With unemployment rates currently at record lows, employers need to reconsider what motivates members of their workforce. Often, these motivations go far beyond mere financial compensations. To retain employees, you want to make sure that they feel appreciated. There is no better time to show this appreciation than the holiday season.
You do not have to shell out holiday bonuses to show appreciation to your employees—and, depending on your budget, this extra expense may not be possible.
Here are some suggestions from Bryant Consultants on some creative ways to show thanks to your employees:
- Written notes: Never underestimate the power of specific praise. Just sending a few thoughtful words, whether in a hand-written letter or even in an email, can matter so much to an employee. Some of the most valuable members of your team may be combating their own doubts about their value or skills. This is known as imposter syndrome and refers to a pattern of thought in which individuals doubt their accomplishments and harbor fears of being exposed as a fraud. Before writing one of these notes, take some time to consider the individual receiving it. What qualities do you appreciate the most about them and their work? This is also a good time to recognize any specific challenges you know that employee overcame.
- Gifts that show understanding: It can be easy for individuals in the workforce to feel anonymous, interchangeable, and, therefore, quite replaceable. As an employer, one of the greatest things you can do to show appreciation is to demonstrate an awareness of your employees’ passions—if they do not relate to work. A small, thoughtful gift can go a long way in giving thanks to an employee. This can be something as simple as buying a book or two on a subject that you know interests them. Be sure to do some research first, either online or by asking the opinion of an expert in that area. One of these gifts also could be a new piece of equipment, such as a new chair or the latest gadget to help make their job easier and more comfortable. This gift-buying process will be much easier if you know more about your employees, which is why it is so important to continue building a rapport with each member of your team.
- Team spirit: You and your employees spend a huge chunk of your time on the job. If your team meets a goal or completes some major achievement, why not celebrate it with a little swag? Something like a T-shirt to memorialize the achievement can become a keepsake for years to come and serves as a tangible symbol of all the hard work that was done to complete that objective. Not sure about how to design the shirts? Involve your employees in the design process, and make it another team-building exercise in and of itself.
- Write a recommendation: Surprising an employee with a strong letter of recommendation can be a great, and public, way to show thanks. When written with a genuine sense of goodwill, these letters have all the elements of a demonstration of thankfulness: specific factors that you appreciate, why you appreciate them, and without any expectation. Usually, employees only ask for recommendation letters when seeking other jobs, but by taking the initiative and writing these recommendations yourself, you let the members of your team know where they stand—which actually can induce them to stay.
- Keep lines of communication open: In addition to financial gain, employees also want to experience growth and development. Take some time to talk with each one of your employees about their career. As a supervisor or business owner, you can see opportunities for them to improve that may not be as readily apparent to them. You also know their strengths and weaknesses and can connect them with others in your organization—or outside of it—to help them improve their skills or learn new ones. The more progress someone makes in his or her job, the more it will feel like a meaningful career.
Whether you are looking to build a greater rapport with your employees or find unique ways to show thanks to them, the experts at Bryant Consultants can help. Find out how by contacting us at (877) 768-4799.
We provide consultation, training, and coaching to help improve the operations of your business so that you can provide exceptional results to your customers. No office is out of reach for us; we will even come to you!