By on October 30, 2012
November Wisdom in a Traffic Jam
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Dear Angella,
With the holidays coming upon us quickly, I am unsure what to do for my employees. We are not all of the same faith, but I want to do something to show them I appreciate them. Any ideas on what I can do for them that won’t offend anyone?
– Sarah

Dear Sarah,
I totally understand your frustration. It can be very difficult in today’s work environment to be sensitive to everyone’s cultural beliefs. There are a few thoughts I can offer. One is to not celebrate at all. If you go this route you can offer a financial end-of-year bonus. A few options would be to purchase a selection of gift cards and do a drawing for each one. Or you can hand out a check based on each person’s performance.

One of the things that I do for my employees is a summer party where they bring their families and we celebrate them. We have a cookout and I purchase different prizes ranging from gas cards, restaurant certificates, scratch off tickets and cash. We hand out raffle tickets and do a drawing for each prize. It can be a lot of fun. I make a little speech thanking them for all their hard work. We may hand out certificates for employee of the year and for milestone anniversaries. Little gifts of gratitude go a long way.

If you do decide that you want to have a party, have it before the holidays officially begin. You can do it in the beginning of November or late in January, and call it an end of year celebration. They may end up liking this best as it frees them up to do their holiday traditions with family and friends. The month of December can be so crazy for people trying to fit in the shopping, cooking, cleaning and other parties. While they want to celebrate with their office staff it may just put more pressure on them to fit one more thing in. Better to have it when they can truly enjoy it. Again one of the things that I do is the first week of November we have a party to celebrate the employees and how hard they have been working. As each person leaves we give them a turkey. They can use the turkey for their Thanksgiving meal, or just a meal in general. We don’t call it anything other than a celebration of another year coming to a close.

A third option might be to hold a collection for needy families. Most of the local chambers have adopt a family programs, your entire organization can all chip in a few presents and food items. You can all deliver the items to the family. By doing this together, everyone will feel like they are part of something bigger. For the past few years most of my employees have rung bells for the Salvation Army; together we sing and dance to keep warm. My husband will bring us hot chocolate, and it turns out to be a good time for all.

Remember, the holidays should be a time to reflect on the year past, and the new year going forward. A time to appreciate all that you have done as a team and all you will do as a company. However you decide to show your employees that you care and appreciate them, they will be grateful. Just remember to thank them for all they have done.

Do you have a question for Angella? Send it to Angella@wisdominatrafficjam.com or visit her at www.wisdominatrafficjam.com, www.midnightjanitorial.com

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