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Saying ?Thanks? to Your Employees

Published Monday, October 29, 2018
by Gail Cecchettini Whaley, Esq.

Overeating, hanging with the family, watching football, shopping...can you guess what time it is? That’s right—Thanksgiving is just around the corner!

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.

Giving “thanks” to your employees can be as easy as taking a moment to recognize and promptly thank the employee for a job well-done or extra effort given. Be specific and authentic in your praise and do it in real time—don't wait until a performance review.

Think of unique ways to motivate your employees. Money isn’t always a top motivator. In fact, in one survey it ranked 7th on the list of motivating factors—behind camaraderie/peer motivation, intrinsic desire to do a good job, and feeling encouraged and recognized rank high as top employee motivators.

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

Organizations also benefit. Those with formal recognition programs have 6 times greater operating margins!

Some 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’re a large company, break it up by departments.
• Use personal, handwritten notes to say thanks. Taking the time to sit down with pen and paper to appreciate your workers may help you zero in on just why it is you are grateful for them.
• Designate a “say thanks” area where employees can use sticky-notes to recognize small acts by their co-workers 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’s stomachs ready for the big day by hosting a pre-Thanksgiving office potluck.
• Give out free movie tickets—there are usually some new blockbusters out Thanksgiving weekend.

Of course, some organizations, such as those in the safety, hospitality and retail industries, will be open on Thanksgiving Day. It’s up to your company's policy as to whether the company provides holiday pay to those required to work. Regardless, you may want to have other rewards for those working on Thanksgiving—like free coffee and snacks, gift cards to local restaurants or other incentives.

Trot the extra mile this Thanksgiving and the rewards will be bountiful!

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