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Show Employees Appreciation – 5 Ideas for the Holiday Season

‘Tis the season to celebrate and show employees your appreciation. Holding a holiday party, or giving a gift basket overflowing with goodies are traditional ways employers acknowledge the contributions of employees. In large companies, there may even be a meet and greet with the CEO and senior-level executives, and a series of smaller departmental parties, in addition to the big company-wide holiday event.

However, in small businesses, owners tend to have a closer, more personal relationship with their employees—often working together side-by-side. They have the option to give more personalized gifts that reflect the person’s interests and to show they care about the things that are important to employees. Although businesses may differ in size and have their own unique cultures, showing gratitude to employees in a meaningful way should be at the top of every company’s wish list. Here are five ideas to consider this holiday season.

Give Bonuses, Cash, or Gift Cards
Gifting your employees with cash or a bonus always spreads good cheer. When giving cash, it’s less complicated when you give everyone the same amount. Everyone will feel they receive equal treatment. Place the money inside a card and include a handwritten note that tells the person why you appreciate them. Bonuses can be structured in various ways since they can be a percentage of the person’s annual salary, tied to performance, or a flat dollar amount. If you decide to give gift cards,  they should be easy to redeem at local establishments. The card should also be in a monetary amount that would motivate the person to use it towards a purchase.

Gift High-tech Gadgets
You maybe tempted tohand out pens or mugs emblazoned with the company logo. However, this may not be the best timeto promote the company’s brand.Give an unexpected gift, something people would purchase for themselves. Since promoting good health is important, maybe a wearable computing device like a Fitbit Activity Tracker would go over big. Then again, everyone can also use some cool Bluetooth earbuds or trendy headphones.

Cater Lunch or Buy Dinner
If budget is a consideration, catering lunch or buying dinner for a small group of people can be a cost-effective celebration. Depending on the type of business you operate, it may be inconvenient to plan a festive lunch at the height of the selling season with every employee in attendance. If you can work it out, your employees will appreciate the effort it took on your part to express your gratitude to them. Making the team out for dinner at a nice restaurant after work is another option. Everyone will have time to relax without the stress of getting back to work within a specified period. Why not make it a family affair held on a weekend and invite families to attend. It may well become an annual event everyone can look forward to every holiday season.

Offer Time Off
You can’t put a price tag on quality time. Letting employees leave early or giving them an extra day off is something they’ll value. Offering flexible holiday schedules will give them time to get their shopping done or spend more time with their families. To make the time more relaxing and fun, you might want to offer them tickets to the movies, theatre or sports event. Give options that make sense for your employees. Giving tickets that go unused defeats the purpose.

Donate to Charity
Keeping in the spirit of the season, some employees may prefer that your business donates to a local charity. The donation would be in addition to the rewards mentioned previously.  The point is to acknowledge the contributions individuals or teams have made to the business. Select a charitable organization that would be a popular choice for everyone to support. Mention the donation in the card you give to employees when they receive their other gift.

Wrap Things Up
Great employees are the heart of every business. Showing them gratitude motivates employees to make a positive contribution to the continued success of the company. Holiday celebrations and gifts are an investment of time and money that can have long-term results.

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