The Gratitude is in the Gifting
Almost everyone has heard stories of the generosity of company leaders who gifted their employees large bonuses for the holidays. During this giving season,employees who are recipients of these gifts are led to feel like valued and appreciated contributors to the team. What a thoughtful, but sometimes overlooked way of creating a positive company culture of engaged and grateful employees.
Of course, not every company can afford to give away large sums of money. That doesn't mean that you can't find another way to express your appreciation for the hard work that your employees have demonstrated all year. Here is a list of eight thoughtful ways to let your employees know that they matter:
- Paid time off - What employee doesn't feel stressed and overwhelmed during the busy holiday season, especially if they work in retail, sales or for a company whose fiscal year ends December 31? These important deadlines can add to the pressure already being felt during the holidays. While you may not be able to give additional time off before the end of the year, it could still be greatly appreciated to utilize as recovery time in the new year.
- Dinner-to-go - With all of the holiday shopping, decorating, parties, concerts, and other festivities, who has time to cook? A gift certificate for a take-out meal, meals designed for home delivery, a ham or turkey to be cooked during the holiday can all be ways to show compassion and ease the burden for your employees.
- Fruit baskets - When stress levels go up, often healthy habits are sacrificed. Gifting your employees with a fruit basket provides a nutritional snack alternative to help keep them feeling (and working) at their peak.
- Free lunch - Whoever said there is no such thing as a free lunch? When the weather outside is frightful, why not order lunch to be delivered for your entire staff? This is a small token of appreciation to keep your employees warm and productive when the weather is uncooperative.
- Gift certificates - Always appreciated, this gift offers the opportunity for each employee to receive something that is useful and can be spent in a way that satisfies a need that is personalized to them.
- An experience - Planning a holiday-themed day-long retreat for your entire staff can offer an opportunity outside of the workplace to create an enriching team-building experience. Additional benefits of this gift can include building trust, reducing stress, and fostering creative problem-solving. Besides - who doesn't like a field trip?
- Personalized gifts - If you have taken the time to get to know your employees on a personal level, this shouldn't be difficult to achieve. It is very meaningful to most employees to think that their supervisor doesn't view them as just another set of hands to get the job done, but actually takes time to get to know something about them. You can demonstrate this accomplishment by giving them a gift that is representative of their individual hobbies and interests.
- Holiday party - This traditional celebration is still appreciated by many employees. It is a chance to socialize with co-workers with whom they may not often get to see or speak with. It offers a time to be festive together and celebrate the fruits of everyone's toil to end the year on a positive note.
No matter what way you choose to demonstrate generosity toward your employees during the holiday season, my guess would be that it is better to give, than to receive. Each year, you are given a blank slate to fill to let your employees know they are important to you and the company, and in doing so, enhance your company culture. It is your choice how to fill it. What will you do to express your gratitude?