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14 Ways to Express Gratitude to Your Employees this Thanksgiving

“Gratitude is literally one of the few things that can measurably change people’s lives.”

– Professor Robert A. Emmons

According to Glassdoor’s Employee Appreciation Survey (2013), 81% employees said they are motivated to work harder when their work is recognized. 53% said they would stay longer in a company where their contribution is appreciated.

The 2,044 employees who participated in the survey showed that you don’t always need huge pay checks or whopping budgets to retain talented workforce. Sincere appreciation and recognition of their contribution and value is all most employees desire. Entrusting higher responsibilities and giving them the freedom to work creatively will bring out their best.

Therefore, express your gratitude to employees this Thanksgiving. Here are 14 simple, yet effective ideas to thank your employees and make them feel special and valued.

1. Send A Group ‘Thank You’ E-mail

Writing a Thanksgiving e-mail to your employees will make them feel special. Mentioning each employee by name and writing a personalized message boosts their morale. Make sincere remarks about them and their work. This shows you value them as individuals and also prompts them to appreciate one another.

2. Write Personalized Notes

A simple Thanksgiving note can make employees more loyal. You can plan for Thanksgiving greeting cards too. Employees also feel special when they receive handwritten thank you notes from the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the organization. The time taken to write a personal note gives them the assurance their contribution is valued.

3. Build a Thank You Wall

You can build a Thank You wall in office by writing the unique contributions of every employee on colorful sticky notes. Place a stack of blank sticky notes so employees can express their thanks to each other. Get Creative!

4. Provide Exposure to New Challenges

Enroll your employees in courses that develop their professional expertise and career. This helps them engage better in their existing jobs and improves their overall performance. Send your employees to nationwide seminars and Expos to enhance their domain knowledge and get a broader picture of your industry. This will definitely improve their exposure.

Promoting them to higher roles and entrusting additional responsibilities boosts their confidence. Believing in them brings greater accountability.

Giving them the freedom to work creatively and allowing them to take up new challenges are some Thanksgiving gifts you can try this time.

5. Offer More Flexibility

If the nature of your work permits, help your employees work comfortably by offering flexible work shifts, weekly offs, and the option to ‘Work from Home’. These facilities help employees maintain their work-life balance and in turn, be more productive. So be generous in these matters from this Thanksgiving.

6. Arrange a Get Together with Families

Official parties are common in organizations. Extending the get together to employees’ families will make it special this Thanksgiving. This will help you convey your thanks for the adjustments and sacrifices they make as a family for your company.

Plan for a trip over the weekend with your employees and their families. This will paint a memory on the canvas of employees’ minds this Thanksgiving. Take suggestions from your employees while planning the trip. You can have different themes – leisure, shopping, heritage, etc.

7. Encourage Employees to Thank Others

Encourage your employees to thank their colleagues, your clients, agents, distributors, or retailers. Giving daily planners, small souvenirs, sending a cake – these small acts go a long way in involving your external partners in the act of Thanksgiving. This spreads the joy of Thanksgiving beyond your company.

8. Share Employee Achievements

You can announce employees’ achievements in a meeting attended by the leadership team; share their success stories in company newsletters and social media pages. You have a lot of ways to share your employee achievements in this digital age. So, spread the good word about your employees this Thanksgiving.

9. Give Rewards and Gift Cards

Looking back and recognizing employees’ work and their contribution is what Thanksgiving is all about. You can do this through gift cards, cash bonuses, and small tokens of recognition. This helps your employees stay motivated and carries on the great work they always do for your organization.

10. Arrange a Thanksgiving Meal

Order from outside or have a potluck and involve everyone. You can also make it competitive and a fun-filled activity by having a recipe contest or some fun games. If you don’t want to tax your employees, ordering delicious food from outside is the better option.

11. Conduct Charity Events

As a team, partake in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs this Thanksgiving. Feeding the poor, visiting orphanages, old age homes, and spending time with the less privileged will give employees the personal satisfaction of giving back to the society. It will also strengthen relationships among your employees and build camaraderie.

12. Let Your Employees Speak

Give your employees the opportunity to look back and share the things they are thankful for. This will help them evaluate their work over the year and prepare them to work better in the coming year.

13. Make a Thanksgiving Video

Think a step ahead of thank you notes, greeting cards, and e-mails by preparing a Thanksgiving video for your employees. You can tell them how they add value to the organization in that video. This can skyrocket the brand image of your company in the sight your employees. Add fun filled moments in the video so that it brings a smile to your employees’ faces.

14. Give Them the Gift of ‘Time’

Allow your employees to leave early before Thanksgiving, Christmas, on New Year’s Eve, and special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, and school events to help them spend quality time with their families.

Hope these ideas help you make this Thanksgiving a memorable experience for your employees.

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