Christmas-time and service anniversaries are typically when employers show that they appreciate the hard work of their employees. Often these traditional moments are expected by staff but an impromptu way to show that you value your colleagues is to mark Thanksgiving by giving thanks! As such, here are our top five tips for saying “thank you” to your workforce.

Say It!

Simply saying “thank you” is the easiest way to get in the Thanksgiving spirit. Better yet, you can personalize this project, without breaking the bank, with the use of eCards. While a mass email might look like a half-hearted afterthought, eCards can easily be tailored to mention what exactly you are thanking your team members for.

Mirror Your Company Values

The Society for Human Resource Management recently published research showing that in organizations where recognition is tied to a company’s values, 78% of respondents rated those programs as excellent or good. In contrast, organizations where appreciation was not tied to the company’s values saw only 41% of respondents rate those programs as excellent or good. So, when giving thanks—whatever medium you use—emphasize that you are thanking your staff for being ambassadors of the company’s values. In fact, this positive reinforcement of your company’s values will further increase employee engagement with what your organization stands for!

Be Consistent

Thanksgiving is not a time for favouritism. Nor is it time for gamification (ranking productivity to motivate performance). So, avoid celebrating one type of employee over another at this time of year by making Thanksgiving an inclusive celebration of your employees that comes with no strings attached.

Promote Authenticity

Having recognized leaders involved in Thanksgiving reassures your employees that the organization really does care. On the one hand, the kind words of an owner or CEO will feel authentic. On the other, delegating this responsibility may be seen as an act of insincerity. So, whether you use electronic, paper or face-to-face communication to say “thank you,” we recommend it comes straight from the horse’s mouth.

Don’t be Afraid to Spend

Approximately 85% of companies surveyed by WorldatWork’s Trends in Employee Recognition 2015 report spend between 0.1% and 2% of their payroll budget on employee recognition. Why not crunch the numbers and see if you can afford to spend a little this Thanksgiving? A free lunch, a social event, or gift cards are just a few examples of affordable ways you can say “thank you” to your employees.

By taking the time to have your company’s leaders say “thank you” in an authentic, unbiased and affordable way, your employees will undoubtedly appreciate your efforts. Whatever approach you take, don’t let Thanksgiving slip by without taking the time to thank your company’s most important assets.