Thanksgiving is upon us. Let’s talk about giving thanks not just for your personal things but your business life as well. How do you show client appreciation and employee appreciation? Let’s break it down.
Let’s start with ways to show employee appreciation because your team should always come first. I was actually delighted when doing the research for this blog to realize we had done everything on this list. It’s true that a happy team is a productive team and I am positive that this is one of the reasons that our team works so well. Our team is so willing to help each other. They are so collaborative and they get stuff done and I believe a large part of that is that they are appreciated consistently. It shouldn’t happen just once a year but now is a good time to get started.
Don’t ever underestimate the power of a handwritten note. Tell them what they’ve done that you’re thankful for. It doesn’t have to be a book. Just a few sentences can really make a difference.
Kudos, Private and Public
We have a weekly meeting and we make kudos a part of that meeting each week. We go around the table and let each person give someone kudos for the week. There is something extra special about the kudos when they aren’t just coming from the boss but from other coworkers as well. When someone who knows what the job is supposed to look like tells you that yours looks amazing, it means so much more.
A way to publicly give kudos is to thank them on a public forum. Use your social media to do a team highlight and brag on one of your team members. It’s free. It doesn’t cost you a thing and it totally makes your team member feel valued.
People like to eat on the regular so lunch or dinner is always a great way to show your appreciation. We are a remote team so if we have to be in the same space for something I feel like lunch is the least I can do.
Rewards and Awards
If they do a great job and go above and beyond give them an award. If you have a contest for the best design for a project, give the winner a reward. We’ve used Starbucks gift cards as rewards before. It doesn’t have to be huge. A $20 gift card can be a big deal.
If it’s within your wheelhouse, offer self-care to your employees. Perks such as fitness can go a long way towards showing your employees you care. Maybe consider gym memberships or personal coaching. Keeping your team happy personally can keep your team effective professionally.
Hosting events for your team is a fun way to show your appreciation. For example, company Christmas is a big deal around here. I let my team pick if they want to do lunch or dinner. We have employee gifts. We make it a big deal and we have a really good time.
Also, every other year there is a big women’s leadership conference here called Momentum and we love it. We treat it like a big party. Our entire team comes together, we spend the night, and have a blast. Events are a big deal.
Celebrate Birthdays and Anniversaries
It doesn’t have to cost you a fortune to celebrate a birthday or work anniversary. Publicly acknowledge it. If you can afford a bonus, do a bonus. If you want to do a small gift card, that’s great. Do whatever works for your business, but make sure they know they are appreciated for their birthday and anniversary.
Offer Training Opportunities
We have a training file where we keep different training materials we have purchased for our team. If they are interested in learning any aspect of the business they don’t already know it’s available to them. Training should always be available to your team so they can level up.
Sponsor Volunteer Opportunites
Hands on Birmingham is one of our favorite local charities and pre-Covid we would do Bunny Aid every year where our team would go and make Easter baskets. We love doing that. It’s a great way to bring our team together. Hands on Birmingham is a great way to volunteer because you can call them and let them know how many people you have and how long you have available and they can set you up with a local charity that needs help. We highly recommend them.
Plan an Annual Retreat
It’s important to get your team’s feedback. Growth in your business is dependent on finding out from your employees in the field what exactly is working and what is not. Valuing their feedback shows that you care about their opinion and their experience as a team member. An annual retreat will strengthen your team and your business.
Those are all ideas that work for employees and while many of those would work well for clients as well let’s move into some client-specific ideas for showing appreciation.
Thank You Card
Again, this is a very simple gesture. It doesn’t have to be some grand display to be meaningful. A thank you card can mean a lot and it’s easy.
If cost-effective and appropriate, a gift can be a wonderful way to show client appreciation. As a business, anything branded that can be considered marketing is tax-deductible. That means if you give out coffee mugs with your logo on them as gifts to your clients, that is a tax deduction for your business because it’s a marketing expense.
Give to Their Charities
Give to your client’s favorite charity. If that’s not in the budget, help support their charity. That’s free. Giving Tuesday is coming up quickly and if you don’t have a charity yourself and you work with a nonprofit, promote them for Giving Tuesday.
Thank Them for Going Above and Beyond
Every once in a while you have a client who goes above and beyond. Thank them and appreciate them, whether it’s written or verbal. Let them know you realize what they did and you like it.
Offer to Suspend an Account
If your client is going through a difficult time, offer to suspend an account. People have seasons. If you have a client and it would help them tremendously for you to suspend services for 30 days, that could go a long way in your business relationship. If you can afford to do that, do it. Do what you can when you can.
Take Time to Talk
Engage with your customers regularly. Find out if they’re happy. Find out if they think you’re doing what you need to be doing. Look at next quarter and next year. Communication is key and it makes your clients more confident in your abilities. It lets them know that you value their input and are trying to do your best to help them reach their goals.
Support Their Business
Likes are free. Like their posts on social media. Leave comments. Those algorithms on every single platform are weighted by engagement. You are helping them significantly when you engage with their content. Watch those videos they post. Get your team involved. Make sure they all know about your different clients. It’s super helpful for your clients and a great way to show them your appreciation.
Bend the Rules When You Can
What does that mean? Give a free upgrade if you can give a free upgrade. Sometimes we will throw in a free month of a service just to help people get started. That month can really help people out and jumpstart their growth.
Birthdays and anniversaries are important with clients as well. Sending a message or a small gift recognizing the milestone can be really special for your clients.
Now let’s talk about giving thanks as your business. You’ve given thanks to your employees and clients. What about your business itself?
Discuss with your team what you guys are thankful for as a business and announce it.
Pick a Charity
Pick a charity to donate to. You can match donations if that is possible for your business. You can donate volunteer hours. You can help raise awareness for your charity. Partnering with Toys for Tots? Let your office be a drop-off location. There are a ton of things you can do to help out a charity that you feel strongly about.
Host a Contest
Host a caption contest, a poll, submit-a-pic, or a most-votes-wins contest to figure out what your clients are thankful for or what their favorite charity is.
Host an Event and Stream it Live
One of our clients is a realtor and she delivers pies the week of Thanksgiving to all of her customers. If you do something like that, stream it! It’s ok to show people that you’re doing a good thing. It encourages other people to do good things and shows you support your community.
Give Away Something
If you can give away something for free, do it. Create a hashtag and give away a service or something that makes sense for your company. Again, a Starbucks card goes a long way.
See You in a Couple of Weeks
We won’t have a new blog next week because of the Thanksgiving holiday but we will be back and on our normal schedule the week after. We hope you have an amazing holiday with the people you love. Happy Thanksgiving!!