Use the Holiday Season to Showcase Your Employee Appreciation

Here are some ideas for how to express gratitude to your workers for their year-round efforts

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The holiday season is a time for joy, generosity, gratitude and gift-giving. And if that informs the way we treat our friends and family members, it should also impact the way employers regard their personnel.

The holiday season is an excellent opportunity to show your employees that you recognize and appreciate their good work. An expression of gratitude isn’t just seasonally appropriate, though. It can also be a smart, strategic investment in the ongoing morale and retention of your top talents. In other words, the goodwill you generate through your seasonal shows of appreciation can echo throughout the months that follow.

There’s more than one way to show your employees that they are valued, and depending on your budget you may wish to combine multiple options. Here are some suggestions.

Ease financial burdens

Make no mistake: There’s no form of employee appreciation that goes over better than cold, hard cash. If you can afford seasonal bonuses, your employees will undoubtedly be delighted. But if your budget is too tight for that, you can at least consider gift cards or special discount codes for major retailers, providing a little bit of ease during the (expensive) season of gift-giving.

Food and frivolity

Outside of money, one thing that all employees love is food. A nice employee lunch or dinner can go a long way toward showing your gratitude, whether that’s a catered taco bar in the office or a night out at an elegant restaurant. You can scale up your food offering into an office party, bringing in music, decor, white elephant gift exchanges and other forms of seasonal fun.

Music and decor

A couple holiday-specific perks that will cost you very little: Spruce up your workspaces with seasonal decor and allow your office staff to play holiday music should they desire. Sometimes simply allowing your personnel to get into the seasonal spirit can go a long way toward boosting morale.

Personal acknowledgement

You know the old saying about gifts: It’s the thought that counts. One way to show your staff that you’re thinking about them is to provide personal expressions of thanks. When the leader of the team writes individual notes of gratitude for each team member, it goes a long way toward helping them feel like what they do is seen and valued.

Extra time off

In lieu of direct cash bonuses, employees may also appreciate having extra time to be with family members. This of course can be tough for home service businesses, which may require someone to be on-call 24/7, but providing even a day of extra holiday time (or a half-day) can be meaningful.

Volunteer opportunities

This may almost sound counterintuitive, but a final option for showing employees you appreciate them is to get out of the office for an afternoon to participate in a group service project. This can be a great way of honoring employees by giving them purposeful, missional work to do outside their normal activities.

About the author: Amanda E. Clark is the president and editor-in-chief of Grammar Chic, a full-service professional writing company. She is a published ghostwriter and editor, and she's currently under contract with literary agencies in Malibu, California and Dublin. Since founding Grammar Chic in 2008, Clark, along with her team of skilled professional writers, has offered expertise to clients in the creative, business and academic fields. The company accepts a wide range of projects; often engages in content and social media marketing; and drafts resumes, press releases, web content, marketing materials and ghostwritten creative pieces. Contact Clark at


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