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Giving "Thanks" to Your Employees

Tags: Holidays
Posted by: Gail Cecchettini Whaley, J.D. on Thursday, November 21, 2019 at 12:00:00 am

Overeating, hanging with family and friends, watching football, shopping...can you guess what time it is? That's right—Thanksgiving is almost here!

While the holiday has taken on different characteristics over the years, it remains a time to say "thanks." And, it's a great time to reflect on the ways that your business can show gratitude to your employees.

CEA is Grateful for You!

CEA is grateful for the opportunity to serve your business and thankful to be your trusted HR resource when it comes to education, training, and employee relation needs. As a reminder, CEA will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and the day after Thanksgiving.

Giving Thanks to Your Employees

Giving "thanks" to your employees can be as easy as taking a moment to recognize and thank an employee for a job well done. The key is to be specific and authentic in your praise and do it in real-time—don't wait until a performance review.

Money Isn't the Only Motivator

In fact, in one survey money ranked 7th on the list of motivating factors—after camaraderie/peer motivation, intrinsic desire to do a good job, and feeling encouraged and recognized rank high as top employee motivators.

According to a study by Maritz Research, employees that are recognized in a meaningful way are:

  • 5 times more likely to feel valued
  • 7 times more likely to stay with the company
  • 11 times more likely to feel completely committed to the company

NOTE: Organizations with formal recognition programs have 6 times greater operating margins!

Ideas for Giving Thanks to Your Employees Now and Throughout the Year:

  • Send out a Thanksgiving email to your workers. Write one specific and positive thing about each team member and share the email with the company. If you have a large company, break it down by department.
  • Use personal, handwritten notes to say thanks. Taking the time to sit down with pen and paper to appreciate your workers helps you zero in on just why it is you are grateful for them.
  • Create a "give thanks" wall where employees can use sticky-notes to recognize small acts by their coworkers that they are grateful for.
  • Provide employees with a gift card to a local grocery store to help with the Thanksgiving shopping...or bring in those frozen Butterballs or yummy pies for employees to take home!
  • Get everyone ready for the big day by hosting a pre-Thanksgiving office potluck.
  • Give out free movie tickets—there are usually new blockbusters out over Thanksgiving weekend.
  • Give a couple of extra hours off if workflow allows. Everyone would appreciate a little more time to beat the traffic rush and the store crowds.

Some organizations, such as those in the safety, hospitality and retail industries, will be open on Thanksgiving Day. Companies are not required to provide holiday pay or any extra pay to employees who work on a Holiday. Regardless, you may want to give other rewards for those who work on Thanksgiving—like free coffee and snacks, gift cards to local restaurants, a catered Thanksgiving meal, or other incentives.

If you trot the extra mile for your employees this Thanksgiving, the rewards may be bountiful! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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