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Three Ways to Show Your Employees You Appreciate Them

By Marcia Richards Suelzer, MA, JD | October 28, 2013

The approaching holiday season provides an opportunity to show your employees that you appreciate the contributions they make to the success of your business. While there is some truth to the currently popular quip, "haters gotta hate," and you often can't please everyone, most employees appreciate gestures that you make to show them that they are valued and respected.

To be well-received, the gestures of appreciation must be about the employees, not about you and not about the business. This means you must evaluate what the recipient would appreciate by looking at your plans through your employees' eyes. To do this requires that you know your employees and have an appreciation for the stresses and joys of their everyday life. (This pays dividends year-round because taking a few moments to interact personally with your employees is in itself an excellent way to show they are valued.)

Many employers opt for a holiday party. However, this is a tradition that many workers fail to appreciate, seeing the party as an obligation that cuts into family or personal time, forces them to incur costs, or places them into socially awkward situations. This year, before you plan the party, consider these three options for showing employees that you appreciate the work they put in day -in and day out.

Offer flexible scheduling. Recognize that your employees have lives outside of work and provide for flex-time to enable them to participate in family, community or religious events. Of course, you have a business to run and the holiday period may be one of your busiest seasons, but flexible scheduling can be implemented in a way that allows you to meet your business needs. You may already have employees fill out availability schedules. In this case, take time to communicate to your employees that you want to make a special effort to provide them flexibility during this time of the year.

Give everyone a few hours off (with pay). Nowadays, time really can be the most valuable and most scarce resource. Review your balance sheets and your staffing needs and determine if you can afford to give each employee a few hours off with pay during the last few months of the year. Of course, you will need to have employees schedule this time in a way that does not disrupt your business, but most businesses should be able to implement such a plan.

Give a gift. Determine what you would spend on the holiday party per employee and give each one a gift of that amount, perhaps in the form of a gift card. If you haven't given parties in the past, simply decide on an appropriate amount per employee. And, regardless of whether you opt for cash or a gift card, take the time to write a personal note of appreciation to each employee.

Work Smart

You can claim a business expense deduction for gifts to employees of up to $25 per employee per year.

Whether you host a party or use one of these three suggested methods, you will find that showing appreciation will enhance your employees' morale and loyalty to you and your business.

Office & HR

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