Giving Thanks – Low Cost Employee Recognition


Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on more than just the turkey, stuffing and football.  This holiday is a nice time for you, as a business leader, to recognize the hard work your associates do to drive your bottom line.  “Bersin & Associates completed a comprehensive research project on employee recognition (saying thank you) and the results are really astounding: organizations that give regular thanks to their employees far out perform those that don’t.” 1

Realizing some companies don’t have large Human Resource budgets, here are our low cost suggestions for giving thanks to your employees this year.

1.)   Don’t forget the simple manners you learned as a kid.  Please and thank you go a long way with associates.  No budget is too small for manners and showcasing a polite workplace is appreciated by all.

2.)   With Thanksgiving being all about the food, bring that to the office.  Host a simple potluck and get the group together for office bonding.

3.)   Host a food drive.  Pick a favorite charity among associates and for the holiday week collect food and drop off at the organization they chose.  The morale from showing care will return their enhanced care for your company.

4.)   Offer a flexible work schedule during holiday weeks.  If coverage is key, work this in with a calendar where co-workers can balance their time off with each other.  It may even produce more productivity for the shortened hours they’re there and increase positive workplace thoughts during the holiday season.

5.)   Bring in breakfast.  Who doesn’t appreciate a donut or bagel brought in?

6.)   Send a note.  If your company is small enough, a short but hand-written acknowledgment note goes a long way.  If your company is too large for the CEO to handle such a task, send a personalized e-card.

7.)   Present recognition for a task well done publicly.  During your staff and/or board meeting, showcase the results giving credit to the attributed employee.

As suggested, Thanksgiving is a great time to say thanks, but year-round use every opportunity to show your employees gratitude.  The connection between effective employee recognition and employee engagement has been proven since the beginning of time.  Engaged employees are critical to your company’s success.  Read more about Bersin’s study results.

1        Forbes 6/13/2012