The holidays are meant to be a joyous, peaceful and thankful time but in our ever politically correct and diverse world the simple act of wishing someone a Happy Holiday's can be misinterpreted. I once worked for a company that had their "Holiday Party" in mid-January just to keep from stepping on anyone religious observance.
So how do you go about rewarding, honoring and commemorating those who make your work life bearable if not enjoyable this time of the year. Pink magazine by way of their Little Pink Book put together a list that I like very much. Think of it as the Oprah's favorite things of corporate giving. Some of my favorites include:
- Mail a handwritten letter to their family. Thank them for sharing their loved one with your organization. The lines of work and home life have blurred with the advent of technology, sometimes resulting in the sacrifice of family time. This will show the person’s family that their hard work is noticed and appreciated and will have a much greater impact than a simple email.
- Have a lunch and give employees the floor. Hold it in a comfortable, round table setting. Highlighting the organization’s open door policy will help ease unsure employees that the company wants to hear their ideas.
- Transfer an Executive Perk. Businesses often have perks extended to their executive staff. If your company gives out benefits like complimentary car washes, a club membership or a restaurant coupon, raffle off an opportunity to share this benefit with your staff.
Another one I would add to the list that I copied from great boss I had years ago is to take your employees, collaborators, freelancers, etc out for their birthday for a one on one lunch. Don't talk about performance like you do during a review but instead just share a meal and thank the person for the countless small things that they do to make your life easier. Doing it on birthday's spreads it out over the year and so it doesn't become another rush to get done before the end of the year. The feedback you get one on one out of the office will be well spent.
Have you ever received a holiday intangible thank you that was worth far more than a frozen turkey or a ham?