Celebrating the Holidays: Six Ways to Empower and Recognize Employees During the Holiday Season
The U.S. holiday season is looked at as the finish line for most workers. Only a few weeks
separate holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day. However, while this is a
time of celebration, the holidays can also bring about new stresses.
For example, maybe this is the time of year where you are tying up your last projects or
trying to meet accounting and expense deadlines. Closing things out can be daunting, which
can contribute to feelings of burnout.
A great way to keep your employee's spirits high as you move into the last part of the year
is by recognizing them. Recognition heavily matters to workers. According to a study by
SurveyMonkey and Bonusly,
of recognized employees are very unlikely to look for another job.
Additionally, in a survey distributed by OGO,
of employed Americans said they would put more energy into their work if recognized more often.
Therefore, recognition not only benefits your employees, but it can also have positive impacts
on your turnover rate and overall workplace productivity.
Everyone stands to benefit when you empower and recognize your employees, and the effect can
be even more significant if you make this a priority during the holiday season.
Therefore, if you want some practical ways that you can begin to build this into your workplace
strategies, take a look at these tips:
Commit to Having a Recognition Strategy
Like you have a marketing, sales, and operations strategy, you should also have a recognition
plan for your employees. If you don't work to create a framework for this, it will be
challenging to make this a consistent activity. A recognition strategy can include ideas,
processes, and opportunities for ways employees can earn recognition.
You also want to use this process to determine times for individual acknowledgment and when
it is appropriate to recognize your team as a whole. Again, recognition not only benefits
your employees, but it can bring advantages to your entire team and company. So, to make
this a staple in your workplace operations, you need to set aside time to create an
effective recognition strategy.
Create a Spotlight System
While you definitely want leadership to have a huge hand in employee recognition, you also
want to utilize the power of colleagues. A great way to build camaraderie and drive teamwork
is to allow employees to highlight their co-worker's excellent work. This action could be in
the form of a workplace "spotlight" program.
With it, workers can submit names of individuals that they have seen go above-and-beyond
their duties to better the company as well as the team members around them. Not only does
this make recognition a more equitable process, but it allows your team members to have
some power in recognizing others, which creates a feeling of ownership.
Let Them Try New Ideas—And Compensate Them For It
This step is more on the empowerment side, but it is still a powerful form of recognition.
Let's say that you have an employee who has been doing a project on the side to help out
the company. They could be trying out a new skill they have learned and are experimenting
with it. A great way to recognize these efforts is to offer a promotion that incorporates
these new skills, provide a pay raise, or even offer a certification.
You want to encourage them to continue to learn and develop— and acknowledging any extra
work they are doing is a good first step. So, look at ways to incorporate that into a
system where they can be compensated for additional work or for extra roles that they take
on. This step creates an environment where innovation is valued and rewarded.
Recognize Them Publicly
This stat may shock you. But did you know that
70 percent of workers
who responded to a survey said that meaningful recognition "had no dollar value?" The
professionals cared more about the recognition itself than money. As humans, we are wired
to care about what other people think about us. When we receive positive feedback about
our work, it is empowering and meets our need to be accepted and validated.
So, one of the best ways you can recognize your employees is by doing it publicly. You
can use the holidays as a way to do this. Are you having a virtual Christmas gathering?
Are you developing any blog posts or articles for an end-of-the-year newsletter? If so,
consider acknowledging workers who have contributed their all throughout the year. Use
it as a time to publicly recognize the excellent work of your team. They will appreciate it.
Have Goals That You Track for the Entire Year
The end of the year is a time for reflection, and what greater way to recap the entirety
of the year than to see what occurred regarding your goals? Did you set any productivity,
sales, or operations goals at the beginning of the year or even the quarter? Well, you can
keep your team engaged by tracking the progress throughout the year and then revealing the
final result at the end. You can use this as a way to celebrate your team if you met the
goal or discuss the progress you did make.
Revealing the final numbers could be a defining event of a holiday party or end-of-year
meeting. You can even raise the stakes by creating a little healthy and constructive
competition between workers or departments. Ultimately, if you met the goals, you want
to find a way to reward everyone. This action could be in the form of gift cards, an
extra day off, or other workplace perks. Again, having a goal that you are tracking for
the entirety of the year gives everyone something to look forward to as the holidays approach.
Just Say Thank You
This entry may seem like a simple step, but it is effective. Think about the last time
you did something meaningful for someone. How did you feel when they said, "thank you?"
Those two words can pack a big punch when it comes to making someone feel valued. It can even
increase trust and improve relationship building.
You want to have a way to convey this to your teams. This action can be in the form of a
video that is a collection of meaningful moments throughout the year that commemorates the
work everyone has done, a personal letter signed by the CEO, or a video message from all
of the company's leadership
When doing this, be sure to have specific things that you are thanking your teams for.
These things could include goals met or even the way your teams handled a challenging time.
It can be easy to forget to say thank you, but these words are an essential part of
recognizing and empowering your employees.
A Little Appreciation Goes a Long Way
You never know what your team members are going through. Everyone has challenges that
they face daily, and many of your workers are likely setting that aside to do the work
that is expected of them.
Additionally, the end of the year can stress those trying to tie up loose ends at work
and home. Creating moments to appreciate what they have done will go a long way in
making them feel valued and appreciated. This action builds stronger bonds between your
employees and your company, making it more likely that they will stick around for the long haul.
Can employee recognition help you keep them longer?,
New Employee Study Shows Recognition Matters More Than Money,
Recognizing Employees Is the Simplest Way to Improve Morale,
The Ripple Effects of a Thank You,