Creative Ways to Thank Your Employees This Holiday Season

Young man standing in front of camera with Christmas presentsRecognition and appreciation are the lifeblood of successful, well-led teams. When businesses focus on their most valuable assets—their employees—they build a culture of loyalty, respect, and high morale. During this holiday season, now is the best time of the year to live that culture. Check out these creative ways to thank your employees during the holidays!

Tried and True: Write a Note

One of the easiest and most effective ways to show your appreciation for all the hard work your employees do is to write thank-you notes. A handwritten note is not only personal, but is a meaningful expression of your gratitude toward others. Whether it’s for a job well done, a warm presence in the office, or leading others well, take the time to craft the perfect note by using these three techniques: be specific, focus on strengths, and be genuine.

Team Up: Go Off-site

If your organization is like the majority of businesses in North America, you and your employees spend at least 40 hours a week together in the grind. After a year of hard work and success, it may be time to take a trip out of the office. The type of work environment your company has will determine the type of outing you can afford to take time away to enjoy. This can be an opportunity to build camaraderie and teamwork—or even just a chance to visit some of the vendors your company uses. Either way, getting out of the office gives your employees a chance to get to know each other better and feel like their hard work has paid off. Work hard, play hard.

Public Praise: Create a Wall of Fame

If a thank-you note is a personal expression of your gratitude, then public praise is a megaphone for your appreciation. By celebrating your employees’ strengths and successes, you raise them up and help build confidence in themselves in front of their peers. Publicly recognizing your team can go a long way in building morale, not just for the one receiving the praise, but the organization as a whole. Brainstorm different ways to create a soundboard. Better yet, ask your employees what would mean more to them. Whether creating a Wall of Fame, including a kudos announcement in your weekly newsletter, or giving a shout out in a weekly meeting, public praise can be a game-changer in your office.

Fill Up: Buy Your Team Lunch

Another crowd-pleaser is providing lunch for your team for a job well done. Everyone loves a free meal, especially when it’s in recognition for the team’s success. Lunch parties are also a great way for employees to spend time with each other instead of being alone during lunch breaks. Take a poll in your office to see what kind of food they would like to have and try to pick a day with the least amount of absentees. If you like the idea of a company outing, you could take your entire team out to lunch instead of ordering food for the office. This scenario uses the best of both worlds in getting out of the office and sharing a meal as a work family.

Early Bird: Let Your Team Leave

Sometimes the best way to show your appreciation is by sending people home—no, not with pink slips, but with free time off. Depending on your office needs and schedules, you may be able to afford to let your team leave early. There are several ways to determine who goes home when. One way is to draw times out of a bowl. Let your employees know you’ll stay to answer the phone lines, so they know everything will be covered. Another way to do this is to break up your team into two groups. One goes home early one day, and the other group leaves early another day. This method works great for offices that can’t afford for their entire team to leave early in one afternoon.

What are some ways you show your employees recognition? What have you done to make your team feel appreciated? Let us know in the comments section below!

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