Heading into the end of November, it’s time to stop and count our blessings and stuff our faces with turkey. The past couple of years have been quite tricky, but there are plenty of things to be thankful for still. One of those things you should be grateful for is your hard-working team that has endured the same storms that you have and still stand by your side these many months later.
The question now is, how do you show your team that you’re thankful for them? With how busy you can be every day, it can be challenging to go out of your way to express your gratitude as you should. To help you with that, here are some ideas for putting a spotlight on your employees this Thanksgiving:
1. Invite Them to Dinner
Since it is the Thanksgiving season, show your team some gratitude by inviting them over for dinner. This doesn’t have to be on Thanksgiving Day, especially since team members likely have their own Thanksgiving plans organized. However, having a small team dinner will make a nice gesture for the season.
Opening up your home to your team is an act of friendship, not leadership. Your team will be able to see you as a colleague and peer rather than just an overseer in the workplace. In addition, the casual atmosphere will be a nice change of pace from everyday office life. Besides, who can turn down a free Thanksgiving meal from your boss?
2. Say it With a Gift
After Thanksgiving comes the Christmas season, so what better way to express your gratitude to your team than through a thoughtful gift. There’s a key word there that shouldn’t be overlooked. A cookie-cutter present will only seem like you’re fulfilling an obligation. But, by adding thought into your gift-giving, you’ll really show your team how much you care about and appreciate them.
For example, a team manager can quickly get everyone matching hot chocolate mugs to celebrate the holidays. While some people might love this gift, others might set this cup into a drawer to collect dust indefinitely. Take the extra time to think of personal gifts for each employee that they will actually appreciate.
Let’s say one of your employees loves using their break time to work on their fantasy football league. Get them a hat of their favorite team or a small banner to hang in their office. Likewise, your secretary that keeps humming Disney tunes will appreciate tickets to the latest movie more than a generic blanket. These gifts show your employees that you see them for more than just their work.
3. Invest in Their Talents
A good leader will help their team to improve. In a sense, this is a way you can show team members that you are grateful for the work they do for your company. Investing in their talents isn’t you saying that they’re not good enough, but acknowledging that they have potential and wanted to help them reach the highest point possible.
An upcoming sales conference will be an excellent opportunity for your sales team to learn new skills and network with other professionals. Sponsor a trip for them to attend, including paid time off and admission. Not only will they appreciate you sending them on this short trip, but they’ll also come back as greater assets to your team and company.
Invest in their talents outside of work as well. For example, there’s a memorable scene from the hit show The Office where the secretary’s boss is the only person to attend her exhibit at an art show. This simple gesture meant the world to her, and from that point on, she knew that her boss cared about and appreciated her.
4. Upgrade Their Benefits Package
Sure, we all work to pay off our bills and Netflix subscriptions, but there’s so much more that goes into committing to a nine-to-five job. For example, a big reason people value good employers is to qualify for a generous benefits package.
The two main aspects of a benefits package are health insurance and retirement assistance. Health insurance in the United States is notoriously expensive, and using a work plan will help cut down on some of those costs. Getting employer contributions toward retirement also helps workers plan more effectively for the future.
If you’re in charge of a big enough company, these benefits are likely already in place. If they’re not, start making plans to extend them as soon as possible. After that, look for other benefits you can extend to your team as a way to say thank you. This could be as simple as installing a full coffee bar on-site or something deeper like doubling paid vacation hours for employees who haven’t been able to travel since Covid-19.
5. Give Some Shoutouts
The next time you plan a team meeting in your Calendar, add a shoutout to your itinerary. This could be an employee of the month award or simply drawing attention to a team member who went above and beyond on a recent project. Taking even a single minute to praise an employee will help to express your appreciation to them.
You can also look at team newsletters as a way to give your team some shoutouts. A recurring event in your Calendar can be to send a mass email full of future deadlines, monthly statistics, and a spotlight on an exceptional team member. A quick message in a team group chat is also better than doing nothing.
Expressing more gratitude toward your team will pay dividends in the days to come. Your team bond will grow stronger, and 2022 will kick off with a strong start.
Image Credit: Monstera; Pexels; Thank you!