As the holidays are nearing and a new year is about to start, recognizing how important your employees are and the exceptional job they have done throughout the year, especially during COVID-19, is imperative. Change is never an easy task, so thanking your employees can help relieve the added stress that 2020 has brought to many people.
There are many different ways that you can thank your employees for their contributions, professionalism, and hard work. Without them, your business probably wouldn’t be the success that it is today. The following tips and ideas can help make the holiday season more joyful for employees, which in turn will help keep them motivated in order to do great things for your customers.
During this time of year, many people’s schedules become out of whack. Their children may have school plays, holiday parties, or an extended amount of time off from school. There’s also the fact that many people travel during the holidays and therefore need to use more vacation days. Being understanding and flexible with your employee’s schedules will show you care about them.
Offer your employees alternatives to an expensive office party. Now-a-days it may be hard for employees to financially afford going out for dinner and drinks at an expensive restaurant. Instead, set aside a day dedicated to spending time with one another, putting off work for one day or afternoon. Offer to have lunch catered or have a potluck and engage in fun holiday games. Ask your employees to bring a side or dessert so they can feel like they contributed.
Some other holiday celebration ideas
- Have an ugly holiday sweater day and take a picture.
- Holiday dessert day where employees who are interested bring in their favorite holiday dessert to share.
- Have a cookie swap where employees can bring in cookies to trade with co-workers.
- Have a Secret Santa or White Elephant swap where everyone brings in an inexpensive gift and plays a game to take home a present.
Create Office Holiday Traditions.
If you haven’t already, now would be a good time to start making office holiday traditions. Make sure you include clients and employee families, too, as they enjoy it just as much as you do. Many employees look forward to workplace traditions and often talk about them, which can help build your reputation.
Office holiday tradition ideas
- Create an employee-featured holiday card to send to clients, customers, and business partners.
- Treat your employees and their families to an annual Christmas Eve lunch at a location that has games and other things for families to do together. You could also have a separate one for employees and clients.
- Promote team-building and gentle competition by having employees decorate their office space in a holiday theme. Then have co-workers vote for the best and give a gift card to the top three winners.
Purchase Gifts for Employees.
Whether or not your company can afford an annual bonus, consider purchasing a gift for your employees. Make sure you add a personal thank you note from the manager or company. Employees appreciate and save these as a reminder of what a great company they work for.
Other gifts to consider
- A frozen turkey, fresh ham, holiday pies, cookie assortments, or gourmet treats
- Fine pens, jackets, briefcases, sweaters, or other items with the company logo
- Gift basket with a variety of items
- Gift cards
- Noise-canceling earphones
- Movie tickets
Honor Diverse Holiday Traditions.
It’s important to keep in mind that not every one of your employees celebrates Christmas. Different cultures celebrate different holidays, or some people may not celebrate anything at all. Make sure you honor and celebrate everyone.
- Serve food at events that cover the different cultures and religious backgrounds of your employees.
- Consider keeping things generic and keep most office celebrations secular in order to honor diverse beliefs.
- Consider offering floating holidays to meet the needs of diverse employees for holiday time off.
- Ask your employees with diverse beliefs about how they celebrate their holidays. This will show you care and are thinking of them, too.
The Bottom Line.
The holiday season is an ideal time to let your employees know just how much you appreciate them. It is also an opportunity to build employee morale. Seize this opportunity that the holidays bring to create joy for your employees and strengthen positive business relationships that will last all year and for years to come.