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Four Ways to Express Thankfulness for Your Employees

Thanksgiving instills an excellent rhythm of reflecting on the many ways we are blessed. In the workplace, appreciating employees is something we all know we should be doing, but with so much vying for our attention, it can become an afterthought—if we think of it at all. Effectively valuing employees boosts morale and can result in better work performance and employee retention. Monetary appreciation is important, but it isn’t the only way. Bonuses can often fall flat if they are the only way you are rewarding your employees. Below are four ways to show how grateful you are for your staff.

  1. Value their development. Show you value your employees by investing in their growth. Make yourself available for questions. After a large project sit down with them to review ways their strengths shone and ways they can be even more effective next time. Introduce them to collaborators that can assist in projects.

  2. Value them publically. There is a reason the employee-of-the-month parking spot is a classic. Recognizing your employees in a group context cultivates a positive and affirming culture. This can be something as official as a parking spot or it can be as informal as recognizing key contributions verbally in a meeting.

  3. Value their input. Often it is more expedient to make unilateral decisions and not explain, but this can breed discontent in your staff. Including employees in decisions conveys respect. This isn’t practical for all choices, but even when you make a decision alone, explaining your process and rationale helps employees feel included.

  4. Value their rest. If you expect your employees to work hard, you should also realize the importance of time to unwind. After a large project, reward your employees with a paid day off. You could even throw in a gift card to a local restaurant for them to enjoy while they relax.

It bears noting that some gestures given with the best intentions can do the opposite of appreciation. For example, giving your employees a $10 gift card instead of a year-end bonus will likely feel like a poor expression and engender resentment.

How do you appreciate your staff? Have you ever had a supervisor do something for you that made you feel valued? Share your best ideas!