Easy Ways to Say ‘Thank You’ to Coworkers

by Presenta Plaque | on Sep 15, 2014 | No Comments

Most of us spend an average of 40 hours or more at our workplace. In some ways, our job is our second home. We have people we see daily that we must work in a team with. We often give and receive support from them and more often than not we eventually go on to call them a friend. Unfortunately, like we do with family and friends, we sometimes forget to remind them that they are appreciated and that their efforts do not go unnoticed.

 

You don’t always have to give an extravagant gift to let them know you appreciate them; there are many simple ways to say thanks and still leave an impression.

 

1. Bake Something!

That’s right. Break out the spatulas and oven mitts and make something in a real oven! No need to get fancy with the fondant and sugar flowers, good ol’ cupcakes and cookies are always a crowd pleaser and a perfect way to show thoughtfulness. It also shows that you were willing to take time out of your day to make them, which says a lot in itself.

 

2. Leave a Thank You Card/Note

Handwritten cards are darn near impossible to come buy these days. With e-cards, printers, fancy card stores and cellphones, sometimes one forgets the real value of taking the time out of your day to write out a sincere ‘thank you’ to someone. A simple gesture can mean quite a bit. If you’d rather not hand it to them personally, leave it on their desk at the end of the day or in a mailbox if your job has them.

 

3. Give Them a Drink on You

A small gift card from a coffee shop is a perfect way to casually say thanks. Many coffee shops including big chains like Starbucks allow you to purchase a gift card. You don’t have to add a large sum of money to the card, $5 is more than enough, and if you’re feeling generous you can add a few more bucks for a pastry. Your coworker will be pleased because of the kind gesture and –well everyone needs coffee.

 

4. Take Them to Lunch

This is the perfect opportunity to not only thank your coworker for a job well done, but discuss future projects and how you can continue on the right track toward the company’s success. You don’t have to talk about work matters; this is also a good time to get to know a colleague you work with side by side with!

 

5. Give a Plaque/Certificate

This can be as serious or as casual as you’d like it to be. Depending on their sense of humor you might want to say something humorous or just write something that shows your sincere appreciation. A plaque or certificate is a perfect addition to a desk or wall and something they are sure to appreciate and feel proud of.   Ready to take the next step?  Browse our selection here.

 

 

Get Your Kids Back to School on the Right Foot

by Presenta Plaque | on Sep 02, 2014 | No Comments

School is back in session and every parent wants to make sure their kids begin and stay on the right track. Often, it can be difficult to keep kids interested in school. No parent wants to receive that dreaded phone call from a teacher or principal letting them know their child is under-performing. But with a little positive reinforcement at home and some support from teachers, you and your son or daughter will be ready to begin a great year.

 

Meet their teacher

 

Most teachers are excited to have parents who are just as involved and concerned with their students’ education as they are. Get to know your child’s teacher. If there is an open house or meet the teacher night you can attend, by all means. It is great to put a face to the person who spends as much time with your child as you. It is also important to establish a relationship so you are comfortable with contacting them for any concerns later in the year.

 

Ask about their day

 

Many parents tend to get caught up with their own everyday tasks and often forget to ask kids about their own day. Sometimes asking is more than enough for students. This is the perfect opportunity to gauge any frustrations or issues your student might be going through. It will be much easier later in the year to determine if your student is on a good track if you make it a habit of asking them how things are going.

 

Give them incentives

 

This is a part of rewarding that often becomes blurry for parents. It can be difficult to distinguish when you are bribing and when you are giving proper incentives. The best way to remember this is to think of positives and negatives. Incentives should be a reward to continue good behavior. An incentive should serve as more of a motivation rather than a method of persuasion such as a bribe would serve.

 

Reward them

 

Even the simplest of rewards can mean a lot to a student who’s worked hard all year. While verbal praise can be of great motivation through busy and stressful times at school, a reward such as a certificate or a plaque can be the perfect way to give them something so show for it at the end of the year.

 

Give your hardworking student a plaque to remind them all their hard work will pay off soon! Order a plaque for your children today!

