Appreciation is a two way street

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Are you thankful for your job? Do you appreciate your boss?

Christmas is the perfect time to reflect on being grateful for your job. You may hate your job or think that your boss is a tool, but the fact that you are still employed and have income coming in is something to be really grateful for.

Last week I was involved in a discussion on Twitter with a mum whose son had been trying for 8 months to get a job. I was horrified to hear that the system our Government has in place won’t help this young man because of his living circumstances.

I was immediately grateful for my own employment and that of my husband’s. Not that I hadn’t been grateful about it before but it certainly made me stop and realize how blessed I was to have work.

And this is the way we should approach our jobs. Grateful that we were considered and hired for our job because our employer could have easily chosen someone else. But appreciation is a two way street.

Employers need to appreciate their employees and there are so many ways to honor and appreciate employees. One of the best times to do this is at Christmas.

Unfortunately since the GFC, the Christmas parties and the thank you gifts are the first items that are cut from the budget.

But if you have hard working employees who know your business well, you can’t afford not to do something to show your appreciation.

I remember the years I was employed by a transport company starting in 2003. The first two years I received a Christmas Hamper and the social club would pay for a Christmas Party. Then the head office of the company that owned our company didn’t make as much money one year and the hampers went. Then it was ruled no Christmas parties were to be organized and the morale in that company went down-hill pretty quickly.

But our little Brisbane office would use the money from petty cash to have a great Christmas lunch on Christmas Eve. We would do Secret Santa and the Manager and Office Manager of our department would buy a 6 pack of beers for the men and a big box of Chocolate Favourites for the women – in appreciation of our work for the year.

Anyway, despite the big bosses saying we couldn’t do it, we did and the managers worked a way around to give a small gift of appreciation to each employee.

I felt appreciated and it made me stay. For a little while longer.

When I worked with Dad, in all of his years of operating his business he  would deliver a Christmas Hamper to every project manager he had worked with in that year. My dad viewed these managers as his employers because they gave him work and would sometimes choose use him over price.

And then the GFC happened and price, not reputation, was what won us jobs. I saw from the other side of the business why the hampers had to go. They were no longer necessary because there was no loyalty.

I would organise our Christmas Party at the Brekkie Creak Hotel for a steak dinner for our sub-contractors. But only one or two of those subbies would write a Christmas card to my dad to say thank you for giving them work.

So I have been on both sides of the employment street and seen appreciation given in different ways.

Here are some non-expensive ideas if you are an employer and want to show some appreciation to your employees.

  •  A personalized Christmas Card to each employee and a movie voucher or something that you can afford to give each employee as a thank you gesture
  • If money is tight, give an employee half a day of leave that doesn’t come off their accrued leave for the year to do some Christmas Shopping. If you can afford to give them a full day, let them do so but sometimes Christmas can be the busiest time of year for most businesses.
  • Instead of a Christmas Dinner, why not hold a Christmas Lunch?
  • Host a Christmas lunch at your premises and get it catered with hot chickens and salads or Subway sandwiches.
  • If a hamper is too expensive, why not a Christmas Ham or a grocery voucher to help with the costs associated with Christmas

If you are an employee, a simple card expressing gratitude for your job is a wonderful way to say thank you.  A personalized gift can also drive the message further.

Christmas is a time about giving and being grateful and if the appreciation balance is played out right it can set the company up with great morale to start the New Year.

How has your company appreciated you? Have you shown appreciation to your boss?

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