What employees want most for the holidays can’t be bought, sold or bargained.
It’s gratitude — for their hard work and exemplary efforts all year-long.
Employee appreciation is important every day, but during the holidays the stakes are higher. People are stressed about family obligations and under pressure to meet end-of-year work deadlines. Expectations are higher.
If showing gratitude to employees feels like just one more obligation in an already jam-packed month, step back and consider the small and practical ways you can make room for it in the coming weeks — without stressing yourself out!
Stay Grateful This Holiday Season
What employees want most for the holidays is the very thing that may be scarcer this time of year: your attention, time and expressed appreciation. Yet this is not time to hold back. A culture of appreciation drives employee happiness, productivity and retention more than a raise.
Showing gratitude to employees needn’t be an all-consuming part of your managers’ workdays — even small acts of kindness and appreciation have amazing powers. Gratitude naturally magnifies positive emotions, spreads good cheer and can turn around a blah day!
5 Ways to Stay Grateful Even through Holiday Stress
- Be charitable. Helping someone else spreads joy and helps you forget your own problems for a while. An office toy drive takes little organizational effort and brings a lot of happiness to families in need.
- Be flexible. A little schedule flexibility can help employees keep up with personal holiday-time obligations and work goals. They’ll be grateful for it!
- Celebrate small successes. Don’t wait to acknowledge big achievements. If your team is working toward seasonal sales goals, for example, track progress closely and celebrate small wins along the way.
- Practice (and model) self-care. Management sets the tone for everyone else, so be sure managers are not following unreasonable or unhealthy practices that lead to burnout.
- Keep a Gratitude journal. Take five minutes of quiet daily to list what you’re grateful for — people, kind gestures, new business developments — and then share it, either by saying “Thank you” individually one-on-one, or by posting your list on social media or on an intraoffice message board. Get everyone involved and you’ll have the entire workplace benefiting from the good-feelings of gratitude.
Be Smart About Gift-Giving
A gift shared in the spirit of appreciation is a great way to build your company’s culture of gratitude, but picking out gifts for everyone may seem at first like a daunting task.
Tales of bad gift choices are amusing to tell later but not so funny at the time — how would you feel if your holiday gift was a toothbrush, a knockoff watch or $100 in cash taken out of your own paycheck? (All true stories!)
Great gifts are memorable because they evoke warm memories. And it’s easier than you think to pick and share them.
Great gift-givers aren’t blessed with better imaginations or more resources than the rest of us. But they do diligently follow two practices:
- Research thoroughly to understand what recipients value
- Are thoughtful
Gift cards, gift certificates and cash were preferred by the majority in a recent survey on employee holiday gift-giving, according to Small Business Trends. Why? Because it offers flexibility for recipients to choose what works best for them. But beyond this clear preference, survey results varied widely — for example, some respondents said they don’t want sweets as gifts, while others said it’s exactly what they’re hoping for!
That’s why knowing your employees and understanding your workplace is so important. Not sure what your staff wants? Ask. Those closest to them — regional managers or team leaders — will be able to provide valuable insight.
Once you know your workplace’s preferences, give your choice and presentation some thought. Does your gift align with company values? Does it fit the company culture? Is it practical? What message does it send?
Most importantly, be sure you’re clearly conveying gratitude with your gift message and presentation. After all, your sincere gratitude is what your employees want most for the holidays!
Best wishes for happy, healthy and festive holiday season in your workplace!
For more tips on workplace gift-giving, download our FREE eBook, “The Ultimate Guide to Employee Gift-Giving.” Learn from HR experts what really works.
About gThankYou, LLC
Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.
gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime. gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.
gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Contact: Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-484-1658.
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