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Posts from the ‘Brand Partner News’ Category

28
Jul
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Better 2B Prepared: Back-To-School Banter

Just as you were starting to get a handle on the summer routine, Back To School time has peered around the corner.  Read more

2
Jun
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The Calm Before The Storm

Hurricane Season is once again upon us. While some will mark this time as uneventful, many of us will be gearing up for the worst. Regardless of whether you are laughing in the face of danger or going into full on panic mode right now, there are a few basic things that you need to know. Read more »

28
Oct

Keeping Germ Free In The Office

Purell Hand SanitizerFedEx recently conducted a study where they began putting sanitizer stations in their office as a test to see if less employees came down sick. The results were an absenteeism decrease. The study concluded that Purell hand sanitizer decreased the spread of germs in the office as well as reduced the amount of sick days employees took by approximately 20%!

Recent studies have shown that lost productivity due to illness costs US employers more than $260 billion annually. That 20% reduction in sick days could mean a savings of $52 billion every year if offices all used Purell!

Of course the benefits of clean hands and fewer germs extend far beyond the office.

You could say that Purell and I have quite a history. When I first started working if I wasn’t just on the verge of a full-blown cold, I was recovering from one. It was an endless and vicious cycle, and one that my boss and co-workers weren’t too pleased about.

That’s when hand sanitizer came into the picture. When my boss insisted that I begin using Purell Hand Sanitizer you could say it was love at first sight for my weak immune system. What a brilliant invention: the closest thing to washing my hands…in a tiny portable bottle.

And if you think you’re doing a decent job of keeping you and your workspace clean, think again.

FACT: Your phone is dirtier than your toilet!

NBC reports that the average office phone is covered with more than 25,000 germs per square inch whereas toilet bowls on average only have 50 germs per square inch…Yikes!

Common surfaces that we come into contact with each and every day at the office are actually considered to have more germs than toilet bowls!! (Need to clean those toilets? Try these).

I can’t afford time away from work and you probably can’t either. Have no fear though; Purell is proven to kill 99.9% of the germs that it comes into contact with which cause sickness and infections. Use Purell and live a happier, germ fee life!

15
Oct

Global Handwashing Day!

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Today is Global Handwashing Day, and people everywhere are washing their hands more than usual. I’m an inveterate hand-washer, but with all this extra washing today, my hands are taking a beating. If yours are anything like mine, they get dry, cracked, and red looking, and no amount of lotion seems to work for them.

That’s why I like Softsoap. First off, it’s made by Colgate-Palmolive, the minds behind…Palmolive! I remember my mother using Palmolive when I was a kid, because it really did help her hands while washing dishes (this was before dishwashers were prevalent in houses) and they didn’t dry out like they would using other liquid dish washing soap.

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I keep Softsoap in my kitchen, in my bathroom, and at the sink in the laundry room, and each one is a different scent. I alternate between the foam and liquid, depending on my mood, and I try to keep a manlier scent in my bathroom for the hubby, since he says he doesn’t like his hands to smell like lavender. I can’t think why not…

They also have different formulas that you can choose from, whether you want anti-bacterial, Kitchen Fresh, or their Pampered Hands line. Plus, the bottles are really attractive and you wouldn’t be ashamed to have them sitting on your counter! Plus, you should start stocking up for the holidays, because there will be even more hand washing then!

Terry

 

13
Sep

Time for Autumn Clean Up!

When it comes to preparing my house for the influx of relatives and friends that are coming over to feast for the holidays, I am totally meticulous in my cleaning ritual. I clean things that during the rest of the year might not get the attention it deserves, like the top of cabinets and the cabinets under the sink.

It’s not that I think people will stand on a step stool to check how my dust bunnies are faring on top of the cabinets, and I don’t envision the kitchen sink cabinet being opened up long enough for anyone to notice the ring of dish-washing liquid that *may* be there from when the bottle tipped over, but you just never know.

I use a lot of Kimberly-Clark wipes during this time. LOTS. I would probably be shot by an activist group that monitors such things as amount of disposable paper-towel type things, but in my defense, it’s only twice a year that I do this. And I support all efforts to sustain the environment, just sayin’. But I love me some WypAll’s.

I also used Kimwipes on all my electronics and even everyone’s eyeglasses and sunglasses. They are especially made for delicate jobs like that, and I don’t want anything messing up my TV and computer screens! They are also great for smartphones and tablets. In my kitchen, I use the X80 foodservice towels. Nothing really beats the absorbency when it comes to drying dishes and utensils and getting them seriously dry.  Good luck with your own holiday cleaning!

