Recognizing Employees During the Holidays: 5 Ways to Make your Appreciation Count
The holiday season brings an opportunity to let people know they are appreciated. But in the workplace, employee appreciation isn’t always top of mind. In addition to their own holiday planning, managers face pressing year-end demands like goal setting and performance reviews.
This season, consider these 5 tips when thinking about how to say “thank you” to those who deserve it most. A simple, timely and authentic gesture of appreciation can encourage and inspire your employees, and raise your bottom line.
1. Break with routine. If email is your typical way of communicating, use a different approach that employees will be sure to remember. It doesn’t have to involve writing their names in the sky. Just leave a brief voicemail message, or send flowers to a home address.
2. Be authentic and specific. To reinforce performance or commitment, let employees know the exact behavior or quality that merits recognition. Avoid the overly broad “Thanks for all your hard work,” and instead acknowledge specifics. Ideally you have previously recognized the employee on the spot, but even if you give an end-of-year acknowledgment, be sure to call out the highlights. “Thank you for bringing fresh ideas to our team this year, like the time you suggested we meet outside on the grass to brainstorm marketing approaches.”
3. Use your own words. Composing a heartfelt message can be difficult, especially under work pressures, but resist the urge to write as if Legal or HR will scrub your words. If you’re having a hard time coming up with a thank you that sounds meaningful, try recording a message on your phone and then transcribe your spoken words onto paper.
4. Write it by hand. Because everyone sends emails and texts, be revolutionary. Write with ink and paper. Writing by hand takes time, but because everyone is busy, taking that time can be the greatest sign of your appreciation.
5. Have your holiday party in January. Before the holidays, employees are preoccupied, so a December 20th holiday party might not always be welcome. Throwing a mid-January holiday celebration is a great way to start off the new year while also setting the tone for months to come.