2017 is winding down in the way that most Decembers do: quickly and with too many things to do. Chances are that both your corporate and social calendars are full of things to do and people to see. Some of those people being in your employ, if you’re a small business or startup owner.
While it may seem like enough to offer your employees a quick ‘Happy Holidays,’ and a bonus at the end of the year, employee appreciation is proven to improve employee retention and bolster employee engagement. Meaning: your people want you to notice how hard they work for you throughout the year. In light of that, we’ve come up with some creative ways to show your employees how much you appreciate them this holiday season.
- Give the gift of time. Bonuses are nice, and gift cards are nicer- but money can’t buy you love. Isn’t that how the song goes? We’re kidding, but in seriousness, monetary gifts can be important and much needed for your employees, but they can read as a little impersonal. Consider giving your employees an extra day or two of PTO to be used in the new year, or an extra fifteen minutes on lunch breaks for the entire month of January. By showing them that you know their time is valuable, you are also showing appreciation for the hours they work for you year round.
- Make your gifts personal. For the average employee, reviews can sometimes be terrifying. To be honest- feedback can be tough sometimes. After all those year in reviews are finished, consider writing each of your employees a handwritten, personalized thank you note, thanking them for the hard work they do throughout the year. This can go a long way in fostering a sense of camaraderie and work ethic in your employees.
- Consider your holiday party. Many employers choose to do an end of the year holiday party for their people at this time of year. These parties can either be the highlight of the year, or they can be riddled with workplace inappropriate mistakes. This year, consider holding a company wide winter picnic (weather permitting), or lunch party instead. This way you can show your employees you care about them without the added stress of over-consumption and a late night.
- Encourage Secret Santa and other company wide activities. Whether it’s by department, friend group, or company wide- gift giving activities where your employees are encouraged to do nice things for each other are a great way to encourage inter-company friendships. Most people spend more of their waking hours at the office than they do at home. Acknowledge that by encouraging your staff to get to know their coworkers better.
- Start giving now. Having a giving spirit within your company is a proven way to make your employees feel appreciated by extension. Why? Because they feel that working for you supports good causes. By inspiring your employees to give back through the holiday season and all year long, you show them that they are not the only people your business chooses to be generous with. And that goes along way in how invested your people feel, and they commitment they have to your company.
No matter how you choose to show it, letting your employees know that they are appreciated goes a long way in how hard they will work for you and how long they will want to stay with your business. The holidays are a perfect time of year to put emphasis on how important your people are to the longevity and success of your business. We wish everyone a safe, happy, and healthy holidays with many more to come.