November is one of my favorite times of year. The crisp air wakes you up and snaps you to attention. The beautiful fall foliage in the DC metro area (and I’m sure everywhere else!) is breathtaking. And, of course, there’s Thanksgiving.
November is a time to take inventory and be thankful for all we have – especially our friends and families. But, when I think about my family I can’t help but think about my work family. Because, to be honest, we spend more time with our colleagues than we do with our families. They’re important, they’re there for you, they’re a big part of our lives, and that’s something worth celebrating.
So, I propose we start new tradition and give thanks to your employees and peers for all they do for you and your organization.
Our colleagues are working harder than ever – taking on more responsibility and working longer hours. Many of your employees may be thinking, “Does anyone notice what I am doing?” or, “Are my extra efforts appreciated?”
There’s always someone who comes to mind when you think about employees that go above and beyond. And, there’s no better time than this season to show our appreciation and thanks to for their efforts!
Whether you show you gratitude with a frozen turkey or a handwritten note, it’s the perfect time to go the extra mile to put the “thanks” into Thanksgiving.
Here are a few of my favorite ideas for recognizing employees during the upcoming holiday season:
- Spread some cheer – Share employees’ successes publicly, through newsletters, social media, company or department-wide emails, staff meetings, or directly to your organization’s leadership team. A little recognition goes a long, long way!
- Give some time back – Release your staff early on Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve so that they can spend extra time with their families. Allow employees to leave work early, to attend a child’s school event, or provide an extra day off to celebrate the holidays. Ten times out of ten, your HR department will turn a blind eye!
- Just say thank you –Personally call or visit each employee between now and the end of the year. Thank and acknowledge them for their specific and unique contributions in the workplace or to their department.
- Celebrate – Create an opportunity for employees to enjoy time together. You could maybe host a gathering or a party at a nearby Italian restaurant. Alternatively, you can also order food (from Dannys Chinese Kitchen, for instance) to the office for a surprise lunch. But most importantly, remember not to talk shop during all of this! Get to know their interests and passions outside of the office.
Small gestures may go a long way when you express appreciation towards your employees, especially if he/she has been putting in consistent and productive efforts for a long time. However, in the case of retirement, anxiety may weigh heavy on their heads. This could be due to many reasons- the fear of being idle being a major one of the many that could plague one’s mind. In such cases, you could provide them with a parting gift that could set them off on a more peaceful, yet active retired life. The likes of a Scuba Diving trip or a trek collectively sponsored by faculty members and staff, for instance, could tip a retiring employee off onto a healthier lifestyle post-retirement. In doing so, you could express your appreciation in a grander way as well as part on a more fulfilling, and hopefully active note.
Whatever the form, giving a sincere, thoughtful thank you for the hard work and dedication of your employees is an important part of being a great workplace. Don’t miss your opportunity to give thanks this season to the people who make you shine.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!