use

It’s unlikely your entire company is made up of tech wonks and millennials.

Employee recognition software should rely on familiar user interfaces, so staff will slip in and get to grips with minimal adjustment.

Reward options

Recognition doesn’t have to be led by cash-value rewards, or even use them at all, but your employee recognition software should come with the power to incorporate them.

It gives you an extra string to your bow for truly excellent performances.

Non-financial perks

Not everyone has the budget to indulge staff with cash-value rewards on the back of a recognition platform. That’s where you need a bit of creativity from your supplier.

Ask yourself how the platform rewards top performers without having to use financial rewards.

Peer-to-peer features

We talk all the time on this blog about the benefits of employees recognising each other.

Worthwhile employee recognition software absolutely has to include the ability for employees to recognise one another. Manager-led recognition has its place but peer-to-peer is just as vital.

Public noticeboards

Recognition, especially peer-to-peer recognition, gets a boost from being public.

Your staff’s achievements are held up for their peers to see, and they become little trophies on a shared digital space.

Administrator options

A birds’ eye view of what’s happening on any platform you use is vital.

Keeping track of who is recognising whom, for what, and when, gives managers insights on how your teams are interacting.

That kind of understanding can drive managerial decisions to bring teams together or capitalise on already strong relationships to make projects succeed.

Security

You don’t want a GDPR nightmare to ruin your brand new employee recognition software.

Make sure you know where your data gets stored, what kind of back-ups are in place, and how the supplier will respond to any outages.

Moderation features

While your staff will mean well when interacting with your employee recognition software, even good intentions can bleed into tricky areas.

Take a careful look at what kind of power your managers have to intervene in the software if it’s ever used in bad faith.

Support

Suppliers will do everything they can to idiot-proof their software. But someone always builds a better idiot. At some point, you’ll have a problem and need help.

What happens when, despite the best efforts of all and sundry, the software falls over? You need to ask who will respond, what they’ll do, and what kind of time frame you can expect that to be in.

Live demos

Never, ever buy or licence software based just on screenshots.

Insist on seeing a live demo and getting a chance to interact with the software live before even entertaining the idea of parting with your money.

Transition schedule

Ask about a transition or implementation schedule before you buy.

Not only will it smooth the process if you have it ahead of time, but seeing that a company has navigated implementations and transitions before is a good sign of their competence.

Now it’s up to you

Run through our checklist, but most importantly use your own common sense and intuition.

If it’s too good to be true it often is. HR software is a buyer’s market; you can afford to shop around make sure you’re completely confident before making a decision.

 

How to write a simple employee recognition letter to thank and congratulate your employees

An employee recognition letter is a powerful tool for expressing your gratitude for staff. Taking the time and effort to put one together goes a lot further than just a hasty “thank you”.

That’s not to say you should be gripped with performance anxiety. You’re not presenting an episode of This Is Your Life, you’re just telling an employee what they mean to you.

Follow our simple guide, and you’ll knock it out of the park.

Write your simple employee recognition letter:

Be personal and earnest

The most important element of an employee recognition letter is that you put the effort and time into expressing yourself.

Be honest about what impressed you so much about someone’s efforts and achievements. Share your honest feelings. It’s the only way to have a genuine emotional impact.

Get to the point

Excessively flowery language is less effective than simple, honest statements. Say what you mean, say it simply, and rely on your honesty and confidence to make the impact.

Cite specific examples of achievement

Be sure to mention exactly which projects, jobs, or achievements you’re so impressed with. Don’t be vague, or washy, about why you’re recognising someone.

It diminishes the impact of celebrating them, and feels disingenuous.

Explain why those examples mattered to the company

Talk about how your employee’s achievements or behaviour affects the company overall.

Knowing that their work has a benefit to the business as a whole gives employees greater satisfaction and pride in their work.

Focus on tangible downstream impacts

Don’t just harp on about numbers. Only a few sales people can really get fired up about making graphs bigger. If you’re going to mention the outcome of work, relate to something more human and evocative than just numbers.

Mention your values and purpose

Relate positive behaviour back to what your company stands for, and why you come in every day.

Generating lasting employee engagement means letting employee see how their achievements at work relate back to your company’s ethical core and brand purpose.

Explain why they matter to their peers

Approval and acceptance from peers is a powerful motivator. It’s a part of being human no one can escape.

Even if you don’t have an actual peer-to-peer recognition program, your employee recognition letter should mention how vital your employee’s contribution to other people was.

The most important thing is sticking to point one; be honest and personal. A thoughtful, earnest employee recognition letter becomes a trophy.

Something your employees can treasure and reflect on. Something that increases their self-worth, improves their sense of belonging in the office, and helps them engage with your brand.

peer-t0peer recognition boosted productivity in fruit pickers

How peer-to-peer recognition programs boost motivation and productivity

Peer-to-peer recognition programs help build a sense of belonging and a positive place in a business. In turn, that leads to more motivated staff and better productivity.

recent study from Harvard Business School (HSB) put this assertion to the test with a group of fruit pickers.

