The Biggest Myths About Employee Engagement

Delivering happiness at work is often thought of as a mysterious combination of hard to deliver perks that employers struggle to provide and that employees rarely appreciate. However what if I told you that what your employees really want is to deliver their best work possible? And that all they need from you is permission to be happy?


Unconvinced? Read on.


Happy employees are engaged employees. And engaged employees are far more likely to deliver results for your organization in the long run. According to a recent study from BI worldwide, nine out of ten happy employees agree with this statement: “I feel an obligation to work as hard as I can for my organization.” It’s never been more important to crack the code of employee happiness. The confusion comes in when employers try to interpret what that means.


Here are the biggest myths employers believe about what makes employees happy.


MYTH 1: Large Paychecks Equal Loyalty

Sometimes it’s far easier to open the company coffers than fix the underlying problems that add to de-motivation, and that’s a problem. Too often managers assume that a large paycheck or financial based rewards are what motivate employees. Extensive research by Gallup, as well as Tim Judge has shown the correlation between job satisfaction and pay is very weak, as well as no significant difference in employee engagement by pay level. Several studies over the past decade have shown that if you want your workforce to be focused and engaged, money is not the answer.


MYTH 2: Employees should be satisfied with their current role

It’s easy to fall into the trap of penalizing employees for being ambitious when what you need at the moment is complacency. The same motivation that was prized when your employee was hired shouldn’t be denigrated when they see no path forward in your organization. A recent SHRM survey showed 83% of respondents said career advancement was very important to them. If you want to retain your employees, creating a pathway for advancement should be seen as necessary. The best way to discover your employee’s goals are during performance reviews and regular meetings.


MYTH 3: Happy employees probably aren’t busy enough

Tight budgets and lack of a data-driven performance assessments mean that employers often associate happy employees with lazy employees. The sight of employees laughing and talking mid-day can often equate, in a stressed out manager’s mind, to loafing or on the job laziness. However the research is compelling. Happy employees are between 12% and 20% more productive than their unhappy counterparts. If that doesn’t spell a good return on happiness, I’m not sure what does!


MYTH 4:Recognition Programs have a low ROI

An employee recognition program is the easiest way to deliver the type of specific, thoughtful attention employees need. An IRF study on the value and ROI of employee recognition showed that recognition programs have the potential, unlike compensation and incentive-based programs, to create a positive cycle of ever-increasing employee engagement and motivation.


When Delta Airlines implemented a recognition program based on their strategy and core values, they reported a 564% return on their investment.


A well thought out  engagement program that ensures that both employee and employer are getting the most out of the relationship can go a long way to creating the type of environment where employees thrive. With a tool like Bucket List, employees can recognize each other for their accomplishments, and companies can reward employees by helping them achieve their life goals.


This way, both employer and employee get exactly what they need to be happy.


Learn more about how to create a fun work environment by downloading the free Bucket List report on workplace happiness.





About Bucket List:

Bucket List is a rewards and recognition platform that empowers employees to recognize each other’s achievements, and allows companies to reward their hard work by helping them achieve their life goals. Get more information about how Bucket List can help you build a world-class culture and challenge your employees to do the best work of their life.

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The Fastest Route to Effective Team Building

It’s no secret that team building activities are a great way to increase employee engagement. While games and off-site activities are an important part of building a great team, if there’s no spark within the 4 walls of the office, your efforts to put a smile on everyone’s face may not add up to much.


A 2014 Gallup poll showed that almost 87% people are dissatisfied with their jobs. It’s never been more important to integrate team building activities into the daily office environment. Think it’s impossible? Think again!


The best companies approach team building from the inside out. They consider how to support and recognize employees seamlessly during the workday so employees need less ‘stuff’ and get excited by the prospect of work itself.


Here are 3 basic strategies to kick up the office environment and have a little bit of fun.



When employees are encouraged to take small breaks to play, great things happen. A recent study from BrightHR showed that employees who have fun in the workplace take less sick leave, are more productive, and actually work harder.


