by Roy Saunderson, MA, CRP | November 12, 2018
Thanksgiving Day began as an opportunity to express gratitude for the blessing of the recent harvest and for the preceding year. Now it is a national holiday celebrated on different dates around the world. But what about the workplace? Do we give sufficient thanks to our employees? Follow these 10 Ways to Give Thanks to Your Employees to start off your holiday celebrations.

1. Thank employees by writing some words of inspiration. Look for the positive attributes of your employees. Express some genuine thanks through well-thought-out words in a written card. Realize there would be a huge void if they weren't working with you and your company.

2. Thank employees for their hard work and dedication. Employees don't always have to go above and beyond to be recognized and appreciated. It is the stalwart, faithful and consistent, day-in-day-out workers whom we sometimes forget to acknowledge.

3. Thank your employees with the gift of time. Randomly assign employees days where they can arrange to leave an hour or two earlier, at the end of their shift, as schedules and circumstances permit. Invite them to spend time with their families or encourage them to go gift shopping.

4. Thank employees with seasonal food items. Purchase some tasty desserts like pumpkin and seasonal fruit tarts or pies. Host a sandwich bar with hot turkey and a variety of fixings and a salad bar and alternate foods that respect the dietary needs of all employees.

5. Thank your employees personally, one by one.
 Plan your time to individually invite employees to your office away from a noisy work environment. Or schedule yourself to visit their work area or office. Prepare ahead of time the message of thanks you will convey when you meet each person.

6. Thank employees collectively every chance you get. Share your thanks in team meetings for great teamwork and collaboration when it happens. In town halls or all staff meetings, tell your employees how grateful you are for the work they do that guarantees the financial health of the company.

7. Thank people at the beginning of things. Thank people for considering working with you in a hiring interview. Thank an exceptional employee at the start of a staff meeting. Thank new employees in an onboarding session for their commitment to live the company values.

8. Thank employees at the end of the day. Take time to reflect on who made a difference to you at work today. Now do something to let those employees know the impact they made. Leave a grateful voicemail message for them or write a thank you note and place it in their work area before you leave.

9. Thank those employees who work remotely.
Never neglect to thank those employees who work virtually. They can be easily forgotten because of their lack of visibility. Consider mailing small treats or tokens of appreciation to them and accompany them with words of thanks. 

10. Thank everyone for their personal contributions. Look at the value each employee brings to your organization. Your organization gets to reap the harvest sown from employees' individual contributions. Give thanks for the harvest of contributions through the variety of communication channels available.

Incentive columnist Roy Saunderson is the author of Giving the Real Recognition Way. The Vistance Institute chief learning officer at Rideau Inc., Saunderson provides consulting, learning, and thought leadership services focused on helping leaders and managers give real recognition the right way. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter (@RoySaunderson) and at his blog.