10
Sep

Words of Wisdom

We’re going to try a new thing here at the ReStockIt blog, and that’s hosting a guest to impart their smarts to us! Today we’re going to showcase an article by Verne Harnish and Sebastian Ross, so I hope you enjoy! Drop a line and let us know what you think.

A Better Way to Measure Employee Happiness

by Verne Harnish “Growth Guy” and Sebastian Ross
August 1, 2013 09:50 AM ET

Successful leaders know they need to balance the needs of employees, customers, and shareholders to build a thriving company. Many firms excel at tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) like profits, as well as customer feedback on a weekly or daily basis, but they fall flat when it comes to monitoring employees’ morale – and it shows. New research by Gallup found that 52% of American workers are not engaged in their work, while another 18% are “actively disengaged.”

 Many CEOs think that they can keep an eye on morale with annual employee surveys, but that is like driving your car by only looking in the rearview mirror.  By the time you get the results, most of the “accidents” have already happened: Grumpy employees have alienated good customers, incompetent managers have killed productivity, and the best talent has left for the competition.  You need to measure your employees’ morale at least weekly. As a growing body of research has found, employees’ happiness has a direct impact on your company’s performance.

THE “ULTIMATE” HAPPINESS QUESTION

Tracking employees’ happiness doesn’t have to be arduous. There are some cutting edge tools to simplify your efforts. Apple and Rackspace use the employee Net Promoter System (eNPS), a metric that is picking up traction, as Fred Reichheld, the intellectual father of NPS, mentions in his book The Ultimate Question 2.0.

While the well-known NPS tracks customer loyalty, the eNPS measures employees’ engagement and happiness, asking them in a confidential survey: “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely is it that you would recommend your workplace to a friend or family member?” Employees have room to comment, providing qualitative data, too.
What is the right frequency for posing the eNPS question? That depends on what is going on at your company and the pace of change within your culture. Apple asks the question every quarter. Buuteeq, a Seattle-based marketing automation software company, pops the question every month. It increased its headcount from 25 to more than 100 people in a little over a year. Quadrupling staff in such a short time is a huge challenge for a culture. The eNPS is a great way to monitor how well the integration of the new recruits is going.
Fred Reichheld has recently launched a new software-as-a-service (SaaS) tool that is built around the eNPS and allows team leaders to drive weekly conversations about progress toward goals, constraints and priorities for keeping customers happy. It is now in beta testing. Stay tuned.

Be prepared: The scores you get from your team are likely to be lower than you get from your customers on the traditional NPS. Employees tend to be tough critics – but if you’re willing to listen, they will tell you what you need to hear. At the same time, don’t obsess about your scores. The qualitative data is important, too and will help guide you and your senior leadership team on how to react to the data. If the majority of your team is very happy, and only 5% of your employees are grousing about random complaints, you may decide that it isn’t urgent to act on the negative feedback. However, if the comments you get suggest that the unhappy 5% are all concentrated in a particular job title or department, getting to the bottom of the situation may be an emergency.

TAKING A WEEKLY PULSE

Choosing a tool that will allow you to measure your team´s morale daily, weekly or at other frequent intervals will help you keep levels of engagement high. TINYPulse for example, a cloud-based service that sends out weekly survey emails, captures anonymous feedback from employees and offers tools to help management to visualize and analyze the data.  When answering the “question of the week,” employees have space to add comments and suggestions. “Rotating different questions allows us to capture input around the various drivers of employee happiness and gives management more specific information to work with,” explains David Niu, founder and CEO of TINYPulse.

Buuteeq, which has been using TINYPulse for more than a year now, supplements the monthly eNPS survey with other weekly questions like: “How likely do you see yourself working here in one year?” “How does your manager’s leadership style impact on your productivity?” and “What is the one thing we should stop doing to be more successful?”

MAKE IT A CONVERSATION

Buuteeq is transparent about the results, even projecting them onto a wall during its weekly all-hands meeting. “Sometimes the meeting is almost exclusively about things that came up in the week’s Pulse,” says co-founder and CEO Forest Key. “It is not always easy but we talk things through and often take very specific action – ranging from switching the lunch caterer to strategic changes in our customer service processes.”No doubt, the company’s discipline in closing the loop with employees every week has encouraged employees to submit the large number of useful suggestions Buuteeq receives through the tool.