Just as there is structured work time, there should also be structured play time. Giving your team the chance to turn away from their screens to talk, laugh, and joke around can help everyone loosen up and blow off a little steam. Standing up to play hackey sack, batting around a beach ball, or an impromptu dart gun war can provide the most memorable team building activities out there.


Companies like Zappos and Southwest Airlines know this, and use humor and fun as the foundation of their business culture. When you need your team to buckle down, consider prepping them for their work by lightening up the atmosphere with some planned fun time.


Create a flexible working environment

A physical work environment that gives employees the flexibility to work where they are most productive doesn’t require cutting-edge architects, designers, or a large budget. By providing cubes, tables, and alternate areas for employees to work during the day, employees can seek quiet when they need focus, or collaboration when necessary.


A 2013 report from architectural firm Gensler found that the most effective workplaces provide a balance of focus and collaboration, and offer employees choice as to where and how they work. The tax services company Ryan follows this example by adhering to a policy called ROWE (Results Only Work Environment) which allows employees to untether from their desks and work wherever they are most productive, as long as they are hitting their clearly defined work goals. By empowering employees to choose the environment that’s necessary to do their best work, they feel supported, empowered, and happy.


Implement a recognition program that works

It’s difficult to build a strong team when it’s unclear who’s doing what. Many workplaces strive to create a culture of transparency, or provide amazing events for employees but fail to reward them in ways that are actually meaningful for them personally.


Being recognized by a manager or leader for good performance is important, but often managers lack the insight of an employee’s peers. A SHRM study found that peer-to-peer recognition is 37% more likely to have a positive impact on financial results than manager-only recognition.


When employees are empowered to recognize each other in front of their peers, a culture of transparency is truly born.


Recognition programs that work are organic and start from the ground up. With a tool like Bucket List, employees can recognize each other for their accomplishments, and companies can reward employees by helping them achieve their life goals.


Learn more about how to create a fun work environment by downloading the free Bucket List report on workplace happiness.

Download the FREE Happiness 101 Report

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Team building activities for world-class companies

Team Building Activities for Growing Companies

Motivating a team to do their best work can be tricky. Providing the tools and resources to achieve is important, but many managers find their teams need an extra push to unleash that extra effort. When teams are given the opportunity to bond emotionally, they actually care about who they’re working with on a daily basis. Caring about one’s team often translates to caring more about one’s work. This leads to increased productivity, easier communication, and a higher level of performance. One of the easiest ways to create an opportunity for emotional bonding is through team building activities.

Different than the typical after-work happy hour, true team building activities allow employees to get to know each other within the context of day-to-day work and build the trust and closeness that makes their job about more than a paycheck.

Here are 3 Team Building Activities that will help you build stronger relationships with your employees and teams.

  1. Shout-outs and Stand-ups 

Shout-outs are simple meetings that let employees recognize each other in public. A simple shout-out meeting might take place at the end of the week. Every employee stands in a big circle, and everyone has a chance to recognize another employee for helping them do their work that week. Allowing employees to give each other shout-outs, in front of managers and fellow employees gives visibility into everyone’s work roles, and helps build trust, empathy, and understanding. A public thank you for a very specific reason can go a long way to help employees feel appreciated and valued.

2.  Recognition Awards

As companies grow and budgets get tighter, it can be difficult to find an impressive way to reward employees without breaking the budget. To combat this, try letting your internal teams recognize the outstanding efforts of their coworkers. Instead of rewarding employees with an impersonal gift certificate or a coffee card, let your teams create a unique ‘prize’ the employee can keep on their desk for the week. Keep things fun and simple, and let the focus stay on peer recognition.

3. Goal Setting Exercises

The best way to encourage your employees to set and achieve goals in the workplace is to allow them to integrate their personal goals into the process as well. Group goal setting exercises help employees share and support each other’s efforts, and help them get to know each other in an easy and relaxed atmosphere. Bucket List’s rewards and recognition platform is a great, low cost way for teams of all sizes to set goals and recognize and reward each other in real time.

Learn more about how Bucket List for corporate teams can be a seamless, low-cost, and fun way for your employees to recognize and reward each other in real time. 


