Opinion

8 creative ways to thank staff this Christmas

The festive season is a great time to thank your employees for their year-round dedication. Other than relying on the usual staff party, think about what other, more creative things you can do to let people know that you appreciate them...

If you’re on top of your employee engagement anyway, this should come quite naturally. But if you’re thinking of ramping up activities in this area, Christmas is perfect for trying out new initiatives.

We’ve gathered together a festive hamper of ideas for you, which go way beyond the tinsel and turkey lunch. And you can always add your own special Christmas magic to these techniques, making them unique to your workplace and your people.

So, read on to find out how you can show your gratitude in the most wonderful ways…

  1. Hire a special surprise

Since there’s all this festive joy in the air at the moment, why not make a few changes to the workplace to make the days leading up to Christmas Day more fun. How about renting a popcorn machine, hiring a professional coffee barista or running Christmas decoration making classes with a local artist? Or do something unconventional for this time of year – hire an ice cream van and let people indulge in gelato!

  1. Put up a stunning Christmas tree

Splash out on a lush Christmas tree this year. And why not give it a theme? Make it a ‘Downton Abbey tree’ and use glamourous antique-style décor. Or invite employees’ children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews to come in and decorate it, and even meet Santa (we’ll let you decide whether that’ll be Dave in accounts or Tom in HR).

  1. Write notes by hand

Receiving a handwritten letter is always much more personal. Ask senior staff to write Christmas thank yous on notelets or small cards. This gesture will help put a caring feel to what’s seen as a corporate task.  

  1. Do a job swap

This is a brilliant way for senior employees to show that they’re interested in what staff do. Could the CEO exchange places with a receptionist on a busy switchboard for a couple of hours? And how would the Finance Director handle an urgent press enquiry in PR? Let the head of IT have a bash at writing a job description with the recruitment team.

  1. Give away a day’s leave in January

January can be a bit blue as we recover from festivities and tighten those purse strings! So, staff will jump at the chance of having an extra day’s leave in the New Year. That one more day is very handy, especially if someone wants to hit the January sales or has children to get back to school.

  1. Give staff the VIP treatment
  2. Make your staff feel as important as Wills and Kate this year! Give your annual Christmas lunch more prestige by having a local high profile chef design the menu and even cook the food. Or add a sprinkle of bygone style - hold a vintage tea party in the office. Ask senior staff to dress in vintage aprons to serve food and drink; it’s a small but fun gesture of thanks.
  1. Make a festive thank you video

Hire a video production crew to put together a two-minute thank you film. If you’ve had events and activities filmed throughout the year, maybe they can create a montage with an amusing voiceover? Or film entertaining thank you messages from heads of departments, directors and the big boss? Or if you know someone with celebrity contacts, how about a one-off video message from that VIP? The more off-beat and unexpected your video is, the better!

  1. Be inclusive

Last, but certainly not least, remember that not everyone celebrates Christmas, or they might find it a difficult time of year. So bear this mind when you’re planning how you say your big thank you. A little bit of sensitivity goes a long way.

We’re sure you can create more Christmas cracking ways to show your appreciation. Break away from your usual habits as an organisation, and dare to do something different. Most importantly, have fun with the process.