7 Simple Ways to Thank Your Employees This Holiday Season

Is your company celebrating the holidays this year? If so, you'll want to make sure that you're thanking your employees for all of their hard work. Here are seven ways to make sure that your employees feel appreciated.

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By Chris Kille

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Christmas is around the corner, and the holiday season is in full swing. I like to "wow" my employees with a little holiday cheer every year. As small business owners, it's easy to forget the important things. That's where I come in…I simply can't forget!

I focus on employee satisfaction all year long, from handing out awards to planning Halloween celebrations. But towards the end of the year, it always feels like the floodgates open up, and I want to give my employees a little more than normal. But where do you start? How do you top yourself every year? Well, don't worry. My gift to you is this list of seven simple ways to thank your employees this holiday season.

1. Give a handwritten thank you with a box of chocolates and cookies

This is the ultimate classic way to say thanks — and it's still one of the best. This is it if you want something that's not too flashy but will show how much you appreciate your employees' hard work. A handwritten thank you letter accompanied by a box of chocolates and cookies. Although this might seem like a small gesture, it will greatly impact your employees. Showing them that you care about what they do and appreciate their hard work will help build trust and loyalty in the company.

Related: 4 Seasonal Side Hustles to Keep Your Pockets Jingling

2. Schedule a vacation to the favorite destination for everyone on your team

I know this sounds like a dream come true, but it's doable.

Planning a vacation for your employees is a great way to show them you appreciate them.

It can be their favorite place in the world or somewhere nearby — whatever makes them happy will do. If you don't have the budget to send everyone on a trip, consider sending your top-performing or most deserving employees and their families. This way, you can ensure that everyone has a great time without breaking the bank or stressing out about how much money you're spending.

3. Do a gift exchange

A secret Santa or white elephant gift exchange is a fun way to get your employees excited and involved in the holiday spirit. Everyone gets the same amount of money to spend on each other, and they can choose funny, thoughtful or just plain silly gifts.

It's also a great opportunity to get some insight into what your employees want — and what they might not have thought to ask for themselves.

Related: Why Giving Back Is Good for You and Your Business This Season (and All Year Long)

4. Give personalized gifts

A gift can be an excellent starting point for developing strong relationships. Giving is great, but giving thoughtful presents is even better.

Personalized gifts are the perfect way to show your employees that you appreciate them. And when your employees feel appreciated, they will be more motivated and productive at work.

Plus, personalized gifts are easy on your wallet: You don't have to spend a ton of money on expensive presents for everyone in your office. Just a little imagination and patience will do.

For example, if you give your employees a nice bottle of wine but don't make a big deal out of it, they will think it wasn't much of a gift. But if you add some personal touches and make the process more thoughtful, your employees will feel much more appreciated.

A family portrait is my favorite personalized gift.

5. Hand out bonuses

The holiday season is a time for giving, and that's exactly what your employees deserve. A nice, fat bonus will help lift their spirits and show them how much you appreciate their hard work all year.

Bonus time is an opportunity to show your employees how much you appreciate them and the work they put in this year. If you already have a bonus system, consider adding extra cash to your employees' paychecks this year. Even if you don't have a formal policy, consider giving something small as a token of appreciation.

Although this might seem like a small gesture, it can go a long way toward building relationships with your team members — which is positive for everyone in the long run.

Related: The Truth Behind The Holiday Slowdown and How to Avoid It

6. Buy them a present from their wishlist

This is the easiest way to show appreciation for your employees. It's also most meaningful because you give them exactly what they want. It's guaranteed to be something they'll love and use.

If you don't know what they want, look at their social media profiles and see if there are any hints about their hobbies or interests. If not, ask them. Be sure to ask early enough so you can get them something in time for the holidays.

7. Give employees access to exclusive discounts

Sometimes an extravagant gift isn't within your budget. However, you can still make an impact by giving your employees exclusive discounts on items they would love to buy. For example, if you have an employee who runs frequently and loves running apparel, consider giving them a coupon code for 20% off at Nike. This will let them get something they want without paying full price (and it will also make them feel appreciated).

When it comes to saying thanks, big gestures and impressive gifts are always fun. But simple acts go a long way too. I'm taking these to heart this holiday season because it takes some thoughtfulness on our part to show gratitude and create an atmosphere of appreciation for the hard-working people on our teams.

Related: These Teens Went on 'Shark Tank' With a Product That Will Change the Way You Decorate Your Christmas Tree. Now, It's a Multi-Million-Dollar Business.

Chris Kille

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

Chief Executive Officer at Elevate Outsourcing

As a serial entrepreneur, I have founded, operated, and sold multiple businesses across a wide array of industries from fiance to transportation and even animal care. I come from a family of entrepreneurs, so finding solutions to people's needs comes naturally to me. I am based in Charlotte, NC.

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