6 Ways to Be Certain Your Employees Know You Care

Every business is a human endeavor and every person wants to know they are appreciated.

learn more about Jacqueline Whitmore

By Jacqueline Whitmore

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In light of all the negative political rhetoric going on these days, it's important to keep your team's spirits up by focusing on something positive for a change.

Barbara Fredrickson's Broaden-and-Build theory and research demonstrates that as people experience more positive emotions, they become more resilient to stress and develop a broader perspective that allows them to see the big picture and identify solutions. People in a positive environment flourish in their lives and careers by building more meaningful relationships and connections.

Being positive and showing gratitude go hand in hand. When you are more positive, you naturally want to do for others and doing for others boosts your spirit, purpose and passion. There are many things you can do to stay positive and show your gratitude, especially this time of year. Here are some ideas to put into practice, and into your routine, starting today.

1. Praise the person.

Whenever possible, offer praise face-to-face. Your colleagues and co-workers will know your praise comes from the heart when they can see your facial expressions, read your body language and hear your tone. You simply cannot convey these nonverbal cues in an email or a text.

Related: Business Success Starts 'With One Person, an Idea and a Passion'

2. Give a personalized gift

Even a small gift, like a gift card to a coffee shop or an online bookstore, along with a personalized thank-you note offers a tangible reward that goes beyond words.

3. Hold appreciation lunches

Everyone loves food. Offerings such as cookies or cupcakes, that you've baked personally, are a huge hit. Another hit? Bring chocolate - chocolate anything. Hold an appreciation breakfast or luncheon for the entire staff, either offsite or onsite. Host a barbeque where you man the grill, or have it catered.

Serve a variety of foods, including vegetarian and vegan, so everyone can participate. Treat employees to an annual holiday luncheon, at a location that features games and things to do for families. Shut the office down at noon, so that everyone can attend the event.

Related: Listen to Your Customers, Stay Focused, Profit

4. Create earned awards

Some businesses institute a strategy of earned rewards for individuals or groups. Post a contest for a sales goal, with a desirable reward like a company picnic or outing if the goal is reached. Institute a "trophy of the month" award for the employee that best represents your mission. Let the employee display the trophy at their desk for the entire month. Choose the winner yourself or let the employees vote. Or let employees accumulate points towards time off.

5. Write a thank-you note

A handwritten note is always appreciated. You'd be surprised how many employees will keep your note, post it at their work station, and show it to their families. It serves as a constant reminder that they are valued.

If you're not sure what to write, use words like proud, super, pleased, impressed, honored, gratifying, appreciative and rewarding. Be specific about why you are thanking the person, using examples of something you noticed that the employee did well. For example, say, "I appreciate your tenacity in helping us to land the XYC account. You do a great job and I am honored to have you as a member of our team."

Related: Here Are the Stores That Will Be Open on Thanksgiving Day

6. Provide opportunity

People want chances for training and cross training. They want to participate on a special committee where their talents are noticed. They like to attend professional association meetings and represent your organization at civic and philanthropic events. Give them ample opportunities to do so.

The holiday season is a joyous opportunity to tell your employees and your coworkers that you care about them. Don't let this golden opportunity to build employee moral pass you by. Your positivity and abundance will overflow and eventually bolster your company's relationship with customers and clients.

Jacqueline Whitmore

Author, Business Etiquette Expert and Founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach

Jacqueline Whitmore is an etiquette expert and founder of the Protocol School of Palm Beach in Palm Beach, Fla. She is the author of Poised for Success: Mastering the Four Qualities That Distinguish Outstanding Professionals (St. Martin's Press, 2011) and Business Class: Etiquette Essentials for Success at Work (St. Martin's Press, 2005).

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