Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving: 5 Appreciation Ideas for Employees
- Julie Perrine
- 3 Min Read
Ah, November. The leaves are falling, the weather is chilly, and the smell of pumpkin spice permeates the air. While you’re probably making plans to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends, there’s one group of people you may be forgetting—your employees.
Showing your appreciation at work isn’t just a nice thing to do. It can actually help you retain some of your best talent. According to Forbes, 66 percent of employees and 76 percent of millennials said they’d quit their job if they felt unappreciated.
Giving thanks on Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be difficult. These appreciation ideas for employees will help you get in the spirit and show how much you appreciate the people you work with.
1. Say Thank You—and Mean It
Appreciation ideas for employees: Just say “thank you”
“Thanks” is a word most of us probably use dozens of times a day without even thinking about it. We say it to the smiling barista who hands us our morning cup of coffee, the clerk who drops off the mail, and the coworker who relays a phone message. But how often do we genuinely mean it?
A sincere “thank you” can go a long way toward making your employees feel appreciated. The more specific you can be, the better. For instance: “Liz, thank you so much for always having such a positive attitude. Even when things go wrong, you’re always smiling. I want you to know how much I value the work you do here!”
2. Drop Someone a Line
Appreciation ideas for employees: Write a thank-you letter
In a world of texts, instant messages, and social media, handwritten cards or notes have definitely fallen by the wayside—which is why they’re so special when we do receive them!
Giving thanks on Thanksgiving can be as simple as taking the time to jot down what you appreciate about each of your employees. Use a festive-themed notepad or invest in some cute, turkey-shaped cards, and write a few sentences thanking them for their contributions. Chances are good that those personalized letters will remain tacked up on bulletin boards or cubicle walls long into the new year!
3. Shower Them with Gifts
Appreciation ideas for employees: Small gifts
While the traditional gift-giving season is usually in December, there’s no reason you can’t reward your employees in a more tangible way. Gift cards to local coffee shops, restaurants, movie theaters, or entertainment venues are some of the best appreciation ideas for employees.
If your budget doesn’t allow for gift cards, consider offering some sort of corporate swag, instead. Hats, T-shirts, or other company-branded items are often incredibly inexpensive when bought in bulk, and your employees will appreciate the gesture!
4. Practice Random Acts of Kindness
Appreciation ideas for employees: Be kind
Giving thanks on Thanksgiving doesn’t have to mean huge, elaborate gestures. Random acts of kindness are a quick, meaningful way to show appreciation.
Pay for someone’s coffee or lunch in the cafeteria. Refill someone’s candy bowl. Send an anonymous bouquet of flowers, or come in early and put a cupcake or donut on everyone’s desk. The great thing about random acts of kindness is that everyone can get in on the act! The more people who join in, the better the office morale will be!
5. Cater a Meal
Appreciation ideas for employees: Giving the gift of a Thanksgiving meal says “thanks”
While Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks, there’s no denying that food plays a huge part in the holiday. Offering a delicious meal allows you and your employees some time away from the daily grind to relax, socialize, and communicate on a more personal level.
Want to go all out? Consider expanding the guest list to include immediate family members. Inviting your employees’ spouses and children is a fun perk for everyone involved. The more, the merrier!
If you don’t have time to cook a festive meal for the office and their plus-ones, call in for some backup. At ezCater we’ve got you covered with over 60,000 restaurants nationwide that offer business catering. A delicious catering spread is an easy way to say “thanks.”
Read about more workplace hacks to streamline your day.