Company Culture, Rewards & Recognition | Article

10 Ways to Say Thank You to Employees this Holiday Season

The holidays bring an opportunity to reflect on the past year, find gratitude, and look for ways to thank employees.

Thanksgiving is here and the holidays are just around the corner. With this season also comes many opportunities to remind your employees how appreciated they are. Let’s look at some simple yet meaningful ways say thank you this holiday season!

1. Give monetary recognition

One of the most direct ways to thank your employees is with a year-end bonus, gift card, or cash. Tie the monetary recognition to efforts rather than the outcomes of the year. The holidays are already a financially stressful time for people and inflation is high on top of it. Giving your employees a bit of extra money can mean a lot in helping them through this time.

2. Send custom gifts

Some of your employees may appreciate something more personalized than money. Consider sending out custom holiday kits to employees’ homes. Choose practical gifts that people will get good use out of. If your organization forgoes corporate holiday kits, brainstorm personalized gifts you can give to your direct reports. Get a little something for each of their team members based on their individual likes.

3. Organize a holiday party

For many companies, it’s been a while since everyone has gathered in person and it’s great to build face to face connections again. Have a holiday party and invite all out of state and remote employees to foster the relationships that are critical to your team’s success. If it’s not logistically feasible to meet in person, host a virtual party and send kits to employee homes ahead of time.

4. Embrace flexibility

We know that today’s workforce likes flexibility. If possible, offer a bit more flexibility during the holiday season. Whether it’s leaving early, coming in late, or taking an extra day off, employees will appreciate a break in their normal schedules. It’s a way to thank them for working hard all year long!

5. Make donations in their name

Donating to a charity of your team members’ choice is another meaningful gesture. Speak to your employees to find out what kind of charities are important to them. In these conversations, you’ll learn more about them than you already knew. Another option is holding a charitable holiday event to engage your employees in the giving.

6. Host unique activities

Try out some unique new team bonding events around the holidays. An example would be having a gingerbread house making contest. Break people into teams and have each group build one gingerbread house together. Everyone votes on their favorite and the winners can get a prize or points. Plus, now you have gingerbread houses to decorate the office with!

7. Cater a meal

For some organizations, the end of the year is busy season. Employees are working extra hard to finish out the year. A nice way to thank them is by bringing in lunch. It can ease stress, provide a break in the busyness, and foster community.

8. Invest in new technology

One of the best ways to thank your employees is with new or updated recognition technology for the upcoming year. There are so many features you can utilize like eCards, nominations, and social platforms. Technology provides the opportunity to recognize day to day moments rather than only performance or years of service. You’ll demonstrate a promise to recognize and appreciate your people all year long.

9. Fund a family day

Allow your employees an extra day of PTO for a family day. You can fund the entire day (meals, travel, etc.) by reimbursing them for a local trip. Alternatively, you can provide gift card for each employee to use for an activity with their family. It’s a great thank you and is likely to leave them feeing refreshed and ready to be productive.

10. Handwrite notes

Encourage the traditional act of handwriting thank you notes at work. They are a simple and inexpensive form of showing gratitude. Give out templates or cards for leaders to handwrite notes for their team members. You can even give them to front-line employees for peer-to-peer recognition too.

Many of these suggestions can be morphed into ways to appreciate your employees all year round. Because it shouldn’t take a season or a holiday for you to say thank you. Expressing gratitude daily will keep your employees feeling empowered and inspired!