Be forewarned: The feedback companies receive from tools like TINYPulse is sometimes uncomfortable. Moz, a 140-person software company based in Seattle, uses a recently added feature of TINYPulse that allows it to customize questions and has allowed employees to come up with some that they would like to be asked. Rand Fishkin, founder and “Wizard of Moz,” says that since they started with TINYPulse in October 2012, his company has received about 500 comments,of which 25 were clearly negative. “These few negative comments have made me become more nervous and worried about our culture and team happiness,” he says. “But I prefer to know and deal with the issues.”

TINYPulse also allows you to comment directly on suggestions and initiate a private, forum-like dialogue with the employee, a feature that Buuteeq finds very useful.  “It is definitely a great opportunity to learn and show that you care,” says Key.  “These dialogues would never happen without the tool.”

Just make sure that you use this part of the system in a way that allows employees to remain anonymous, or they may not want to use it. In very small firms, where there may be only one person in a particular role, it may be easy to guess who made a particular comment.

A DAILY MOOD CHECK

Atlassian, an Australian software company that employs almost 600 people worldwide, created an internal app called MoodApp (great name!) for iPads and scattered them throughout their headquarters, including one to the side of the elevator. On their way out, employees answer questions like “How are you feeling today?” and “Do you think Atlassian is a fun place to work?” A question about how much feedback employees get from their managers uncovered deficits and led the company to use leadership development training to improve the situation.

Does surveying employees this often bug them – and lead them to ignore new questions in the future? So far, that does not seem to be the case. ForTINYPulse, participation rates for the weekly questions are between 55% and 75%, sometimes even as high as 90%. MoodApp has averaged a 60% response rate in its 12 months of life at Atlassian. Larger companies may want to consider sampling smaller groups of respondents to reduce data volumes and avoid survey fatigue.

NO SUBSTITUTE FOR MEANINGFUL CONVERSATIONS

If your company isn’t ready to invest in software or iPads for your team, consider a lower-tech approach. Careesma, a Barcelona-based company that runs job boards across Europe and India, put up a simple bulletin board where employees can leave post-it notes with suggestions. Every week, Tania de la Paz, head of People & Values, takes the notes to the weekly staff meeting and makes sure that the management team acts on at least one issue.

In any case, no process or technology should become a substitute for meaningful conversations with your team. Senior leaders should formally visit with one employee each week, the closer to the front lines the better, and ask three simple questions: “What do we need to start doing, stop doing and keep doing?”
Then take a few minutes at the weekly management meeting to share what you’ve learned. There is no need for formal reports. Just sharing anecdotes will do. This qualitative data, collected weekly, will give the senior team a real sense of what’s working and not working among the employees as patterns emerge over weeks and months of conversations.

Add to this feedback by looking at some KPIs such as absenteeism, attrition or tenure with the company, knowledge-sharing activities, training hours, or the number of kudos people give each other.

RESPOND TO FEEDBACK QUICKLY

Make sure that you have the management bandwidth to quickly respond to feedback you get. Gathering data is useless if you don’t act on it. Nothing is more frustrating than being asked your opinion and then seeing it ignored.

People, your most valuable asset, are intangible in accounting terms. Measuring their happiness is a way of making them tangible. It will be some time until this type of metric will appear on a balance sheet, but that doesn’t mean you should not pay attention to these measures. They’re some of the best leading indicators of a company´s overall health and value.

 

 

 

6
Sep

It’s football season people! Are you a football fan? And I don’t mean a “football” fan, I mean a FOOTBALL fan. A rabid fan, the guy (or girl) who paints their face team colors, and flies the team flag from those little obnoxious car flag poles.Then you need a Team Brute garbage can from Rubbermaid.  They’re not only fun and a good way to show your team pride, but they’re also a great edition to the house.

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Garbage can, you say? I do! Yes, it’s weird, I agree, and maybe it shouldn’t be wrapped under the Christmas tree but they’re so awesome! You can even do a little twist on it, since they are garbage cans after all, and get the rival team and throw garbage into their can. Dolphins fan? Throw your refuse into a Patriots can.

And you can get them in either NFL or NCAA teams, so teams are well represented, whether you’re a college or professional fan. Minnesota Vikings? Check. Texas Longhorns? We got ‘em! And since they’re Rubbermaid, you know that they are sturdy, reliable, and won’t break or crack easily, even if left out in the elements! Wouldn’t you want your favorite sports team represented at the curb on trash day?

