Five Reasons to Recognize Your Employees This Holiday Season

Posted on December 21, 2010 by Don MacPherson.

The holiday season is here and before you get swept away in all of the hustle and bustle, there’s one extremely important thing that you cannot forget to do. Luckily, you won’t have to fight traffic or get sucked into an online bidding frenzy in order to cross it off of your to-do list. All you have to do is think clearly, speak from the heart, and tell your employees how much you appreciate what they do.

As a time when people come together to celebrate, the holiday season provides an ideal opportunity for organizations to cultivate positive relationships with employees. The end of the year lends itself handily to taking an inventory of the accomplishments of your organization, but it’s also a perfect time to reflect on your employees’ contributions to the team.

While many people feel an extra helping of stress this time of year, with all the holiday trappings of gift-giving, family gatherings, travel, etc., think of the positive bond you can forge with your employees by giving them something to feel good about. And for those that approach the New Year with a surge of optimism, recognizing their recent contributions will give them something to build upon.

While some organizations have more resources than others for things like bonuses, holiday parties and gifts, we all have the same number of hours in a day and every leader has the opportunity to make a personal gesture to demonstrate their appreciation for their employees. With that in mind, I’ve put together this list of five convincing reasons to go out and spread good cheer by recognizing your employees this holiday season.

1.    Recognition is a Strong Driver of Employee Engagement

Research has proven time and time again that recognition and appreciation is the number one driver of employee engagement. Knowing that their contributions are valued does more to motivate employees than seeing opportunities for career development, believing in the organization’s future, or even financial compensation. Since the benefits of having a highly engaged workforce include increased profitability, market share, and customer satisfaction/loyalty, all good business leaders ought to be recognizing the value of their employees and demonstrating how much they are appreciated.

2.    Recognition Is Free

Whether it’s due to fiscal year-end budget maneuvering or the seasonal cash drain of holiday and/or year-end bonuses, many organizations simply don’t have a lot of extra money to throw around come late December. Luckily it doesn’t cost anything to recognize your employees’ efforts. That’s right, the number one thing you can do to increase your employees’ engagement in their work is absolutely, no strings attached, free! You’d have to be a sucker not to take advantage of it.

3.    Employees Can’t Get Enough

We’ve all heard the expression, “You can’t get enough of a good thing.” While that famous aphorism may not hold true for beer or pizza, it certainly does when it comes to employee recognition, at least the right kind of recognition. Sure, you could devalue the act by showering your employees with meaningless praise for every little thing – “Hey, great job making it to work on time today!” But if you remember to keep it specific, timely and genuine, the more recognition you can dole out the merrier. Nobody complains about being recognized for a job legitimately well done.

4.    Your Employees Deserve It

Your employees have endured the most difficult economic times since the Great Depression. They’ve watched as friends, family, maybe even co-workers have been laid off. At most organizations they’ve been asked to do more with less. And now, as many organizations are picturing better times ahead, and more employment opportunities are emerging, do you think your employees will want to stay somewhere where they feel unrecognized and underappreciated? The truth is, many organizations have been able to stay afloat precisely because of the extra effort their workforce has put it. When someone goes out of their way to help, it’s just common courtesy to show your appreciation. As we wind down to the end of the calendar year, it’s a natural time of reflection and a perfect opportunity to express gratitude by doling out recognition where it’s due.

5.    Recognition Reinforces Good Behaviors

Beyond the basic motivational element, showing recognition and appreciation for specific actions or accomplishments provides clarity as to what’s really important. It allows leaders an opportunity to reinforce the behaviors that you want them to repeat, and unlike during a performance review, it can be all positive and informal. And by doing it now, you may be able to tap into some of the psychological impact of New Year’s resolutions, when so many of us are thinking of ways to improve ourselves in the coming year.

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Blog Archive