Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the United States, and for many, it is full of tradition. Whether at home or in the workplace, gratitude fills the air with the holiday season.
For me, every Thanksgiving dinner, my family starts a conversation with the same question. We go around the table and ask: what are you most thankful for? This conversation is such an effective connecting point for us. If you haven't already, perhaps it's time to ask yourself and others: what are you most thankful for?
The holiday season provides a great opportunity for leadership to spread warmth and thanks to colleagues in a way that can strengthen your workplace culture and nurture the relationships that are essential to collective success. Below are three tips to show your appreciation and have some fun with your team.
Tip #1: Take time out to connect.
The end of the year can be a hectic one filled with deadlines and quotas. The idea of taking time out of people's already jam-packed schedules during the day might seem daunting, however, the break can actually rejuvenate a team's spirit and make this last push more enjoyable.
Take your team out to lunch or throw a holiday potluck—kick back and enjoy each other's company.This will remind your team that you realize they are working hard and you value what they do.
Tip #2: Write it down.
There isn't anything quite like receiving a handwritten note. The time it takes to pick out the card, write the message, and even the physical act of handing it to your recipient shows you value and care about them. There's not always time throughout the year to verbalize to your employees how thankful you are for what they do. This is the perfect time to put pen to paper with what you really want to say.
In the busy bustle of day-to-day life, sometimes we just give generic thank yous. The problem? Thank yous become routine and lose their impact. Make your thank you more meaningful by explaining how the person's action made your day that much easier or better.
When you say thank you, also communicate why someone's kind words or actions really made an impact. Be specific. Paint the picture. You may be surprised how much those who helped you enjoy hearing the effects they had. No thank you is too small, so share away!
Tip #3: Have a conversation.
There are times when talk is cheap—this is not one of them! The mentality toward the end of the year can be to put your head down and finish strong. While it's important to not lose sight of your team's deliverables—their hard work is worth mentioning.
If you have regular meetings with your employees, take time to verbalize why you appreciate them.Better yet, before the meeting, spend a little time and look at the projects they've been working on so you can bring specific examples of ways they've impressed you this year. If you don't typically have these one-on-one meetings, ask if you can schedule one with your employees and use the time to boost their holiday spirit.
Although the holidays give extra emphasis to appreciation, don't forget to practice Gratitude 365. Expressing thanks shouldn't only happen in the months of November and December. Make it a daily practice within your organization by making it a part of every meeting—be it 1:1s, smaller work gatherings, or larger office meetings. Start each of these meetings by first expressing your appreciation—it could be as simple as a thank you for showing up, or a shout out to an employee going above and beyond.
As a leader, have you thought about how you can show your team some appreciation this holiday?
For more ways to communicate thanks, check out our blog post on how to create warm fuzzies.