Terry

 

7
Aug

The New Kid

THe new kid

Once upon a time, in an office much like your own, there was a new kid in town. At first, he didn’t realize there was something different that set him apart from the others, but they knew. Where they were metal and box-like, with a white glossy sheen, he was round and smoke-colored. When towels were pulled from them, they came out in a clump, and sometimes even ripped!

The new kid, well, his towels came out smooth and they never ripped, except where they were supposed to. Because of that, his friends in the office didn’t have to touch anything but the towels, so he felt great pride in guarding them against those silly human sicknesses. The boxes watched from their positions on the wall and fumed. Who did this new kid think he was? They, the boxes, ruled this office!

The old kids

The boxes conspired to trip up the new kid, who was happily hanging on the wall by the kitchen sink, doing his job. They whispered along the box-network after the office shut down for the night, but to no avail-there was nothing they could do to trip up the new dispenser; he was untrippable! Even the old boxes grew to admire how easy it was to change out his towels, and the ease in which his towels flowed. Not to mention that he needed his towels replaced a lot less than they did.

Then the day came when the boxes realized they were being replaced with more new kids. At first, there was panic, then the realization dawned that they could take it easy now, and relax. The new kid and his new friends would take care of the humans in the office, and much better than they could. They were happy to hand over the keys to the new kids, and live out the remainder of their lives in a storage room, retired.

The end.

 

Terry

10
May

GoJo – Not Just for Mechanics Anymore

I remember growing up, my father always had the orange, gritty GoJo in his construction trailer. And at home on the sink, for that matter. Although he was a general contractor and not a mechanic, he learned from his mechanic friends how well the stuff worked, and it really did get the grime off. My mother loved that my dad no longer had grimy hands at the dining room table. Later, when I ran a horse barn, I used GoJo in the stable bathroom to clean up after riding or stall-cleaning.

GoJo has come a long way since then. In 1983, GoJo broke out of the heavy duty hand cleaner niche and created a new one- that of dispensers (which they originally patented in 1952) and sealed refill soaps  for washrooms everywhere. From there, they set their sights on new markets and countries, and their products only got better as the years passed.

I was at the gym the other day (okay…maybe it was more like a year ago…) and in the locker room showers, I happened to notice that they had installed new soap and shampoo dispensers, which I thought was a nice touch. To my surprise, it was GoJo products. I say that because I had only known GoJo, up to that point, to manufacture hand-washing soaps and as the company behind Purell hand sanitizer. Lo and behold, they now had a line of luxury soaps for body wash and shampoo! AND IT WAS GOOD!

Since we sell them on the site, I figured I would try them at the house. Smart move! They last forever in a home, and the dispenser makes it so nice! I don’t have to worry about little slivers of soap getting underfoot in the shower and no more soapy residue under body wash bottles; hey, anything to make cleaning my house easier. AND they also manufacture body lotion too! And it’s just as great as any you get at the drugstore.  It also comes with a dispenser, so it’s a cinch to apply! What are you waiting for? Go, get some GoJo and make life easier!

7
May

Rugged, Reliable Rubbermaid Receptacles

See what I did there? For anyone that reads this blog, it’s apparent that I don’t do things normally. Well, normal for the average home owner. I pick up tips and ideas from businesses and incorporate them into our home. My Rubbermaid kitchen storage is straight out of the restaurant kitchen. My husband is a chef, and he uses the workhorses in the kitchen at work and swears by them!

We use three different types at our house; round, square, and rectangular. All are heavy duty, and all keep our food so fresh! The square containers are my favorites, and I use them for flours (of which we have five different types), baking powder, corn meal, coffee, etc. Not only does it eliminate messy, bulky bags, but keeps the critters away. Unfortunately in Florida, weevils are a big issue. Also, they have convenient measurements on the sides, so I can pull out how much I need accordingly, with minimal fuss.

The round containers I use for pastas. Like flours, we have a lot of pasta in the house. I’m Italian, so it’s what I do best and because of these fantastic containers, I buy a lot of pasta! Plus, I’ve used them for cereals, granola, flax seed and things like that, and they keep everything from going stale. I’m also keeping all of the Halloween candy that was left over in a spare. Shhhh, don’t tell anyone.

The last one that I use is rectangular ones, and these are really my all-purpose containers. I store marshmallows (in the bag, air removed), granola bars, energy bars, Pop-Tarts…any kind of boxed item that is packaged separately. I just empty the packages into the containers and voila! instant organization. I’m all about organization, if you haven’t read some of my other blogs. I highly recommend, especially for you organizational brothers and sisters of mine, to purchase some of these gems for your house as well!

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