Thanksgiving weekend has typically been a time to gather with family and friends, indulge in sumptuous festive meals and enjoy time off from work, school and the usual day-to-day grind. But this year, our Thanksgiving tables will most likely include a laptop with our loved ones joining via Zoom instead of by our sides. Yet amidst our altered plans and our fear and uncertainty about the rise in COVID cases, we must also find a way to express our thanks and our gratitude.
Thanksgiving also presents an excellent opportunity to thank your team members, co-workers and colleagues. Work place satisfaction surveys consistently report that what employees want most is feedback and recognition. The good news is, giving thanks and expressing gratitude is easy to do and will go a long way in lifting your team’s spirits during these challenging times.
Here are three simple ways to express gratitude:
- Give Thanks: Do not underestimate the impact of specifically thanking your team members and co-workers. A simple e-mail, a personal note or thanking each person at your next staff meeting goes along way. Be specific. Thank people for their willingness to take on additional work, for their flexibility in adapting to this new remote environment, or thank them for supporting each other navigating the challenges of their new work reality.
- Give Recognition: When working remotely, it’s easy for employees to feel vulnerable, isolated, and disconnected from the work place. The impending Thanksgiving holiday is a great chance to acknowledge accomplishments. Devote staff meeting time in the coming weeks to recognize the contributions of each person. Invite everyone on your team to find opportunities to express gratitude to their colleagues and recognize the ways they’ve supported each other through these challenging times.
- Give Time: With overflowing inboxes, long days of back-to-back zoom meetings, no boundaries between work and home life, and no end in sight, everyone is facing the holiday season with some level of fatigue and exhaustion. The gift of time is something that boosts morale and generates good will. Consider giving additional comp time, even an extra half-day will be greatly appreciated. Finally, encourage everyone to be truly off-line, free from the 24/7 pressure of checking e-mails/messages on Thanksgiving Day.
Regardless of how you choose to say thanks, remember that the simplest show of gratitude will be appreciated. As Thanksgiving approaches, I want to express my sincere appreciation to my wonderful colleagues and clients. I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity to work with you and I hope you will find moments of joy and gratitude throughout this holiday season.