Celebrating Thanksgiving in the workplace is an appreciated and valuable way of showing gratitude to employees. Don’t miss out this year!
SHRM calls Thanksgiving workplace celebrations an “incredible tool” for managers.
A business veteran and author quoted by SHRM says that “in so many organizations, employees go through their days assuming that their co-workers, and especially their bosses, don’t notice or appreciate all of the hard work that they do.”
“And if that’s the way you feel, you will just go through the motions,” the expert, Todd Patkin, says.
Thanksgiving gratitude to the rescue! “Tapping into the spirit of Thanksgiving can tip the balance between success and growth or stagnation and failure,” Patkin says.
Celebrating Thanksgiving in the workplace is also a “motivator and catalyst for growth,” he added.
Read on for tips on how to celebrate Thanksgiving in the workplace, even with limited resources or at the last-minute. After all, the emotion that Thanksgiving thrives on — gratitude — is 100% free and instantly accessible.
6 Ideas for Celebrating Thanksgiving in the Workplace
Let’s start with that gratitude. Where does it come from, and how are you expressing it?
1. Brainstorm Your Gratitude
Sure, you’re thankful to employees for their hard work this year. But that’s too general. For appreciation to have the most impact, it must be specific and individual. Check out HR C-Suite’s blog post for seven questions to contemplate before expressing gratitude in the workplace. HR C-Suite blogger Tresha Moreland has come up with helpful questions to spark your memory and inspire your appreciation at every level of the workplace.
2. Consider the Targets of Your Gratitude
Some people are more social, others are more analytical — consider the preferences and traits of the individual employees or work teams you are recognizing. Emergenetics VP of Marketing Mark Miller has advice for how to praise different types of people. For example, gregarious, extroverted employees will appreciate being rewarded in a big group setting in front of their peers while quieter, more introverted employees may prefer one-on-one recognition in private.
3. Write It Down
Put your thoughts into writing: write a Thanksgiving message to employees that wraps up the year and recognizes the efforts of individuals and teams.
Stuck on how to compose your message? Download gThankYou’s free guide, “Put the ‘Thanks’ into Thanksgiving: How to Write a Thanksgiving Letter to Employees.” It has step-by-step instructions along with lots of real-life examples to guide you.
4. Host a Thanksgiving Potluck
We express our appreciation at Thanksgiving through food: a sizzling and aromatic turkey, Aunt Nancy’s special green bean casserole, mounds of dressing, pies and cakes, etc. Food is the universal language of gratitude and celebration.
Host a potluck for your team, and be sure to put gratitude front and center.
At the start of the meal, encourage employees to go around the table and take turns talking about something they’re grateful for this year. Managers should kick off this thank-a-thon — employees will feel more comfortable expressing their gratitude once they hear it from management first. Leaders set the tone for the workplace, always.
5. Expand Your Celebration Beyond the Workplace
Now that you’re on a gratitude roll, why not extend your goodwill to customers or the community? Volunteer at a local charity to help those in need over the holidays, or celebrate with a customer appreciation promotion or event that allows employees to thank customers directly for their loyalty.
6. Share a Turkey Gift
Turkeys are a practical expression of gratitude at Thanksgiving — it’s a gift recipients will enjoy with family and friends as the centerpiece to a special meal.
gThankYou! Turkey Gift Certificates put gratitude first, too. Every order includes your choice of free customizable and personalized “Thank You” Enclosure Cards to help you express your message of appreciation.
gThankYou customers choose our Certificates for their Thanksgiving turkey gift because we make it easy for giver and recipient alike.
gThankYou! Turkey Gift Certificates are easy to share, and recipients love the flexibility to choose the brand, size and preparation of whole turkey that’s right for their family, at virtually all major grocery stores nationwide.
To this day, a turkey is still a special gift for employees — and good for business.
Our “10 Reasons to Give Employees a Thanksgiving Turkey” page explains why. You can also download “10 Reasons” as a PDF-file brochure for easy printing and sharing at meetings with coworkers and leadership.
Learn More About gThankYou!