How to Show Employees You’re Thankful for Their Hard Work
It’s the time of year when the days get shorter, the nights get longer, and whenever you go out, you have to bundle up in winter gear just to stop your fingers and toes from turning into icicles. It’s also the season when we all start to look forward to the holidays as a welcome break from the cold and dark. And here in the U.S., the one holiday celebrated from coast to coast is, of course, Thanksgiving.
In many households, it’s tradition for all family members to share what they’re thankful for before enjoying their Thanksgiving meal together. It’s a simple but moving way to express your gratitude for the things that make your life better and the people who are important to you.
As a manager, your employees also play an important role in your life—your professional life, that is. When they do well, you do well, and vice versa. That’s why it’s a nice gesture to take this opportunity to communicate your appreciation of your team’s hard work throughout the year. However, while it’s relatively quick and easy to give everyone an iTunes gift card or something similar, it’s far more meaningful if you take the time to acknowledge each of your employees separately. What follows are some suggestions for showing your employees you’re thankful for their work.
- Regardless of how you thank your people, include a personalized message. The best way to show you care about your people is to communicate specifically why you’re grateful for them. Whether you thank them with a card, a gift, or a celebration, find a way to highlight things like achievements, great qualities, and times when people went above and beyond to get the job done.
- Send everyone a specially selected card with a hand-written thank you. This is a great option if you need a low-cost solution with a big impact. Take an evening to choose individual cards for each employee, then write a nice message by hand in them.
- Give everyone a gift. If you have a larger budget, it’s nice to give everyone a gift they’ll enjoy. If you do this, tailor your gifts to your employees’ specific circumstances. For example, for people with young families, give family tickets for a theme park, aquarium, or other type of outing. For those who are single, choose gifts they can enjoy on their own, like books, music, or movies. (Make sure you know their preferred media. Some people always use their devices and will appreciate e-books and digital files, while others prefer “real” books, CDs/vinyl, and DVDs or BluRay.) If you really don’t know what someone enjoys, then you can opt for more generic yet thoughtful gifts, such as spa or gourmet gift baskets. Don’t forget to include a personalized thank-you note!
- Organize an office Thanksgiving dinner or party. One of the nicest gifts you can give your team is some down-time to enjoy each other’s company outside of the office. Decide whether your people will enjoy a dinner or a party most, then find a nice restaurant or other venue to organize it. Remember to make it easy for everyone to attend: keep dietary restrictions in mind, pay attention to access issues if anyone on the team has disabilities, and ensure the venue is easy to reach by car and public transport. At some point during the celebration, publicly thank each of your employees for his or her hard work. Acknowledging everyone in the presence of their peers can make people feel especially appreciated.
Remember: the one thing most people value above anything else when it comes to thanking them is sincerity. That’s why you should always go the extra mile to find an authentic reason to thank each member of your team. And while this might take some time and effort, it can be well worth it to boost your employees’ confidence and strengthen your relationship with them.