This Holiday Season, Don’t Forget to Thank Your Employees
As the holidays approach, you’re probably thinking about ways to thank your customers. But don’t forget to thank those who toil on your behalf: your employees.
If you’ve already established a custom of thanking employees at the holidays, we salute you. If not, we encourage you to give it some thought as 2016 winds down. And because the holiday season is often stressful, an unexpected “Thanks!” from an employer might be the act of kindness some people need the most.
There are lots of memorable ways to thank employees. Here are 10 of them:
1. Write them a personal note. A hand-written note from the boss is special and rare. Know your employees well enough so that your note holds personal meaning for each one
2. Bring in food for a special lunch. Everyone likes to be treated to a special meal. You can create an aura of mystery around the event by sending out invitations. And this would be an ideal time to stand up and toast your employees.
3. Distribute personalized treats. Did you know you can customize M&M’s? You can choose colors, logos, messages, even special packaging. You can also personalize lots of high-quality food-related items, such as wine sets, butler trays, and cheese boards.
4. Give them an extra afternoon off. Knowing they’ll have an entire free afternoon to holiday shop, spend time with their family, or take care of pressing errands will be a welcome gift for every employee.
5. Give them a special piece of branded apparel. Think about cold-weather items like scarves, fleeces, or cozy blankets. Personalize each one with the employee’s name. Wrap each gift and include a thank you note.
6. Take everyone out for a show. If your company’s located in or near a city where there are frequent shows or perhaps an Imax theatre, treat employees to one of these events.
7. Treat them to a private cocktail reception. Reserve a private room at a local restaurant for a special holiday cocktail party, and invite each employee to bring their partner or spouse.
8. Deliver year-end raises early. Give employees their raises at Thanksgiving instead of January 1. Wouldn’t this help make their holiday shopping easier?
9. Donate a food basket to charities that employees support. Solicit employee suggestions ahead of time to identify the charities that mean something to them. Acknowledge the employees on your gift cards.
10. Thank them publicly. As gratifying as it is to get a personal thank you, it’s particularly meaningful when your thank you is made public. This could be done in emails to customers, in the printed company newsletter, on your company website, or even in your company’s social feeds.
However you thank your employees this holiday season, make it genuine, meaningful and personal. Your gesture will also create a chain of gratitude. In his article, “How to Give a Meaningful Thank You” for Harvard Business Review, Mark Goulston notes that thanking team members stimulates prosocial behavior. In other words, your employees will not only thank you, but chances are good that they’ll also thank someone else. What a wonderful example of paying it forward.
Get in touch with your Cooley Brand Consultant today to brainstorm these and other ways to thank employees for the coming holidays.