As the holiday season approaches, there's no better time to demonstrate your gratitude to the key leaders on your team. Whether it be through a holiday bonus or a simple note of thanks, how you show your appreciation can be tailored to whatever mode of recognition suits them best.
Ten entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) share their preferred methods for thanking their top managers as the year winds down.
1. Publicly recognize them.
Everyone likes to be publicly recognized for their hard work and accomplishments. Combine that with something like extra PTO over the holidays and you'll have other employees stepping up in no time hoping for the same type of acknowledgment and benefits.--Brooke Bergman, Allied Business Network Inc.
2. Give them more freedom.
If you're fortunate enough to have leaders at your disposal that are able to bring you conversions, then it would be a good idea to make it easier for them to repeat the magic. Allow them to have more carte blanche in how they run their projects and show your staff that you reward initiative and individuals that produce results.--Cody McLain, SupportNinja
3. Show them their impact.
A holiday bonus is nice, but employees are motivated by more than a little extra money. Show your team how they've made a difference to truly thank them. At LexION Capital, we utilize team-wide meetings where employees discuss what projects they're most proud of. Employees feel extremely grateful when the whole team shows how one person has made such a big impact.--Elle Kaplan, LexION Capital
4. Give them a wrapped book and a handwritten thank-you card.
True leaders want to grow with the company, so they should want to learn to be more valuable. I want to show my team that I believe in them and at the same time encourage them to continue growing. There are a ton of business books out there, relevant to all departments. While the card thanks them, the book is a tangible expense I incurred and thought about on their behalf.--Wei-Shin Lai, M.D., AcousticSheep LLC
5. Skip the holiday party and host a "thank you" party.
We stopped doing "holiday" parties a few years ago, as they were more of a burden and undesired "to-do" item in a hectic time of year. Instead, we do a "thank you" party where friends, spouses and loved ones come and hang out with us -- no clients, no awards, no hassles. Also, in November, our six-month bonuses are awarded, alleviating any "end-of-year" expectations.--Beck Bamberger, BAM Communications
6. Give them an afternoon off to take their team out.
Yes, you should have your company-wide party, but you should also allow each individual team an afternoon to go out and spend some social time together. This will allow your leaders to build a better relationship with their team members at the micro level. These types of relationships can eventually build up to macro level in the form of company-wide success and motivation.--Andy Karuza, brandbuddee
7. Show your individual appreciation.
Thank your key leaders in an individual way. If time allows it, use a one-on-one lunch or coffee break to express your gratitude. If time is tight, handwritten cards or letters of thanks showcase your appreciation. Remember: It's vital to thank those key leaders always and not just around the holidays. Maintaining a positive company culture is a good way to continuously make them feel valued.--Chuck Cohn, Varsity Tutors
8. Take them out to lunch or dinner.
Spending one-on-one time away from the office is a powerful way to connect with your key leaders and thank them. Whether it's lunch or dinner, let them pick where they'd like to go, and don't skimp on the meal! Buy them their favorite bottle of wine/whiskey/cocktail so you can both relax and celebrate the mutual benefits of working together.--Marcela DeVivo, National Debt Relief
9. Make it personal.
I like to show my team members how much I care and appreciate their hard work whenever I can. The holidays are about gratitude--there is nothing better than receiving a handwritten note that shows you value their creativity, perseverance and passion.--Rakia Reynolds, Skai Blue Media
10. Give them your perspective and support.
Demonstrate your appreciation through a thorough acknowledgment and assessment of what you have learned, what opportunities exist for higher performance/progress in the coming year and how you can partner with them to reach that higher performance. Give them your insights and your candid and sincere review of their past and future performance opportunities so that they can continue to develop and grow for years to come. -Bradford Blevins, gothamCulture