Employee Gifts Only You Can Give - December 21, 2017

The end of the year is often a time of review, reflection and appreciation. In the workplace, there are many ways to show your employees that you care, not only during the holiday season, but all year long. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share these ideas from freelance writer Erin Greenawald for gifts of appreciation you can freely give to those who report to you.

1. Your Attention. Set up casual, one-on-one meetings with each of your direct reports and use this time to ask them a little more about their careers. Ask about their goals and how you can help them. Get their thoughts on how their jobs are going, and see if there's anything you can do to help them perform better. Give them an opportunity to give you feedback. By spending some time listening to what your employees want, you communicate that you want to help them succeed.

2. Very Specific Compliments. Give compliments that are of high value to your employees by making them specific. Greenwald gives these three examples of how to reward an employee who went the extra mile to land a new client:

Good: "Thanks for your hard work, Cathy!"

Better: "Thanks for putting in so much hard work to win over that new client, Cathy!"

Best: "Cathy, I can't tell you how much I appreciate your hard work to land the new Smith account. We've been after that account for several months, so you really stepped up to close an important deal. This is a huge win for you, our team and the entire company."

The "best" option mentions the particular achievement and explains why it was so important and who benefited from it.

3. Opportunities. Find new opportunities for your employees. From the fun (letting them use your office with a view for the afternoon) to the seriously career-boosting (getting them company tickets to a conference, setting up a meeting with a higher-up), your employees will appreciate that you're doing what you can to help them grow.

4. Trust. Showing employees that you trust them is always a great expression of appreciation. It demonstrates that you think their work quality is high enough that you don't feel the need to micromanage them. Show trust by giving your team members a little extra ownership over some project or responsibility. Whether it's a task they no longer need to run by you ("I think you're ready to send the client emails without me looking at them") or a new project or process you can hand over ("I want to pass the responsibility of managing this account over to you—I think you'll do a stellar job!"), try and think of something you can entrust your top employees with.

5. An Open Door. It's easy to get stuck in the daily grind and never really interact with your employees outside of asking when you're going to get that report you assigned. But showing your team members that you appreciate them as people can be almost as important as proving you appreciate them as employees. And a great way to do that is to chat with them sometimes about things going on outside of work. Encourage the "drop in" by leaving your door open, putting a jar of candy on your desk for the team and casually talking with employees as they pass by. Get to know them personally to show that you appreciate them as individuals.

6. Outside Feedback. Make a habit of forwarding comments and compliments from customers and higher-level stakeholders to the team. Did your boss particularly enjoy Joe's latest presentation? Tell him. Did a customer rave about her experience with Sarah? She'll love hearing about it.

Try these simple gestures of appreciation to build your team's strength, commitment and productivity.

Source: Erin Greenawald is a freelance writer, editor and content strategist who is passionate about elevating the standard of writing on the web. She previously helped build The Muse's beloved daily publication and led the company's branded content team.

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