 

 

 

Host Your Own Event Next Award Show Season

by Presenta Plaque | on Aug 19, 2014 | No Comments

Award shows are always going on. Whether it is music, film, television, sports or anything in between, there are usually several ceremonies a month that are televised. Sometimes it’s fun to enjoy these from the comfort of your home and in the safety of your pajamas, but if you’re really interested in the ceremony, there are tons of fun ways to watch and enjoy these shows in great company.

Host Your Own Awards:

There are lots of ways you can go about hosting your own award show. Here are just a few:

  1. Make an event of the night. Have friends come over in their best clothes and serve drinks and other finger foods so they can enjoy and feel more interactive with the awards show. Create categories and nominees and select winners of the night at the end of the show. Have some friends or family pitch in to buy awards such as gift cards or other small gifts you can award the winners of the categories. Some categories you can award them for are: Best Dressed, Who Took the Longest to Get Ready, etc. The options are really up to you. You might even be able to come up with some categories once you get a chance to gauge your group!

 

  1. Place some bets! Maybe not with money necessarily. Pass out a sheet with the list of categories and nominees of the award show you will be watching. Let everyone make their guesses and give an award to the person with the most correct guesses at the end of the night. If you don’t have time to shop for gifts or don’t want to spend too much on them, you could also shop online for awards. You can always order plaques for friends and winners. If you are watching the Academy Awards, you can also look online for little Oscar replicas you can award.

Make It A Game Night:

Depending on the type of crowd you think you’ll be getting or the type of thing you think your friends would enjoy you might choose to turn this event into a game night. Once you have an idea of this, you can decide what kind of game night would suit you best.

 

  1. Find ways to incorporate games into the award show. Play charades with friends using movies, celebrities, TV shows or other things that are being awarded that night. Get as creative as you want with this, as long as everyone is involved, it should make for a fun time.

 

  1. If you’re hosting a party for adults, make it a drinking game. Have a drink for every time someone expected wins, or every time you make a correct prediction.  Remember to have fun and drink responsibly.

Motivate and Reward Your Kids to clean

by Presenta Plaque | on Jul 31, 2014 | No Comments

Getting your kids to clean can often be quite a task in itself. These days it’s difficult to redirect your kids’ attention from the computer, their cell phones and video games back to their duties. With technology all around them for school, entertainment and social communication, it’s easy for them to forget that part of their duties include keeping things tidy around the home. While it may be easy to fall into the temptation of bribery, there are other more effective methods and reward systems you can use to get your kids away from the screens and back to your side.

 

Tip #1: Reward random acts of cleanliness

The best way to get kids and adolescents excited (or at least willing) to cooperate with you to do chores, is to acknowledge their efforts when they think no one is looking. While their random acts might be few and far between, it’s important for them to know that you see their contributions.

 

Tip #2: Printable Certificates

Kids love being rewarded. While they may love candy and toys, there’s something about a certificate that gives many children a sense of accomplishment and importance. Printable certificates are an excellent and extremely affordable (or free) method of motivating your kids to do their part and reward them when they do it well. Personalize these for the tasks they do best and let them know you appreciate their effort.

 

Tip #3: Give Coupons

This might be something that works better for kids, but only you can decide if it would be beneficial to your kids or not. Decide what chores need to be done and how much you think each is worth. Reward your kids with a coupon for TV time or their favorite dinner or snack once they’ve completed their chores. Another way to use this reward system is to give them coupons with pre-written chores. Once they accumulate a certain amount or fill up a page of a “coupon book” they can redeem them for a reward of some sort.

 

Tip #4: Get a Dry Erase Board to Help Keep Track

A dry erase board could be very helpful in terms of keeping everyone’s chores and everything that needs to be done organized. You can create a chart with names and tasks and let everyone decide who will do what. If you fear this may turn into a free-for-all, perhaps it’s best to assign tasks to everyone; you can later discuss and negotiate if there needs to be any changes. If all the tasks on the board are completed early or on time, you can then decide if you deem this worthy of a reward or not.

 

Tip #5: Allow Them to Trade Every Once in a While

More than likely your kids are going to run in to some tasks they probably don’t want to complete, whether it’s because they did it last week or because it’s just not their favorite. While cleaning isn’t usually something anyone enjoys, kids should have some freedom to choose the lesser of evils, unless you don’t think they can handle it.

