Recess At Work Day: An opportunity to show employees they matter

Don’t let the name fool you………

Recess At Work Day is not about running around the company parking lot or hallways like a kid; although some large organizations have chosen to celebrate the annual event just that way. Recess At Work offers organizations so much more. As Rich DiGirolamo, Founder of Recess At Work Day states, it’s a chance to RECESSitate your organization.

RECESSitate: undergo a period of learning, recharging and celebrating.

So given that definition here are three ways to celebrate RECESS AT WORK DAY 2011 (June 16th). Choose the one that best fits your organization.

  1. LEARN: When was the last time you offered your team some professional development? Take today as an opportunity for a fun team building activity or training. This can be big or small. It can be done by people from inside or outside your company. You decide. Need help or an idea? Check out the Recess At Work RECESSitation Pack – a great Do-It-Yourself system to train, engage and so much more.  
  2. RECHARGE: Some time outdoors playing some good ole fashioned schoolyard games might be just what the CEO ordered and can easily be turned into a discussion about teamwork and communication. Not only has it been a heck of a lot of fun for companies like WorkSafeBC and Iroquois Pipeline, Covidien was able to measure the translated productivity and morale benefits.
  3. CELEBRATE: When was the last time you celebrated an organizational success, some individual or team successes, or the completion of a big project? Recess At Work Day is a great opp to set aside some time today and make it great. Recently Rich spent some time celebrating with a 44 facility health care organization that had just come through a very stressful period. The CEO knew the importance of taking some time to celebrate and the employees were most appreciative. Didn’t require raises or increased benefits. A small amount of money for a celebration showed the team they’re important.

Your #1 asset is your people. June 16th is your chance to join an annual worldwide event and show them they are important. It’s almost time for Recess.

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What would your company snowman look like?

Mine would obviously be wearing an Is It Recess Yet propeller beanie. He might have a purple scarf. I’d use candy for the face. Perhaps New Orleans beads around his neck. It would be representative of me and my business.

But it gets me wondering…………

  • Would a transportation company snowman be wearing a uniform?
  • Would a camp snowman be wearing a whistle?
  • Would a theater company snowman look like a ticket dispenser?
  • Would a snowman for a diet company be fat or skinny?
  • Would the snowman for Starbucks look like a cup?

What would your company snowman look like?

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Take a Recess from Regifting…Start a Regift Chain

Have you ever re-gifted? Have you ever thought that you were given a re-gift? Have you lived with the anxiety of will I be found out or I hope this re-gift wasn’t given to me from this person? Have you opened a gift and felt like you were not important thus the re-gift?

To me a re-gift is one of those things I’m excited about when I open (for about 30 seconds as I imagine myself using it somewhere, sometime or someplace I will never go or be) and then realize I’m going to use it once and that will be it.

Yesterday I received a re gift. How do I know it was a re-gift? Easy; the person told me in the card that came along with it. I smiled and laughed the rest of the afternoon.

You see, it was the card that mattered more to me; the fact that someone took the time to write a personal note; not email me or tweet me or put something on my facebook wall for 567 people to read.

I’m a big fan of personal notes; I believe they still matter and set you apart. I’m also a big fan of getting rid of clutter. I send people books I have read that I think might be of interest to them. I send people crayons, markers, stickers and whatever else might put a smile on their face. I send them to clients, friends, or whomever might be on my mind at that moment. When I’m staring at an item that needs to be filed/put away I ask myself…….

Do I need this; or is this an opportunity to say hi and put a smile on the face of someone else?

Years ago my circle of friends kept “re-gifting” a bottle of Manischewitz Loganberry wine. It went from one friend to another whenever we got together. No one ever opened the bottle. Finally I gave it away as a prize and got it out of my circle. Honest truth…..it came back to my house a year later. There is no way that 2 people would buy that wine? Or is there?

So today I offer you the regift chain idea. Here’s all you do:

  • Make a conscious effort to stay in touch with one person this month
  • Send them a handwritten note just saying hi or Happy New Year or whatever. It should not be a seasonal card from the store but more of one of those “Just Because” cards. Or use your own personal note cards.
  • Grab that item that you received as a re-gift/or give something away to start your chain
  • Include a  sheet of paper that reads at the top “It’s the note that counts; not the gift. Yes, this is a re-gift. Keep it or add your name to the list and send the gift along the next time you’re thinking of someone you want to make smile today.” So for example mine will have Dani’s name on line one and my name on line 2. 

Take a Recess from Re-gifting….Start a Re-gift Chain. Better yet…….Start Re-Connecting!

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Win Prizes: Did you hear about the Weekly Recess Giveaway

Yes, it’s true, once per week we’re giving away a prize.

