Companies have a lot to be proud of in 2020. Reflect, rejoice, and thank your team for a job well done.
It’s been a crazy year—and most companies have been pleasantly surprised by how their teams have performed under adversity.
Many offices made the switch to remote work in early 2020, some with as little as one week’s notice. But despite the stresses associated with the pandemic, employees have continued to produce quality work under unusual circumstances.
Now, with the breakfast table doubling as the conference room and little ones (both human and animal) making surprise appearances in the virtual workplace, employees are working even harder to navigate the new dynamic without sacrificing the quality of work.
A gesture of gratitude can go a long way in making your team feel appreciated for all their efforts.
The end of the year is all about reflection. It’s a time to rest, recover, celebrate the hard work you’ve done this year, and set new goals for the future.
This year, celebration is even more critical. It’s important to view the end of 2020 not just as a terms-adjusted pass, but as a resounding success, and to empower employees to be proud of all the work they’ve put into that success—even if it isn’t the type of work they thought the year would bring.
To leave no doubts about your gratitude for your employees, we recommend making the end of year gifts a little bit special. Here are some ideas for saying thanks.
Go All Out
End of year gifts are a time to go all out. We suggest making these gifts stand out—which you can do on any budget!
To give a gift that feels special without breaking the bank, consider gifting one upgraded item like a vacuum-sealed or ceramic travel mug, a bamboo wine bottle opener, or stylish canvas gym bag in a sophisticated neutral like hunter green, navy, or slate. While these might not be the biggest ticket items on anybody’s wish list, they are the nicest possible version of an item that gets everyday use—a pleasant upgrade to a regular routine.
You can also consider options like festive gift wrapping and handwritten notes. Stylish packaging options add an extra layer of surprise and delight to your end-of-year gifts.
A Time to Celebrate
Although some companies have had banner years despite the pandemic, many others have experienced less growth than expected or had their plans derailed in other ways. The same is true for employees—-rather than presiding over a prestigious panel, smashing previous sales goals, or spearheading a new initiative, workers have found themselves engaged in humbler tasks like converting storage closets into offices and problem-solving around remote collaboration.
One of the dangers of adversity is that while we might internally adjust our goals, we can forget to celebrate the work we have done in the new context. In other words, it can be easy for people who didn’t achieve the loftiest goals they imagined for themselves in 2019 to end 2020 with a sense of disappointment.
This has negative consequences for a business. After all, any company that is still in business in 2020 has cause for celebration. And celebration isn’t just a luxury – it’s critical. Failing to celebrate all of the hard work, innovation, and ingenuity, and flexibility that this year required of employees at every level this year can result in a sense of failure that eventually leads to burnout.
To facilitate reflection and celebration, we recommend giving festive gifts. These can include sparkling wine, edible goodies, crystal glassware, a fireside game set, or Bluetooth enabled speakers. You can always mix and match these items to create a party experience box.
It might not quite replace your traditional annual celebration, but it can remind your employees that the major takeaway from this year should be a sense of accomplishment and pride in your collective ability to weather challenges as they come your way.
Make it Personal
Work from home gifts have been a staple this fall, and they are always appreciated by employees. For a year end thank you gift, however, we recommend thinking beyond just utility.
This is your chance to give a little luxury—after all, this is a time to not just show appreciation for the work employees do, but for the personal choice they make to continue to do that work with you.
For a year-end thank you gift, we recommend gifting the human, not just the employee. This means that you might want to think about gourmet chocolates, cozy flannel throws, or a puffy vest with state-of-the-art synthetic insulation.
Gifts that don’t directly relate to the performance of a work task are a great way to show your team that you understand that the sacrifices of 2020 have been personal as well as professional—and to show your gratitude for their choice to weather this year’s uncertainty as a member of your team.