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Charleston Business

Four Tips For Giving The Gift Of Appreciation At Work

Dec 17, 2018 03:54PM ● By Kathleen Maris

By Lisa Sordilla 

In the world of work, it’s often customary to offer a gift of thanks to team members. Perhaps a Starbucks gift card or a box of holiday cookies. These are nice gestures, but when it comes to employee recognition, something personal can be more meaningful.

You don’t have to trek to the mall or ask for budget approval. Give employees a sincere, handwritten note. Thank them for all that they do for your team and your organization. Write it. Don’t just send an email or IM. Handwritten notes are a thoughtful, meaningful, and—most important—authentic way to show genuine gratitude and employee recognition. Notes like this also are an unexpected surprise.

How to get started

Need some pointers? Here are four helpful tips for crafting the perfect end-of-year note:

1. Stay positive. Be sure to focus on individual contributions that made an impact over the year.

2. Be specific. Avoid generalities. Instead, highlight unique details and focus on how their efforts made a difference.

3. Reward effort. Recall what each team member achieved but take care to give examples of how they live your company values.

4. Get personal. What do the accomplishments of each team member mean to you as a manager? Share how their contributions have impacted you personally. Be honest and express gratitude.

Once you finish your holiday notes, make employee recognition your New Year’s resolution.

Employee recognition is a performance management best practice. So, don’t wait until review season or the holidays to show appreciation. Look for more opportunities throughout the year, such as celebrating workiversaries or observing employees who live your organization’s values.

Giving and receiving appreciation plays a role in overall employee health and well-being. It has a strong impact on people, reaching them on an emotional level. It’s true — employee recognition takes a bit of effort. But you’ll be glad you did it. Happy holidays!

Lisa Sordilla is human resources director at Energage, a Philadelphia-based research and consulting firm that surveyed nearly 3 million employees at more than 7,000 organizations in 2018. Energage is the research partner for Top Workplaces. Nominate your company as a Top Workplace at