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How to Show Gratitude to Your Employees During the Holidays

Every year during the holidays, you reach out to your employees, wish them well as they celebrate, and thank them for their contributions during the year. In 2020, gratitude has taken on a whole new meaning. Just as you have throughout the coronavirus pandemic, approach the holiday season with genuine caring and compassion – and take time to show your appreciation in meaningful ways.

Recognizing and thanking your workforce has a lasting impact on employee behavior, including engagement, loyalty, and productivity. It also enhances your employer brand image, as word gets around, you really understand your people and treat them well.

Make it personal.

You don’t have to give expensive, luxurious gifts. Small tokens can be equally or often even more meaningful, as long as they are heartfelt. And nothing beats a personal thank you – either face to face or via a handwritten card or note.

  • Gift cards come in all denominations and offer a wide variety of options. Give cards that align with an employee’s interests, hobbies, preferences, and lifestyle. 
  • Be sure to acknowledge individual achievements and milestones during the year. Don’t limit this to work-related accomplishments. Include mention of graduations, weddings, new babies, and other highlights. This holiday season poses a somber reminder to also be cognizant of those who have experienced losses in 2020.

Ease the burden of holiday spending.

Financial challenges have touched many during the past eight or nine months. Even if you’ve been fortunate enough to keep all your team members fully employed, they may have spouses or other loved ones who’ve been affected by pandemic-related layoffs or furloughs. 

  • If you can, provide holiday bonuses, even if the amounts are more modest than in previous years. Another consideration is to offer online training  on the topics of budgeting, managing personal finances, or handle related stress and anxiety. Be creative. Topics you might include are mindfulness training, meditation, or yoga. Or give gift cards for massages or spa services.

Have holiday treats delivered.

Home for the holidays is literal this year. Find out people’s favorite foods and have them delivered to their door. Again, make sure you tailor your gift to their personal preferences. Are they coffee drinkers? Vegetarian? Do they have any dietary restrictions? As is the case with any gift, the wrong choice can backfire.

Enforce a no email policy.

Especially during this year, when so many people are working from home, issue a company-wide directive to stop sending or checking emails, texts, or other work-related correspondence during their holiday time off. This applies even to caregivers, delivery persons, and others considered “essential.” Everyone deserves and needs to take a break. And when your office is the dining room table, boundaries can become blurred.

When you focus on your most valuable assets – your employees – you not only make the holiday season brighter, but you also set the tone to build a culture of loyalty, success, and high morale during the New Year. For additional tips on how to make it happen, contact the HR and workforce development experts at HR Works today.

HR Works, headquartered in Upstate New York, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States for over thirty years. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.