Employees who work hard for you all year appreciate a “thank you” once in a while. While you can certainly do that any time of the year, the Christmas season is one of the best times to do a little extra for your employees to show your appreciation. This will go a long way to cement their loyalty to you as an employer and help you retain them for longer. Here are some tips for how you can best give back to your employees.
Throw a Party
It would be easy to just haul in a few pizzas for lunch and tell employees you appreciate their hard work. But you can make the Christmas party more meaningful if you put some thought into it. If you’d like to show your appreciation with a meal and a party, consider having it after hours and letting employees bring a guest or even their entire families. Having the whole family there allows you to get to know more about each employee. It also creates a sense of community as the employees’ families get to know each other. You might even use the dinner as an opportunity to recognize employee performance, or to give awards for years of service.
More with Gift Cards
Gift cards are sensible gifts, as they allow the user to buy whatever they want. But it’s a nice gesture if you customize the card for each particular employee. For example, you might try to find out each employee’s favorite retailer and give them a card for that retailer. For employees who are married with children, you could also consider a gift card for a restaurant and then some extra cash for a babysitter.
Give Bonuses Early
If you give employees a cash bonus, consider giving it early in the season (at the beginning of December) so they have a little extra to use for their own gift shopping. Separate the Christmas bonus from any other bonuses you may offer that are tied to performance. This makes the bonus more of a gift rather than something that is expected.
Avoid the Pitfalls
Whatever you decide to give to your employees this Christmas, make sure you think it through from the side of the receivers. Don’t give a gift that will make you appear cheap or self-serving, especially if you’re giving a non-monetary gift. Ask yourself, is the gift meaningful? Is it useful? For example, giving employees a few cheap promotional items with the company logo that you normally give away in the store may leave the impression you don’t value your employees much.
Most importantly, don’t make Christmas the only time during the year that you show your employees you appreciate them. Use other times of the year to tell them, even if it’s just telling them “good job” once in a while. A gift once a year will not make up for the times you didn’t thank them or acknowledge all they do for the company.