Their results back up what we tell all our clients. Recognising your staff, particularly peer-to-peer recognition, leads to happier and more productive employees.

How the study worked

HBS researched fruit harvesting staff in the Western United States. The work is relatively lonely. There’s minimal social interaction, and few chances for an employee to hear positive feedback from peers.

A sub-group of fruit pickers were asked to watched a short video. It was presented by colleague from their company, detailing how the work they do has a positive impact on the rest of the business.

The video was deliberately inclusive in tone. It focused heavily on how quality work benefited the company.  Not just the company’s success, but how they affected the work of employees further down the production queue.

The employees exposed to positive expressions about their work were more motivated and did more work.

The motivating effect showed up again in a similar lab study too. Internal recognition and affirmation had a positive effect on employee motivation and productivity.

The key conclusion

The most important line in the study is this:

“Contact with an internal beneficiary…yielded a persistent increase in productivity.”

As in, when a colleague took the time to make an employee feel good about their work and recognise its value, they did work compared to a control group.

Their peer-to-peer recognition program boosted output.

Why peer-to-peer recognition programs work

Our need to feel welcome, and our need to belong, are fundamental parts of the human experience. In the distant past it was more than just a good feeling, it was about survival.

Being part of a group increased our chances of survival. As a result, humans are bred to seek belonging.

How humans live has changed. But how we interact is still fueled by those most basic needs: We need positive interactions and we need to feel we have a valued place in a group.

Being recognised by our peers gives us that sensation. In turn, we feel more compelled to repeat the behaviour that gets recognised.

What this means for your business’ peer-to-peer recognition program

Recognition works, and feeling included matters. We could have told you that without an ambitious study like this, but it’s nice to see the evidence in black and white.

The take-home for your business is that you need to make sure your employees feel included and valuable among their colleagues.

Even if you don’t want to roll out a peer-to-peer recognition scheme, staff need to feel included and valuable. They’ll feel better about working for you, and work harder in turn.

Alongside other studies, like this one showing a link between employee recognition and improvements in mental and physical health, the benefits of prioritising recognition are clear.

It’s something you need to embrace and utilise for the health of your company and your employees.

 

Read this and you’ll thank a colleague every single day

Thank a colleague for what they do. It improves the physical and mental condition of both that colleague and you yourself. That’s the evidence from a recent study by Portland State University and Clemson State University.

The study explained

The university staff ran a study of 146 nurses practicing in Oregon, USA. Nurses in the USA are subject to burnout at an especially high rate.

That’s due to the physical and emotional stress of their work. The stress is why they were perfect for the study.

Over three months, the nurses completed surveys about their experience inside and outside work. There was a notable correlation between nurses being offered gratitude at work and uptick of mental health.

How “thank you” boosts health

Thanking colleagues affects both their mental and physical health. The two are inextricably linked, and inform each other.

Alleviation of mental stress from being thanked is the catalyst for other health benefits.

Mental health

Improving a co-worker’s mental health is a noticeable result of taking the time to thank a colleague.

They’ll feel appreciated, and they know their work is appreciated. They enjoy a positive afterglow they’ll carry into the hours and days after hearing your thanks.

Feeling gratitude increases overall job satisfaction. And it lowers the stress employees feel while going about their work.

That lower stress makes it easier to handle difficult situations in the workplace. the result is a more overall more positive work experience.

Giving gratitude, in turn, makes us feel good. Contributing to a positive feedback mechanism gives us a sense of wellbeing of our own.

Physical health

The physical health aspect comes down to two areas – lower stress and better self-care. Both have a strong link to the mental health benefits of hearing gratitude.

On a direct level, people who feel less stress from work get sick less often, and they enjoy better sleep. But there’s also a knock-on effect; less stress leads to employees exercising more self-care.

By lowering overall stress levels and making staff feel better, the nurses in the university study showed a greater level of self-care.

When hearing gratitude, the nurses in the study were more likely to make positive lifestyle choices. In turn, that fed back into their physical health.

Time to take action

Get out there and thank a colleague doing something worthwhile. When you see someone doing well, let them know.

Not just behaviour that benefits you and your work directly. Include performance that benefits the whole workplace.

Ethical behaviour, exemplary service, improvements in their performance, or even small but worthwhile gestures for other staff.

Or, if you’re in management, encourage and facilitate your employees showing gratitude for each other. Put systems and schemes in place that make it simple for your staff to express gratitude.

Good for you, good for your business

Thank a colleague today. It’s good for you. It’s good for your co-workers. And if you’re an employer, that’s good news for more than just your conscience.

Long term, having a more mentally and physically healthy workforce is good for business. Lower stress and healthier lifestyle choices reduce the amount of working days lost to sickness.

Mentally healthy employees, with lower levels of unhealthy stress, are more likely to be productive and stay in your company for longer.