 

 

Tip #6: Have Fun

Cleaning shouldn’t feel like slave labor. Sometimes it can be fun. Play some music and make a family event of it. If everyone is doing their part, things should get done much more quickly. Once everything is done and all is clean once again, take this time to enjoy your newly cleaned home and enjoy some downtime with the family.

Classroom Reward Systems

by Presenta Plaque | on Jul 24, 2014 | No Comments

When it comes to keeping the little ones entertained and motivated in the classroom it’s all about changing things up. Kids, as we know, get bored easily at times and sometimes getting them to stay interested in classroom material can be challenging. Many teachers use reward systems in the classroom to keep kids excited to contribute and eager to learn. There are many different systems that have been used by teachers, both original and passed down. It all depends on the dynamic of the classroom and the age of students you are trying to engage.

 

Kindergarten-First Grade: At this age it’s fairly easy to keep kids motivated. School is a new environment for kids and the new people and new rules are usually enough to keep them on their toes. One of the key things kids should be getting comfortable with at this age is participation:

  • Make a chart with everyone’s names on it. Have them tally the amount of times they’ve contributed in class and reward the five kids (or whatever number you think is fair) who’ve participated the most at the end of the week. Remember to watch out for the repeat kids. You want to encourage the quiet ones too!

Second Grade-Fourth Grade: Improvement is always important, but right around this age, kids might get comfortable with school. Often the novelty of a new environment and new friends may no longer be enough to keep them eager to continue to improve. This is a good time to remind them their improvement is still being monitored:

  • Record the improvement of kids’ test scores. Let them know you’re monitoring this and encourage them to raise their test scores. At the end of the year, buy plaques for the most improved kids. They’ll love the special recognition and be motivated to continue getting better.

Fifth Grade-Eighth Grade: Right around this age, kids are beginning to value social relationships more and more. They may value hanging out with their friends more than they would recognition or treats. This is the perfect time to incorporate social rewards to encourage them keep up the good work.

  • Decide what your classroom needs to improve on, whether that’s test scores, chattiness, overall behavior or attendance. Every Friday, select one student with the best performance and allow them to sit next to a friend for the day.

High School Age: This is the time when kids want to be rewarded with things they don’t have to do. Whereas in earlier years, you could reward them with candy and stickers for the things they did do, now is the time to allow them to skip some of the more unpleasant things such as homework and dreaded assignments.

  • Make coupons for the kids who consistently turn in assignments. Reward them at random with a “free assignment” pass and let them skip it for that day.

 

As kids get older, they begin to have different motivations. Make sure to really take a look at your class and think about what particular rewards would motivate them. Remember, every classroom is different!

Easy Ways to Motivate Excellence in Your Work Place

by Presenta Plaque | on Jun 28, 2014 | No Comments

Deadlines and work loads can very quickly make work a stressful place for everyone. In the midst of exhaustion and shortages of hands, it’s easy to forget what one is working for. While feet will keep moving and the job will continue to get done, it’s important that employees know their hard work is appreciated and is not going unnoticed, even when it sometimes feels that way. There are many ways to motivate a team and remind them that no matter how frustrating the job is, someone is always taking note of their efforts.

 

Not all of these methods involve ceremonies or a gold star next to their picture somewhere in the break room. Here are some fun, easy ways to keep the positive energy flowing in your place of work:

 

Positive Reinforcement:

From a simple “keep up the good work” email to a friendly card, positive reinforcement is an essential part of keeping a team with their eyes on the prize. Take the time to tell someone when they’ve done a great job at something; even if the task seems trivial, it’s always nice to hear. This doesn’t necessarily mean dishing out the compliments at every given moment, but an unexpected “great job” can go a long way.

Award Plaques:

If you’re looking to really make your employees feel appreciated, there’s no better way to do it than with a plaque. These are something you may want to use sparingly. Plaques are a nice way to recognize hard work at the end of trying tasks or big projects that required a lot of extra hours and hard work. Presenta Plaque offers beautiful self-assemble plaque kits which make an excellent token of gratitude for employees.

