Giving to your company's greatest asset pays off.
By Abbey DeHart
J.W. Marriott explained it perfectly when he said, "If you take care of your people, your people will take care of your customers, and your business will take care of itself."
The foundation of a good business relies on taking care of the people you employ to run it. The holidays are the perfect time to make employees feel special and show your staff that you appreciate and care about them. When employers overlook the holidays, it can easily make their staff feel unappreciated and undervalued, which will not help your business.
Read on for ideas on how to keep the holiday spirit alive through celebrations, gift giving and giving back.
Involve your employees with a holiday decorating contest. Encourage them to decorate their offices, cubes or work stations and offer a prize for the best decorated office selected by management.
2.Throw a Holiday Party
Consider hosting an interoffice ugly sweater party or a theme party to dress up as your favorite holiday character-channel your inner Clark Griswold or Ebenezer Scrooge, or maybe Cindy Lou Hoo will make an appearance.
Sponsor a corporate event where you can give back to the community in some way. Host a Toys for Tots gift drive or choose a few local families to sponsor for the holidays.
4.Pay It Forward
If you're gifting your staff with bonuses this year, consider gifting them an extra stipend to "pay it forward." This gives them an opportunity to spread joy during the holiday season and give back to the community in their own way without sacrificing much-needed funds for their families. Alternatively, you could donate money in your employees' names to the charity of their choice.
5.Keep Gift Options Open
If none of the above ideas work and you're looking to keep it simple, consider giving your staff some options for their holiday gifts. Grocery store and hardware store gifts cards are always appreciated. Give your employees the choice of where they would like their gift cards from as another way to show you value their input.
6.Give Employees a Day Off
Maybe your company is a small business, and as much as you'd like to spoil your staff for the holidays, it's just not possible. Giving "coupons" to your staff for things like longer lunch breaks, half-days off without using their leave time or "dress down" days is a less cost-prohibitive option for the holidays.
7. Make Memories
Sometimes the best way for a company to share the holidays with their staff is to allow them to make memories with their coworkers and families. Rather than a holiday cash gift or gift card, consider sponsoring an employee night out with the families.
Invite staff and their families to attend something like Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo, or give them tickets to take their families on a Polar Express Train Ride. Include dinner or treats so that all the costs are covered and they can simply enjoy a nice evening out. They will appreciate that you gave them the chance to create memories with their families and loved ones.
8.Give a Useful Gift
Gift your employees with an item that they could truly use and appreciate in their everyday business dealings at your company. This is ideal for larger companies with sizeable holiday budgets, but big-ticket items like Apple iWatches or iPads, nice leather binders or personalized desk items will wow your staff-plus it shows that you truly do appreciate them and want to enable them in the workplace.
Whatever the case may be, whether large or small, simple or extravagant, it is so important to celebrate the holidays with your staff and find ways to make it special for them. Workplace morale will increase, and simple acts of kindness and appreciation will help you retain good employees and make them remember why they want to work hard for you.
Abbey DeHart is a working mother that crunches numbers during the day and blogs by night. A widely-published blogger on sites like HomeRight and Angie's List, Abbey also writes for Home Depot about DIY projects, design and organizational topics for readers both at home and in the workplace. Abbey works and lives in central Ohio with her husband and two kids.