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Handwriting a note

While you may do your best to spread seasonal cheer and appreciation, bear in mind that this time of year may not be all sparkles and snowflakes for your employees.
Between 61 to 65% percent of workers feel elevated stress during the Christmas holidays due to factors including money, family expectations, heavier work duties and travel demands.
While you can’t solve everyone’s problems for them, expressing employee appreciation during the festive season is a powerful way to build goodwill that will last long after the Christmas tree has been composted. Here are seven tips for sharing true merriment (or at least some momentary comfort) with your employees in December.

1. Deliver individual, handwritten notes
Almost all our written communications now take place online, so the simple act of putting ink on paper adds a real sense of importance to whatever is being said. Concentrate on each employee’s specific strengths, challenges, and achievements, when acknowledging their contributions on paper. Even better, avoid using Christmas cards for this, and then is doesn’t seem like an obligatory act.
2. Facilitate relaxation
Brighten everyone’s day by bringing in an on-site massage therapist to offer free shoulder massages or in-chair back rubs. Maybe set up a wrapping station by providing free wrapping paper, tape and scissors – and the space to spread out – so that employees can use it (and socialise) during breaks.
3. Be flexible
If the weather turns bad, commuting becomes complicated. And if the schools close, life gets even tricker for parents. Letting your people work remotely or adjust their hours can go a long way towards relieving family stress. You could even enable employees to bring their children to work – the cost of a few games or a temporary child carer could be a small investment compared to lost wages, and you’ll certainly earn brownie points from your team.
4. Serve festive food
In a workplace survey, 51% of respondents said that perks involving food made them feel valued and appreciated by their employers, and Christmas certainly gives you plenty of options for fun food treats. Keep some of the offerings vegetarian and gluten free, and if end-of-year tasks are causing your staff to burn the midnight oil, ordering in some pizzas can make all the difference in people’s commitment to stay until the job is done.
5. Support volunteering
According to a Deloitte study, building a company culture of volunteering pays valuable dividends in the form of employee morale and brand perception. Christmas is a time when many people would like to make a positive contribution to the wellbeing of others, so see what you could do as a team to contribute to your local community causes, or larger national charities.
6. Encourage employee recognition
Employees need to feel appreciated by co-workers as well as by supervisors. In a “recognition-rich environment,” according to Gallup, employees who feel adequately recognized (including by their peers) are only half as likely to quit during the following year as those who don’t feel appreciated. The holiday season offers fresh new approaches for co-workers to gift each other, including “Secret Santa” programs and cookie or gift exchanges. Provide the initiative to get the ball rolling, and offer logistical support to any employee who wants to spearhead a recognition program of seasonal fun.
7. Leave the party early
“While bosses are (mostly) nice people, it’s a well-known fact that no-one wants to sit next to them at the Christmas party, because then they have to behave.”
Tine Thygesen 
Recognition is an essential part of your company culture all year round. Talk to our fabulous  Achievers team if you think your organisation could do better at building a recognition culture.
Posted: 12/5/2017 8:00:00 AM | with 0 comments
  • All
  • Employee Engagement
  • Recognition
  • Retention
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