Drawings:

A drawing or a raffle is a fun way to get everyone involved. The prize doesn’t have to be anything spectacular, movie tickets or a gift card are enough to say thanks. Raffles are also great because rather than isolating one person in the group and recognizing their efforts, it gives the whole team an equal chance at winning something. You can go as big or small as you want with this one, depending on how often you’d like to do it.

 

Snacks:

You really can never go wrong with food. Cookies, donuts or any snack really are a nice thing to walk in to in the morning. Make sure you set out a nice note to let them know you’re appreciative of their hard work. It’s hard to be in a bad mood when there are cookies involved!

Recognize Them at A Meeting:

Simply acknowledging someone’s hard work is usually enough, but saying thank you in front of a group of people can mean a lot to an employee. It is always great to be recognized by colleagues and others that are regularly part of your team.

 

Reinforcement: Rewarding Vs. Bribing Your Kids

by Presenta Plaque | on Jun 16, 2014 | No Comments

For as long as parents have been parenting and children –well, being children— reward  systems have been a way to let kids know when they’re on the right track. From classrooms to living rooms, kids are reassured of their good behavior through candy, certificates or just a simple “keep up the good work”. Rewarding is seen as something that is part of the learning process for kids during their stages of development. The definition of rewarding in itself means recognizing an achievement, recognizing an achievement and motivating one can sort of become one after a long day and several arguments with a preschooler. This is where rewards and bribes all start to seem like one mess of stickers, cookies and tantrums.

 

What’s the big deal? The two concepts seem so alike that it can almost feel like there’s no harm in whether you give the gold star before or after the chore. When you need change and cooperation fast, the easiest thing to do may seem to just go ahead and promise some sort of reward after they’ve reached the expectation. This is where things can get sticky (for more reasons than just spilled juice boxes). Once kids begin to understand that a touch of their tantrum and a little of your desperation could result in great things for them, you’re not likely to bring them back into the light without some serious effort.

 

So what’s the difference?  Order is a very important thing to remember when establishing whether or not you’ve resorted to bribery. Normal reward systems usually consist of a prize, compliment or award of some sort being given after the task has been completed, but there’s more to it. Giving a child an incentive right before a task instills in them the idea that they should be rewarded for acting in a way that is to be expected. If you are promising your kids video game time or candy right in the middle of a tantrum or when one is expected, they are being programmed to think that it is acceptable for their normal behavior to fall below this when they are not being rewarded. Children should not expect to be rewarded, at least not all the time, which brings us to our next point.

 

Make it a surprise, not an expectation. If kids are constantly expecting a pat on the back or a lollipop with every deed done right, they’re going to experience a lot of disappointment in the real world. Over-rewarding can also turn against you when they begin to expect an award of some sort for simple tasks. They may even go out of their way to try to earn rewards. While surprise breakfasts and kind-of clean floors can be nice at first, it will soon become something they are asking of you, rather than it instilling the good habits you’d hoped. One of the greatest parts about receiving a reward for kids is the surprise element. An important part of encouraging a child is to notice their efforts when they think they’ve gone unnoticed. This is a wonderful way to keep them humbly trying to improve themselves –also it doesn’t hurt that their overexcitement is really cute.

 

So how do I fix it? The best thing you can do at first is explain. You’d be surprised how much kids can comprehend. You have to calmly let them know that in order for things to work out for them and you, you have to make some changes. There’s a slight possibility this won’t go over well with them, in this case it’s probably best to start making changes little by little in a way they won’t immediately notice. With luck and a lot of patience, your kid will soon be back on the normal learn, reward, repeat system.

The Perfect Graduation Gift – A Plaque for the Diploma

by Presenta Plaque | on May 30, 2014 | No Comments

At the end of May or in early June, kids will be graduating from all levels in the education system —kindergarten to college. It’s a special time for any child or young adult as they take their next steps into a bigger world. It’s also important to commemorate their special achievement in a way that will stay with them forever. Present your special grad with a plaque that will enshrine their diploma forever.

 

Our Presenta Plaque kit is easy to assemble and includes everything you need to turn a diploma into a beautiful plaque that your grad can keep throughout their lifetime. The plaque comes with an acrylic cover to protect the diploma and a stylish design. All you need is a small a hammer for assembly since all the gold tacks and pieces are included.

