7 Ways to Thank Your Employees This Holiday Season

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Christmas is just around the corner and the holiday season is in full swing. I like to “wow” my employees with a little holiday cheer every year. As small business owners, it’s easy to forget important things. That’s where I come in…I simply can’t forget!

I focus on employee satisfaction year-round, from giving out awards to planning Halloween parties. But at the end of the year, I always feel like the floodgates open and I want to give my employees a little more than usual. But where do you start? How do you top yourself every year? Well, don’t worry, my gift to you is this list of seven simple ways to thank your employees this holiday season.

1. Give a handwritten thank you with a box of chocolates and cookies

It’s the classic way to say thank you – and it’s still one of the best. If you want something that isn’t too flashy, but shows how much you appreciate the hard work of your employees. A handwritten thank you note along with a box of chocolates and cookies. Although this may seem like a small gesture, it will have a big impact on your employees. Showing that you care about what they do and appreciate their efforts helps build trust and loyalty within the company.

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2. Plan a vacation to a favorite destination for everyone on your team

I know it sounds like a dream come true, but it is possible.

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Planning a vacation for your employees is a great way to show them appreciation.

It could be their favorite place in the world or somewhere nearby – whatever makes them happy will do. If you don’t have the budget to send everyone on a trip, include your top performing or deserving employees and their families. That way, you can make sure everyone has a good time without breaking the bank or stressing out.

3. Do a gift exchange

A Secret Santa or White Elephant gift exchange is a fun way to get your staff excited and involved in the holiday spirit. Everyone gets the same amount of money to spend on each other and can choose gifts that are funny, thoughtful, or just plain silly.

It’s also a great opportunity to gain insight into what your employees want — and what they might not have thought to ask for themselves.

Related: Why giving back is good for you and your business this season (and all year long).

4. Give personalized gifts

A gift can be a great starting point for building strong relationships. Giving gifts is great, but giving thoughtful gifts is even better.

Personalized gifts are the best way to show appreciation to your employees. And when your employees feel appreciated, they will be more motivated and efficient at work.

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Plus, personalized gifts are easy on your wallet: you don’t have to spend a fortune on expensive gifts for everyone in your office. Just a little imagination and patience will do the trick.

For example, if you give your employees a nice bottle of wine but don’t make a big deal out of it, they’ll think it wasn’t much of a bottle of wine. But if you add some personal touches and make the process more thoughtful, your employees will feel more appreciated.

A family portrait is my favorite personal gift.

5. Bonus

The holiday season is a time for giving, and that’s exactly what your employees deserve. A nice, fat reward will help lift their spirits and show them how much you appreciate their hard work throughout the year.

Bonus time is an opportunity to show your employees how much you appreciate them and what they’ve done this year. If you already have a bonus system, consider adding extra cash to your employees’ paychecks this year. Even if you don’t have a formal policy, include something small as a token of appreciation.

While it may seem like a small gesture, it can go a long way toward building relationships with your team members—which is positive for everyone in the long run.

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6. Buy them a gift from the wish list

This is the easiest way to show appreciation to your employees. It’s also very meaningful because you give them exactly what they want. It is sure to be something they will love and use.

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If you don’t know what they want, look at their social media profiles and see if there are any hints about their hobbies or interests. If not, ask them. Be sure to ask early so you can give them something in time for the holidays.

7. Give employees access to exclusive discounts

Sometimes an extravagant gift just isn’t in your budget. However, you can still influence your employees by giving them exclusive discounts on items they like to buy. For example, if you have an employee who runs a lot and loves running clothes, consider giving them a coupon code for 20% off Nike. This allows them to get what they want without paying full price (and also makes them feel appreciated).

When it comes to saying thank you, grand gestures and impressive gifts are always fun. But simple actions are also very effective. I take these to heart this holiday season because it takes a little thought to show appreciation and create an atmosphere of appreciation for the hard-working people on our teams.

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