Employees want to be appreciated, and you can never do it too much.
Find some time this month to thank and appreciate your staff. The more personalized, the better. If you don’t know them well enough to thank them for specific accomplishments or character qualities, put that on your to-do list for next time.
Here’s a quick list of ways you can appreciate your employees. Some are a little more costly and time-intensive than others. Pick a few that will work for you, and build up your team’s morale!
8½ Ways to Thank Your Staff
1. Offer flexible scheduling for the holidays
This might not be possible for all businesses. But if you can make it happen, your staff will appreciate it – a lot. This is also a great way to break the ice and warm up employee relationships that may have hit a rough patch.
2. Recognize Them – Publicly
Put a feature on your website or your employee newsletter that lauds someone on your team. Even better, make this a regular feature. Even better than that, do it live, in a staff meeting. People love to be commended for what they’re doing well. This is an easy and cost-free way to build up your team.
3. Enough said.
Everyone loves free food. Even people who say they don’t care. They’re lying. Bring in a breakfast or coffee bar, or have some donuts or pastries or treats. Cater a lunch. If you do this already, then do something extra this time.
If you already do end-of-year bonuses, do something new this time. Maybe add on a gift card. Or give gifts for their family. Or run a contest for someone to win a trip. If all that’s too complicated, just deliver your bonus in a different way that conveys your appreciation. Don’t just let them see an extra dollar amount on their automated paycheck.
Make sure they know the bonus comes from you, and not a computer.
5. Time With You – No Agenda
Take some time to let them sit in your office and just chat. Ask them questions. Learn about their lives. Don’t be the boss who asks about how an employee’s spouse is doing, only to learn they died five years ago.
When you know your people, they’ll feel valued for more than just their performance.
6. Create a Holiday Event
This takes some planning, but people enjoy a good work party. Goodies, prizes, perhaps a good-natured roasting. Some of your employees might write and perform songs or poems that will leave people laughing for days (yes, some people have hidden talents, and will use them if you give them the chance).
7. Take Them to Lunch
Treat the whole team for a job well done. Make it explicit why you’re doing this if there’s a specific reason. Or just treat them for no specific reason. They will love it either way.
8. Let Them Represent You
Send them to a nonprofit event, a training, an industry event, or a committee on your behalf. This gives them a chance to network and gain skills, but also makes them feel valued by you.
8½. Thank them!
Just say thank you, in person and with occasional cards. Doesn’t take much effort, other than being aware of what people on your team are doing, and valuing them for it.
Remember – without your employees, you couldn’t do your job. Take the time to appreciate them, and your whole company will be stronger for it.