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Positive Corporate Culture

5 Signs of a Positive Workplace Culture

If you want a successful business, it’s important to create a positive workplace culture. Culture ensures employees are engaged and enthusiastic about your company’s mission.

Culture can be defined as the reality of working at your company. It’s the attitude of the internal group, which creates the public face to your company’s clients and customers.

Culture is the sum of what spills out onto the general public and is the basis of your company’s image and success.

Here are 5 Signs that your company is on the right track when it comes to positive workplace culture:

  1. Low Turnover

The first thing you notice in a positive, thriving workplace is the number of tenured employees present. When people have been with a company 3 years or more, it shows that employees see a clear career path for themselves, and that they are engaged with the company’s overall mission.  

FACT: One third of all new hires quit their job within the first 6 months of employment. Source.


  1. Employee Advocacy

In healthy workplaces, employees encourage and invite their friends and colleagues to fill open positions. They also actively promote their company’s culture and celebrate each other’s wins.

FACT: Referred employees have a 45% retention rate after 2 years. Source.


  1. Smiling Faces

This one’s easy. Have you ever walked into an office and just felt that something was wrong? The receptionist wasn’t friendly, there was a sharpness in the air, or something just felt off. Often, the signs of a healthy culture are front and center. People who are smiling, talking, and generally happy are most likely working harder and are more productive.

FACT: Happy employees are 12% more productive than unhappy employees. Source.  


  1. Teams Communicate and Work Together

Healthy culture within a company is also represented by how teams work together and communicate. Do they freely share information, support each other’s initiatives and goals? A positive workplace culture will encourage and align internal teams to work in concert with each other.

FACT: 39% of surveyed employees believe people in their organization don’t collaborate enough. Source.


  1. Great Tools and Processes

Once a company has established core values and a solid mission, great tools and processes put in place will help them live that culture to the fullest.


There are a number of tools, systems you can implement to get a good sense of your employee engagement is like. 

One of the best tools for retention, recognition, and advocacy is Bucket List, which helps employees recognize each other and employers reward each other for their accomplishments.


Get a handle on your corporate culture and request a Bucket List demo today





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Bucket List Calendar of Festivals & Events – March 2015

Everyday there are fabulously exotic festivals & celebrations around the world. Here are some of our favorite events of things you have to experience for yourself.

molten iron throwing
With a name like “Molten Iron Throwing” you know it has to be good. In this illumining festival talented blacksmiths celebrate the end of the Lunar New Year in style by throwing molten metal against cold stone wall to create an explosion of sparks and light. Nothing I write can truly compete with the spectacle, so take a look as the experts light up the night in the Yu County Lantern Festival.


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Vancouver Bucket List

The Vancouver Aquarium After Hours Event – The Vancouver Bucket List

Vancouver Aquarium After Hours

If you live in Vancouver, you’ve probably been to the aquarium. If you’ve visited Vancouver, you’ve probably been to the aquarium. It is a staple of the City of Vancouver, British Columbia for over 58 years now. But, have you been to a Vancouver Aquarium After Hours Event? Have you experienced the glowing of the jellyfish with a delicious beer in your hand – and not a screaming child to be found? This wonderful adults only event, held every few months, let’s the adults of Vancouver free to explore the depths of the aquarium. And, bonus, no children crowding the view of the penguins.

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The Bucketlist App Kickstarter is Live!

Bucketlist are so happy to announce the launch of their kickstarter campaign to raise the fund for the much needed Bucketlist App! We are so humbled by the support and successes of our community. Take a look at what some people have to say:

We know that there is one major part of the bucket list experience missing, a mobile app. So we’re turning to the fantastic Bucketlist community to ask for your help to develop the app – we’ve launched the Bucketlist App Kickstarter Campaign! Check out our kickstarter here!

But what’s a kickstarter without some awesome rewards? We created this handy infographic so you can see what you’ll get by supporting our project.

rewards-info-gFor more information check out the full campaign here!

Anything helps, and I want to personally thank you in advance for all your support and helping Bucketlist become what it is!