Here’s how it works:

  1. On Tuesday or Wednesday every week I (Rich DiGirolamo) will be checking in somewhere on Foursquare.
  2. When I check in I will ask you to guess what I’m doing or ordering. For example this past week I checked in at a local coffee shop. No one guessed that I ordered a Vanilla Americano. Yet the week before Shawn @Excel Fitness in West Hartford CT won a free beanie by guessing what I ordered at Dairy Queen. Don’t worry, it won’t always be food related.
  3. The post will tell you it is Giveaway Day and to guess what I’m doing/ordering/seeing/etc.
  4. I will post to Foursquare, Facebook, and Twitter at the same time.
  5. The first to respond with the right answer wins the prize that week.

I’m excited and hope you are as well. So Like/Join Recess At Work on Facebook, Follow Recess At Work on Twitter, connect with  Rich DiGirolamo on Foursquare and let’s get ready for the Weekly Recess Giveaway. And of course, be a good sport and share this with your friends and fans.

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RECESS AT WORK is about engaging people in their work

When was the last time your organization not only had some fun, but also learned how to be better?

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Is it time to RECESSitate your group with some fun and purposeful learning?

It’s Coming………..

Any day now……..

With a great offer for you!

So if your training budget has been the victim of those Finance People, we’ve got a solution to make them happy. It will also teach them and the rest of your organization how to be more creative, use people’s talents in new ways, and make your existing products and services even better.

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RECESS. IT’S NOT JUST FOR KIDS!

Why are kids given recess?

  • To get re-energized
  • To learn how to play nice
  • To offer an opportunity for imagination, exploration and mind wandering

Well guess what….adults could use a little bit of that too. And that’s why I’ve developed my program RECESS. IT’S NOT JUST FOR KIDS!

So if your organization can benefit from a bit of creativity or a bit of pointed purposeful business building fun, get in touch. Let’s talk. but first see what these two program participants had to say……

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9/16 is the 3rd Thursday. Time to RECESSitate

In my blog post of June 17th I tossed out the following challenge to you:

How about setting aside the 3rd Thursday of every month to take a 30 – 60 minute Recess with your team, group, department or company? Take it as an opportunity to share successes, build stronger relationships, get everyone involved in the new product development process. And if you need ideas on activities that are not only fun, but have been proven to impact the bottom line (which is what the boss wants to hear), come back here regularly. I’ll be providing you with an activity of the month to do just that.

 

Well Thursday is that day. This Thursday the 16th, is the 3rd Thursday of September. Summer is over. And why not do what a lot of your kids are doing…………take a Recess. A break from the norm. A temporary cessation of the customary activities of an engagement. Take some time that day and celebrate. Here’s a simple idea……..

September RECESSitation: Gather your team together and ask each of them to complete this sentence in 10 words or less:

  • The thing I love most about my job is ________.
  • I could do my job better if ______.

I bet you’ll find more similarities than differences. I’ll bet you’ll find people offer you low or no cost ideas to the second question. The point here is to focus on what makes your place a great place to work and how each and every person can be better. Isn’t that what you want?

Have fun! Have a great Recess. Let me know how it goes. I’ll be spending Recess that day with the Alabama Parks & Recreation Association; giving them a well deserved RECESSitation from the busy season they just have come through.

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2 very important definitions all organizations should know

Recess: A temporary cessation of the customary activities of an engagement, occupation, or pursuit.

RECESSitation: is to take a break from the norm and undergo a period of learning, recharging and celebrating accomplishments.

The next 30 days include RECESSitations with a career counseling firm, parks & recreation, assisted living, and a home care group. 

I’ll bet you know an organization who could use a Recess and a RECESSitation.

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DNR: Do Not RECESSitate. Kill Engaged Workforce.

I hope you haven’t experienced this but if you’ve been to a hospital, nursing home or assisted living facility you may have seen a sign above the bed: DNR – Do Not Resuscitate.

One definition of the word resuscitate is to make active or vigorous again. I like that. A lot. I think organizations are guilty of this – not making their employees active again; not allowing them to become vigorous again. Now I know we might debate this, but most would say that DNR is a good thing for a terminally ill patient. Employees however are not terminally ill. They can be vigorous again. But instead I am seeing a different version of the DNR sign: DO NOT RECESSitate.

The definition of RECESSitate is to take a break from the norm and undergo a period of learning, recharging and celebrating accomplishments. This is not happening in today’s workplace. Here is what is happening:

  • Training budgets are being slashed. Makes loads of sense that people are your #1 cost and investment in them is going away (sarcasm).
  • The order of the day has been do more with less; pick up the work of others as the workforce gets reduced. Hardly a moment is available to recharge?
  • Accomplishments? Celebrating? Who has time for that? You do. And it is necessary. It’s also not hard.

RECESSitating an organization can be inexpensive or costly. It can be done by the talent within or bringing in someone from the outside to start an initiative. That choice is yours. But if you take some time to regularly RECESSitate your organization, in the long run you will:

  • Show employees they matter
  • Make for a better customer experience which results from having an engaged workforce
  • Impact your bottom line by reducing absenteeism, experiencing increased sales, or lowering turnover/hiring costs

DNR signs belong in medical facilities; not the workplace. Has your organization hung out the DNR Sign; DO NOT RECESSitate.

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