This Thanksgiving Seek Effective Ways to Show Appreciation to Your Front-Line Employees
By Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD
Thanksgiving will soon be here. For many people that means a four-day weekend. There may be a grand feast with family, watching a parade or football game, and perhaps a nap. Then there’s Christmas shopping on Friday—or Thursday afternoon for those who can’t wait. Later in the weekend, some will put up Christmas decorations and others will go to a movie. Traditions vary, but for most people, Thanksgiving is a break from work.
Not so for those in the answering service industry. Quite possibly Thanksgiving weekend means four days of work. Given the theme of the holiday, being thankful, let’s look for ways to thank the staff who will spend time working when most other people aren’t. Some bosses do a great job at this, others not so well, and a few don’t even think about it. Here are some ideas to say “thank you” to your staff.
Sometimes the simplest of ways is the best way. Just look at each employee in the eye, and say “thank you for all you do.” It can mean a lot.
I once had a boss who personally handed out paychecks each payday. Though not the most personable guy, he made a point to say “thank you” as he gave each of us our check. That was thirty years ago. I still remember it.
Give a Card
Cards are nice too, but to have maximum impact, don’t use the premade kind with flowery sentiment and your printed signature. Instead, handwrite a short note of sincere appreciation, say thank you, and sign it. For increased impact, include a gift card or cash.
Do Something Special
As the saying goes, “Actions speak louder than words.” What action can you do to show your appreciation to your answering service staff working on Thanksgiving? Maybe you could drop off a treat for them to enjoy during break. How about a small gift awaiting each one when they come into work? Come up with something creative you can do for your staff, and it will have a huge impact.
Avoid the Cliché or the Routine
Some companies give frozen turkeys to their staff on Thanksgiving, and others have practices that have become expected but carry little meaning. Phase-out the old, tired convention and replace it with something fresh and new that will have employees buzzing.
Though we think of being thankful this time of year, don’t restrict your appreciation of your staff to one weekend. Continue to thank them and show your appreciation for the hard work they do throughout the year.
Yes, this takes effort and is time-consuming, but so is hiring and training new staff when your existing employees quit because they don’t feel appreciated.
May you and your staff have a happy Thanksgiving.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is the publisher and editor-in-chief of TAS Trader, covering the telephone answering service industry. Check out his book How to Start a Telephone Answering Service.