For organizations and employees everywhere, it’s been an undoubtedly difficult year. An uncertain economy. Record-high unemployment numbers. Increased workload and stress. The toll on personal relationships and finances.
It can be difficult to look beyond these circumstances and focus on anything else, though there are certainly positive things to look toward. Signs of improvement in the economy. Improvement in the job market. Opportunities that can arise from struggles.
If your team is overwhelmed by their present reality, now is the perfect time to add some joy into their lives. Finding creative and meaningful ways to thank your team for their persistence, perseverance, and commitment through this difficult year may be just the thing your employees need to get them energized. About the work they are doing. The people they are helping. The contribution they are making.
After all, leadership expert John C. Maxwell writes in The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork, “When you do good, you feel good – when you feel good, you do good.” So, how can you thank your team for everything they’re doing well right now? Use these ideas as a place to start.
- Discover every win. Start by uncovering every win, from big to small, your team has had this year. After all, “Nothing boosts morale like winning and then celebrating it,” Maxwell notes. To discover your team’s wins, start by thinking about the things you are thankful for as a leader. Do you still have a team of talented people you work with? Are you making goals and plans for a successful new year? Did the challenge of this year bring to light possibilities your business has never considered before? Have you found new ways to do business or improved the quality of your customer service? Make a list of every accomplishment so you can encourage your team based on the victories they’ve achieved.
- Celebrate together. After you discover every win, find a way to celebrate with your team. No matter what your budget, you can find a way to celebrate your success this year. If you’re on a tight budget, consider bringing homemade baked goods or desserts. It could be as simple as inviting team members to bring dishes for a potluck lunch and saying thanks by letting everyone take a double lunch hour to enjoy the meal together. You could go all out and host a holiday or gratitude party to demonstrate your thanks to your team. Making your celebration an event is a great way to build camaraderie and create lasting memories of celebrating shared successes.
- Give a gift that matters. Holiday bonuses may not be in the budget this year. But that doesn’t mean a gift of some sort has to be out of the question. If you have a small enough team, consider giving a personalized gift to each employee. Or, give the gift of time and offer an extra day of paid time off when the schedule allows. No matter how grand or small the gesture, a sincere gift from the boss can be a meaningful and valuable encouragement.
- Equip a positive reality. Celebrations, gestures, and gifts are all very important ways to encourage your team, especially as the holiday season approaches and we gear up for a great new year. But, don’t lose sight of the direction your team needs in order to move forward into continued success. After all, encouragement isn’t just about celebrating the destination, it’s about motivating the journey. So, before the year ends, set goals for your company, and encourage each team member to develop personal goals that will help them achieve the vision of a great reality. As a leader, the most important thing you can do to encourage your team is to equip them for continued success and improvement.
Every individual wants to know that their work matters and is appreciated – whether by a crowd of adoring fans or just their boss and team. Appreciation and encouragement are more than simply buzzwords. They are how we all measure our personal success and find fulfillment in our work. So, find ways to make your team feel appreciated this year so you can set the tone for a fantastic future.
This article is published courtesy of Express Employment Professionals. The Burnaby office, located at 405-5050 Kingsway is currently taking applications. For more information, stop by the office, call 604-433-0353 or visit the Express Web site at www.expresspros.com
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