The holidays are quickly approaching, and your small business needs to be ready. This is a busy time of year for almost everyone, so celebrating in the office might not be high on your priorities. However, taking time to appreciate your team is crucial; 90% of employees say that recognition positively impacts their engagement, and 86% say it increases their happiness at work, according to RecruiterBox. They also reported that the number one reason Americans leave their jobs is because they don’t feel appreciated.

Make sure you show your team how much they matter to your business! Here are a few simple ideas to get your celebrations started.

Get everyone together

This one might sound obvious, but more small businesses than ever are utilizing outsourcing and remote offices. This is a smart choice for your bottom line, but it can lead to your team feeling disconnected. If possible, get everyone together for a holiday celebrating. If location doesn’t allow this, get remote workers in on a video call for an office party.

Even if this only happens once a year, getting your entire team together to celebrate is a great idea. This lets your employees put faces to names, and will encourage everyone to get to know each other. Glassdoor reports, “The higher a person’s social identification at work, the better their health and well-being. In other words, the more you feel aligned with the organization you work for and the stronger your relationships are with your colleagues, the better off you are.”

Help your employees get to know each other, and your entire business will benefit.

Welcome feedback

Everyone might be in a celebrating mood, but the holidays mean the year is almost over. You need to get ready for 2019 in your business, fast. You already have your business plan ready, but now you need a crucial component: feedback from your team.

Letting your employees know that their opinions matter is hugely important to build company culture and loyalty. “By knowing that they have a seat at the table when it comes to decision making and company processes, [your employees] will gain confidence and be able to handle more complex tasks,” says SmallBizClub.

Get your team invested in their future with your company! You might just get your next big idea.

Offer incentives

Sometimes, keeping it simple is the best strategy; encourage your team with incentives and gifts. After all, you are celebrating!

While physical gifts are always appreciated, the best gift you can give most of your team is time. One demographic that would great appreciate a flexible work schedule is Millennials. Projected to form more than half of the workforce by 2020, Millennials value time off just as much as insurance and retirement savings.

Remember, while your business is important, the holidays are about spending time with loved ones. Acknowledge this and allow days to work from home. Plan ahead now to account for hectic holiday work, and trust your team. After all, most workers are drastically more productive working from home.

Your employees will definitely appreciate it, and you.

Get charitable

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of the holiday season, but you need to keep somethings in mind. Some of your employees might not be in a celebratory mood, due to family estrangement, religious beliefs, or financial difficulties. Any number of factors could make them less than cheery, and that’s something you should keep in mind as an employer.

Work to make celebrations secular and inclusive. For example, rather than having a Christmas party, perhaps call it a holiday gift exchange. It might seem like a small detail, but to those excluded, it will be incredibly important.

A great way to avoid any awkwardness when considering a present exchange is to turn your efforts outwards. The holidays are the perfect time to volunteer. Your team can make care packages for the homeless, work a shift in a soup kitchen together, or organize a food drive. If there’s a charity that’s related to your industry, you could even tie it in!

People want their work to matter. Global Tolerance says that 42% of the workforce want to work for an organization that has a positive impact on the world, and 44% think that meaningful work that helps others is more important than a high salary.

Appreciate your team this holiday season

The holidays are often a stressful time for businesses and individuals alike. However, by following these simple steps and making thoughtful choices, you can show your team how much you care.

Forbes says that in a recent study, “Respondents named pride (51%), fairness and respect (51%) and feeling appreciated (50%) as the ingredients they associate most with happiness,” and subjects in a test study were 50% more productive when they were greeted with messages of gratitude.

Offer incentives, focus on charity, and value feedback, and you’ll finish the year with your team stronger than ever.

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Parker Davis
Parker Davis is the CEO of Answer 1, a leader in the virtual receptionist and technology enabled answering services industry. He believes that the application of data analytics, investment in technology, and fostering a positive company culture together create highly efficient and scalable growth companies. In 2016, Answer 1 achieved record revenues while also being awarded the Top Companies to Work For in Arizona award. Parker is also the Managing Partner of Annison Capital Partners, LLC, a private investment partnership. Follow him @Answer1 and on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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