As we near Thanksgiving, gratitude is top of mind for many. Learning how to show employees you’re thankful is key to making them happy not only around the holidays, but for keeping them engaged year-round. Employee engagement is key to retaining great people. In addition, when employees are happy and engaged in the workplace, it increases productivity. It’s not too late to show your employees that you’re thankful for them this holiday season.
Write Thank You Notes
As simple as the idea may seem, who doesn’t appreciate getting a handwritten thank you note? Taking the time to write thank-you notes unique to each team member is a cheap, effective tactic. When writing thank-you notes, be sure to include everyone on your team. When doing this, be sure to check your list twice. Even if you don’t interact with all of your employees, take the time to speak to the managers that do. Having people recognize both big and small accomplishments leads to a sense of belonging. This tactic holds yearlong benefits for both the employee and employer.
Host a Thanksgiving Potluck
Sharing a meal is always a good time to strengthen relationships. The same idea applies to the workplace. Gathering your team for a meal during the day is a great time to spend extra time together and create memories. By providing the main dish, you put forth the effort to create a positive environment for your employees. In addition, during the meal is a good time to acknowledge the contributions of each team member. In fact, a Cornell study found that teams who share meals are more effective than those that do not.
Implement a Monthly Recognition Program
A key to reducing employee turnover is to let people know they are valued. One strategy to do this is by creating a monthly reward system. These are typically structured by creating 3-5 categories, dependent on company size, that people can be nominated for. Category ideas may include innovative ideas, best teammate, exceptional work, and more. From there, ask employees to nominate their co-workers for the awards through an online system. Tallying up scores is all that’s left to determine who the monthly winners are. The awards for each winner should be announced in a company-wide manner, whether in-person or mass email, to reinforce the recognition. Awards for these winners may be gift cards, movie tickets, cash, PTO, or other ideas relevant to your business.
When doing these recognition programs, think beyond actions. These monthly meetings are also a good time to recognize work anniversaries. Have someone who’s been around for 5 years? 10 years? More? Let them know that you’re glad they’ve stuck around and give a brief recap of their contributions to the company. Showing new employees that the company values when people stay is an important message to convey.
Overall, when taking the time to show employees you’re thankful is easy, yet effective. Letting employees know that you’re thankful for them and their hard work is something that all managers can do – regardless of budget. From buying $1 thank you cards at the Dollar Store to starting a monthly reward system, when employees feel appreciated they are happier. When employees feel happy and connected to their work, they become even better employees!
Let us know if you try out these tactics for showing employees you’re thankful and what works for your business.