How to Show that You’re Thankful for Your Employees

With the explosion of Christmas decorations that seemed to happen before the last of the trick-or-treaters returned home, it is hard to remember that there is another major U.S. holiday between now and December 25. What I like most about Thanksgiving is that it is one of the only holidays that is not consumed with demonstrating our love for others by buying more and more each year. Instead, Thanksgiving is a day that revolves around sharing a meal and being thankful for friends and family. As such, this is a good time of year to remember to be thankful for your employees.

Simply Say Thanks

I think we understand how easy it is to show we appreciate employees by saying, “Thank you.” In HR and management, it is easy to get caught up in corrective action and dealing with problem employees. There is tremendous power in positive feedback. Employee recognition should be timely, so do not delay in recognizing success. When you see an employee go above and beyond with a customer, acknowledge it. As soon as an employee successfully completes a project, thank them for their hard work.

Take the time to recognize employee achievements during staff meetings. This can also be a good time to celebrate the successes of the whole team when something everyone worked on goes well or if your team has met or exceeded goals.

Benefits are more than Just Insurance

Good benefits are a way to send the message that you value the people who make up your company. Sometimes we think of benefits as mostly just insurance, which can be a big expense for a company. While it is good to provide excellent insurance options, there are ways you can recognize employees through easy and inexpensive benefits.

Incentive programs recognize employee achievement. Establish some kind of token system where employees can earn tokens for a job well done. Tokens can then be cashed in for gift cards, movie tickets and other fun stuff. These types of programs are a good reminder for managers to say thanks because they have tokens to award to employees.

Take the time to get to know what types of benefits are a good match for your employees. If many of your employees are raising families, consider childcare assistance. Employers with employees wanting to pursue classes or a degree may want to offer educational benefits. All of these things show you appreciate your employees beyond the work they do for you.

Make Workplace Improvements

The success of a business rests largely with how well employees perform. That is why it is essential to make sure employees have the tools they need to succeed. Keeping the office too cold, not fixing someone’s broken desk chair or never replacing the flickering fluorescent bulbs in the conference room are all things that send the message, “Your employer does not really care that much about you.” Rather than ignoring the things that are making employees uncomfortable at work, take the time to make the fixes necessary to improve the workplace.

Taking the time to understand the needs of your employees and then taking the steps to make those things happen does a lot to show how thankful you are for their hard work. Go further than just providing the basics and do things like creating a really nice break room or planning employee appreciation events like an ice cream social where supervisors serve employees. Find ways to show how thankful you are year round.

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Stephanie Hammerwold

Stephanie Hammerwold, is the founder and director of Pacific Reentry Career Services, a Southern California nonprofit that helps formerly incarcerated women find and maintain employment. She also blogs on a variety of HR topics as the HR Hammer. When not volunteering for her nonprofit, Stephanie has a day job in HR at a tech startup in Irvine, CA.


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