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‘Tis the season for appreciation: Creative ways to give back to your employees this year

Originally published 12/17/2020 in Upstate Business Journal

As 2021 nears, COVID-19 remains at the forefront of everyone’s mind. 2020 has been a challenge, forcing businesses to make adjustments to operations and processes that have been in place for as long as their doors have been open. The end of the year symbolizes many things: the closing of a chapter, the ability to start fresh, and a time to give back to those who have helped ensure the company’s success. Like everything else, giving back and showing appreciation also look a little different. Many businesses are not able to give bonuses or host holiday celebrations. In lieu of these activities, there are some worthwhile alternatives to show employees your appreciation this year.

Go virtual. While 94% of business owners report in-person gatherings have played an important role in growing their business, according to recent studies, this year, 84% of these businesses have switched to virtual celebrations. Considering a virtual holiday party? Try incorporating holiday-themed virtual games into the celebration and encourage attendees to share some of their favorite cookie, cider or appetizer recipes that everyone can make in the comfort (and safety) of their own homes. This will allow employees to be engaged, to socialize and to encourage or reinforce team building. Cooking classes and scavenger hunts can also be a fun way to engage virtually.

Think outside the bonus box. Instead of a traditional monetary bonus, think about sending care packages to employees filled with small, personalized items. This personal approach is a great way to show employees you really know them and appreciate all that they do. Including company-branded items such as water bottles, portable chargers or cozier items like blankets or bathrobes can be a thoughtful touch. Some companies are also giving employees extra time off for reflection before the New Year, something everyone enjoys.

If nothing else, 2020 has taught employers the importance of celebration and appreciation for their amazing and resilient employees. This year, try switching to more creative ways of giving back to your employees to show them how grateful you are for all they do.

For more information on appreciation strategies, please visit https://qualitybsolutions.net/news-expertise/.

David Evette is the president of Travelers Rest-based Quality Business Solutions, where he uses his more than 25 years of experience in payroll, tax, benefits, compliance and insurance to assist clients in the Upstate and across the country on critical HR matters.