Employee appreciation matters, especially during the holidays.
Any time is the right time for employee appreciation. However, it is best to do it during the holidays as the holidays bring an unspoken feeling of excitement and happiness in the air that can lift everyone's mood. It's a great time of year to show your employees that you care about them and their dedication to your company's success.
It is also important to note that this time of the year may not be the most wonderful time for all employees. Many of them will be juggling Christmas schedules and family matters while also grappling with the stress of end-of-year tasks. It's critical to consider how this may influence the employees’ attitude towards work.
Here are five practical methods to show your appreciation to employees and keep spirits high during the holiday season
1. Spread the Holiday Cheer through Decorations
Decorating your office for the holidays sends a message to all of your employees, clients, and customers that you care about them, their families, and the holiday season. It’s a great way to get everyone together that may be working remotely or in different time zones. And if it’s done correctly, it can also increase productivity throughout the whole office.
Give your holiday tree a glow up by organizing a holiday-decorating day where employees gather and decorate it together.
You may also hold a Christmas tree decorating contest where each team puts up their own tree. You may add a twist by using only recyclable materials for the ornaments. If the company’s budget allows, you can shower the winners with prizes.
For those working remotely, you can ask your employees to take photos of their Christmas trees or their favorite Christmas decorations and share them with the company’s chat rooms to spread more holiday cheer.
2. Bring People Together through Food
When it comes to showing your appreciation, food is a sure winner. You can prepare a special meal for your employees. Whether you order or cook something from scratch, the food will make them feel valued. Also, the meaningful conversations and quality time spent together are added benefits. If you have a larger workforce, you can set aside a budget for a meal for each department or team.
If you are not comfortable meeting in person, you can send food vouchers to your employees and organize a virtual lunch or dinner meeting.
3. Connect and Bond through Music
Music is universal. It brings people closer.
Set up a holiday playlist for the entire company or team. Encourage everyone to add their favorite holiday songs. Your employees can bond over their song recommendations and feel connected while listening to the playlist they put together.
4. Express Appreciation through Words
A simple “thank you” never goes out of style.
It’s easy to forget that some of the best gifts are the ones that aren’t purchased at all.
Handwritten notes are a great way to express your gratitude and appreciation. It’s personal, and it makes the receiver feel special. It is one of the most thoughtful gifts you can give on this day of online communication. A handwritten note can be sent as an email or an actual letter. Either way, it lets your employees know that you were thinking about them. When you write a handwritten note, you are also creating a tangible reminder of all the things you appreciate about your employees.
5. Reward your Employees with Holiday Bonuses or Paid Holiday Leave
Everyone loves a bonus. It’s like a little reward for all the hard work. Show your love to your employees by giving bonuses over and above their usual salary during the holidays. This has been proven to help reduce holiday stress and increase engagement with the company as well.
And who doesn’t appreciate taking time off to spend with friends and family? Giving your employees an extra day or two of paid time off would likely make them feel cherished. Plus, the additional time off helps minimize burnout and enhance work-life balance. Just make sure to arrange your employees' schedule properly so it does not disrupt the normal operation of your business and so that everyone can take turns to have time off work.
Remember, everything you do to support your employees matters. Showing your appreciation, organizing events that they love doing, and recognizing their efforts can help boost morale and increase engagement in the workplace.
You don't need to spend so much. Just do what you think is best for your people in which they will feel genuinely appreciated.