5 Ways to Demonstrate Employee Appreciation This Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is a time of reflection, gratitude, and acts of kindness. 

For employees, it also means a couple of days off of work. Vacation time and holidays provide an often much-needed break for employees and employers alike. It also reduces the risk of burnout.

Employee appreciation is another way to fight off burnout. And what better way to tell your employees that you care than during the Thanksgiving season? 

Here are five simple ways you can genuinely demonstrate your appreciation for your employees and boost morale in the workplace.

Recognize the difference between recognition and appreciation.

Before you can demonstrate your appreciation for your employees, it’s essential to clearly define it and understand the direct impact on your organization.

In an article with Forbes, Dr. Paul White, a psychologist, international leadership trainer, and author talks about the importance of identifying the difference between appreciation and recognition. 

Dr. White views recognizing employee accomplishments focuses more on an employee’s performance or the length of time they have been with the company.

Appreciation is a more “holistic view” of an employee’s impact on the organization. It can include performance-based shoutouts, but it can also go deeper than performance. Employees want to be recognized as humans, not just profitable numbers on a page.

As an employer, you may feel like employee appreciation is silly, but it will impact your employees and transform your business and work culture.

A recent study in 2018 had 7,050 employees take a survey. The survey breaks down the difference between underappreciated and appreciated employees.

According to the survey, the percentage of underappreciated employees who felt physically ill, stuck in their jobs, and ready to quit at a moment’s notice was significantly higher than the employees who felt appreciated.

Employee appreciation can increase retention rates, revitalize company culture, and increase productivity in the workplace.

Go out of your way to connect with your employees.

One of the best ways to show your employees that you care about them is to take the time to connect with them every day.

It can be as simple as greeting your employees when you come into the office. Try not to talk to them about work because that might come off as micro-managing or that you only value them for their work. Instead, ask them how their day is or if they had any fun plans over the weekend.

Whether you are or not, you are in a place of power in your company which can be intimidating. It can make you seem unapproachable. So, instead of waiting for your team to approach you, be the one to reach out.

When you make yourself accessible to your team, you open the pathway for open and honest communication. Your team will feel trusted and cared for within and outside of the workplace. 

Promote an atmosphere of gratitude in the workplace.

Most workplaces have chats on Microsoft Teams, Slack, Google Hangout, or other popular platforms.

One of the best ways to show customer appreciation is to give shoutouts in the group chat. Now, there are appropriate and inappropriate times to show gratification depending on the conversation in the group chat. 

Some companies have a conversation channel solely dedicated to celebrations which might be more manageable. Empower your team members to encourage and give one another shoutouts in the group chat as well.

As a leader in the workplace, one of the things you should watch out for is not seemingly “picking a favorite employee.” Empowering the team to participate easily in showing appreciation can pay big dividends. 

When you create an atmosphere of positivity and thankfulness, it will increase productivity.

Give constructive feedback.

Similarly, it’s also great to give feedback to your team. 

While quarterly or annual reviews may seem trivial to some, it is a huge deal to your team. It helps employees know where they stand in the company and how they can improve in the future. Annual reviews also allow time for open and honest communication between you and your team.

Annual reviews may fill your team with dread, but that may be because there is a negative connotation associated with annual reviews when there doesn’t need to be.

If a company conducts healthy annual reviews, then your team will be better for it. One of the best ways to conduct annual reviews in a healthy way is to give constructive feedback in a form that your team members will receive well.

That doesn’t mean you should avoid difficult conversations. Your employees will respect and trust you more after assessing how you handle difficult conversations.

Every company handles annual reviews differently. There is no one way to conduct these. It depends on your leadership style, company culture, and your employees’ personalities. 

Demonstrate little acts of kindness.

There are simple ways throughout the year that you can show appreciation for your employees.

One of the best ways to care for your team is to bring food to the office. Everyone loves free food. On your way to the office, stop and pick up doughnuts for everyone one morning. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, but something simple will boost morale and show your employees that you’re thankful for them.

Another great way is to remember people’s birthdays. Just announcing someone’s birthday in an email or group chat could make someone’s day! 

When you go out of your way to do something kind for your employees, they will feel appreciated and will appreciate you for it.

How CCA Can Help

Show your appreciation for your employees this Thanksgiving season!

When you take the time to show your appreciation for your employees,  you will transform your company culture.

At Corporate Chaplains of America, we work with businesses nationwide to provide teams in the workplace with the support they need to get through life’s ups and downs.

At CCA, our team is dedicated to you and your team. Your chaplain is a trusted confidant that your team can go to, whether your company is in person, is remote, distributed or any combination that makes your team unique. 

Our chaplains are available 24/7 for you and your team. When your employees have someone to talk to, it can make company transitions seem a little easier.
Contact Corporate Chaplains of America today to learn how to support your team as you seek to grow a thriving, healthy work culture for your team.

Is your company culture holding your business back?

Download our informational PDF guide “The Company Culture Advantage” to find out how your team’s culture could benefit from a dedicated Corporate Chaplain.