What are your plans for Thanksgiving? If you work at one of the growing number of businesses that plans to stay open or open early for Black Friday, you’re more likely to be stocking shelves or ringing up customers than watching football and wondering if the turkey is done. (It needs to reach 170ºF in the thigh, by the way.)
According to the National Retail Federation, the holiday season is the busiest time of the year, and getting busier: In 2012, holiday sales increased by more than $20 billion, thus creating the demand for an even larger holiday workforce. But what’s good for business isn’t necessarily as good for employees who have to give up valuable family time to meet these needs.
Recognizing employees who make these sacrifices is important. Here are a few simple ideas to keep spirits bright throughout the holiday season.
1. Give Time. For many businesses, shuttering their doors or approving all holiday vacation requests isn’t an option. What is an option is giving that time “back” to employees, such as asking them if there is a future date they’d like off to spend with family and friends, followed by making the approval of that date a priority.
2. Never Too Busy for Thank You. Even when we’re busier than ever, it’s important to take every opportunity to engage with employees and thank them. A quick, sincere thank you at the end of a shift or a pat on the back in the break room shows employees that their time is not taken for granted.
3. Celebrate With Work Family. Every family has their own traditions, so why not start some at work? A plate of special holiday snacks can be placed in the break room for employees to grab and go. Teams can be invited to bring in their favorite homemade treats and vote on the winner. Or holiday meals can be served, along with a warm word of thanks.
4. Send It Home. It’s important to recognize those who are also making a sacrifice: employees’ families. One way to do this is by sending a handwritten note to each employee’s house thanking his or her family for their support. This lets them know how much their family member’s service is admired and appreciated.
5. Get Creative. Recognize your team’s sacrifice by spending a few minutes creating something with a personal touch. Paint a thank you poster. Decorate the break room. Recognize an employee of the hour for a day. A team will appreciate the effort you made during these busy times.