Archive for February, 2014

Show the ‘Love’ to your Team – An Excerpt from PCH’s February Newsletter

Monday, February 10th, 2014

praiseWe’ve previously referenced this great article by Ross McCammon titled, “The Power of Praise in Business- and How to Do it Right.” Since February is the month of love, we thought it was fitting to recap some of the main points of as a reminder to ‘show the love’ to your employees as well. You can find a link to the entire article by visiting our Facebook page ( PCH Facebook Page ), but here are our favorite points:

Why praise is important:
A 2010 Harvard Business Review study found that a 0.1 percent increase in employee engagement drove $100,000 in operating income to the bottom line (study was done on Best Buy Stores). Of all the various factors that can contribute to employee engagement, the study also found that simple recognition was the single most important factor.

How to give praise:
The article suggests that you should always balance praise with constructive feedback. “Recall a particular situation and describe a specific behavior.” Use these 3 guidelines:

Do it now – the closer the recognition is to the behavior, the more likely it will be repeated.
Do it often – The more you message what’s important to you, the people will focus on that.
Be Specific & Sincere.

Key Technical Matters:

The following list of praise guidelines is taken word for word from the article and was the source of many ‘LOL’ moments for me, so I’ve included it in its entirety:

Praise should not begin with the phrase “You da….”
Ending an expression of praise with “…and stuff” nullifies the praise
Ending an expression of praise with “…now get back to work” also nullifies the praise
In ascending order of forcefulness: e-mail, face-to-face conversation, handwritten note, bear hug
No bear hugs!!
A handwritten note is worth more than a $100 gift card
But probably not more than a $200 gift card
Go easy on the superlatives: “hardest-working,” “most glorious,” “awesomest,” “best-smelling,” etc
Praise followed by criticism is not praise
Praise followed by praise is probably a little too much praise
Praise followed by criticism followed by praise is a sandwich

To read the entire article, visit:

Tips to Overcome the Mid-Winter Work ‘Blahs’

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

winter work bluesThese tips were taken from a post written by Lisa Quast.

“I’m beginning to wonder if this grey winter weather is ever going to end,” remarked the woman in front of me as we waited in line at the coffee shop. “I just feel so blah. I don’t think I could make it through the work day without coffee,” she added.

Sound familiar? Unfortunately, the feelings that come from a prolonged lack of sun during the winter can get especially terrible, causing many people to lose steam at work. Need a pick-me-up to take you from ho-hum to energized at the office? Try these six simple tips:

Get moving. Let’s face it – most Americans don’t get enough exercise, so skip the elevator and use the stairs, park further away from the office and ask a co-worker to go for a walk during lunch (bundle up first). Get moving to increase energy and creativity.

Seek the sun. Winters mean short days and not a lot of sunlight, which can lead to a lack of vitamin D. It turns out 41.6% of U.S. adults are deficient in vitamin D, which is important in everything from regulating the immune system to keeping the brain functioning well. Talk to your doctor about checking your levels to see if you should add a supplement to your daily routine.

Laugh more. “Although we can’t yet say that a certain number of laughs every day will keep the doctor away, studies show that people who say they laugh a lot also tend to be in good health and generally feel well,” states Madeline Vann, MPH. Go ahead! Laugh with co-workers and share those funny stories before or after meetings (just keep them “G” rated).

Get more zzzs. Feel like napping at 2 p.m. each day? Studies reveal that nearly 20% of Americans get less than six hours of sleep per night. To improve your energy, health and immune system, sleep expert Dr. Ranit Mishori recommends seven to nine hours of sleep every night for adults.

Set a challenging goal. University professors Edwin Locke and Gary Latham studied 35 years of goal-setting and task-motivation research and found “that the highest or most difficult goals produced the highest levels of effort and performance.” To get motivated… challenge yourself.

Express gratitude. Being grateful increases happiness and motivation. Take some time each day to write down things that make you thankful. After following this process for a few weeks, people generally “feel better about themselves, have more energy and feel more alert,” says Robert Emmons, a leading gratitude researcher at the University of California at Davis.