What do your employees want for Christmas? (Part 1)

Much as I enjoy the ‘wham, bam, instant gratification’ type of gifts that I seem to get more than my fair share of at Christmas (champagne, chocolates, champagne flavoured chocolate, chocolate flavoured bath foam – is someone trying to tell me something?) the gifts I really appreciate are those that are, in some way, going to make my life easier, happier or more pleasurable in the months ahead
I’m guessing some of your employees might feel the same?
So, what could you give your employees for Christmas that will make their working lives more pleasurable and satisfying in the year ahead? Here are the first three, of nine, ideas I’d like to suggest you try (with some ‘wham, bam’ alternatives – just in case you want to totally ruin someone’s holiday) 


I know I know, I could bore for England on this subject but, I’m sorry, it just won’t go away. Why? Because research is still telling us that what our staff want (really, really want) is clarity about our expectations of them. So why not give some? One of my ‘best read’ blogs of this year has been ‘Performance Management: the One Secret You Need to Know’. Why not take a look and find out more about how clarity can improve employee satisfaction and employee performance   

 Alternative: Chocolate. Oh come on, what’s not to like about your manager giving you a small box of cheap chocolates? The same small box he/she’s given to every other employee every year since time began. No matter that the chocolate is so old it’s got fur on it, it’s the thought that counts    


One of the best articles I read this year was ‘A Generation Y Perspective on Performance Reviews’ by Kyle Lagunas – HR Analyst at Software Advice – (read about his article and some of my responses here). In the article Kyle talks about honesty. He says Lose the cream filling, and challenge us to succeed. In the workplace, we appreciate honesty, even if it means getting some tough love. Although we might be surprised when a manager tells us we didn’t perform up to par, don’t write us off as complete dolts. Let’s talk about it, figure out where we went wrong, and come up with a game plan with clear, measurable goals. 

I’ve written a lot about honest feedback this year, specifically how to give honest and constructive criticism that helps our employees improve performance. If you want to know more about how to give your employees the gift of honest feedback take a look here   

Alternative: Honey. A small pot of honey for each employee – what could be nicer? Forget the chocolate idea, that’s full of calories and is bad for your teeth. Just like honey really. Still, it’s clearly more healthy than chocolate in some way I don’t understand and that furry bit on top? That’s meant to be there (I think)  


Who doesn’t want to feel respected at work? Who doesn’t want to feel that their opinions matter – that they are noticed and valued?  I do (who’d have guessed?) and I’m pretty sure just about everyone else does too. So how do we give our employees the gift of respect? I think it can be really pretty simple – by encouraging them to share their views, insights and opinions and then by demonstrating a real depth of listening to their responses. 
But what should we be asking our employees? I’ve got a whole list of great questions you can use at ‘Management Skills: Are You Asking Your Employees Enough Questions?’  and, for when you’ve done that, a very neat technique to show you on how to listen really well to your employees at ‘Management Skills: Are You Listening?’         
Alternative: Rose wine. So you’re going to reward your employees with a Christmas party. How very retro. What were you thinking? Anyway, we’ve now got to choose the wine. Some like Red, some like White. Nobody really likes Rose, so let’s go for that. Remember only serve a thimble full, nice and warm, in a dirty glass. Job done 

What about you?

What do you want for Christmas? What do you want from your Boss? What do you want from your employees? I’d love to know!! 

Summary: What employees want 

So that’s the C, H and R of Christmas taken care of (see where we’re going here?) In a blog coming your way soon is the ‘I, S & T’. See you there!


PS if you’ve already posted to me the champagne or chocolates or both please don’t cancel it on my behalf. No, really, I wouldn’t want to give you any unnecessary work 


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