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Best Ways To Reward Employees This Holiday Season

The holiday season is all about giving. This year, take the time to reward your employees for all of the hard work they do. Get creative, and find a reward that your employees will truly appreciate. Gift giving is a wonderful way to motivate your team and let them know how much you care. According to some of the top business leaders, here are some of the best ways to reward your employees this holiday season.

Give A Hand-Written Thank You Note

Amanda E. Johnson, Chief Marketing Officer TatBrow

One of my best and favorite ways to reward employees during the holiday season is to provide each and every employee with a hand-written thank you note. In the retail world, the holidays are busy, hectic, and incredibly stressful. As such, employers sometimes forget that their employees are not cogs in a machine, but actual humans who are affected by their environment. Indeed, a simple thank-you note is one of the best ways to “humanize” your employees. Although many will choose to financially reward their employees, these actions are empty without proper acknowledgement and recognition.

Donate to Charitable Causes

Jared Pobre, Co-Founder Caldera + Lab

‘Tis the season for giving. And charitable giving is the best way to connect with employees during the holidays- especially with your remote team members. A good work/life balance allows many remote and hybrid workers to find time during the week for volunteering. And as your employees are your most valuable resource, making a generous contribution in their name to a non-profit that they are passionate about rewards their hard work- both on and off the clock. It also shows you’re interested in and support what they do outside of work. Donating to the various causes your team members care about helps the communities they live in while strengthening the bond you share with your team.

Give Extra Time Off

Chris Cronin, Co-Founding Partner Kitanica

Everyone loves spending time with their family and loved ones during the holidays. So this year, reward your employees by giving them some extra time off during the holiday season. Sometimes one of the best gifts you can give someone is time. Give your employees two or three days off this year and encourage them to take a vacation, or a much needed staycation, to get some rest and relaxation. Not only will this make your employees happy, but it will also allow them to reenergize themselves, so that when they return to work, they will be feeling eager to jump back into their projects.

Give A Holiday Gift Basket

Charlie McKenna, Chef & Founder Lillie’s Q

This year, reward your employees with a gift that the whole family can enjoy. Put together the ultimate holiday gift basket for each member of your team, filled with snacks, holiday goodies, and cold weather gear for the winter season. You can even customize your gift baskets to accomodate for anyone who has any dietary restrictions or food allergies. Make sure to include some festive Christmas cookies, a salty or savory treat, healthy snacks, a hot cocoa set, a warm winter blanket, and a board game for some added fun. Your employees will love the thrill of opening this gift, and will think of you every time they use their items.

Give A Personalized Plaque

David A. DiLorenzo, President Valentino Beauty Pure

To make your employees feel extra valued and special this year, reward them with a personalized plaque for their employment-based and merit-related achievements. An award plaque will show your employees how much you care about them, and also encourages more hard work and productivity. Employees can then display their special awards in their office, on their desk, or at their home. This special reward will motivate your employees and let them know that their work is being seen and appreciated. This helps to build employee loyalty, and will help your business to retain top talent. Plaques and awards also foster a sense of teamwork, and an overall greater sense of employee satisfaction. Since the holidays are all about giving, this is a great way to reward your employees with a meaningful gift.

Give A Holiday Bonus

Lisa Odenweller, CEO and Founder Kroma Wellness

One of the most favorite and classic ways to reward your employees during the holiday season is with a special, holiday bonus. This reward will help your employees by giving them a little bit extra to spend during the holidays, which is one of the most expensive times of the year. A holiday bonus can be given as a flat dollar amount to all employees, or it can be based on a percentage of an employee’s salary. Be sure to do your research before giving bonuses, because depending on the dollar amount, the bonuses could be taxed, since all bonuses are considered compensation. All in all, rewarding your team with a holiday bonus is a great way to boost employee morale and will encourage quality performance for the future.

Give A Holiday Beauty Kit

Sheila Chaiban, CEO One Ocean Beauty

Reward your employees with a holiday beauty kit this year, personalized to their needs. Everyone loves getting a hydrating moisturizer, or soothing bath items, to indulge in and revitalize their body. Be sure to give clean, sustainable products that will be healthy for your employee’s skin. Your employees will love creating a new morning skincare routine with the fabulous products from your beauty kite. Include a hand-written note of appreciation with this gift, and a gift card to your employee’s favorite nail salon for a warm, thoughtful touch.

Give A Gift Card For A Local Grocery Store

Summer Romasco, Brand Strategist and Marketing Director Burner

A great reward that is useful, and helpful to employees for the holidays is a gift card to a local grocery store. This way, your employees can have some help when shopping for food this holiday season, and will think of you when they dive into their holiday feast. Turkey, pies, and food for the family can be expensive during the holidays, so this practical gift will be something that all of your employees will be able to use and enjoy. This gift is also a great way to support local grocery stores that give back in your community.

Give A Fitness Inspired Gift

Mike Clare, CEO Mood Health

Part of the holiday season is all about making new resolutions for the upcoming year. If you want to invest in your employee’s health, give them a fitness inspired gift this holiday season. A fitness inspired gift can include everything from a gym membership, a gift certificate for an indoor rock climbing gym, a membership to a yoga studio, or even a smart watch so that employees can get their steps in, while at the office, or at home. This gift will take your employee’s health and wellness goals to the next level, and it will also save them some money.

Give A Spa Gift Basket

Ajay Mehta, Co-Founder and CEO Birthdate Candles

This year for the holidays, reward your employees with a spa basket complete with some cozy slippers, bath salts, a soothing lotion, a holiday scented candle, and a gift certificate for a relaxing massage and spa day. Spa baskets are easy to assemble, and will allow you to choose a variety of gifts to truly pamper your employees. This wonderful holiday gift will help promote self care and will allow your employees to take a little time for themselves. Encourage your employees to make some time out of their busy schedule this holiday season for some much needed pampering and stress relief. This is also a great gift idea because it contains items that people want, but oftentimes don’t spend money on for themselves.

Say Thank You

Robert Funk, Co-Founder Express Employment Professionals

During the holiday season, it’s important for businesses to show their appreciation to their employees. It can be disheartening for an employee to feel unappreciated, yet our poll indicates that more than a fifth of employers won’t give their workers anything this holiday season. You don’t have to be extravagant about your holiday bonuses, but it’s important to show recognition. Showing appreciation is investing in your employees. It improves morale and increases loyalty. It’s good for business. So even if you’re struggling through difficult economic times, be sure to say thank you. Even the simplest gesture can go a long way and make the holiday season that much brighter for the people who make your business possible.

Give A Year-End Award

John Challenger, CEO Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Employers across the country have picked up the pace of hiring this year. As the pool of available talent gets shallower, it is critical that companies not overlook the importance of retention. The need to keep the talent they already have, is undoubtedly a driving factor behind the increased percentage of employers awarding year-end bonuses. Despite the lack of six-figure Wall Street-like bonuses, most employees still appreciate the year-end bonus. Mostly, they want to know that their hard work is recognized and appreciated. Many workers would be happy with a $50 gift certificate to a local restaurant or store. Many would probably be happy with an extra day or two of paid vacation at the end of the year. As the economy keeps improving and hiring continues to accelerate, employers may have to up their game when it comes to year-end awards.

Remember to celebrate your employees this year by giving them an extra special reward during the holiday season. This will make your employees feel valued, and will ultimately provide a wonderful boost for your team. When choosing the right gift for your employees, try to really focus on their needs, and select a reward that they will be able to use and appreciate. Happy Holidays!

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