Will employees at your company be spending Thanksgiving at work? Bring the gratitude and make it a workplace celebration they’ll appreciate.
Spending the holiday at work isn’t where most of us expect to be this family-centric celebration, of course. But with the right attitude and activities, sharing Thanksgiving with colleagues is an opportunity to highlight workplace gratitude and celebrate your “work family.”
“When we’re counting our blessings this Thanksgiving, work will probably not make the list for most of us,” according to the American Management Association (AMA). “Yet it’s worth noting that the origins of Thanksgiving are rooted in work. In its earliest incarnations, it was a day to celebrate the hard-earned bounty of the harvest.
“And the very first Thanksgiving feast in America came about when the Pilgrims wanted to express their gratitude to the Wampanoag Native Americans who had helped them survive their first year in their new home. So in a very real sense, the tradition of Thanksgiving began as a way of celebrating the timeless workplace values of hard work and cooperation.“
If your company has employees spending Thanksgiving in the office, now’s your chance to plan ahead and make it a celebration of hard work, cooperation and gratitude!
Make Gratitude Your #1 Priority for Thanksgiving at Work
“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” — William Arthur Ward
Employees spending Thanksgiving at work are far from alone.
Millions of Americans work on Thanksgiving. According to a recent poll, a quarter of Americans are required to work Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s Day — and even more, 45 percent, reported that there’s a chance they’ll work one of these holidays. Employees in retail, law enforcement, health care, travel, utilities, freight, news and other industries all keep working through the holidays.
Even though they’re far from alone in spending Thanksgiving at work, it’s crucial to let your employees know how much you appreciate their dedication and hard work coming in on a holiday.
Whatever else you do to celebrate Thanksgiving at work — gifts, a communal potluck, a catered turkey feast with all the fixin’s, or an outing to watch a Thanksgiving parade or volunteer at a soup kitchen — gratitude comes first.
A Thanksgiving gift or activity shared without gratitude is apt to feel manipulative and impersonal to employees.
Clearly expressed appreciation from company leadership is key. Employees will notice if managers and other leaders are oblivious to their sacrifice to work on a holiday.
A note or public announcement of gratitude from the company CEO can make all the difference — and it doesn’t have to be big production! A simple acknowledgement and “Thank You” is plenty. If budget allows, a gift or complimentary Thanksgiving meal is a great way to reinforce this message of gratitude.
It’s worth noting that “professional satisfaction” is by far the leading reason employees feel thankful at work, beating “benefits” or “salary” by a wide margin, according to an AMA Performance & Profits poll.
When you thank employees, you’re boosting their sense of professional satisfaction. And in the long haul, feeding a culture of workplace gratitude has benefits beyond engagement.
Gratitude creates the kind of “cohesive organization that will lower stress and frankly be a place at which people are actually grateful to come to work,” Forbes contributor Neale Godfrey writes this week in her article, “Thanksgiving: Gratitude at Home and at Work May Lead to a Longer, Happier Life.”
Read on to learn how to write a meaningful and memorable Thanksgiving letter to employees.
Employees crave gratitude, on Thanksgiving and every day. Yet the workplace is one of the last places gratitude gets expressed — because too many business leaders still subscribe to outdated ideas about employee recognition, such as a paycheck being “thanks enough.”
Yet studies show people love feeling grateful and love hearing appreciation from others. Leaders just need to pave the way by modeling gratitude first!
Grateful leadership has a ripple effect on employee engagement, inspiring better morale, higher quality and lower turnover. And one of the simplest ways you can become a more grateful leader is through a Thanksgiving letter to employees.
Our eBook guides you through the process. You’ll learn:
- The business case for sharing a Thanksgiving “Thank You”
- Real-life examples of memorable Thanksgiving letters from bosses in a variety of industries.
- Best practices for thanking employees and ideas for brainstorming your own unique approach.
- Tips on how to share your Thanksgiving letter.
This free eBook is for you — whether you’re an HR manager in charge of employee holiday gifts, a C-suite executive seeking practical advice for a company-wide Thanksgiving mailing, or a location manager who wants to hand-write individual Thank You cards to the whole team.
Why wait? Download your free copy now!
We hope you love our new eBook and find it full of helpful inspiration and advice. Best wishes for a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving from all of us at gThankYou.
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