It’s that time of year—the days get shorter, and when you step outside it seems you must add an extra layer for the cold. It’s also the time we all start to look forward to the holidays and thinking back on the year we’ve had. It’s a natural time to express gratitude to friends and family, and that should be no different for your employees.
It’s true that no occasion is necessary to express how much you value your employees' contributions. In fact, when it comes to retaining your top talent, receiving small surprises and tokens of appreciation help people feel valued all year long. However, different employees prefer feedback in different ways. Some like one-on-one feedback, while others enjoy public praise. Others would rather receive a personalized gift or attend an employee party. Consider some of the following forms of employee appreciation.
Offer Growth Opportunities
Learning experiences might not sound as fun as a party, but some of your most driven employees might prefer the reward of additional knowledge. Give your employees the means and opportunity to expand their horizons and eventually take on a project outside of their usual scope of work.
Provide a New Snack Experience
Everyone loves a treat! If you have a functional break area, and the right snack food is provided, employees can feel long-term appreciation without ever leaving the work environment.
Offer Holiday Flexible Scheduling
If the work allows, and it’s feasible, post a calendar for people to balance their work time with coworkers during the holidays. Consider moving to a flexible work schedule full-time, as this has been proven to drive productivity with high-performing employees.
Adopt a Peer Recognition Program
On top of getting praise from your own co-workers, peer-to-peer recognition programs are known to increase employee engagement and improve productivity throughout the company on a more consistent basis.
Present a Personalized Gift
This could be as small as a greeting card, gift card to favorite restaurant, or even a personalized desk accessory.
Promote Health and Well-being
Your employees value their own health and will take notice if you provide initiatives that show you care about their well-being too. Try a wellness program that rewards healthy behavior or discounts on local gym they can join.
Implement a Fun Holiday Tradition
It doesn’t have to be an elaborate party, but something that your employees can look forward to at the end of each year. For example, a small gift exchange, grab bag, or potluck party where everyone brings in something to share.
Showing your appreciation any time is important, but especially during the holidays, will bring employee motivation, higher engagement, and help build a more positive working environment.