Employee holiday gifts have been sent... now what?

As we near the end of the biggest gifting time of the year, you may be looking forward to what’s next. Maybe you’re thinking about upcoming time off, a big project, or new goals to hit. Perhaps, you're anticipating new team members to train or an offering you'll be introducing to the market.

But are you thinking about how to keep the momentum going with your employees now that you've sent year-end gifts?

Receiving a gift boosts feelings of connection and enthusiasm. In today’s environment and economy, keeping your employees engaged is key. Keep reading for tips on how to maintain engagement with your team members in the new year.

Celebrate everyone’s individualism

If it’s one thing we’ve learned from the past few years, it’s that everyone has different wants, needs, and desires when it comes to how their professional and personal lives intertwine. 

Regardless of how long you’ve worked with someone or how much they’ve shared with you, celebrating their individuality shows you care about them as a person, and not just because they work for you.

If you’ve used a gift-of-choice platform like Loop & Tie for your holiday gifts, you’re already one step ahead. A great way to keep momentum up after the holidays is to look at what your employees selected as their year-end gift and use that as a conversation starter and relationship builder. For example, if someone redeemed an apron or olive oil set, you could share stories of recent culinary successes and mishaps. If someone gifted it forward to a nonprofit, you could talk about their connection to the cause. 

If you didn’t use a gift-of-choice platform for year-end gifts, don’t worry, you can still keep the good vibes going in the new year. The best way to celebrate your team members? Talk to them. Find out what their interests are, ask what they’re looking forward to this year, or ask how you can better support them, both personally and professionally.

Making someone feel like more than a cog in a machine is a great way to boost loyalty and engagement with you and your company.

Continue to express gratitude

Nearly 50% of people feel unappreciated at work. Regardless of where you’re at in your career, it’s likely you have felt underappreciated at one time or another. A lack of appreciation and recognition can really impact your happiness in the workplace.

An easy way to fix this is to show appreciation for your employees throughout the year, not just around the holidays.

Here are some ideas for showing gratitude throughout the year:

  1. When someone does a good job, acknowledge it by thanking them on a call or with a note.
  2. People spend the majority of their awake time at work. Thank them for sharing their time with you by sending them a gift for their birthday and workiversary! 
  3. Keep an eye on calendars for holidays like National Fun at Work Day (the last Friday in January), Employee Appreciation Day (the first Friday in March), or role-specific holidays, and use them as an occasion to recognize those you work with! 
  4. Help people celebrate their personal milestones. Are they buying a new home? Getting married? Welcoming a new family member? Sending a kid off to college? Leading a community event? Acknowledging these occasions with a note or gift is a good way to deepen your relationship.

Engage your employees in telling your brand story

What’s one of the best ways to market your company to prospective recruits? Sharing real stories from your current employees.

After the holidays is a great time to encourage your team members to share their stories with you. You could produce a video, get quotes for a blog post or your website, or get quick sound bites to share on social media. Being included will make your employees feel valued. Score even more bonus points by thanking those who participate in providing a testimonial with a gift of their choice. 

Plus, if you continue to promote the testimonials, every time someone sees their feature, it will likely drum up fond feelings and increase the chances they will help amplify your brand.

Build a relationship that encourages transparency

One of the best ways to keep employees engaged with your company is to build a culture that values transparency. 

Things happen. Everyone knows that. As you’re reading this, you can probably recall a time when you were upset with an employer or manager. Did you feel comfortable enough to provide feedback? Were you confident that by doing so your concerns would be addressed?

When we answer “no” to those questions, we become disengaged and we start looking elsewhere.

To help build trust with your team members, here are some easy steps you can take:

  1. Have someone close and trusted to your employees ask them for feedback throughout the year. This could be in a 1:1 or via email depending on preferred communication styles.
  2. Consistently provide feedback to your employees. Oftentimes, this is done through a formal performance review, but consistently having conversations around performance and growth path, can help keep employees engaged. Also, be prepared for compensation conversations as you’re evaluating performance and growth.
  3. Use surveys to gather feedback! This can be done on a quarterly, bi-annual, or annual basis and will help you identify larger trends. If you find that people aren’t comfortable giving feedback, consider collecting data anonymously.
  4. Encourage leadership to have open communication with your employees. Keep team members apprised of business decisions you’re considering that impact them. This shows that you value feedback and value them.
  5. Don’t reprimand someone for providing feedback on their experience. That is a quick way to discourage others from providing feedback and will cause people to immediately disengage.

As you prepare for the new year, keep these tips in mind to keep the momentum going post-holiday gift sends. Visit our blog for more insights on gifting occasions, best practices for sending gifts to your employees, and Loop & Tie updates.

 

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