 

This stylish plaque can transition for the child’s room to the dorm room to their office or home and stay with them forever. It’s a gift that will touch their hearts and help them remember their achievements as they continue to grow.

 

While we were thinking about graduation, we wanted to share a few of the most famous commencement quotes of all time with you — thoughts and ideas you can pass on to your graduate.

“We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: We have the power to imagine better.” — J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series

 “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life…. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” – Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple computers

“The world is more malleable than you think and it’s waiting for you to hammer it into shape…That’s what this degree of yours is—a blunt instrument. So go forth and build something with it. Remember what John Adams said about Ben Franklin, ‘He does not hesitate at our boldest measures but rather seems to think us too irresolute.’ Well, this is the time for bold measures and this is the country and you are the generation.” — Bono, U2

 “And how do you know when you’re doing something right? How do you know that? It feels so. What I know now is that feelings are really your GPS system for life. When you’re supposed to do something or not supposed to do something, your emotional guidance system lets you know. The trick is to learn to check your ego at the door and start checking your gut instead.” — Oprah

 “If you’re willing to stand for what you believe in … you won’t need advice from me, because you will be able to handle whatever comes.” — Whoopi Goldberg

 “There is nothing more beautiful than finding your course as you believe you bob aimlessly in the current. And wouldn’t you know that your path was there all along, waiting for you to knock, waiting for you to become. This path does not belong to your parents, your teachers, your leaders, or your lovers. Your path is your character defining itself more and more every day.” — Jodi Foster, Actress

Show Your Teacher Your Appreciation with a Thank You Plaque

by Presenta Plaque | on May 20, 2014 | No Comments

With the end of the school year rapidly approaching, instead of giving the teacher an apple to say thank you, why not create something more enduring. A plaque with an appropriate inscription will last a lifetime.

The plaque kit is about as easy as it comes. It includes everything you need to turn a certificate into a beautiful award plaque. The plaque is fashioned for easy assembly and comes with an acrylic cover to protect the certificate. Just print out your thank you certificate to you teacher from you home computer, assemble the plaque and slide the certificate into place. Nothing could be easier, or more appreciated by your favorite teacher.

To make the plaque even more special, try hunting for quotes online about teachers that can be inscribed on the certificate. We’ve selected a few of our favorites to share with you.

“What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child.” George Bernard Shaw

“A teacher is a compass that activates the magnets of curiosity, knowledge, and wisdom in the pupils.” Ever Garrison

“I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.”

Socrates

 “Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.”

Confucius

“Every child deserves a champion – an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.”

Rita Pierson

The Value of Developing Leadership in Today’s Youth

by Presenta Plaque | on Apr 28, 2014 | No Comments

According to Dr. Carol D’Amico, author of Workforce 2020: Work & Workers of the 21st Century, the changing nature of America’s workplace makes the need for young leaders even more important. Sadly,  for the first time in history, America’s youth is less prepared to take their place in society than their parents

Dr. D’Amico discusses three factors that make it important for youth to develop their leadership skills.

  1. Technology is changing the type of workers that will be needed in the future. Automation is taking the place of unskilled labor, making it critical for youth to develop the leadership needed to fill the better paying, safer and more stimulating jobs that will replace unskilled jobs.
  2. The saying, “It’s a small world,” will be even more applicable in the future. Unskilled workers will be competing for jobs, not just here in the U.S., but in countries all over the world. We are already feeling the effects of outsourcing American jobs to other countries. Again, American youth must be prepared to step into the more highly skilled jobs created by the demand for exported U.S. products.
  3. Another factor to take into account is the aging workforce. Nearly 76 million people (the Baby Boomers) are poised to reach retirement age over the next 20 years. However, America’s birth rate is down, meaning that the demand for skilled employees will become critical. Leadership training will be even more essential in enabling youth to develop character, confidence and values that promote the goal of healthy behavior and to be able to take their place in society.

Other benefits of youth leadership training include:

  • Better attitude about school, higher graduation rates, lower dropout rates from high school
  • Enhanced self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Healthier personal relationships
  • Better lifestyle choices
  • Decreased likelihood of substance abuse and criminal behavior