It’s hard to believe that the time of year when family and friends gather to share the holidays are right around the corner. During this time, we reflect on the past year, recognize the lessons we’ve learned from our challenges, and express gratitude for the good.
This season presents the perfect opportunity for you, as leaders, to recognize extended family members – workers and colleagues, customers, and community. You can bring the spirit of Thanksgiving into your workplace and business by showing appreciation in numerous ways.
Saying thank you goes a long way. In fact, the heartfelt and genuine appreciation you show workers can help move your retention rate up a notch or two.
- Write a themed, personalized, hand-written thank you note
- Give a gift card for a Starbucks cup of coffee
- Have a weekly raffle for movie tickets
- Give away corporate t-shirts, hats, or other trinkets
- Cater a meal
- Host a potluck brunch
Play “Secret Turkey” (a spin-off of Secret Santa) and perform a random, anonymous gift of kindness.
- Send a bunch of flowers
- Pay for someone’s lunch in the cafeteria
- Refill someone’s candy bowl
- Come in early and place cupcakes on everyone’s desk
Without customers, your business would not exist. This time of year, customers are swamped with tons of marketing emails. Stand apart from your competitors and send them a tangible sentiment of thanks. Yes, snail mail is not dead. On the contrary, it’s very much alive and makes a significant impact on its recipients.
Set up a direct mail campaign using segmented messages; thank them for their loyalty, referrals, their business, or their partnerships. Carefully craft your message to each segment of your customer or client lists.
Create an annual initiative to give back to your community. Get staff involved and vote to select a local charity. A giving program will not only provide employees with a warm feeling but will also strengthen your community standing. There are many ways to set up a community program, starting with an employee committee for organization and oversight.
- Turkey drive: Donate turkeys and distribute to local charities
- Habitat for Humanity days for employees: Offer time off so employees can help build homes
- Charitable boards: Allow managers to spend time serving on the board for philanthropic organizations
- Gift matching program: Provide a matching donation for every dollar an employee donates to a worthy cause
- Volunteer time off (VTO): Allow a specified amount of time so employees can do volunteer work close to their hearts
Thanksgiving is a feel-good time of year. A time to step back, breathe, and take an inventory of the great things in your life. It’s also a time to give back by helping communities and expressing gratitude for everyone in your life. Have a happy and healthy holiday season!
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