Election Day

Today, Tuesday, November 8, is Election Day.

As citizens of a democracy, we elect our government and that effects every aspect of our lives from schools to health care to homeland security, voting is an important privilege in our society.

Take time to study and understand the issues and the candidates before voting.  Be familiar with the ballot. In California, we have 17 state ballot initiatives and many other local city measures to vote on today.  This is a huge number and it is very important for you to understand the impact of each. There are many online sources you may refer to.

The responsibility of voting should not be taken lightly.  It’s your voice, in unison with many others, that will change the direction of your community, state, nation, the course of our government, and even the world.

Today you will be selecting your representatives in government for the next term, as well as deciding on measures like bond and social issues.

By voting, you are making your voice heard and registering your opinion on how you think our government should operate.

If you have questions about how to vote, go to this page:   https://g.co/kgs/nKvRMQ

Voting is a privilege — make your voice heard.

Thank you,

LuAnn Jalet – Chief Operating Officer

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JNR is a full service, globally recognized leader in the incentive industry offering solutions for Meetings and Conferences, Incentive Travel, Special Events and Entertainment, Prepaid Card Services and AXS Contact Center Solutions. We have over 36 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies across many industries. Our clients trust our comprehensive suite of solutions that offer a better way to reach performance, productivity and loyalty objectives. JNR tends to every detail of your program to ensure an extraordinary experience for your customers, employees and participants and a favorable return on your investment. We allow you to step away from the logistical details and let you focus on what you do best.

Photo “I VOTED” by Andrew Butitta is licensed by CC By 2.0

JNR Spotlight: Labor Day

As we look forward to a day off next Monday for Labor Day, it is important to recognize and celebrate the contributions and dedication of the American work force. Men and women all over the country work tirelessly in their individual jobs that sustain the overall well-being of the country and the nation’s economy. While relaxing on the beach or barbequing in the backyard, take a moment to remember those who fought the important fight to give workers their rights and those whose continuous efforts keep progressing this country forward.

Although Labor Day is often considered the official end of summer, here are some statistics to be happy about.

  • Summer does not officially end until September 22, 2016.
  • Officially, this is the 122nd Labor Day.
  • President Grover Cleveland signed into law an act to make Labor Day a federal holiday in 1894. We have been celebrating ever since.
  • This year, we celebrate the 5 million people in the American labor force
  • Employment has risen 9% since December 2014 bringing our unemployment rate to just 4.9%.
  • Every year there is a Labor Day parade in New York City to commemorate the 1882 march that started it all.

Specifically in the Meetings Industry we can be especially proud of our contribution.

  • Meetings employ nearly 1.8 million people and generate $235 billion in total labor income.
  • The Meetings and Events Industry directly and indirectly supports 6.3 million jobs and generates almost $1 trillion a year.

We hope you and your friends and family have the opportunity to barbeque, spend time on the beach, lay out by the pool and just enjoy the long weekend.  Refresh and get ready to head back to school and work all while being grateful that we have a great country made up of great people.

Happy Labor Day!

 

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JNR is a full service, globally recognized leader in the incentive industry offering solutions for Meetings and Conferences, Incentive Travel, Special Events and Entertainment, Prepaid Card Services and AXS Contact Center Solutions. We have over 35 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies across many industries. Our clients trust our comprehensive suite of solutions that offer a better way to reach performance, productivity and loyalty objectives. JNR tends to every detail of your program to ensure an extraordinary experience for your customers, employees and participants and a favorable return on your investment. We allow you to step away from the logistical details and let you focus on what you do best.

 

What is Memorial Day?

Memorial Day is an American holiday observed on the last Monday of May, which honors our U.S. military men and women who died while serving our nation and protecting our freedom.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed by General John Logan on May 5, 1868 and was observed on May 30 when flowers were placed on the graves of both Civil War Union and Confederate soldiers who were buried at Arlington National Cemetery. In 1968, Congress established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May; the change went into effect in 1971. The same law also declared Memorial Day a federal holiday.

Memorial Day is a time to enjoy the company of family and friends and to celebrate our nation’s freedom. However, it’s a lot more than a day off from school or work, it is one of the most significant holidays we have, a day of remembrance, especially if you or a family member has served our country.

Our U.S. Armed Forces go where they are sent and deserve our full support.  Memorial Day is a time to remember all those Americans who have fought in the past to keep our country safe and free. It is a day to honor and respect those who have died.

Children observe and retain far more than they are given credit for and they need to know the true meaning of this day. So, this year, while surrounded by family and friends, take a moment to teach the meaning of Memorial Day. Let children know what this holiday means to you and why it means so much to our nation’s history, and our military families. Talk and reflect on those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Spend time teaching children about patriotism and why we celebrate our nation’s freedom.  Memorial Day activities can have a long lasting impact and give young children a greater appreciation for our country. Building a sense of pride with patriotism is important!

