When you’re brainstorming about ways to show your appreciation this holiday season, there are really only three gifts that are guaranteed to put a smile on your employees’ faces.
1. Extra Money
This is the most straightforward of all the holiday gifts. Let’s face it – everybody always wants more money. Even a small bonus can go a long way.
Giving dollars and cents allows your staff to spend the money on whatever they need or want the most at the current time.
Do you remember when you got your first financial bonus? I do, and I was over the moon. This is a great gift.
Pros: Simple;can choose where to spend it.
Cons: Financially costly, not always feasible.
2. Extra Time Off
One of the next best things to extra money in your pocket is time away from work. Who doesn’t love an extra day (or week) off, especially when it’s one of their holiday gifts?
If you’re looking for an appropriate time to shut down the office entirely, take a look at the last week of December and the first week of January.
During this time, it’s hard to get things done because few are in any office. Even if everyone within your company is working, other businesses often aren’t fully staffed.
If you don’t want to shut down your business entirely for a short period of time, then consider staggering your employees’ off time. One quarter of the staff get this these two days off, another quarter gets the following two days off, etc.
Find a system that makes sense for your company.
Pros: Staff comes back recharged, motivated; your company isn’t handing out money.
Cons: Must carefully plan the timing.
3. Personalized Note From You
This goes back to our innate needs – we all want to be needed, noticed for achievements, and appreciated. Some folks prefer to be praised publicly, while others are OK with a phone call. But the bottom line is that everyone wants to be recognized for their hard work.
One of the simplest ways to express appreciation and boost moral is to pen a sincere, personalized, handwritten note to each staff member. This will communicate your gratitude and show that you care enough about them to take time to say thank you.
If you have too many employees to write each a note, then at a minimum make sure that everyone with which you interact daily gets a card. Encourage your managers to do the same with their direct reports.
Does this option take time? Absolutely. But it will pay dividends when your employees know without a doubt that you value their hard work.
Think about the last time you had a manager express gratitude to you. Did you work harder because you knew your work wasn’t going unnoticed? I know I have when I’ve been in similar situations.
Pair the note with a modest gift card (a form of money), and you have one of the most heartfelt holiday gifts for your employee that combines two of the three items that employees will love.
Pros: Personal, shows thought; could result in increased employee motivation.
Cons: Time consuming. And be sure not to overlook someone!
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