The holidays are happening! It is the busiest time of year, and I am having more trouble than usual keeping everything straight. Whether you are shopping last minute for everyone on your list or forgot to pick up a present for that one family member or friend, there are always extra distractions and extra little stresses to keep us preoccupied. So, make your list of to do’s and check it twice, but do not forget to show your team a little extra appreciation as you all work hard to get through this busy time and end the year on a positive note.
Celebrate the holidays by bringing the energy of the happiest time of year to your team and into your office environment. Decorating the office with a tree and some tinsel is a great start but not enough. Being known as the boss can automatically make you seem intimidating; there is no need to add the title of Grinch or scrooge on top of that. So, spread holiday cheer and show your team and business associates some extra gratitude. Use these best practices to recognize and reward employees now and at any point over the course of the year.[jetpack_subscription_form title="Subscribe to Out of Office:" subscribe_button="Sign Me Up"]
- Say Thank You.
No matter how busy your schedule is, there is always time to say thanks. People feel appreciated when they are thanked. And completing tedious tasks for superiors becomes less aggravating when the time and effort that was spent is recognized and appreciation is given in return. When I think about my favorite managers and the most successful business leaders, I realize one of the things they all have in common is consistently showing gratitude and appreciating their employees in powerful and meaningful ways.
Spend a little extra time showing each member of your team that you are thankful for them and their contributions to the business. I have read about CEOs of businesses made up of 300 people that write an all company email that includes a personalized thank you with a 1-2 sentence description for every person on the team. I really like this example, as it shows employee appreciation and outward recognition in front the entire company. And employee recognition and appreciation is most effective when it is given in context and can be tied back to an overall business goal or company value. Make sure you aren’t wasting your time with gestures that have no tangible or relevant meaning tied to them.
So, whether it be in person, take the form of an email or a handwritten note, a personalized and thoughtful thank you will be very meaningful. And the little bit of extra effort that was clearly put into this gesture is what will make those two little words much more powerful and leave a lasting impact on each individual member of your team.
- Offer Flexible Hours.
Remember when you were little and would run into a teacher outside of school? When you only see someone, like your second grade teacher, in a work environment, it is easy to forget that they have a life outside of work. And when you are running your own company and balancing everything else in life, it is easy to forget that everyone else on the team could also greatly benefit from working remote a few days, especially during the holiday season.
Get in the holiday spirit and offer your employees a few days with flexible work schedules. It is an awesome perk for everyone’s crazy travel schedules and is still a very practical offering from a business standpoint. And if work coverage is absolutely critical, as it is many industries busy season, post a calendar so team members can balance and coordinate their time off with their coworkers.
- Team Outings & Company Events.
When done right, company parties are not as dreadful as they may seem. Plan a holiday party for your team and let everyone bring their significant other. It is a fun way to get to know your coworkers better and is a great team bonding experience. Throw a party for your employees to showcase your appreciation. And if you don’t have the budget for a big party, get creative. Have a white elephant gift exchange one day at work. Or maybe an ugly holiday sweater contest is more your style. Even a happy hour at your team’s go to bar down the street is a great way to show your appreciation to your team and gives you a chance to spend some more meaningful and quality time that goes a long way. Any of these options will also give you the opportunity to say a few words to everyone on the team to further express the appreciation you have for your employees.
The holidays bring out the best in most of us, and giving back has become an important tradition for businesses. Start a meaningful company tradition and pick an organization or charity that your team can raise money and volunteer for. Give back together. Help the community in which you are choosing to grow your business in. And not only does this benefit the greater good, but it also serves as a way to remind your team what the organization as a whole really values and stands for. It will assist in keeping your business aligned and help your team members feel good about working for a great company that serves a bigger purpose.
These three examples of displaying employee appreciation all really tie back to the overarching theme of keeping the human element in business. One of the PeopleFoundry core values, and my personal favorite, is Be Human. The descriptor sentences for this PeopleFoundry value read, ‘We bring a positive energy and outlook to our work, creating an atmosphere that others will want to embrace. We actively listen and learn from our mistakes to continuously grow and evolve. We are empathetic and assess situations from multiple views.’
Let’s take the opportunity this holiday season provides to remind ourselves that no matter how stressful your job may seem at times, we are all human at the end of the day. So, start expressing gratitude and acknowledging the team’s efforts and hard work in small ways that pack a lot of meaning. Set a good example for your team, and the effect it has will start to show in the employee happiness as well as every other aspect of the business success.