Thursday, November 20, 2008

Warning: Gift Cards Might Be a Bad Idea This Holiday

We're probably all a little tired of all the doom and gloom surrounding the recent economy, but the current financial situation might be another reason to consider alternatives to gift cards this holiday.

There have been a number of studies released in recent years about the down side of gift cards. Research shows that as much as 20% of gift cards are never used. Today most of us are watching carefully how every corporate dollar is spent. Trends indicate that many businesses are planning to invest their gift budget in tangible items that are a better value this holiday.

Another reason to rethink gift cards is that a discouraging number of challenged retailers are scheduling location closings after the holiday due to the economic slow down. This means that countless gift cards will be rendered useless, or recipients may find that they need to drive for miles to find a location.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thank a Co-Worker Today

There's no getting around it. These are challenging times for many businesses. Leaders are put in the difficult position of juggling leaner budgets and asking for more from fewer people.

At times like these, there are a lot of tasks on a manager's plate, but one that shouldn't be pushed to the backburner is acknowledging team members for their extra effort and dedication. Simple appreciation can do world of good for the morale and motivation of your team.

Fortunately for pocketbooks that are forced to stretch dollars further, recognizing employees in a meaningful way is one of the least costly ways to make a big impact on your people. In fact, saying 'thanks' doesn't cost a thing.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Why not challenge yourself to thank one co-worker every day this week? It won't cost you anything, and you can have a positive impact on someone's perspective of their job.