The holiday season is a time for reflection and gratitude. Employers can play a role in helping their employees be more thankful during this time of year thereby creating a more positive and productive work environment that benefits everyone.
Here are some ways that employers can help employees be more thankful:
- Create a culture of gratitude. Employers can set the tone for gratitude by expressing their gratitude to employees. This can be done through simple gestures, such as writing thank-you notes or giving employees small gifts. Employers can also create opportunities for employees to express their gratitude to each other. For example, create a “gratitude wall” where employees can post messages of appreciation to their colleagues.
- Be flexible with work schedules. The holiday season can be a stressful time for employees, so it’s important for employers to be flexible with work schedules, when possible. This could include allowing employees to flex their work hours to accommodate special school or family functions or religious observances.
- Encourage employees to take time off. The holiday season is a busy time of year, and employees may feel pressured to work long hours. Employers can encourage employees to take time off to relax and spend time with their loved ones. This can help reduce stress and allow them time and space to appreciate the things that are important to them.
- Offer opportunities for employees to give back. Giving back to others is a great way to feel thankful. Employers can offer opportunities for employees to give back to their community by volunteering their time or donating to charity. Employers can also match employee donations to charity.
- Celebrate the holidays. Employers can celebrate the holidays with their employees by hosting events such as holiday parties or potluck lunches. This can help employees to feel connected to their colleagues and to celebrate the season together.
In deciding how to celebrate the holidays in the workplace, employers should be aware that not all employees celebrate the same holidays and should be mindful of employees’ different backgrounds and beliefs when planning holiday events and activities. Employers should also be supportive of and offer assistance to employees who are struggling (e.g., through an employee assistance program), as some employees may experience financial hardship or emotional distress during the holiday season.
In addition to creating a positive and productive work environment, employers may also find that helping their employees be more thankful leads to reduced healthcare costs as gratitude can lead to better health outcomes; improved customer service as employees may be more likely to go the extra mile for customers/clients; and an increased brand reputation as a culture of gratitude is likely to attract and retain top talent. Overall, helping employees be more thankful is a win-win for both employers and employees.