Ending the year on a high note is what every business looks forward to. Whether your team hit company-wide goals or established a low-turnover, employee-driven culture, the end of the year is a great time to reflect on all that has happened to drive your brand growth.
Upon reflection, it is important to encourage year-over-year growth in all aspects of the business. That means keeping employees engaged and motivated to do even better in the new year. To ensure this type of repeat behavior, implement year-end appreciation for your entire team to enjoy.
Why Year-End Appreciation Matters
Employee appreciation is a staple in successful businesses today. Not every type of recognition comes in a tangible form, but many of the promising solutions will include some real measure of celebration. Whether it is providing more time off or gifting your team something that shows you care about their work, appreciation builds the momentum a company needs to scale brand growth.
Personalized Gifts for Employees
No matter if it’s on a budget or a splurge, nothing says holiday spirit and year-end celebration like gift-giving. This year, commemorate all that has happened with personalized gifts for employee recognition. Not only does this recognition honor the individuals that make your business what it is today, but it will help retain top talent, improve productivity and encourage future success.
Gifts for employees come in many folds depending on your company culture, but here is a list to get you started:
- Years of service awards
- Handwritten letters of recognition
- Gift cards
- Company branded swag items
Give Additional PTO
One method of appreciation that is gaining traction in the workplace is additional PTO hours for employees. By year-end, employees may be burnt out, or they may have used up all of their PTO before December even comes around. Either way, gifting additional hours of PTO to your team will never fail when it comes to appreciation.
Team members take this act of kindness to heart knowing that their hard work is recognized and respected. Many vendors and clients gift additional time off around the holidays, therefore, your business is less likely to be disrupted during this lull.
Giving back is a great opportunity to show employees that the culture of the business is more than just hard work. When volunteer experiences are introduced to a business, team bonding can truly flourish.
Find a charity that aligns with your brand or allow team members to pick a charity or volunteer opportunity that echoes their beliefs. Many employers allow a few days of PTO to be used specifically for employees to complete volunteer hours.
Host a Year-End Success Party
Group gatherings are a wonderful form of appreciation that everyone can enjoy. Whether holiday-themed, a short happy hour, or big celebration centered around year-end goals, any type of company party that elicits year-end appreciation is worth throwing.
The team has spent an entire year working towards common goals. Celebrating the small and big wins is a great way to honor your team and show that their work made a difference in the business.
Although recognition can take many shapes, peer-to-peer recognition stands out amongst the rest. This type of recognition creates cohesion in the workplace, promotes cross-team building, and displays a sense of community within the company.
Verbal recognition is amongst the top forms of appreciation that employees enjoy, but when it comes from members of their own team, it elevates the experience trifold. Employees see their work in a whole new light and can be recognized by team members that they don’t often interact with, solidifying a unique and special bond.
Have a Team Building Lunch
Host a team building lunch that includes the entire staff, even the remote team.
- Cater in or do a potluck
- Consider dietary restrictions
- Make it holiday themed
Establish a Corporate Wellness Program for Next Year
Corporate wellness programs are a great way to incorporate a year-end appreciation for your team. Many companies align this with the calendar year, so December is a great month to introduce and prepare the team for what this entails.
Along with many of the ideas in this list, you can shape your corporate wellness program to what aligns best with your company culture and brand. Whether it is wellness stipends that cover mental and physical fitness or establishing flexible schedules, corporate wellness programs reduce stress, improve morale and increase motivation.
Ideas that Appreciate All
No matter what employee appreciation you choose to implement, ensure that it is an inclusive addition to the company culture. Gather the staff at an outing for all or create a program that gives back to everyone in a unique way. When the team is recognized as one, it will encourage synergy and future success for years to come.
Samantha Hausen is a Marketing Operations Manager for Cristaux International – a Chicago-based manufacturing company specializing in recognition programs, custom awards, and trophies. Her thirst for knowledge fueled her career in the world of content. As part of a team dedicated to honoring individuals in the workplace, she encourages brand growth through the power of content.
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