A Time to be Thankful
Thanksgiving Day is full of food we rarely ever consume, watching football of teams we hardly care about, yet seemingly play every fourth Thursday in November, and family members we only see on the holidays. Yet at some point during the piling of calories onto our plates we find time to express what we are thankful for. This is usually a spontaneous answer, half full of emotion, and half full of just wanting to get back to scarfing your face. This Thanksgiving though, take the time to be thankful for something else –your employees.
While we should always be thankful for those who make our organizations run smoothly and effectively, Thanksgiving provides a unique opportunity to thank them personally and with a purpose. They are the backbone of your continuous improvement journey, a little appreciation and recognition can have a significant impact on their contribution and engagement with the path your trying to “carve.”
Here are a few simple ways to thank and recognize your employees this Thanksgiving season:
- Write them a personal thank you note. Thank them for all they have done and that their work has not gone unnoticed. Make each note personal, avoid copy and paste techniques. This takes the personal factor away, reducing the meaning and/or intention. Also, personally deliver the notes rather than just dropping them in a mailbox. This creates an extra opportunity to thank them and shake their hand for a job well done.
- Engage each employee. Ask them about their upcoming holiday plans or how they’ve been lately. This is a great conversation starter if you are sincere and offers an opportunity to thank them in person, for the work they contribute to your organization. Employees can sense when you are not being sincere, so make sure you mean what you say and show that you truly care about them. This can go a long way when trying to get employees behind a new task or change in operations.
- Have a pizza party. Or any kind of party for that matter. I’m not saying go all out, but a few pizzas around the break room are an easy way to show your appreciation and let the team know you are thankful for what they do.
- Send them home early. This may or may not be possible in all situations, but it’s a nice way to show your appreciation and say thanks. This is undoubtedly the busiest time of year for your employees, outside of work. A few extra hours away from the office could make a huge difference in their lives and could help boost their productivity when they return. If you can’t let then all go early, try having some come in a few hours late to mix it up.
- Get involved in the community. Start a toy drive, food drive, blood drive, some kind of drive that shows your employees you care about the community that helped the company grow. This gives employees an opportunity to get involved as well and take a break from the norm around the workplace.
Regardless of what you do, something is better than nothing as long as it is meaningful. Believe it or not, employees do care about things other than a paycheck. They still want to be appreciated and know that they mean something to the organization they leave their families for everyday.