It’s time to give out Thanksgiving gifts at work, whether they are certificates for turkey or a holiday ham from gThankyou!, or certificates of appreciation for your employees’ hard work and contributions. Showing your gratitude to employees this time of year is an American tradition.
Many employers like to contribute to their employees’ Thanksgiving meals by gifting the main entrée, a turkey. There are other times of the year when employers give gifts to their employees as well. But whenever you’re giving employee gifts, how you give them can mean as much or more as what you are giving.
In “Encouraging the Heart: The Leader’s Guide to Rewarding and Recognizing Others,” James Kouzes and Barry Posner remind us how important personalization is in the gift giving process. They also point out that recognition can hurt if it’s not personalized.
They discuss showing employee appreciation and recognition as “encouraging the heart” of employees. When a gift is given without the acknowledgment of something personal like a handshake and sincere verbal “thank you” or a quick story about why the gift is being given, it can make the recipient feel like it’s just a process, not a sincere gesture.
Here are some ideas from “Encouraging the Heart” for personalizing your employee gift giving:
- Make it fun – A fun event, gesture, or activity adds extra good feelings and makes the gift more memorable.
- Make it public – Giving employee gifts in a public way multiplies the effects by sharing the reasons for the gift giving and enhancing the recipient’s status.
- Tell a story about the reason for the recognition – It brings context to gift giving and lets the recipient know that the gift giver is observant and cares enough to notice and appreciate their efforts.
- Show emotion and express real appreciation – Nothing kills a moment faster than an awkward delivery without any feeling. Gift givers should show they are enjoying the process and are interested in the recipient.
- Don’t delegate gift distribution – It may seem more expedient to have the mailroom deliver gifts to employee mailboxes but that defeats much of the purpose of giving, which is to generate good feelings and deepen a bond or relationship.
- Show that you enjoy gift-giving – Gift givers that feel burdened by giving out bonus check or gift certificates bring a negative aspect to the process. Smiling, joking with people, patting someone on the back when giving a gift, of chatting amiably help to show you care about giving employee gifts and want to do it.
Ways to Distribute Your Thanksgiving Gift Certificates
When you are ready to give out Thanksgiving gift certificates, think about the impact you want to make on your recipients. Do you want them to feel proud you care enough to contribute to their Thanksgiving celebration? Consider having managers give certificates to their employees in public at lunch. Do you want to shake employees’ hands when you give their gifts? Consider walking around the office or factory floor and meeting people in their workspaces to do this. Were you going to ask the human resources staff to give out certificates company wide? Reconsider this, because it turns a very nice gesture and opportunity to build some engagement into a routine process.
However you plan to treat employees this Thanksgiving season, remember the most important part of gift-giving: personalize it to make it more memorable and meaningful.
For more ideas on great workplace gifts, please download our free Employee Gift Giving Guide today.
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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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