The Bucketlist App Kickstarter Campaign 


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Bucket List Food – A Plate of Spaghetti in Rome

Nothing is more Italian, than a hearty plate of spaghetti after a long day touring the sites of the eternal city. I know some of you might think that this is not a worthy bucket list item, but hear me out.

Let me paint a picture for you, one that is only a distant memory to me know. I was in Rome, only about 18 years old overwhelmed by the beauty in every direction I looked. Literally, tripping over history with every step I took.

From the astounding colosseum, to the ever so calming Piazza Navona the city was breath taking in every way possible, and ever slightly overwhelming. But one thing I couldn’t ignore from the beauty of my surroundings, was my tummy when it started rumbling. Let’s just say I mastered the ‘Eat’ part of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ before it was cool.


However, luck was on our side, that fateful summer, when just a few blocks away from our quaint hotel was heaven in the form of a cafe. It was the love story I’ve only read about before in Nicholas Sparks books, Andreas Cafe. Nothing special from the outside, but from the crowd of locals and diplomats alike sitting on the patio, we knew that this was where it’s at.

Ordering a quart of the house red (when in rome after all) we dug into the menu trying to decipher what we could understand. Luckily, spaghetti is the same in every language, and I knew I was in for a treat. But as they say, patience is a virtue, so before our main, we so calmly passed time by sampling so of Rome’s finest anti-pasta, including one of my favourites, prosciutto melon, a seemingly strange combination, but literally perfection with every bite, and still one of my favourites to this day.

In a flash our main course was ready, the worlds most perfect plate of spaghetti. Noodles cooked to perfection, with the absolute best tomato sauce I have ever tasted. Every bite only got better and better, until sadly it was devoured.

To us, things on your bucket list should be something you are going to remember for the rest of your life. What may seem like a simple plate of spaghetti to one person, is the taste of Rome and an ideal holiday to another!

Andrea’s you treated us well during that holiday. Although I’m really not 100% sure where you are located, I’ll be sure to return on day, and maybe try another main from your menu…maybe not!

Feeling Inspired?

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Finding Your Core Values – Bucket list University

Here at we absolutely love to set goals. But what we love even more, is the rush of excitement when you finally cross an item off your list!

Success isn’t always easy, but with the right inspiration, motivation and (sometimes) perspiration, we just know you’ll be crushing your bucket list in no time!


So let’s dive in to the Bucketlist Univeristy series, teaching you, young grasshopper, to be the master within… or something along those lines. Having a strong foundation for your goal setting, means knowing your core values! Today we’ll be looking at ways your can find your core values and why they are so crucial in succeeding in checking off those items on your bucket list!

Core Values – What Are They?

Let’s start with the basics. Core values are our beliefs, our passions. The things that get you out of the bed in the morning, and the inner compass that help guide your everyday decisions.  Some examples of core values are family, fitness, adventure, independence, balance, kindness, etc. But there are infinite examples of what they could be, as long as they are important to you and your everyday actions.

By finding your core values, you can use them as the foundation for your bucket list goals. See them as the base of your pyramid of success!

How to find your own?

The truth of the matter is, you probably are aware, on one level or another, what some of your core values are! But writing them down is often the first step to successful goal setting.

So here is a little exercise  we’ve developed! Get out a notebook and start writing your core values down!

Writing Core Values

Ask yourself these three questions…

  • If you asked your closest friends what your three most defining qualities are, what would they say?
  • What deeply held values define who you are, and affect how you operate in the world?
  • If a stranger were to observe you for a day, what would they say are your biggest characteristics?

Three loaded questions, I know! But by taking a good look at how you act on a day-to-day bases from both an internal look and an external look will help you nail down your core values in no time!

Core Values and your Bucket List

By having goal that align with your core values, you will be more likely to dedicate your time and efforts to achieving a goal. Like we mentioned before, core values are the foundation to any smart goal setters achievement.

So make sure your foundation is strong. Setting goals outside of your core values could be a reason so many of us fail to achieve our goals! If your foundation, or reasoning, behind why you set a goal is weak, then the next steps in achieving your goal will always be a little shaky!

Feeling inspired to take the next steps for success? Log into your profile today!

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