The holidays are great. You take time off work, spend time with the family, eat great food, get presents: the list goes on. But as often as not, you’re paying for a lot of that upfront. Not just in money but time and energy, and a lot of that has to do with work. There are year-end projects to wrap up, and the fact that everyone is trying to get everything taken care of so they can relax means that everyone is as busy as they’ve been all year. 

There’s no better time for businesses to show they appreciate their employees than the holidays. But when it comes to showing appreciation, leave the pizza parties where they belong: back in the fourth grade. If you want to show your employees you appreciate all their hard work, it needs to go beyond nice words and be both tangible and relevant. 

Ease the Holiday Transition

If you asked a random sampling of people what the best gift or token of appreciation they’d ever received was, some would surely say “vacation.” 

That’s not to say you need to send all your staff and their families off to a resort over the holidays (though it would probably be very appreciated). The point is that being able to relax, take a break, and take a load off for a while makes people feel appreciated: after all, they’ve earned it. 

So, figuring out a way to take things off their minds is a great way to show some appreciation. That might mean you postpone or streamline some of the end-of-year processes that get everyone all worked up before they take off. 

Useful considerations here are not only your business processes but your employees’ circumstances. Some extra paid time off for someone who burnt the midnight oil getting work out the door shows them how appreciative you are of their contributions. 

Show Them Their Opinions Matter

Of course, people don’t just want to be appreciated for their work, even at work. Most people want their thoughts and ideas to be appreciated too.

A low-key, low-pressure, even anonymous solicitation of feedback can be an excellent way for people to voice their opinions, both positive and constructive. 

It’s important to understand that soliciting feedback by itself does nothing and ignoring feedback once it has been solicited will actually make people feel unappreciated. After all, they went through the time and effort to give you their thoughts. 

So, if you’re going to do this, you need to already be committed to acting on the feedback you receive. Obviously, you probably won’t be able to implement everything, or implement all the ideas as they’re presented. But at the very least, acknowledging the ideas you received or even offering an explanation of why some ideas were changed or not implemented shows your team you are listening to them and giving their ideas a fair shake. 

Gifts That Can Keep on Giving

Of course, let’s not forget that when we say the holidays are the season of giving, we mean presents, even if we also mean other things. 

And just like you should be leaving pizza parties back in our childhood memories, gifts should be the same: they shouldn’t be frivolous or childish. That doesn’t mean gifts need to be boring, but if they’re going to communicate that you appreciate your employees, they need to have some substance. 

Practical gifts that make it easier for your employees to do their jobs show that you understand that the work isn’t always easy to accomplish. Personalized gifts, like standing desks for employees that have been talking about trying to be more active show that you’re not only aware of their wants and needs but are sensitive to them. A chocolate bar in a gift basket made with fair-trade beans can make socially conscious employees feel they’re part of a business with a social conscience.  

Our gifting experts can help you create corporate gifting strategies that can speak to your employees and highlight how valuable their contributions are. Come chat with us and learn more about our gifting solutions, from our Enterprise Gifting Portals to the highly customizable Options at Scale.

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