Give Thanks: Rewards Your Diverse Team Will Appreciate

Give Thanks: Rewards Your Diverse Team Will Appreciate


As the Thanksgiving season is upon us I think it is worthwhile to take a few minutes to reflect. For those of us in HR, our year is both drawing to a close and increasing in activity. Between open enrollments, Q1 recruitment planning with managers, end of year audits, contract discussions with staffing companies, holiday events, and more, the ability to miss the forest from the trees is very real. To avoid waxing philosophically on the importance of taking some time to be thankful for what we achieved throughout the course of the year, let’s focus on a few concrete things we can do to recognize and be thankful in the weeks ahead.

Passing It On

The importance of corporate giving cannot be understated. Charities and those in need benefit from the assistance we can give by ensuring that we are doing everything possible to align our corporate giving programs with charitable organizations that support our organizations’ distinct missions and core values. To support this we can:

  • Select either a permanent charitable partner or an annually designated charity that is communicated in advance to employees. Review your options to make sure that the maximum amount of contribution is going to those in need. Don’t hesitate to go local with giving, either!
  • Provide clearly defined giving options. The charity with whom you partner will let you know all of the methods that they have available.
  • Communicate alternative methods for giving including employee volunteering activities if some would prefer to give time instead of financial contributions.
  • Offer your expertise as a way to bring voluntary resources to a specific problem the charity might be experiencing. Lending a team to support an event or charitable drive can create great opportunities for employees to share their specific talents in a rewarding way.
  • Enjoy being of service to others as it is one of the most humbling and rewarding experiences in life, so find ways to engage knowing that the end goal is going to be a good two-way experience.

At CTCA© all of our locations are involved both at the local and national level with various organizations and charities that keep us connected with our communities throughout the year; but we always encourage and empower our teams to go the extra mile during the holiday season. Whether that means volunteering more of their time, supporting a cause through fundraising, or just being extra attentive to those who might need a listening ear, cultivating a culture of gratitude and giving at the workplace that spreads out into our communities is one of the most valuable and inspiring actions we can implement as HR leaders.

An attitude of gratitude at every level of an organization – at any time of year – is an easy way to keep your work environment positive and shows employees that they are valued, which then extends to customers, friends, families, and those in our communities.

Take A Bow

There is no better time to think about implementing a reward system to support and recognize your employees than right now. Take advantage of this time of thankfulness to determine the reward options available to you and try to get it on the docket for next year.

Reward systems allow for:

  • Diverse options of rewards that can be presented by managers and peers to employees creating opportunities to directly display appreciation.
  • Typically higher satisfaction rates than cash equivalents
  • The chance to show thoughtfulness and engender employee excitement through personalized reward experiences
  • Additional motivation for the year to come that can permeate all levels of daily activities

While implementing a system may seem daunting, outsourcing the majority of the effort to incentive companies who have decades of experiences and understanding in motivating employees can see quick turnaround and your employees taking advantage in only a couple of months.

Be Mindful

Our diverse workforces mean that every type of employee, faith, and family situation might be present. Whatever we do, all communications throughout this holiday season and any event planning should be tailored with a sensitivity to our employee’s situations. For instance, it is easy to immediately assume that “families” is a go-to term for who we will be spending our time with, but some of our teams will spend more of the Thanksgiving holiday and the time around the New Year with “friends and loved ones;” the same should apply to who we invite and organize events around.

Faith is also an important aspect of the season. Clearly, our employees’ faith and belief systems are personal.  As we plan various celebrations throughout the holidays it is important to honor our diverse backgrounds and to celebrate how we are able to work together to create a work culture of growth, gratitude, development and personal and professional prosperity.

I know that all of you want to do what is best for your employees and teams and there is no better time of year than now to get started. And remember: sometimes the best reward is a simple, but sincere “thank you.” Have a safe and happy holiday season!

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Eric Magnussen

Eric Magnussen serves as the Vice President of Talent for Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) and is accountable for all aspects of the CTCA Talent function for a 5,500 employee organization. Eric is responsible for talent strategy, attraction and selection, employee development, succession planning, wellness and wellbeing, compensation and benefits. Connect with Eric.


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