Thanksgiving is the day we set aside to give ‘thanks’, to remember who and what we are grateful for, and to celebrate by feasting with family and good friends. Many employers share the ‘thanks’ of Thanksgiving with employees, giving gifts like a turkey for the holidays or paid time off to spend with family. Some organize potluck lunches to recognize the occasion, while others overlook Thanksgiving altogether and just hold an annual holiday party. However you choose to do it, your employees will be grateful for the appreciation and recognition you can provide.
Glassdoor, an online employer rating and career community, surveyed employees about how appreciated they felt at work, what their work motivations were, and what they really wanted from employers at Thanksgiving. Employees said they’d stay with employers longer and work harder if they felt more appreciated by their bosses. When asked in the survey about Thanksgiving perks they’d appreciate the most, more than half of employees said they’d enjoy not being required to work the day before and after the holiday. Other perks employees would like at Thanksgiving include cash bonuses or a pre-holiday meal at work.
Winter brings thoughts of the upcoming holidays, and the previous year’s achievements and accomplishments in employers and employees both. As we start to plan the new year, it’s an ideal time to reflect on what we are grateful for, and an important opportunity to make sure everyone’s efforts are acknowledged with thanks.
Here are some ideas for putting the “thanks” of Thanksgiving into your workplace:
Say “Thank You”. Recognition and genuine appreciation are important employee motivators and create engagement. Try some creative ways to say thanks.
- Write short notes thanking direct reports for specific work-related actions and efforts and post them on a wall or bulletin board in their work area in the weeks leading up to the holiday. You can even add graphics of Thanksgiving dinner items.
- Present a public thank you and handshake for employees at a team meeting.
- Give gift certificates for Thanksgiving turkeys along with certificates of appreciation for employee contributions.
- Incorporate personal touches like handwritten letters and recalling stories of individual efforts and successes to make workplace gratitude meaningful and memorable.
Treat Them to Lunch. Whether it’s at a fancy restaurant or a catered buffet, saying thank you with a lunch before the holiday gives employees a little respite from their hectic work and personal schedules. Add a little extra time to mingle, or prepare a video or slideshow to watch during the meal. It’s a great way to recount why you appreciate your employees.
Let Everyone Participate. Instead of just a top-down approach to workplace appreciation and gratitude, encourage everyone to express their thanks at work. And, don’t forget about part-timers, interns and even custodial staff. They all appreciate words of thanks and recognition at Thanksgiving time.
Use Technology. Connect everyone to the spirit of Thanksgiving with a page on the company intranet or social media for them to post why they appreciate a boss, a co-worker, a team, a customer, or a vendor. You can also prepare a special “Wall of Thanks” or bulletin board for anyone to post pictures or thank yous.
This Thanksgiving, remember to thank those who work to make your organization profitable and successful. You’ll be glad you did.
For more ideas on great workplace gifts, please download our free Workplace Gratitude Guide today.
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