By Rieva Lesonsky
How are you planning on thanking your employees during the holidays? The holidays are a great time to show your employees how much you appreciate their dedication and hard work—especially if you’ve had to cut their hours or salary. If you’ve had a recent bump in your working capital or your or your small business loan has come through, as a small business owner you might consider sharing the wealth with a holiday bonus. Another way to show you are thankful is to throw your employees a party. Check out these ideas to get you started:
- Stay In. A stress-free, low-key party in your business might be appreciated more than you think. Restaurants can be expensive and the setting can make it hard for everyone to mingle and talk. Bring in lunch (or organize a potluck) and then give employees half the day off to get their shopping done, be with the family, or attend their children’s school performances. Add touches like festive decorations, a small gift or gift card for each employee, and a nice speech. If you’re feeling more energetic, play some games, do a white elephant exchange or hand out raffle tickets for prizes. Just spending time socializing with fellow workers is a nice benefit and will be appreciated.
- Go Out. If you’re sick of the office and have a little bit of working capital to spend, take the party away from your business. Look for a nearby restaurant that can handle a big group and set up a preplanned festive meal and desserts. For a lunchtime event, don’t make employees go back to the office afterwards; they’ll appreciate the time off. If it’s dinner, make a decision about alcohol consumption. You don’t want to be responsible for employees drinking and then jumping in their cars to drive home.
- Open Your Home. If your house is suited for a large party, consider having the party in your home. Have employees invite their spouse, significant other or even bring the family. Have it catered so you can mingle with your guests. If you do invite children, consider hiring a babysitter so the adults can be free to relax. If the weather is nice enough where you live, you could even have the party outside under a big tent.
- Take It to the Streets. To show the holidays are about giving, you might want to consider a community project. You and your employees can volunteer to spend time at a shelter or soup kitchen, read to children at a school event, give out gifts to needy children and whatever else you can think of. Volunteering makes everyone feel good and shows employees your business cares about its community.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports