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It’s that time of year. A time for Christmas parties and thank you gifts. What do you think your staff want? More money, cold hard cash, praise, a new title or a new car? Well, they may have to settle for some food, good times and a little love and attention. The trick with saying thanks is trying to do one or more things that will make your staff feel appreciated and valued without breaking the bank or using up all your weekend putting it together. Below is an assortment of ideas to thank staff and bring in the holiday season with a kick.
Cash always is a winner with staff. Who doesn’t feel appreciated when receiving a cash Christmas bonus. For those business owners who have already started this trend, it can feel like a bad idea, particularly if you haven’t had the best year financially. Once the Christmas bonus trend is started, it soon becomes a norm with staff banking on it annually and expecting it to increase. If you don’t have a lot of cash or don’t want to travel down this windy road, then try one or more of the options below.
Sharing a meal with people is a great way to say thanks. It doesn’t have to be dinner on a private yacht. Plenty of restaurants offer separate rooms or areas where you can create a little ambience for a more private Christmas party. A little area or room can make all the difference when you want to hear what a staff member is saying and offers a good prelude for a short thank you speech. Breakfast out might work better for your team, could be easier to book and you won’t need to provide alcohol. An in-house party can be a fun way to bring on Christmas with heaps of fast food ordering options, such as pizza, Asian food, chicken and chips or staff could bring a plate to share. Also, you can supply alcohol without spending a fortune.
Nowadays you can get a voucher for almost anything. This is an easy option if you aren’t sure what to get staff. This way staff can decide on their gift or utilise their experience when it suits them.
A great idea to increase morale and have some laughs. Who wouldn’t want to be boss for the day? There could be some perks offered such as your car spot, mug, offering to make them tea or coffee and other general courtesies.
It is a nice gesture to let staff off early on the last working day before Christmas. Other good options could be letting staff leave early to get ready for your big dinner out or after the in-house Christmas lunch party.
Not for every workplace, but certainly a winner for those young at heart and who like to dress up or down. For industries who see a lot of customers, it may be a good idea to hold this day nearer to Christmas when customer throughput is less frequent. If you cannot avoid customers, then a sign stating that is it a pyjama day will help reassure customers that you and your staff have not gone mad.
There is an array of small gifts you can pick up at shops and many of these can seem insensitive or useless. For instance, I remember receiving a small glass container filled with lollies and a bow on it. I ate the lollies but wasn’t overly impressed by the jar. A better small gift is a succulent plant. They are a hardy plant and can survive the abuse of most ‘plant killers’ out there. For those who like to be a little creative, a single flower vase with your favourite flower included is a nice thank you gift.
As these gifts are small, a little more effort in the wrapping department can make your small gift look fabulous. For some snazzy ideas on dressing up small gifts, get onto Pinterest.
Magazines, like gift cards, have a huge range of options to choose from. Surely there is a magazine to suit each of your staff’s interests.
Baking is a lovely way to say thanks and shows that you have personally taken the time to make something tasty for people that you value. Just be mindful of dietary requirements before you get started and have a backup option for them.
It might be a bit extravagant for some workplaces. If you can justify it, then your brownie points with staff will go through the roof with this one. It might be a Christmas in July option for those of us who enjoy a snowy white Christmas.
This one will usually make everyone happy as the coffee truck or delivery will also have tea and hot chocolate options for those of us who don’t drink liquid gold.
Write their Christmas card with a couple of stand-out achievements or contributions they made to your business. It doesn’t have to be a performance appraisal and can include special thanks about them personally and/or their attitude at work.
This isn’t for all the bosses out there. For those who don’t mind being in front of a lens then this is a different way to express thanks to your staff. It doesn’t have to be a studio production. My only advice is pick up a cheap tripod for your mobile phone to stand on as you don’t want a shaky hand interfering with your sincere message.
The brag board could have any theme you like from favourite customer comments, favourite movies or books to the best holidays you’ve been on. It can help everyone bond and maybe learn something about their fellow teammates.
Ask staff to bring in baby photos and have a competition to guess who is who. The staff member to guess all the babies correctly wins a hamper or bottle of wine. Baby photos always generate lots of interesting conversations among people.
Have a caricaturist visit your work for a few hours and provide fun portraits of staff. This is a great way to have a laugh and provide staff with a take-home memento. Just remember that the caricaturist needs time to create his/her masterpieces so allow enough time for all staff to get involved.
I personally love this one, but it isn’t for everyone. A first-rate prize for the best dressed is a sure-fire way to gain more traction with those party poopers.
Therapists will come onsite and provide massages for staff. The prices and services provided differ from company to company. Some will come with a chair, beds, towels and oils, just let them know what you prefer. This is a splendid way to show your appreciation for your hard-working employees. It is sure to have them thank you right back.
Caroline Leigh, Marketing & Sales