employee appreciation

The holiday season is upon us, and if there has ever been a year to go the extra mile in showing employees that they matter, 2020 is it. The last eleven months have not exactly been breezy, after all. This not only means starting to think of holiday gifts for employees now but also looking ahead to 2021 and designing policies that nurture employee well-being the whole year long.

Give a Gift that Gives Back

Instantprint’s just-released survey sees 94% of employees say that receiving a gift from their employer makes them feel appreciated, happy, and valued. That’s a number worth paying attention to. Firms of all sizes pour big bucks into fostering employee engagement because any leader worth their salt knows engaged employees are productive employees. Don’t blow the effort (and expense) of implementing such policies by giving a dud gift come year’s end. Instead, reinforce your commitment to employee well-being by gifting something truly meaningful.

In the same survey mentioned above, socks were unanimously rated as the worst gift to receive from a colleague (yes, worse even than no gift at all). Gift vouchers and an early finish to the day, on the other hand, were tied as the best. A free bar at the company Christmas party came in third but, unfortunately, due to the pandemic, that won’t be happening this year.

This doesn’t simply mean that everyone’s getting a voucher or an afternoon off this year (though both are good ideas); it also serves as evidence that agency and flexibility are top priorities for employees. After all, the trait common to the two highest-rated items is that both offer the freedom to choose. Vouchers are versatile and an afternoon off is an afternoon to do with what you will. Take this lesson to heart when working out how to keep your team engaged this coming year

Employees Engage When They Feel Valued and Trusted

If employees appreciate flexible gifts, they appreciate flexible working conditions even more. This is because beyond providing a person greater control over their time, flexibility also delivers trust and agency. The reason? In the contemporary professional world, flexibility means such things as remote work opportunities, adaptable scheduling, autonomy in decision making, and opportunity for growth. Every single one of these clocks in high on employee wish lists.

The supreme value of flexibility is not the only lesson to be learned from Christmas gift preferences, however. Another, simpler lesson embedded in the subject is that everyone appreciates being cared for. While socks might not send this message (who knew?), virtually any other thoughtful gift will. This is the reason 94% of employees appreciate receiving something from their employers during the holidays. Everyone likes to feel seen.

Naturally, Christmas gifts are not the only way to express caring for your team. Doing so is an all-year endeavor that involves such practices as encouraging effort, rewarding results, facilitating growth and opportunity, connecting work with purpose, communicating clearly, and (especially in present times) showing concern for well-being.

Addressing the how-to of implementing these practices is a central feature of Hiring & Empowering’s The 66-Day Law Firm Turnaround Program. In addition to vouchers this year, why not give employees the extended gift of learning how best to empower their work and ensure they receive the support needed to drive your firm’s continued growth? After all, as great as a voucher or afternoon off maybe, neither hold a candle to the gift of a fulfilling work environment that inspires you to bring your best every day.

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