Financial Data
Updated 29 Feb 2020

Why you should show gratitude to your staff over the hectic holiday season

Although many of our clients are looking forward to their long awaited annual shutdown, many others are preparing for the busy tourism and retail season ahead. But despite the added pressure, now is the time to truly show gratitude to your employees.

Su-Mari du Bruyn, 20 November 2015  Share  0 comments  Print

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Whether you work in a Finance department facing the pressure of financial year ends or in manufacturing chasing unreasonable customer delivery dates, the reality is that at some or other point in time, all businesses rely on their team members to put in that little extra discretionary effort, volunteer to contribute some productive overtime and sacrifice in some way or another to support the business’ needs.

Treat staff like paid volunteers

How do you reward those extraordinarily reliable team members? Although you may argue that their employment contracts allow you the flexibility to allocate additional responsibilities to them and even in some cases that they get paid overtime, we find that businesses often forget that employees are not assets that you retain ownership of.

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They should in fact rather be viewed as paid volunteers and you need to keep in mind that especially the best of the best (who you need the most) always have a choice whether they want to continue to serve with their talents and discretionary effort in your environment or in another.

Gestures should always be sincere

Showing your gratitude and appreciation does not have to be a costly affair. What is important is that the gesture is sincere and that whatever you do is considered of value by the recipient.

Giving somebody tickets to go watch a hockey match when they have no knowledge of or interest in hockey (as an example) will not be valued by them and is a wasted gesture.

If you are not sure what your team may value, you can always ask them to share some ideas that fall within certain parameters. Examples of gestures could be time off from work at a later stage without it affecting their official leave statistics, a hand written thank you note, public acknowledgement (whether in front of their team members or on social media), bringing a cake or buying a pizza for people to share or even a team reward such as a new filter coffee machine or hot chocolate for the canteen. This is something that you can get creative about and have fun with.

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Have more patience during peak time

Whether you will be working hard during the coming month of December or whether you will be relying on the services of those who will, I implore you to practice a little extra patience, actively look for opportunities to show gratitude and appreciation and make as many people smile as you can.

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About the author

Su-Mari du Bruyn

Su-Mari Du Bruyn is co-founder of Adapt To Change. She is a qualified HR practitioner and logistics specialist and is passionate about Continuous Improvement and people development. Through Adapt To Change she assists businesses to improve their business performance and better engage their staff. Su-Mari also recently launched her e-book business guide, The Power to Ignite. Available exclusively on for Kindle, The Power to Ignite is a practical guide to the powerful art of Continuous Improvement, sharing proven methodology and highlighting important dos and don’ts in engaging staff and improving business results.

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