No matter your political views, military heroes deserve our respect. There are many ways to teach children to honor our nation’s defenders.  Children know that people die and explaining that some die while bravely protecting others gives meaning.  You’ll find that children will be interested in learning about history and how important it is to recognize our heroes; to remember them with honor and respect the ultimate sacrifice they have given to protect America and our freedom.

In the morning, fly our flag proudly at half-mast, a position reserved only for days when the entire country is in mourning, and raise it high at noon to honor the living. Then gather at 3:00 PM to silently observe our National Moment of Remembrance.  When informed, kids will understand the importance of keeping quiet for this minute.

Memorial Day is about remembering those who have given their service and their lives for our country, but there are soldiers in the field right now. Thousands of American men and women soldiers are serving in danger zones overseas. Many are lonely, afraid, they miss home and the comforts of little things like magazines, snacks, personal hygiene products, paper and pens, and cheery letters and pictures. There is no better lesson in American citizenship than having a child write a letter to a deserving soldier. Think of ways to contribute to today’s veterans. Go to http://www.anysoldier.com/index.cfm and https://www.dav.org/ to see how you can help.

Don’t allow children to think that Memorial Day is just another day off school or just another holiday. Teach children the history and importance of Memorial Day and remember our past American heroes together.  What you teach them today will make a difference tomorrow.

Written by LuAnn Jalet

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JNR Incorporated is a globally recognized leader specializing in creating custom programs that motivate, engage and reward the employees, customers and channel members of our Fortune 1000 clients. For over 35 years, JNR has designed and delivered a comprehensive suite of solutions including incentive travel, prepaid reward and gift cards, meetings and conferences, events and entertainment, technology solutions and marketing communications.  Our programs produce measurable results and are proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

Photo by: “American Flag” by Peter Miller is licensed under CC by 2.0

Enhancing Workplace Rapport

For the average working American, the largest component of the day is made up of time working or doing work related activities. When you add in the 7.7 hours for sleep, this takes up 16.4 hours of their 24-hour day and does not leave much time for social interaction.  It seems intuitive that workers would use the extended time spent with coworkers to forge deeper relationships, but a recent article by Fast Company found that Americans are less likely to have friends at work than in past years.

friends at work graph

Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report states that work friendships increase employee satisfaction by 50% and people with a best friend in the office are seven times more likely to engage fully in their work. Study after study shows that fostering friendships in the workplace helps with the bottom line as employees gain a common sense of purpose and a mentality of ‘we are all in-it together’.

The Atlantic states that “Those we see daily have the potential to increase our happiness as much as earning $100,000 more per year.” Closeness makes coworkers more collaborative, productive and accountable and discussing success with coworkers increases motivation of the whole team.

Reasons for the decline:

  • Shortened Job Tenures

The length that employees are staying at companies is now on average 4.6 years according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics which creates a mentality of not needing to become friends with coworkers as either you or them will move on in the next few years.

  • The Rise of Social Media

High school and college friends are just a click away. Feeling connected to those that you have already established a close relationship to reduces the need to forge new friendships.

  • Increasing blur between work and personal life and the need to keep personal time

With work taking up such a large amount of time, employees strive to disconnect and recharge when they have the chance.

 

How to Foster Workplace Friendships and Increase Your Employee Satisfaction and Retention Numbers:

  • Provide a Break Room

Providing a break room and encouraging employees to take breaks throughout the day not only increase the chances for friendships to form but also increases efficiency and reduces burnout.

  • Host Office Parties

Hosting an office party during office hours gives employees a chance to mingle in a relaxed atmosphere.

  • Organize an Activity for Employees

Organizing an out-of-office activity, such as a company trip to a sporting event, is a great way to encourage friendships and allow your employees to unwind.

  • Stop the “Library-Like” Atmosphere

An article by US News  highlights the negative effect that a silent workplace has on employees and efficiency.  Silence in an office kills open communication, it kills creativity and it kills the feeling of being part of ‘a team’. An office setting that is too quiet can also make employees self-conscious and less willing to share ideas.

 

Do you have a workplace that fosters friendships? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Written by Stephanie Thomas

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JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom incentive travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies in many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

 

JNR Spotlight: Independence Day

Variously known as the Fourth of July and Independence Day, July 4th has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution (1775-83). In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.

It is important to note that Native Americans lived in the country and each tribe had its own nation and government prior to the European settlers. However, many native people see the Fourth of July as a coming together with the larger American community. Native Americans are distinct individuals with a traditional culture, but many find special significance in this holiday, including many American-Indian war veterans who have defended our nation.
Let’s all rejoice together; display the American flag, sing “The Star Spangled Banner” and celebrate the political freedom and liberties we enjoy in this great United States of America.

Be safe and have fun!

By JNR Incorporated

Written by LuAnn Jalet, Chief Operating Officer

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JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom incentive travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies in many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

Photo: “The Dawning of America II” by Anne Worner is licensed by 2.0