It’s natural to feel more grateful and generous during the holiday season, but that doesn’t mean you should bombard your employees with compliments and gifts all of a sudden to thank them for a job well done. Employee recognition is not a one-time-a-year thing, and it certainly doesn’t equate gift giving. Nor can you take your team out for a holiday lunch and think your work is done.
But, all that being said: the holidays can be a powerful employee recognition tool, if done properly.
Here are four ways to show your employees you care:
Give gifts that matter: No one wants extra mugs, candles, or trinkets during the holidays. The best gift you can give to your employees? More flexibility. Everyone is stressed and short for time around the holidays, so allow your employees to telecommute or leave work early. And, be realistic about the days right before and after the holidays. No one wants to work the Friday after New Year’s Day, so do everyone a favor and just close the office.
Write a note: A free lunch isn’t nearly as meaningful as a handwritten note. Take the time to sit down and write a personalized letter to your team. Be specific when showing appreciation, like “Thank you for stepping up to finish the PowerPoint presentation last week. Your hard work really came through.” Your employees will feel valued and special receiving a personal note from you.
Ask for input: Along with holidays, the end of the year also comes with a lot of planning and preparing. Show your employees you value their opinions by inviting them into the planning process. We’re not talking about overworking them or making them take the brunt of the planning – soliciting input is one of the easiest ways to make your employees feel important and recognized.
Pamper your employees: Lower stress levels by hiring a massage therapist or yoga instructor for the office. Your team will welcome the chance to unwind and appreciate you for being in tune with their needs. Another idea: hire a private chef for a week to make lunch -- anything to make your employees’ lives a little easier during the holidays.
Don’t let the holidays fly by without taking the time to thank your employees. And we’re not talking about putting out free candy canes at the office. Take a personal approach and solicit opinions, increase flexibility, and articulate your gratitude. These simple gestures during the holidays will motivate your employees all the way into the New Year.